Sonic Mania E3 Impressions: Alex’s Take

I still can’t quite believe Sonic Mania is real. It’s certainly the kind of project many Sonic fans have dreamed of: a game by the fans, for the fans, that somehow manages to capture the nostalgia of yesteryear while simultaneously adding new fresh ideas to make it an all-together new experience. This is the video game equivalent of patting one’s head and rubbing one’s stomach at the same time: possible, but difficult to pull off. And yet somehow, Sonic Mania is doing just that, and appears to be doing it flawlessly if the E3 demo is any indication.

In case you missed Jason’s impressions, here’s quick rundown of the demo: it sports two new stages and had all three Sonic Mania characters (Sonic, Knuckles and Tails) playable. The two new stages were Mirage Saloon and a remix of Green Hill Act 2.

Mirage Saloon is easily one of the most creative Sonic stages I’ve ever played. Gimmicks are abound throughout the level, all fitting in to the stage’s unique western motif. Jumping down on water spritzer bottles will cause them to briefly squirt out their contents, creating temporary bridges and ramps that can be used to reach other areas of the stage. Hop inside one of the stage’s giant six-shooter revolvers, and it’ll fire you to a part of the stage you can’t reach otherwise if you time it right. There are even bars, completely with spinning bar stools that can send you flying forward or backward, depending on how you jump. I’ve never seen a Sonic stage with so many diverse and useful gimmicks before, and mastery of all of them looks like it’ll be critical for better scores and times.

Green Hill Act 2 was the second remix stage of Mania available for play. I had the opportunity to play the remix of Act 1 last year, and noted that it was more or less the same stage with some new areas, the most notable of which being a brand new area that could be found above the regular stage. Act 2’s changes are a little more…extensive. In fact, I really only recognized a few areas from the original game, including the spot where you drill through a wall and go through a pipe. For the most part, the stage layout is largely new, and is much more sprawling, with zip lines that can take you across parts of the stage. Perhaps the greatest addition to GHZ is the boss: gone is the classic wrecking ball boss; in this game you have to contend with Death Egg Robot from Sonic 2!

It’s a hard boss, one I was not able to beat myself. The machine slowly pursues you through the zone in a similar manner to the Sonic Advance 2 bosses, lobbing bombs and firing its spiked, extendable arms. Its attacks are accurate, and due to its height there are few opportunities to get the high ground in order to attack it; alternatively, you can attack it by running up its extendable arm.

The appearance of the Death Egg Robot is the perfect encapsulation of the core element that makes Mania such a promising title. It is a familiar element, in a familiar place, presented in a way that makes it feel fresh and brand new. But there is more to Mania than this. If the demo is any indication, it is also an exceedingly well designed game, sporting some of the best level design of the franchise. Both of the Sonic Mania stages on display are huge, sprawling affairs that not only make optional exploration possible, but fun. Instead of just running through the stages, I often found myself just looking around them instead, trying to see what new areas or paths I could access that I hadn’t seen previously.

Sonic Mania’s graphics are gorgeous, giving it the look of a long-lost Sonic game from the 32X. From what I’ve heard of its jazzy soundtrack, it’s got some memorable earworms that’ll stick with you after a little while. Everything about Sonic Mania’s demo oozes a game crafted with care from a talented team that understands what made the core Genesis titles so great. If the entire Sonic Mania package can live up to what the demos have displayed, it really will be the dream game every classic Sonic fan has been wanting for decades, made real and playable. It looks like it truly will live up to its name, and reignite the Sonic mania in any lapsed Sonic fan, yearning for the days of the Genesis.

Sonic Mania will release on the PS4, Switch, Xbox One and PC later this year.

Rumour: Sonic Mania Green Hill Zone Boss Revealed?

Alongside the news that Chemical Plant Zone will once again return in Sonic Mania, another interesting image has emerged.

Among its coverage of Chemical Plant Zone, tech innovation site Venture Beat have posted an image of what appears to be the Final Boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 clashing with protagonists in the Green Hill Zone, with some visual and armament upgrades!

Whether or not this is a genuine image is yet to be confirmed, but it certainly appears convincing in its conformation to the Mania sprite art style.

As always, TSS will keep you up to date on any future developments!


Gameplay Footage of Classic Sonic in Sonic Forces has Surfaced

A video showing Classic Sonic playing through Green Hill Zone has been uploaded today. Much longer than the snippet seen in the Nintendo Direct, it follows Classic Sonic as he traverses the entirety of the zone, presumably the first one Classic Sonic will go through in the game. Get the video below and screenshots;

Continue reading Gameplay Footage of Classic Sonic in Sonic Forces has Surfaced

Check Out Tee Lopes’ Fresh New Sonic Mania Remix for Green Hill Act 2

It’s no secret by now that Sonic Mania will be borrowing many classic elements from the Blue Blur’s genesis years to shape up for one hell of a throwback experience. One of these elements that will no doubt delight Sonic 3 & Knuckles fans is how Tee Lopes has been composing the game’s soundtrack, as SEGA already confirmed that each Act of a given stage will be given a unique musical score.

Today, we are finally given a taste of how the OST for Mania will be shaping up with this detail in mind. Surprise footage from the official Japanese Sonic channel on YouTube featured new gameplay for Green Hill Zone Act 2, and a brand new theme to accompany it. That said, mind the hosts’ commentary, but give it a listen below!

The new remix certainly reminds me of Palmtree Panic from Sonic CD, but what do you guys think of Tee Lopes’ new take on the classic theme? Do you dig it, or are you also as disappointed as I am that the footage coyly cuts off before revealing the Zone’s boss? Share your thoughts with us below!


New Enemy Character and Green Hill Zone 2 Revealed for Sonic Mania

The Sonic the Hedgehog social media pages have revealed the origin of yesterday’s teaser image of a leg, with the owner of the appendage being a new Badnik on the Block, named Heavy Gunner. HG is part of the Hard Boiled Heavies, who while no further detail was given, will no doubt be antogonists of Sonic and friends in the new game. The stipulation that he is a member of this team alludes to there being more egg-shaped robots to face-off against throughout Mania, possibly akin to the Egg Robot in Sonic & Knuckles.

Additionally, a video was also released today showing off some of Green Hill Zone Act 2 (see below), in which the zone takes place against a vista backdrop paying homage to the Green Hill Zone beta design.

We continue to look forward to hearing more information on Sonic Mania (and the accompanying music to this zone) – and as always, stay tuned!

The Sonic List: My favorite Sonic related moments

Iizuka – “Why does that scary fat man keep following me?!” Jason “Hhhhiiiiiiiiiiiii.”

To be honest, if it wasn’t for Barry’s Weekly five list on Segabits, I probably wouldn’t have been inspired to do my own Sonic List column. Seeing how people comment and react to my opinions gives me a great feeling of pride (and sometimes shame). The first time I did one of these columns and saw all the replies, good or bad, it was one of my favorite Sonic related moments. That’s what today’s column is all about. My favorite moments in Sonic-dom. Weather it’s from a game, a cartoon or just part of my life. These are the moments that I remember back with great fondness. Click below and enjoy! Continue reading The Sonic List: My favorite Sonic related moments

Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

My readers, this day is what all true Sonic fans strive for!

Yes, today is June 23rd, and you all know what that means! The Blue Blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog, is celebrating his 21st birthday today!

So, let’s have a bit of an extravaganza ourselves! 21 is the magic number, so why not go for that many tracks, just for today? A great number of these tracks have been tipped by you guys, and I thank you all for your contributions!

Due to the sheer amount of music to be featured beyond the jump, I’ll refrain myself from commenting on each track. Instead, I will leave you all with this. If everything goes according to plan here, Sound Test Saturday will be moved to SEGASonic: Radio next week. Yes folks, SS:R will return sooner than you think! And with the big move, we will introduce a new feature on our weekly music column: interviews! First ones up are Freen in Green, followed by xTrickyWolfy and Ring Energy should all go well!

If there is any particular artist you would want featured on a future Sound Test Saturday, if there are any remixes, covers, or originals you want to share, if you have work of your own you would like to see up on the site, then do not hesitate to notify me at!

That being said, Happy 21st Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog! Still unstoppable after 21 years!

[SG] Green Hill Zone

Title: Green Hill Zone
Author: TheSymphonicGames
Tip: Faseehudeen

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

Mash-Up and Monday with Garterbelt

“Champion”, from the anime series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, is thrown together with the four introductory Sonic levels from the Genesis era for this week’s Mash-Up Monday! I have to say, the mash-up does quite well in weaving Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Angel Island, and Palmtree Panic together. They all fit quite seamlessly!

Keep in mind that, although the song involved isn’t the case, the source material is very NSFW as it contains adult themes and the like. You were warned, readers!

Ladies and gents, “Green Panty Zone”!

Slam-Up Jamday Act 1: Green Slams and Chemical Jams

Not that kind of Sonic Jam!

Welcome to a very special edition of Mash-Up Monday! After last week’s magical mash-ups, we found something that’s bound to be a slam for all of you! I hope you’re ready, because this week’s mash-ups are simply jamming!

Just like its fellow songs that work with just about anything (LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”, “Guile’s Theme” from Street Fighter, the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” is another tune that mashes with just about any song. Sonic music is of no exception!

That being said, let’s boot up the SEGA Jamnesis and begin our journey in the shoes of Slamnic the Hedgehog and Miles “Jam” Prower! Slam-Up Jamday Act 1: the checkered emerald basketball court of Green Slam Zone!


Green Slam Zone – Masato Nakamura vs. Quad City DJ's

Chemical Jam after the jump!

Continue reading Slam-Up Jamday Act 1: Green Slams and Chemical Jams

RUMOUR: Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 2 to Feature Green Hill & Casino Night Tracks?

In January we brought you word of a possible Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing sequel, then earlier this month Kotaku also heard about it at a Toy Fair in New York where toys based on the game were on show. Well, it appears those toys were also on private show at the London Toy Fair in January and are from the same toy range Meccano announced that month.

Toyworld Magazine reports that Meccano’s Sonic toy collection features Sonic and Knuckles alongside their respective vehicles from Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing with Green Hill Zone and Casino Night Zone added value play-sets also revealed to be on the way. Could this mean that these two levels will be included as tracks in the game’s sequel? SEGA often tie-in merchandise with their games to maximise sales, so it would be odd for them to not continue that trend.

Meccano’s Sonic the Hedgehog collection includes Sonic and Speedstar and Knuckles and Landbreaker, plus a range of added value play-sets; Sonic and Ramp Green Hill Play-set and Sonic and Casino Night Environment Play-set.

Source: Toyworld Magazine

Thanks to Hogfather at the SSMB for the heads up!

Sonic Generations 3DS: New Green Hill Zone Screenshots

SEGA has released 23 new screenshots of Green Hill Zone from the 3DS version of Sonic Generations.
In this latest batch we can see that a lot of visual improvements have been made to to the level. We also get our first look at the level select menu in this version of the game.

Check out all of the screenshots below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Source: SEGA Press

Got a news tip? Send it in to, or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

SEGA Japan Updates Sonic Generations Website, New Screenshots

SEGA Japan has given a major update to their Sonic Generations website, and while there’s no new media for the console version outside of a single Rooftop Run screenshot, there are plenty of new screenshots for the portable Nintendo 3DS version.

PS3/Xbox 360

Nintendo 3DS

*Possible final boss spoiler below*

SSMB member Solofiveo also found a small image hidden in the website’s coding of what could be Sonic Generations’ final boss ‘Time Eater’, which SEGA has now removed. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t click the below image link.


Source: SEGA Japan’s Sonic Generations Website

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the heads up on the website update and to Solofiveo, also at the SSMB, for finding the boss pic.

Got a news tip? Send it in to, or via Twitter at @Shadzter and we’ll credit you for the find.

Aaron Webber Gets Punk’d By His SoA Co-Workers

If you’re a fan of SEGA or Sonic the Hedgehog on Facebook, you might have seen the pics of Aaron Webber’s desk.  Now, there is a video!  Aaron, the community manager for SEGA of America, went on a 3-week vacation and returned to find that his cubicle was turned into Green Hill Zone:

I talked to Aaron yesterday and we determined that this prank really isn’t a prank.  It’s too cool to be a prank.  Who doesn’t want their desk to be a fully functioning Green Hill Zone?  Aaron said that he might leave his desk in Green Hill form for a while.  Check the gallery below for the pics uploaded earlier this week.

E3: Sonic to Cameo in Samba de Amigo

SEGA like the Wii a lot for Dreamcast ports it seems. Oh, that was obvious? Sorry. How about something extra then to sweeten the deal a bit? In the upcoming Samba de Amigo port release for Nintendo’s white box, there will be a special guest cameo by Sonic himself. And a stage set in the Green Hill Zone. That’s pretty sweet news and should make for a pretty cool bonus for fans out there. Looks like Sonic’s already getting funked with a show of jazz hands in that screenshot there. Will be fun to see how he moves with the ‘riddim’.

On another note, why is it that everyone else at SEGA seems to know how to design a Sonic themed stage/cameo but it still evades Sonic-bloody-Team? Give us fantasy lands and blue skies dammit! Click the images above to get them in high quality, complete with the Incredible Floating Mii Man.

ACMI: Sonic Exhibit Report

In Australia, to celebrate Sonic’s 14th Birthday, the Australian Center for the Moving Image dedicated an exhibit for Sonic the Hedgehog, and the fanbase that surrounded it. The Sonic Stadium was invited for a special opening event, and we have obtained exclusive pictures and information on just what went down.

Our three TSS Reporters for the event, “julz_sega_bob”, “chibi_sonic” and Matt the Yak (of Sonic Vegemite fame) detail their discoveries and opinions on the SSMB Forums.

Julz commented on the Games Area of the exhibit, mentioning the profiling of fansites such as The Sonic Stadium and mutual chums The Green Hill Zone. “The movies contained clippings of someone going through the site, along with a narrative. It was quite hard to get the narrative in video, but from what I heard, it gave a pretty detailed description. It was accurate, showed main areas and didn’t babble off.Continue reading ACMI: Sonic Exhibit Report

The Sonic Stadium in Official SEGA Exhibit

Australia is set to have a nice surprise come Sonic’s birthday – an official SEGA exhibit all about Sonic the Hedgehog! And leading fan website, The Sonic Stadium, is being profiled as an example of Sonic fan culture at the event.

The exhibit, taking place and organised by the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) will be the second ever video games event the establishment has held, and is fully supported by SEGA-Europe and THQ Australia, who distribute SEGA games in the land down under.

In an agreement between ACMI and The Sonic Stadium, video footage will be recorded of this website, with added voiceovers and information detailing what the site provides in context of fan culture, and displayed in a special section of the Sonic the Hedgehog exhibit. It will be accompanied by a text panel discussing the fan culture surrounding Sonic the Hedgehog, which mentions fangame development such as the popular ‘Neo Sonic Universe’.

Continue reading The Sonic Stadium in Official SEGA Exhibit

TSS at Official Sonic Exhibit!

Exciting news, guys. I have been approached by the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, AU for permission to take movie footage of The Sonic Stadium. This website will then be profiled in a Sonic the Hedgehog exhibit they plan to launch in late June in their dedicated “Games Lab”.

Naturally, I’ve agreed. The ACMI’s Games Lab is a section of the Center dedicated to discussing Video Game Culture – basically, the fan culture phenomenon behind some of the biggest game characters. And obviously, because Sonic is such a loved game character, with thousands of fan material and sites on the web, the ACMI would like to highlight the culture behind the character.

They approached TSS because it encaptures all the aspects of online Sonic fandom, from games reporting to news, to fangames and to artwork and fan creation – and of course, discussion. At the exhibit you can expect a video of footage of The Sonic Stadium, with some voiceovers and information about the site, and how the fan community express themselves through Sonic (i.e. fangames, online radio). Expect TSS, SEGASonic Radio, the Sonic Site Awards and other minisites to be included in the footage.

Continue reading TSS at Official Sonic Exhibit!