Sonic The Hedgehog fans rejoice! Sonic Mania Plus for the Nintendo Switch is getting rave reviews, to the point that it has a 90 Metascore at the time of this article's writing. That makes it, as Sonic's official Twitter points out, the highest-rated game the franchise has had in 25 years. It makes my hands tremble just to type these words, but we finally have a legitimately good Sonic game.
With a 90 Metascore on Nintendo Switch, Sonic Mania Plus is now the highest-rated Sonic game in 25 years.— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) July 24, 2018
Thank you for being there with us, every step of the way. pic.twitter.com/tRhE8rWYNU
As the Tweet shows, critics have almost nothing but praise for the game. To go deeper, ShackNews calls it "a must-play for fans of the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2D platformers."
The PlayStation LifeStyle reviewer wrote, "The genuinely challenging stages are chock-full of secrets, and will require multiple playthroughs to find everything they have to offer."
"At only $30, it’s a superb deal and a release I would recommend be on anyone’s short list of must-haves," says Digital Chumps.
It's been a while since game reviewers have been so kind to the Sonic franchise. 25 years, as we've established. That's already pretty astounding. It gets even crazier when you do the math.
25 years ago was 1993. A quick check of Wikipedia shows that there were two Sonic games released in '93. One was an arcade game called SegaSonic The Hedgehog that never made it outside of Japan. It's also not on Metacritic so its rating can't really be determined. The other was Sonic Spinball, a pinball-esque spinoff that got middling ratings. But with the game being a spinoff, the Sonic Twitter probably isn't counting it in its claim.
That leaves Sonic The Hedgehog 2, released in '92. It was the second game in the franchise as the title suggests. That means that, if this Twitter post is to be believed, the vast majority of Sonic games have failed to reach the heights of that second title. Not the fan-favorite Sonic Adventure 2. Not the many Olympic outings with Mario. Not even Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine.
Many readers will probably respond with a "Duh!" but as a Sonic fan, that's a hard thing to wrap your head around. Fans have fond memories tied to those supposedly "subpar" games. But apparently all that face-shredding Crush 40 music, found computer rooms, and Chaos we raised mean nothing in the face of nostalgic 2D gameplay.
Sonic might just be entering a new renaissance, but at what cost? Must we sacrifice the things we love to have critically-acclaimed Sonic games? Will the old memories be tossed aside for the greater good? Now I know how Shadow feels...