The long-anticipated Sonic Mania will finally hit digital storefronts this time next week, and yet there's still plenty more about the game left to uncover. Aside from the traditional single-player campaigns as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, Mania will be hosting ample amounts of bonus content for eager players to sink their teeth into, including a number of features Sonic veterans will be familiar with.
A pair of trailers have gone up to highlight these new modes. We now have our first look at the Special Stages in motion, the Bonus Stages—which feature the grand return of Blue Spheres from Sonic 3 & Knuckles—Time Attack mode, and the game's Competition Mode.
Sonic Mania's unique Special Stages were first revealed at last month's San Diego Comic-Con. Inspired by Sonic CD and the blue hedgehog's Saturn outings, these stages are accessed via Giant Rings hidden within the Zone maps, and they pit the player against a fleeing UFO. Chase down the UFO by extending your time limit through collected Rings and by going faster with every Sphere you collect, and the Chaos Emerald is yours!
The Blue Spheres mini-game, like its previous incarnation, will have you collect a series of Blue Spheres and, if you're daring enough for a Perfect score, every single Ring. Touch a Red Sphere, however, and it's game over. You can access these via checkpoints upon amassing a certain number of Rings and earn medallions as a reward, though it is still unknown what these will yield.
Time Attack invites speedrunners to clear the game's stages as fast as possible, this time with the added benefit of a reset button. Simply hold the button down if you feel you screwed up your run, and then find yourself warped back to the level's beginning with a reset clock. Finally, Competition is the game's local 2-player mode, much like the one in Sonic the Hedgehog 2—race against a friend to reach the end of the Zone first!
As an added bonus, fans of Daytona USA will no doubt recognize the voice of Takenobu Mitsuyoshi as the announcer in Time Attack and Competition.
Sonic Mania launches on August 15th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.