After hearing details and getting a look at a screenshot of the new Special Stages in Sonic Mania just over a week ago at San Diego Comic Con, we have got some footage in today’s Sonic Mania trailer. We also got footage of the Time Trial mode and the Bonus Stages which have been revealed to be the Special Stages from Sonic 3&K – Blue Sphere.
First in the trailer we get a look at the Special Stages shown off at Comic Con last month. Whilst there isn’t too much here we hadn’t already had described to us, it is great to see them in action. What is interesting to see though is the layout of the stages which appear to be much more like a race course than the big open areas we saw in Sonic CD’s Special Stages (perhaps I just couldn’t tell from the previous screenshot). We also get to see Tails and Knuckles’s low-poly models, as well as a variety of Stages featuring different backgrounds.
Next up, we have the Bonus Stages. Now for those that aren’t familiar with them seeing as they are a little hard to come by, Bonus stages are extra mini-game stages that can be entered if the player has a certain number of Rings. A small ring of stars will appear as you pass a checkpoint and if you are quick enough, you can jump in. They’ve only appeared in Sonic 3&K and Knuckles Chaotix in the mainline series and were planned for CD. Now for Mania, the Bonus Stages are actually the Special Stages from S3&K (ugh, I’m referencing 3&K a lot in these articles.)…
This means the return of course, of Blue Sphere! They play exactly as they did before except they have had a fresh coat of paint, with updated and more detailed sprites, and a remixed theme. What is different though, is the reward at the end. Rather than more Rings or extra lives, the player is rewarded with either a silver or gold medallion. Silver for beating the stage and gold for collecting all the rings in addition to the Blue Spheres. It’s a nice little feature for all the completionists out there.
The last thing shown in today’s trailer was the Time Trials mode. Much like many other Sonic games, the Time Trial mode simply allows for the replaying of previous levels to try and get a quick finishing time. The difference in Mania comes with a new function that allows for the restart of a level with the press of one button. Just a quick flash and you’re back at the beginning. No slowdown or any menus. The feature is incredibly well suited to speedrunners which you should expect to see a lot of on the game’s online leaderboard.
With all these additions, Mania is set to be one of the best Sonic games yet when it releases on August 15th. Are you excited? Tell us in the comments below.
Some guy from the UK with a big interest in video games, mostly Japanese ones. Just starting up as a writer so go easy on me, it might be terrible.