Want to know what’s next for the gaming industry? Join gaming leaders to discuss emerging areas of the industry at GamesBeat Summit Next this October. Learn more.
I grew up playing the original Sonic games. I liked her then. i like her now
I’ve also enjoyed them in the various collections Sega has released over the years, starting with Sonic Jam on the Saturn and the Mega Collection for PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox.
So yeah, we’ve had a lot of Sonic compilations. But Origins – out June 23 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC – still feels special.
play it again
Origins includes the first Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 and Kunckles. You get both “Original” versions of these games in the classic 4:3 aspect ratio, but you can also play “Anniversary” versions of each game, which display in widescreen, give Sonic his drop-dash ability from Sonic Mania, and get rid of it lives, which means there are no more game overs.
Instead of extra lives, you can collect coins that give you extra spins on each game’s bonus levels. This makes it easier and less frustrating to collect all those Chaos Emeralds. It’s an intelligent switch.
It feels great to experience these games in widescreen. Looking just a little further ahead makes navigating the stages easier, especially at the high speeds that are characteristic of Sonics.
So these are definitive versions of these games, right? Maybe! I encountered a few bugs. Remarkably, when I’m playing Sonic 2, Tails often gets stuck off-screen. Instead of flying back to me, he just keeps bouncing against a wall. I know he’s jumping because I can hear this sound effect looping until I mercifully end the level. This has happened to me more often. It’s not a game-changing bug, but it’s annoying.
Sega also replaced some of the music tracks from Sonic 3 and Knuckles – presumably ones that Michael Jackson was secretly working on – with new songs. This only affects a few levels but means some good songs like IceCap Zone’s theme will be deleted. The replacement tunes are okay, but it will be a jarring change for many. It doesn’t bother me much, and that’s only for a few levels, but it’s noticeable when you’ve grown up with Sonic 3.
All in one
Origins also features a “Story” mode, where you can play through all four games in sequence. The compilation even includes new gorgeous animated cutscenes that help to better tie the titles together narratively.
I love the idea of turning those four into one big game. After my first try at “Story Mode,” I tend to play each title individually, but these remasters are fun to explore for your first spins.
These games look great and play better than ever in HD. But what else do you get? As far as extras, not a ton. You get a little museum mode, a boss onslaught, and some bonus missions. But compared to, say, Sonic Jam’s 3D explorable world with its numerous media museums, it’s a bit bare.
But hey, that’s not me Yes, really here for bonuses. I’m here for these four games. A few oddities aside, these are fantastic remasters. Even if you’re a Sonic fan who already owns these games in other compilations, Origins is worth checking out.
Sonic Origins will be released on June 23 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Sega gave us a PS5 code for this review.
The GamesBeat creed when it comes to gaming industry coverage “where passion meets business”. What does that mean? We want to tell you how important news is to you – not only as a decision maker in a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn more about and enjoy engaging with the industry. Learn more about membership.