Source: Sonic the Hedgehog via Facebook
Sonic fans can barely contain their excitement, as the release of Sonic Mania is just around the corner. The new game will maintain many of the features that made the original Sega games so popular, and should attract audiences seeking nostalgia. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of the iconic blue hedgehog and his friends’ first ever appearance, and will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch. Will this reboot of the classic game be a hit?
Sonic Mania is set to be a side-scrolling platform game just like the originals upon which it is based. It will include 2D graphics, remastered levels from the games of old, and returning characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, and Knuckles the Echidna. The main antagonist is once again the evil Doctor Robotnik, but this time Robotnik will be accompanied by some brand new henchmen called the Hard-Boiled Heavies.
The developers at Sega have certainly chosen a good time to rerelease such a seminal game, as a number of other companies have done so recently to great effect. It is now clear that nostalgia can sell games, and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy which was released for PS4 in June this year is a prime example of a successful game revival.
The Crash Bandicoot reboot from Naughty Dog and Vicarious Visions is a remastered version of the original three games, Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped, which were released on the original PlayStation in 1996, 1997, and 1998. The developers decided that the games from that time were strong enough story and gameplay wise that they could keep them the same and merely enhance the graphics for modern consoles and audiences. This decision was clearly a good one, as the new version has received excellent reviews and has earned a score of 80% on Metacritic. In terms of sales, the platform game is the biggest single-platform release of 2017 and has even surpassed the highly rated Horizon: Zero Dawn. With Sonic Mania set for release on multiple platforms, the Sega offering has the potential to outdo Crash Bandicoot when it hits the shelves.
A number of timeless Atari games have also been reimagined for modern audiences who are fans of iGaming. The simplicity of games like Asteroids and Black Widow are probably too basic to rerelease on next generation consoles, but aspects taken from them work perfectly as slot machine games. The Black Widow and Asteroids online slots are available to play at sites like NetBet, which offers a £250 deposit bonus. They use many of the features of the old arcade classics, such as shooting down enemy spaceships in side games.
Pokémon Go is another example of a hugely successful revival of a franchise. The Pokémon games for Nintendo in the 90s sparked TV shows, films, and popular merchandise such as Pokémon cards, but the craze seemed to have gone away for quite some time. That all changed last year when developers Niantic brought it back as an augmented reality app for smartphones. The aim of the game was the same as always, and that was to catch the unique little monsters which could show up anywhere. But it also took advantage of modern technology and introduced a new element, which was looking for Pokémon in real world locations using GPS. The estimated number of downloads for the game is an astonishing 750 million.
All these examples highlight the fact that gamers of today love to play stuff that has a nostalgic element to it. The fact that Sega has chosen to keep much of Sonic Mania the same as a tribute to the games of old but also spruce it up with up-to-date graphics suggests that the new offering will be an instant hit.