Sonic fans are looking forward to diving right back into the mania once Sonic Mania Plus drops this summer. Expanding on the original release of the highest rated Sonic game in well over a decade, the Sonic Mania expansion is set to bring new modes and playable characters in the form of the returning Mighty and Ray.
However, looks like some fans have gotten into some of the fun early as a substantial Sonic Mania update dropped for PlayStation 4 earlier today. The update has since been pulled from the server, but not without some fans already looking into what’s changed.
Spoilers follow below! This is your only warning!
First, the game gets a slick new look for the main menu, listing DLC as an extra option. The save select screen might look unchanged at first glance, but a closer look reveals additional gameplay options that Mania fans will certainly enjoy. Just as in the Sonic Advance games, you can disable the 10 minute time limit and explore Zones at your own pace, which will likely come as a major relief to those having trouble with the final Zone Titanic Monarch. Additionally, you can now change up Sonic’s gameplay style outside of No Save Mode, meaning you can flip between Mania style (with the Drop Dash), 3&K style (with the Air Shield), and CD style (with the Super Peel Out) at your leisure. The same goes for & Knuckles mode, which adds Knuckles as a companion character.
One of my personal gripes with the initial release of Sonic Mania was how certain Zones lacked Sonic 3 & Knuckles-style cutscene transitions past Studiopolis Zone. The Plus-accommodating update has thankfully addressed this with new transitions, such as showing Sonic and Tails using familiar-looking hang-gliders to fly from Flying Battery to Press Garden. Players can now also skip these cutscenes.
The biggest and most spoilerific change coming to the original game comes in the Metal Sonic boss fight in Stardust Speedway Zone, Act 2. It is reported that the fight plays out relatively the same up until the final phase, which switches out the wall of spikes chase sequence with something more chaotix by design. During this sequence, Eggman will power up Metal Sonic with the Phantom Ruby, forcing the metal menace into a 32X-inspired transformation toward a blue variation of Metal Sonic Kai, the true final boss from Knuckles Chaotix. It is unknown whether this fight will replace the original phase 3 or if it is meant to be part of the game’s upcoming Encore Mode.
At the time of writing, nothing has yet been datamined or uncovered in the update’s code.
As it stands, this looks to be a free patch coming later down the line that will pave the way for the proper Plus DLC towards its launch. Given the lengths PagodaWest Games and co. went over for certain changes in the original Mania, it makes me wonder just what else Sonic Mania Plus will bring to the table once it arrives later this year!
Are you looking forward to picking up Mania Plus physically, or will you be downloading the new DLC once it drops? Share your thoughts with us below!
Source: The Sonic Stadium