We haven’t seen much of Sonic Forces’ Classic Sonic levels yet, but Sega just dropped a new trailer that should comfort old-school players. One of the game’s classic-style stages is Casino Forest, the latest iteration on a familiar type of Sonic the Hedgehog level.
I may be in the minority, but I get a lot of anxiety just thinking about Sonic’s casino levels. At a pre-Tokyo Game Show event last week, Sonic Forces’ lead programmer, Hiroshi Takunaga, demoed Casino Forest for us — and even he found himself struggling with the game’s various pinball segments. I just remember getting magnificently stuck in Sonic CD’s version of the casino level, Collision Chaos, back in the day ... so stuck that I still struggle to get past it even now.
But Casino Forest looks charming, the slot machine rigamarole aside. And anyone who still swears by Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Casino Night Zone and its successors will likely find much to love in Casino Forest. It’s a paean to those beloved older games’ stages, as are the other Classic Sonic levels in Sonic Forces.
Don’t expect a recreated Sega Genesis experience, a la Sonic Mania, however. Sonic Forces is a modern Sonic project through and through. But Sega did tell me that Sonic Mania’s success at adapting original Sonic gameplay for the current generation had an influence on how the team developed Sonic Forces’ Classic Sonic stages.
“[Takunaga] has spent a lot of time going in deep on how [Sonic Mania] feels and how it moves,” game director Morio Kishimoto told me. “In that aspect, Classic Sonic stages have taken some reference to Sonic Mania because it’s been a very great help at looking into Classic Sonic.”
Maybe I’m not so pumped for Casino Forest, but Kishimoto’s statements should be encouraging for those who aren’t as clumsy with those Sonic slots. Sonic Forces is out Nov. 7.