Any child of the 90s will remember Sonic the Hedgehog. Ever since his first appearance on the Sega Genesis in 1991, the Blue Blur has had a long career as Sega's mascot, often being considered the closest competitor to Super Mario, gaming's unstoppable juggernaut.
Over the years, Sonic's been featured in all sorts of different kinds of games. He's driven race cars, played tennis, surfed on hoverboards, and even fought King Arthur (yes, really)!
Even with all this variety, plenty of longtime Sonic fans have spent years asking for more of the classic 2D platforming gameplay they know and love from childhood, a demand which has only skyrocketed thanks to things like the Sega Genesis being put back into production.
Well Sonic fans, we're finally getting what we've always wanted; Sonic Mania has been confirmed for release on August 15th!
Despite being a brand new release, Sonic Mania looks like all the awesome, simple gameplay we know and love from the Genesis years. The cast is back down to the classic 3 leads of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, and Sega's already shown off the return of a few classic levels like Green Hill Zone and Flying Battery Zone.
You're also still fighting Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik and his legions of robots. The robots still explode when you hit them and release the cute little woodland creatures trapped inside, exactly like you remember.
Make no mistake though, this doesn't look like just a retread of the original games; there's been plenty of new levels shown off as well. Some of them, like Studiopolis, even have lots of neat graphical effects used to enhance them that the Genesis probably never could've handled!
Coolest of all, this is the first official Sonic game made almost entirely by fans! The project is lead by Christian Whitehead, who previously helped Sega with their port of Sonic CD for recent consoles and PC, as well as their awesome mobile versions of Sonic and Sonic 2.
Whitehead is also supported by PagodaWest Games (who have worked on some impressive Sonic fan games before, like S2HD), and the game even features hand-drawn art by Tyson Hesse, one of the artists for the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog comic series! In short, it looks like a real labor of love.
Sega themselves are even getting into the retro spirit. They released a commercial for the game that looks exactly like the one for Sonic 2 from the 90s!
What's especially awesome is, it's a classic Sonic game that you don't even have to dust off a Genesis to play! Sonic Mania is being released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, meaning just about any modern gamer can get a taste of what made the franchise so cool when we were kids.
Sure hope you're all as excited for this as I am!