Sonic Mania's new trailer is a special one

Sonic Mania is, perhaps, the most anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog game this side of Sonic Generations. The game is out in just a couple of weeks, and Sega seems content to keep teasing new modes and features right up until launch day. The latest tease comes in the form of a new trailer, which gives us a look at two different special stages that will be found within Sonic Mania's various levels.

The first special stage we see has players chasing down a UFO that's flying down a track. The polygonal characters and floaty movement definitely give off a Sonic R vibe, and the blue orbs from Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles' special stages make an appearance here as well. Accessed by finding giant floating rings scattered across levels, this UFO special stage seems to be a mash up of Sonic R racing and Sonic 2's own track-based special stages.

The second special stage being previewed in this trailer will be instantly familiar to anyone who grew up in Genesis era. The blue orb stages that we first saw in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 are making a return, and some of them seem to be just as challenging as the ones we had back in the '90s. These special stages are accessed by passing a checkpoint with 50 rings or more and jumping in the circle of stars that appears above it.

Finally, the end of the trailer gives us a look at a new feature for Sonic Mania's time attack mode. If you mess up while you're trying to complete a time trial, you'll be able to reload from the beginning instantly, letting you quickly knock out multiple attempts. That'll be a handy feature to have, as it means you won't have to back out to the menu and re-enter the stage every time you make a mistake.

Sonic Mania claims to return the Sonic series to its roots while adding a bit of modern flair, and judging from all the trailers we've seen, that certainly seems to be the case. After months of waiting, we're finally closing in on release too, so you can bet that the Sonic faithful are getting excited. Sonic Mania launches for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch on August 15 around the world.