A slew of new content for Sonic fans, such as Sonic Mania Plus, was highlighted and hinted at during yesterday’s Sonic-focused panel at South by Southwest.
The event was scheduled as part of SXSW Gaming’s presentations and was strongly advertised on social media, hinting at some possibly big news.
What was unexpected, though, was the announcement of Sonic Mania Plus, a deluxe version of last year’s Sonic Mania to come out of the blue. The game, set for a Summer 2018 release, will boast a DLC pack’s worth of new content, which includes a four-player competition mode and a new Encore Mode that will provide a new way to play the game. Additionally, Mania Plus will offer two new playable characters who are nods to old-school fans familiar with 1993’s SegaSonic the Hedgehog: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel.
To help beef up the announcement, the game will hit store shelves with a physical release starting at USD$29.99. Physical copies of Sonic Mania Plus will ship with a Sega Genesis-esque reversible cover, holographic packaging, and a 32-page art book.
The team from Sega was not done with its announcements yet. It would go on within the hour to reveal some other smaller bits of news, such as a new Sonic Mania Adventures 5-episode show and a strange collaboration with Puma. At the end of the day, Sonic is a video game, so the panel left fans with one final teaser:
The video features close ups of headlights with engines revving. Then, to the surprise of many, a silhouetted logo appeared with only a bright red ‘R’ being lit up. Hardcore fans will recognize the font and singled out letter as what may be a hint toward a reboot or sequel to 1997’s divisive Sonic R.
However, Sonic R almost exclusively saw the Blue Blur and friends racing on foot, not in cars or go-karts. This fact did not stop fans from speculating and pulling together clues though, especially since this short teaser was all that was shown of the project.