Sonic Mania has officially released on a number of home consoles, but perhaps the most interesting release has to be on Nintendo’s newly-launched Switch platform. With its home-portable hybrid design, it makes it relatively easy to play the latest Sonic platformer on the move. So, a couple of our TSS reporters went walkies with their Switches to see if the experience was any good. Some of them found a pretty blurry line between the real world and the Sonic world… be careful out there, Switch users.
I live near a lovely little Floridian seaside town, Delray Beach. I decided to take my Switch out to see how Sonic Mania fared as entertainment, during one of my afternoon excursions down to the beach! My starting point for the day was a quaint little burger and ice cream place called ‘Doc’s’.
Naturally, I had to start the day off with a Chili Dog.
Surprisingly, Sonic Mania isn’t too hard to play while walking around… as long as the sidewalk is clear and you keep yourself aware of your surroundings. I’m not a huge fan of the Switch’s D-Pad solution via the attached JoyCon, but it works fine.
It was here that I stumbled across my local pinball place, Silverball Museum. Which is funny, because pinball naturally goes well with Sonic!
… And as you might expect, Silverball has a LOT of pinball action. Enough to satisfy any high-speed hedgehog.
I turned my attention to the real-life pinball tables for a while, but it was soon time for a break from the clank and clatter of the physical tables. I moved on to my Switch to flip Sonic about in Mirage Saloon Zone instead. I’m surprised that this is the closest thing that Mania has to a ‘proper’ pinball style stage, with the flippers and all.
Sonic isn’t the only video game legend here! Hey there, Q*bert! His game still holds up, you know.
Time to leave the pinball arcade, and as I head through the sea grape trees and approach the beach, I decide to pull up a classic Zone in Sonic Mania.
My little excursion ends here – the beach provides a surprisingly pleasant, fitting atmosphere for playing Sonic games. Almost Emerald Coast-esque. Personally, I much prefer this ocean to the oily, hellish one Sonic is trekking over on my Switch. The lack of giant octopus mechs constantly sending me to the game over screen is also a plus.
If you’re feeling studious, Sonic Mania on Switch is the perfect companion to campus life. If you’re not lucky enough to get into Spagonia University – either because of the high entry requirements, or all of Eggman’s robots flying over the ocean – then any educational institution will do. The red brick University of Birmingham in England, with its world famous clock tower, provides a particularly suitable alternative for wannabe rooftop runners.
Not only can you take the game for a quick spin between assignments and lectures, but the academic environment is especially conducive to analysing level layouts and finding those tricky special stage rings. According to the globally renowned scholar Professor Pickle, Sonic Mania on Switch is best enjoyed with a round of thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches (not pictured here – I ate them all).
A word of caution though: if you’re playing at night, be on the lookout for prowling Werehogs, and remember not to accept any chocolate from strange floating chihuahuas.
The moment I heard that Sonic Mania was coming to the Nintendo Switch, I knew that that was the platform I had to play it on above all others. Lo and behold, I invested in a Switch of my own and played the waiting game until Mania finally launched earlier this week.
So here’s the thing about this particular “On the Go” assignment: those of us with Switches had to venture about our cities, portable console in hand, and find appropriate areas we can add a Sonic “spin” to as ideal locations to play Sonic Mania in.
To my surprise, I heard that THE Metropolis Zone was actually located nearby! I couldn’t believe my luck! From Vancouver, it was just a short SkyTrain ride over to Burnaby of all places, but I couldn’t help but wonder — how did this Zone get transported over from West Side Island onto Canada’s west coast? Was it a Chaos Control freak accident, or time and space-displacement via Phantom Ruby? Should I prepare for nasty encounters with Asterons, Slicers, and Shellcrackers creeping around every corner?
As I hopped out of the Metrotown Station anticipating the worst, I gotta say…
This wasn’t what I had in mind.
Still, be you sitting on the cool metal of the screw elevator while waiting for your two-tailed support to arrive, or soft, cushioned benches in one of Canada’s biggest malls until your friends catch up to you, playing Sonic Mania on the Switch is a prime way to pass the time either way!