Going all the way back to Sonic 3 & Knuckles and creating a new sequel to that, Sonic Mania is a love letter to the original Mega Drive Sonic games, with the thought of “what if Sega had just continued on this style of game on the Saturn”.
This means that Sonic Mania doesn’t constrain itself to what the Mega Drive could do, but also avoids the problem of looking to different to the originals. The style chosen works wonders, and the gameplay itself feels like an improvement over the original three and a half Sonic games.
The game consists of alternate versions of some classic levels (which, while great, we have seen plenty of times before), but also some brand new levels, all of which have great style and music. I really hope a sequel sticks to all new stuff. I love Green Hill Zone, but it needs a bit of a rest.