Sega Sonic Mania September | Infinite Grenade Launcher Podcast | Level 421
Kyle, Josie, and Justin collect all the golden rings from Green Hill Zone as they can as they talk about Sega’s Sonic Mania.
More about Sonic Mania’s Gameplay:
Sonic Mania is a side-scrolling platformer action game similar to the early Sonic the Hedgehog games released for the Sega Genesis. Players select one of three playable characters, each with their own unique abilities: Sonic can perform a “drop dash” which sends him rolling in a dash after a jump, Tails can fly and swim, and Knuckles can glide and climb walls. As with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), players can play as Sonic and Tails simultaneously, or a second player can control Tails independently. Unlockable options include Sonic’s abilities from Sonic CD (1993) and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) in place of the drop dash and “& Knuckles” mode, which allows simultaneous control of any character and Knuckles, including himself.
Sonic Mania takes place over twelve levels, called zones; the game features eight “remixed” zones, such as Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, alongside four original zones. Remixed stages consist of both new elements and recycled gimmicks and ideas from other past Sonic games. Each zone is divided into two acts, in which the player must guide their character past various enemies and obstacles to reach the end. At the end of each act, the player takes part in a boss battle against Doctor Eggman or one of his robots, including the Hard-Boiled Heavies, elite henchmen based on the EggRobo enemies from Sonic & Knuckles (1994). The player collects golden rings, which serve as a form of health; players survive hits as long as they have at least one ring, but, if hit, their rings scatter and disappear after a short time. Television monitors containing rings, elemental shields, or power-ups such as invincibility and faster running speed are scattered throughout each level. Like Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the story is told via short in-game cutscenes between levels.
Giant rings are hidden in each act, a feature of the original games, lead to pseudo-3D special stages similar to those in Sonic CD. In the stages, players dodge obstacles and collect colored spheres to increase their speed, allowing them to pursue a UFO carrying a Chaos Emerald; collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds allows players to use their character’s super transformation and unlocks the game’s true ending. Players’ ring counters slowly decrease during special stages and must be continually replenished; if the player runs out of rings before they catch the UFO, the special stage ends. The “Blue Sphere” special stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 also return, repurposed as bonus stages that are accessed by entering a portal that appears when the player passes a checkpoint while carrying 25 or more rings. Completing bonus stages earns the player a silver or gold medal depending on their performance; collecting medals unlocks features such as a debug mode and sound test.
In a time attack mode, players must complete levels as quickly as possible, with the best times included on an online leaderboard; players can instantly reload a level to try again at any time. A split-screen competitive multiplayer mode allows two players to race to the end of a level, similar to those of Sonic 2. Players can also unlock “Mean Bean”, a two-player minigame based on the 1993 spin-off Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
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