While the Sonic the Hedgehog series has had a rough couple of years (with a handful of game releases that were poorly received by critics and fans alike), publisher Sega is looking to turn things around for the blue hedgehog's 26th anniversary.
Unlike previous years, two "core" titles are set to release in 2017. Sonic Forces, developed in-house by the Sonic Team, looks to combine side-scrolling stages with more modern levels, not unlike past titles such as Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors. On the side of the spectrum lies Sonic Mania, a retro-inspired title which emulates the look and feel of the Sega Genesis-era of games. Created by Headcannon and PagodaWest Games, Sonic Mania is notable for being developed by programmers and designers who are well-known in the Sonic fangame community.
To celebrate the game's upcoming release on August 15, Sega and U.K.-based record label Data Discs are teaming up to release a vinyl version of the game's chiptune soundtrack. Data Discs, who is well-known in the video game vinyl community for their high-quality pressings and releases, have worked with Sega on all of their previous releases, which include soundtracks for games such as Gunstar Heroes, Shenmue, Streets of Rage, and more.The records will be available in three different editions: a classic black, a translucent blue, and a limited edition, details for which have yet to be released. Like other Data Discs releases, the Sonic Mania LP will be packaged in a heavyweight gatefold sleeve with a UV spot varnish and will feature new artwork which is exclusive to this release. Furthermore, the inner sleeve will feature a print with a handful of characters from the game, and every purchase will come bundled with a download code, granting customers access to both lossy and lossless versions of the soundtrack. If vinyl releases aren't up your alley, you'll be glad to know that Sega has other merchandise planned for release. Aside from a line of Sonic themed makeup, as well as a pair of Sonic the Hedgehog sneakers, the publisher has also announced a collector's edition for Sonic Mania, which includes a 12-inch statue of Sonic himself, a game cartridge with a golden ring, and a download code for the game itself.
The Sonic Mania LP can be pre-ordered from Data Discs' website in mid-July and will retail for £19.99 (about $25).
[Featured Image by Data Discs]