After decades of mediocrity, SEGA’s blue hedgehog is finally back on fighting form. Sonic Mania, released last week on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch takes everyone’s favourite ring collector back to the glory days of the Megadrive. Featuring wonderfully designed boss fights, reimagined levels from classic Sonic games, and an infectiously catchy soundtrack, Sonic Mania is one of those games that just oozes a sense of fun with every pixel.
Yet, for us at FANDOM, it’s the Switch version that has us feeling giddy with nostalgia. As 90s kids, we owned PlayStations not Megadrives, so playing Mania on the Switch reminds us of our introduction to the hedgehog – Sonic Advance. With countless childhood summers spent ignoring beautiful scenery while zooming through Green Hill Zone on the Gameboy, Sonic Mania sends us hurtling right back to our childhoods.
While Sonic Team has been frantically trying to make a good 3D outing for the blue hedgehog for years, this project helmed by Sonic fan and programmer Christian Whitehead has somehow wound up being the best reviewed Sonic since the Dreamcast’s Sonic Adventure 2. Go figure.
It feels pretty fitting then that Sonic has returned to its former glories on the Nintendo Switch. For the last few years, SEGA has been trying to tap into its old fans by bringing its back catalogue to phones, most noticeable with the recent free classics collection, SEGA Forever. Yet, with these ad-ridden retro ports running pretty terrible on mobiles, it’s ironically on the platform of its one-time rival where SEGA’s classics currently feel most at home.
It’s not just SEGA who is benefitting from nostalgia on the Switch though, with the likes of Ultra Streetfighter II and a new Bomberman proving that Nintendo’s little portable is the perfect device for aging gamers looking to relive their youth. With Neogeo games also quietly filling up the Switch eShop, Nintendo’s latest console has the potential to become the best retro gaming console around.
While there are undoubtedly brilliant modern releases like Rocket League, FIFA 18 and Super Mario Odyssey coming to the platform too, Sonic Mania has got us itching to get the Virtual Console on Switch. Hurry up Nintendo, we need to play some Castlevania on the go.