As much as I like to boast that I’m not a nostalgic person, there have been a string of video games coming out this year that seem to evoke a very specific era of my childhood. And while I’m not going to fall over myself to to sing the praises of one of the bigger games I played growing up, I’m still kind of in awe of the fact that we got another Streets of Rage game after over 25 years.
It’s no secret that I loved Sonic Mania when it came out last year. I mean, I just got finished talking about how great it was yesterday in my Mid-Week Review of Sonic Mania Plus. A the end of last year, amongst all of my gushing during my Game of the Year posts; I also had something of a revelation. It was a liberating experience for me. It was the realisation that I didn’t have to be a Sonic apologist any more.
I didn’t have to accept the bad/mediocre Sonic games that came out more consistently than the good ones. To comb through them to find any nugget of something worth praising and focus solely on that aspect like a laser beam, acting as though that little thing made up for what was, in reality, oftentimes a mediocre game. As if to remind me of my moment of clarity, Sonic Mania Plus came out and made me start to wonder: What does the success of this game mean for the future of this series?
I was positively glowing in my reaction to Sonic Mania last year. In fact, I would have happily called it my favourite video game of 2017. Had Nintendo not put out what might be the best Legend of Zelda game they’ve ever produced. It goes without saying I’d be excited to play an expansion to the game that adds new characters and features, aptly named Sonic Mania Plus
For every good thing to be said about Sonic Mania, the highest praise I could ever give it was the obvious love and care for the franchise that went into making it. It was made by people who “get” what fans actually want out of the franchise, mostly because it was made by people who were fans themselves.