Sega, Headconnon and PagodaWest Games' retro-style Sonic Mania spin dashes its way onto consoles today, and the verdicts are pouring in thick and fast.
We've got another couple of weeks to wait following its recent PC delay—console yourself with some questionable Sonic jokes below—but what does the critical world think of the blue hedgehog's most promising outing in some time?
Here's a selection of thoughts and opinions:
Arthur Gies: "Sonic Mania is forcing me to use one of the most forbidden cliches in a reviewer's lexicon. The mileage you get out of it will depend significantly on what you want it to be... Sonic Mania seems content to paint over some of the series' problems rather than fix them, making for a game that falls a little short of what might have been."
Matt Espineli: "An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series' iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made."
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell: "Mania takes everything that was memorable about Sega's pioneering 2D platformers and rejuvenates it, to the point where you can only put down the pad in astonishment... What's old has become new, and Sonic is once again the star he was supposed to be."
Heidi Kemps: "For every issue I had, it didn't take long before I was enjoying myself again, eagerly anticipating what sort of wacky wonders the game would throw at me next. It truly is the classic throwback longtime series fans have been clamoring for, but there's plenty to love here even if you didn't grow up with a Genesis. Sonic Mania is a stellar example of a retro revival done right."
Game Informer: 8.5/10
Brian Shea: "A return to the series' roots in every sense, Sonic Mania is a joyful reminder why the franchise became such a hit in the first place. Though it's content with reliving past glories, it does so exceptionally well."
Kotaku: "A celebration"
Heather Alexandra: "Sonic Mania is a celebration, a digitized block party of blistering speeds and bright worlds. Sega’s decision to hand their famous mascot over to fan creators and artists has paid massive dividends, creating a game that is not just a welcome return to form but a raucous, delightful experience... Sonic Mania clearly articulates Sonic’s true appeal: Sonic is pure joy, a spinning ball of fun blazing a trail towards the next adventure."
Bad Sonic jokes roundup
In light of Mania's two-week PC delay, cheer yourself up/make yourself miserable with some Sonic-related jokes pulled from various long-forgotten corners of the internet.
Q: How does Sonic contact Tails?
A: He gives him a ring.
Q: What part of his hand does Sonic use to knock on a door?
A: His Knuckles.
Q: What do you call a hedgehog with hot lips?
A: Sonic the Hedge-Snog.
Q: What do you call a hedgehog covered in vinegar?
A: A prickle.
Sonic: Do you want to boogie, Tails?
Tails: Sorry pal, I'm more into the Foxtrot.
Knuckles: I've been chasing Sonic all over Mobius.
Dr Robotnik/Eggman: You must be EGGsausted.
Sonic Mania is due on PC August 29. If you'd like to share you own views on the console variation—or your own Sonic jokes, for that matter—please do so in the comments below.