Thursday, 19 July 2018

PS4 Purchase #1

Sonic Mania by PagodaWest Games / Headcannon / Sega (2018)

I don't usually warble on about new games I've bought here, partly because most of them are just retro-flavoured indie download titles from Steam or Good Old Games these days, but I've decided I will do with my PS4 purchases. This is mainly because I like the PS4 and the support it is receiving from many indie developers, and having physical copies of the games in question makes me feel warm and fuzzy too.

In typical Red Parsley fashion, I've got a bit of catching up to do as I already have 12 or 13 games, but I thought I'd start with this one which arrived from Amazon today. I think I'm right in saying it's the first game I've ever pre-ordered in my life too. I've bought loads of titles on the days of their launch over the years but I never really felt compelled to actually pre-order any. I have been very keen to play Sonic Mania though, and resisted the temptation of buying it on Steam in the hopes that a physical copy might be released for... well, something I own. And since I accidentally ended up with a PS4, it seemed like the best candidate. Much to my delight, shortly afterward I found out that this was indeed destined to happen. Not only that but it was to be a special version called Sonic Mania Plus too!

This made me rather happy - an achievement in itself given how ultra-whiney and offended-by-everything today's world is - and I found myself excited about a game release for the first time in years. I suspect some people around my age who spent their younger years gaming felt the same way. For me, the only Sonic games I've really enjoyed have been the 2D ones on Sega's consoles (as well as the fine Neo Geo Pocket Color offering) and this new title is not only made in their image but is a full-on tribute to what many still count as Sonic's glory days.

I realised today that this makes Sonic Mania the first Sonic game I have been excited about since Sonic Adventure back in 1999 on the Dreamcast, and unlike that fateful day, I am very confident I won't end up disappointed this time either. I haven't played it yet admittedly - I'm writing from work where it was delivered - but I'm definitely not disappointed so far. I already knew it came with an art book and a reversible cover, and it did indeed, but the case also came in a lovely shiny slip-cover too. It's a really nice design and looks great, as does the reversible cover which is a mock-up of a UK MegaDrive game! DotEmu had this idea with their amazing Wonder Boy Dragon's Trap too, and it again works well here - my copy of the game was soon in this configuration and will most likely stay in it!

The art book is probably the freebie I was looking forward to the most though. I was half expecting some fold-out pamphlet or something but it's actually a 30-odd page book full of sprite and logo designs and all sorts of other design illustrations of great splendour. It really is a fantastic package and a great example of how to do indie physical releases right. I've still got the game itself to play through yet too, and I'm very much looking forward to doing just that as soon as possible. Sonic, it appears, is finally back in his natural environment and looks better than ever.


  1. Interesting... I picked up my copy of Sonic Mania Plus the other day as well and being in Japan, it's the Japanese version, it owuld seem there are a couple of differences between ours (not regarding the MD style art).

    I'm a little bit jealous of your shiny box cover there

    1. Yeah, the cover is really nice. Does the Japanese one have a mock Japanese MD cover or is it the UK still?

    2. The Japanese has the MD style cover, but it is in the sttyle of JP release.