Sonic Mania’s Fail-State System Too Retro For It’s Own Good

The Dark Souls of Sonic Games


Sonic Mania, the newest entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, has opened to acclaim from fans near and far.

But is it truly a perfect game?

The Sonic the Hedgehog series isn’t known for its amazing story nor its progressive themes. What it is known for is fast and refreshing gameplay that keeps the player on the edge of their seat, but if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself falling off of a cliff.

Let me give you some background about myself here: I didn’t grow up with the Sega genesis. I was a Nintendo fanboy and had never touched a sonic game until Adventures(my favorite) so I don’t know much about the whole 2D classic style that team sonic tends to go back to every time there’s a total solar eclipse. I like retro games but find that a lot of the time the mechanics in these games are too retro for me. I like playing games with story. Games with touching and progressive themes about non-conventionally beautiful trans kids and their journey to find true peace as well as the nearest Starbucks/undercut barbershop.

Sonic Mania isn’t one of those games.

Sonic Mania has this really archaic mechanic where if I die/run out of rings, the game starts me back at the start of the level. Sure sometimes there are checkpoints cleverly placed in areas where I’ll need them but even this is too annoying for a seasoned gamer such as myself. It’s annoying going from “gotta go fast” mode to a black screen, and then the beginning. I always heard that Sonic was just holding the right direction and seeing how fast you can go. Nobody told me I could lose! I spent about a good 3 hours on the first level and I just couldn’t get past this feature. It wasn’t until my 236th restart that I realized that maybe this game is too hard. Maybe it’s not for me, or anyone in this day and age for that matter. It’s almost like the developers took notes from the Dark Souls team.

I’m not the only one that thinks this, either.

The bottom line here is that as time goes on and games change as do us gamers. We’re not the same kids hopped up on sugar waiting to get their fix of masochistic failures. We’re mature adults that demand that games be playable for all of us. Hopefully as the years go on Sega takes note from this article. Maybe they’ll even put my name in the credits!

I’ve reached out to Sega about these features and whether or not they’ll be bending to the whim of us puny journalists. But all I got as a reply was a picture of a giant pile of money. Will keep you updated.