Sonic the Hedgehog has had its troubles over the years ever since leaping into the 3D era but despite that the franchise will always hold a special place in my heart. The Sega Genesis was the first console I ever owned as a kid and I spent many hours playing the Sonic the Hedgehog games on it over and over again. Over the years Sega has re-released those games on many different platforms and now they are doing it again with Sonic Origins. This new game brings together Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD and features some nice extras as well. While I had a blast playing through these games once again, I’m not so sure this is the best way to experience these games.
One of the biggest changes in Sonic Origins is how the game presents these classic games to you. You can play through all four games in a Classic Mode which is exactly how you might remember them aspect ratio and all. If you want the new stuff though then Anniversary Mode is the way to go as here you get to play through them in 16:9 ratio and experience new animated cutscenes that tie the games together. This mode also removes lives from the game and instead replaces them with a coin system that lets you trade them in to unlock new concept art, music, and more in the Museum. You also get access to the drop-dash move in this mode.
The emulation quality of the games is great for the most part but there are a few weird visual glitches at times. Even still, I had a lot of fun racing through classic levels again like Chemical Plant and Angel Island. One unfortunate thing about this collection that brings it down is the music as the tracks in Sonic 3 & Knuckles are just no where near as good as they were in the original game. Due to licensing issues, Sega couldn’t use the original tracks and so they recorded new ones that just don’t hit like the originals did. Because of that I would much rather go play Sonic 3 some other way than here as levels like IceCap Zone and Carnival Night just don’t feel right with the new music.
As for other features, Origins lets you take on Challenges that reward you with coins. These will be things like beat a certain level under a time limit and so on. There is also Mirror Mode and Boss Rush mode you can play but outside that there isn’t much else. What’s worse is that there is separate DLC that unlocks harder challenges and other content that probably should’ve been in the game to begin with. This collection is $40 and to ask for more on top of that for the DLC when there have been Sonic collections in the past that contained more games than this for a lower price feels a bit shady. I also wish that there were more features included like save states or a rewind option and I don’t understand why they aren’t considering the Sega Ages Sonic games on the Nintendo Switch that I reviewed had them.
Sonic Origins contains the best Sonic games ever made but a lack of features, games, and new music holds it back from greatness. If Origins would’ve had more Sonic games in it along with things like save states and a rewind option than it would be a better package. The new music in Sonic 3 is also a letdown when compared to the original tracks. There is still a lot here to love though like the new animated cutscenes, the challenge system, and the new aspect ratio for these games. While Sonic Origins is a fine way to celebrate the series, the blue blur deserves a little bit better after everything he has been through over recent years.
*Sonic Origins is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Four of the best Sonic games
- Anniversary mode, challenges, and new animated cutscenes are great additions
- Some cool stuff to unlock in the Museum
- Needed more classic Sonic games
- New music in Sonic 3 is disappointing
- No save states or rewind options
- DLC should've been in the game