Sonic Mania Plus Commercial Recalls the Glory Days of the 16-Bit Console Wars

Sonic Mania Plus Commercial Recalls the Glory Days of the 16-Bit Console Wars

It's as true now as it was in the '90s: If you're not playing Sonic, you're a neeerd.

Sega's latest promotion for Sonic Mania Plus is a winner. A harried salesperson tries to sell a faceless shopper (that's you!) on a copy of a generic shooter called Finger GunZ even though the shopper is clearly interested in the "outdated" copy of Sonic Mania Plus running alongside the Finger GunZ footage. In the end, the shopper goes home with Sonic Mania Plus (and the salesman falls over a stack of unsold Finger GunZ CDs).

If you were alive just as the 16-bit console wars started heating up, this reference probably isn't lost on you. When the SNES launched, Sega aired a frankly brilliant advertisement where a similarly harried salesman tries to sell a shopper on the $199 Super Nintendo with Super Mario World, only to have the shopper show far more interest in the "cheaper, faster" Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog.

There's one noteworthy difference between the ads: The advertisement for Sonic Mania Plus doesn't call out any popular first-person shooters by name (though it does throw in a bit of lootbox snark), whereas the '90s ad takes direct aim at Nintendo. Sega's ads pumped more headshots into Nintendo, until the Big N finally fought back with its own edgy "Play it Loud!" ad campaign. The '90s were savage. It's a miracle we survived.

As for Sonic Mania Plus, it's difficult, but it's a lot of fun. Caty published her own hands-on experience with Sonic Mania Plus last week, so if Ol' Gil's failed sales pitch doesn't sway you, maybe our words will.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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