Ten seconds into playing Sonic Mania, I was immediately hit with a flood of memories. At a PAX demo station equipped with classic SEGA Genesis controllers, Sonic Mania’s demo began with the classic Green Hill Zone, in gorgeous HD and looking better than ever, but simultaneously just how I remembered it.
This time around, though, levels from the original Sonic, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles have been slightly remixed (you might find elements from Sonic 3 in the original Green Hill Zone, for example) but still retain their classic Sonic flavor.
But the real magic of Sonic Mania comes in the new levels done in the old school style. We played a new zone called Studiopolis set in a TV station. We jumped off of classic Sonic bumpers and springs, but also warped through TV satellite dishes, fought off enemies shooting film strips, and even crashed through gigantic popcorn machines, all at break-neck speed in classic Sonic fashion.