Also On: PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Christian Whitehead / Headcannon / PagodaWest Games / Sonic Team
Sonic Mania Plus, the recently released DLC for last year?s pretty great Sonic Mania, offers up a few good reasons to revisit the best 2D Sonic game since the old Genesis/Mega Drive days. For $4.99 you?ll get new characters, a new remixed version of the original game, and added support for the existing multiplayer modes, bumping the player count up to 4. It?s not a significant add-on from a story perspective, but I think it definitely feels price appropriate. Also, if you?re a fan of physical media, there?s a new physical edition out for consoles that comes packed with an art book and a pretty snazzy looking Genesis-era cover via the reversible case artwork.
The new characters come in the form of Mighty the Armadillo, and Ray the Flying Squirrel. I?m admittedly rusty on my knowledge of ?Sonic Friends?, but both are solid additions to the game. Mighty comes equipped with a ground pound style attack, and Ray can glide around stages, with a mechanic that feels reminiscent of Mario?s cape from Super Mario World. While the base game doesn?t do anything special with the new mechanics, the featured Encore mode of Sonic Mania Plus certainly does.
Encore mode is the remixed version of the story mode from the first game. The levels are altered with different enemy placements, hazards, and some slight visual tweaks to set this mode apart from what you played last year. This isn?t some sort of completely revamped experience, but it does offer what feels like a tougher challenge than before. Also, it does make use of the new character abilities, including out of reach ledges for Ray, and destructible ground areas for Mighty. You?ll also encounter new power-ups, including one that will mix up the characters you control amongst the entire roster.
To top things off, Time Attack and Competition modes now allow for up to 4 players to compete against each other, and you?ll also have ghost challenges for Time Attack mode.
Again, this might not be a significant upgrade to the base game, but for five dollars it definitely feels worth it to me. The added characters are fun and different enough when compared to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, and the Encore mode gives added incentive for those that spent time playing through the game last year uncovering every little secret. The only real negative I have with Plus is that the new pinball inspired bonus stage isn?t that great, both in how it plays and with the rewards you get for attempting it.
Sonic Mania Plus is definitely worth checking out, especially if you happened to miss out on the original release of Sonic Mania. It?s a true return to form for everyone?s favorite hedgehog, and it?s definitely nice to have a reason to revisit.
Sega provided us with a Sonic Mania Plus copy for the Nintendo Switch for review purposes.