2017 will be a good year for fans of Sonic, with the blue hedgehog starring in two very different games that will cover all the things that the audience loves about the series. One is the modern platformer Sonic Forces, and the other is a 2D title with a 16-bit appearance called Sonic Mania that seems to recreate the best mechanics of the classic Mega Drive entries. But the retro look should not give the impression that this is a minor release. In fact, the head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, has said in an interview with Metro that the reception of Sonic Mania will determine the future development of more 2D Sonic games.
Iizuka says that for a long time Sonic releases have tried to appeal a broad audience, from kids to adult gamers, which had an influence on the level designs and the character selection. However, Sonic Mania is a sort of experiment for them, as it is targeting exclusively the fans of the most classic 2D games. This new strategy will help the company see if there is a market of this kind of titles, and if it’s worth to keep pursuing this kind of gameplay.
This is what Iizuka said on the matter: “(…)For Mania it’s kind of like a new approach. To target specifically 2D fans. So we don’t know whether it’ll be accepted positively in the market. We’ll find out after the game’s released, and we can figure out the direction of future titles after seeing the reaction.”
Sonic Mania is a joint project from the Sonic Team and longtime fans of the series who have helped revamping old scenarios like Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant, although the game also includes brand new levels.
Sonic Mania will be released for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, on August 15th.