When playing Sonic Mania, Sonic and Knuckles tend to steal the spotlight. Sonic has his trademark speed to blast process through levels, while Knuckles and punch through barricades and climb walls. Why would anyone want to play as Tails when you could instead go really fast or climb really high? I've come to have a new appreciation for perennial sidekick Tails as I continue through the game. I've been trying out Time Attack mode with the flying two-tailed fox and am trying to better use his flight and swimming skills. Yes, he can fly, but his flight skills always felt so limited to me. I feel like I take flight and quickly bang into a ceiling, rendering the whole experience pointless. I took him for a spin in Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 on a lark and came away with new respect for his skills. Being able to fly above hazards like rising water or trap platforms feels like a cheat in a way, but the ability is built into the game, so why not take advantage? Sure, Tails isn't as fast as Sonic, but playing as him opens up new ways of thinking about level structures. Give Tails a try. Maybe you'll make a new friend.