Sonic Mania official artwork

The Sonic series has always been a bit of a roller-coaster in terms of quality, but I think everyone can agree that the classic 2D Sonic games are some of the best examples of how fun Sonic can truly be. Unfortunately, at least as far as I'm concerned, the Sonic Team mostly spent the past decade working on 3D iterations of the series and pretty much failing every single time, though I have to give special credit to Generations for being genuinely fun.

With that little introduction out of the way, I hope you can now understand how astounding it is to hear that Sega has teamed up with Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games to create a brand new 2D Sonic game - Sonic Mania! There will be new zones and remixed classic levels, new gameplay mechanics to keep the "gotta go fast" attitude alive despite various platforming challenges, and best of all, all three of the original characters will be playable (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles).

If you're interested in what Sonic Mania looks like, here's the announcement trailer and I would suggest you skip to 55 seconds:

While it might not seem like a big deal, the most exciting part of this whole announcement to me is the introduction of the Drop Dash move. As you probably remember, one of the most annoying things about the classic Sonic games is that they all encourage you to go as fast as possible, yet litter the levels with so many jump puzzles and challenges that it completely breaks the pace. Well, with Drop Dash that should no longer be an issue since you can easily build back your momentum and change direction simply by falling! A simple but rather effective change, and one that gives me great hope for Sonic Mania.

And now for a bit of bad news. Sonic Mania is set to release in the spring of 2017, so there is going to be quite the wait before we can finally get our hands on it. On the positive side, its going to be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. No silly exclusivity this time around.

Sonic Mania screenshot of the lotto room