Following their appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego, Sega have unveiled the special Stage and bonus Stage features from upcoming Sonic Mania and have released a gameplay video.
The special stages are accessed by jumping through a giant ring like in Sonic 3 and Knuckles. These stages contain elements of previous Sonic games, the aim is to catch the UFO which is from Sonic CD as is the general level design. There are blue spheres to gain speed from Sonic 3 and Knuckles, spiked balls to avoid such as in Sonic 2 and the graphics are similar to Sonic Racing on Sega Saturn. Completing these levels will reward the player with a chaos emerald!
The bonus stages are accessed via collecting 50 rings by the time you make it to a checkpoint. These levels are called Blue Sphere and are remixes from Sonic 3 and Knuckles, complete with classic soundtrack. The aim is to collect all the Blue Spheres whilst avoiding the red ones, collecting a Blue Sphere turns it red and the level will speed up as you go. Successful completion of these will give the player a silver or gold medallion.
Sonic Mania is due to be released very soon. August 15th to be exact. Sega have confirmed there will be no physical release and the game will be download only at this point. Although there is a collectors edition available in Japan and the USA there is currently no plan to release it in Australia.
Get ready for the return of Sonic!