Last year around this same time, Sega announced their Sonic Mania game. The game would be download only, and the only physical release would come in the form of a cool collector's edition. It was all slated for April of this year. The game was eventually pushed back to late August for some reason. Cool. I pre-ordered the collector's edition because I knew it would be a hot item. Sure enough, I was right.
I picked mine up the day it was released. Just look at that thing! Isn't it cool? The statue is a 12 inch Sonic the Hedgehog standing on top of a replica Sega Genesis system. It's an exact replica, too, including every minor detail about the old system. If you switch the power on it makes the classic "Seegaaaa!" sound. There is also a metallic card. The coup de grače, however, is the old school Genesis cartridge that opens up to reveal a Sonic ring. This whole collector set is really impressive, and it was definitely worth the wait.
The game itself is really good. I can't speak for where it ranks among the other Sonic games, but I'm told by others that it's probably the best Sonic game since Sonic 2. That's high praise, since Sonic 2 was really good. Sonic Mania starts out exactly like Sonic the Hedgehog, in the Green Hill Zone. I've played the original Green Hill Zone so much that I know the map by memory. Halfway through Green Hill Zone you start noticing little changes, bouncy springs that weren't there before, and the level design changes up slightly. By the end of the level you realize you're playing an entirely new map that they eased you into by giving you a small taste of the past. It was quite excellent.
Samuel Colunga is a writer/podcaster from Texas by day, and superhero by night.