And this time, with the intentions SEGA has for Sonic now, this may be for good. If they keep this going like they are, they can completely be respected again, and maybe the fanbase can finally have more than a moment to heal.
Sonic Mania and Project 2017 seem to be a split between two different regional groups that aim to make higher quality Sonic games. Sonic Mania will mainly be developed by American designers, who aim to pull a Mega Man 9 by making Sonic relive his past with retro graphics, but new features. Meanwhile, Project 2017 will be handled mainly by the Japanese staff, Sonic Team themselves, who aim to push Sonic further into the future with new innovative plans, while also remembering their own past.
I have really high hopes for Sonic Mania, because all of the main staff working on it are Sonic fans themselves that have made, remade, and/or hacked the Genesis games a lot to make brand new experiences. You think SEGA would be call C&D towards them, but no. I guess they loved their work and now they want them to work together on something bigger.
- Christian Whitehead
is the one responsible for remaking Sonic 1, 2 & CD into mobile games, as well as being CD to HD consoles and PC. This includes making Tails playable in 1 & CD, making Knuckles playable in 1, and creating a brand new version of Hidden Palace Zone for 2. SEGA originally hired him after he made a homebrew mobile port of Sonic CD as proof that it could be done, so that he could work on an official one that they would publish.
- Simon Thomley
is known as Stealth
in the Sonic hacking community and the founder of Headcannon
. He assisted Whitehead in some of the Genesis mobile remakes, but he's mostly known for incredible hacks of the original versions, such as Sonic Megamix and Knuckles in Sonic 1. Although Sonic Megamix is fully playable, he recently canceled further development of it likely because he was hired by SEGA to help with Mania. That's really good on him, because Megamix is an amazing Sonic 1 hack that you should try out.
- PagodaWest Games
is likely the least known part of this collaboration. Some of the people in this company were responsible for working on a complete HD remake of Sonic 2 called "Sonic 2 HD". There was some internal strife within the staff before, though, with the game being cancelled at one point but then picked up again later. Right now I don't know where they are with that remake, but at least they get to contribute to Sonic Mania, too. So far, part of their contribution includes having one of their own composers work on Mania's soundtrack.
In other words, for those that wanted a true 2D console Sonic game, there should be absolutely nothing to worry about with Mania. It is literally a Sonic game made by
fans. Probably the best thing to happen to Sonic, because these guys have dissected the originals and know how their physics and coding work. They're likely more capable of making 2D games now than Sonic Team are, and it's really fantastic that SEGA hired them to work on an brand new official project.
This is the Sonic 4 we should've gotten six years ago. There's no way in Hell this could go wrong, this time, and I'm getting very fed up with predictable disappointments at this point. I just want a wholly good Sonic game, again, because I will never drop this series as it is my very first one.
Oh, and since this mostly a Smash site, this all bodes well with the fact that Sonic is seen as one of the best characters in Smash 4. I'm almost motivated to make him a real secondary. Almost.
Here's some gameplay footage. The player isn't that good, but the game itself definitely is, so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1nQxH3kugg