What might well be the best Sonic game ever’: Sonic Mania.
Popular opinion has it that Sega would never make a great Sonic game again. Perhaps, then, the publisher’s decision to allow Sonic Mania to be developed out of house was the right one to finally put the hedgehog back on top. Brought to life by fan creators Christian “Taxman” Whitehead and Simon “Stealth” Thomley, alongside PagodaWest, Sonic Mania is part remake, part remix but also a brand-new creation. There are classic and edited levels for Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to tear through, while four of the 12 areas are new. The game not only captures the magic of the original Sonic titles, but the use of modern hardware means animations are crisper, it runs at a silky smooth frame rate and controls are extremely responsive, resulting in what might well be the best Sonic game ever. AC
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
PS4, Sony; cert: 16
How pleasing to see an add-on, often somewhat thin, given some real heft. Originally intended as expansion content for Uncharted 4, The Lost Legacy has been upgraded to a modestly priced standalone game and deservedly so. Here, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross take over where Nate and Elena left off, offering a refreshing change of protagonist while leaving the basic and successful climbing, puzzle-solving, running and gunning formula untouched. It also has some very deftly written dialogue, though the gameplay does grate at times, verging on the monotonous. AR
Nintendo Switch, Bandai Namco; cert: 12
Repackaging vintage titles from gaming’s coin-op era for the thoroughly modern Nintendo Switch, Namco Museum packs in 11 arcade-perfect ports, all presented in original aspect ratios. Old favourites such as Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug make appearances, while Japanese curiosities The Tower of Druaga and Sky Kid show lesser-known sides of Namco’s creative heritage. All the games are spruced up with online scoreboards and new challenge modes, too. One nice inclusion is scrolling brawler Splatterhouse, appearing uncensored for the first time in years, but Pac-Man Vs is the real gem, adapting the GameCube/GBA multiplayer game to the Switch. With three players as ghosts and one as Pac-Man, this twist on the familiar game remains compulsive fun, and the standout in what is a great retro collection. MK