Sonic Mania blessed the world with its retro-styled gameplay this past Tuesday. While a lot of the focus was on how good the game was as a whole, Tee Lopes’ music was also up front and center for a lot of the praise. As a fan of Sonic soundtracks, I couldn’t help to agree with the sentiment, as I found myself rocking out to quite a few of the game’s tracks as I raced through as the blue blur in my first playthrough.
Let’s take a listen to what I consider to be my Fave Five Sonic Mania tracks, starting with #5:
#5 – Oil Ocean Zone, Act 2
Is this a motherf*cking Shantae reference? How do you take a dope song from one of the best Sonic video games of the 90s and make it fresh? Give it a bit of Shantae love and breath some Arabian Nights all over that funk. THIS. IS. FUNKY. Oil Ocean Act 2 struck me hard once I got to the act and the funk is still strong in my head. As simple of a remix as this is compared to the remix of the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2 track in Act 1, it still stands on its own as a bumpin’ track. If I had a car, I’d be blasting this joint all over Brooklyn, b.
#4 – Steel Cortex (Titanic Monarch Zone, Act 2)
Can we just take a moment to admire the majestic nature of this song? We’ve always known that Robotnik has had an inflated ego, but this…this just confirms it. The intro just bleeds subtle aggrandizement, but when the track kicks in, OH. MAN. You’re in for it. This is levels of Robotnik that most Sonic fans could only dream of before August 15, 2017. Death Egg Zone from Sonic 3? Titanic Monarch says “hold my chili dog.”
#3 – Rogues Gallery (Mirage Saloon Zone, Act 2)
The Good, the Bad, the Hooligans…& Knuckles. When doing a wild west theme, tropes are certainly inevitable to fall in. However, let’s just forgive that, and appreciate the sheer composition of the flutes. FLUTES…in a wild west setting. The piano is on point. The trumpet is on point…but the FLUTES. Holy crap, I now need to be in Tee Lopes’ studio when he’s busting out tracks like these. I simply need to know where the hell his mind is at when coming up with masterpieces like Rogues Gallery and clone it.
#2 – Hydrocity Zone, Act 1
What I enjoy the most about the Hydrocity Act 1 music is that it’s a very slight update. It’s more updated based on the technology, instead of being a completely new remix, like Chemical Plant Zone Act 1. It feels like you’re playing Hydrocity in Sonic 3, despite the actual zone being a combination of Act 1 and Act 2 (much like most of the Sonic 2/3 remixed stages.) Nostalgia definitely isn’t a bad thing in this case, and keeping the feel of original track was nothing short of a phenomenal decision by Lopes.
Before we get to #1, let’s give an honorable mention to the following tracks for being fantastic all their own:
Blossom Haze (Press Garden Zone, Act 2)
Lights! Camera! Action! (Studiopolis Zone, Act 1)
Chemical Plant Zone, Act 2
And now, my #1 favorite track from Sonic Mania….
#1 – Skyway Octane (Mirage Saloon, Act 1 for Sonic and Tails)
The stage immediately reminded me of Sky Chase from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and as soon as the intro chime from Sky Chase came in, I lost it. It instantly became my favorite track. This is music you would hear in a chase scene, and it certainly fits once you get low enough to the ground in the Tornado, and meet up with Robotnik as he’s driving a train. The guitar riff in the middle gives off the sense of urgency, while the horns give that Castlevania vibe. You can clearly tell the 90s inspiration on this track, and it’s nothing but good.
And there you have it, folks! Do you agree? Do you disagree? Share your favorite Sonic Mania tracks with us in the comment section below! Until next time, friends!