Sonic the Hedgehog returns in a brand new collection of his classic titles
Sonic Origins review
Sega is having a great year with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise scoring big points by breaking cinema records and the unveiling of the new Sonic Frontiers game.
It’s safe to say that the blue Hedgehog still has a lot to give.
While celebrating Sonic’s 30th anniversary in 2021, Sega announced that they would be re-releasing the first four titles for a new generation of gamers.
After a year-long wait, Sega’s compilation of its beloved mascot is finally here in the form of Sonic Origins.
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the gaming industry’s most famous mascots with a massive franchise spanning over thirty years.
Sonic the Hedgehog has a tremendous back catalogue with a game being released on almost every generation.
But the franchise has transcended games with Sega managing to feature Sonic in every form of entertainment known to man.
But Sonic will always be remembered for his classic games on Sega’s early consoles.
Sonic Origins isn’t the first time his games have appeared in a collection format, hardcore fans will remember the Sonic Mega Collection.
This title had a huge collection of games from Sega’s back catalogue and lots of bonus material.
But Sonic Origins looks to go the extra mile and really revolutionise the original experience with some interesting new features.
Firstly fans will instantly notice the updated remastered visuals which look amazing.
The improvements are fantastic with punchy colours that really pop on HD TVs. Each game is crystal clear with a better frame rate that dramatically elevates the entire experience.
Sonic Origins will feature four classic titles that include Sonic 1, 2, 3 and CD. Each of these games can be played in two versions, Classic and Anniversary mode.
Classic mode allows players to experience the games as they were when first released in their native 4:3 aspect ratio.
Gameplay remains the same as the originals with finite lives and game overs. This is the ideal way to play the games if you have never played them before as they are untouched ports.
Anniversary mode is a whole different story with quite a few changes, for starters, the games will be in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
As this is the first time Sonic and Knuckles has been released in widescreen I’m really impressed with how Sega has ported it.
My favourite additional feature is that this mode allows players to play as Knuckles and Tails in games that they weren’t available in before.
Sonic the Hedgehog even goes as far as changing the title screen of the character that you are currently playing as, which is great fan service.
It’s also fantastic that players can pick a Knuckles and Tails team in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Anniversary mode also changes the Sonic formula by allowing players to play the game with an infinite number of lives without any game overs.
This is a great feature to have but I feel there should have been an option that allows you to select this rather than being locked into the mode.
Each game will also allow players to take part in a Boss Rush mode where players will fight in back-to-back bouts gaining rings as they progress.
This is a nice addition because it just breaks up the traditional way of playing Sonic giving hardcore fans something new to challenge.
Outside of the four main games, there are Story and Mission modes that both bring something new to the series.
Story mode will let players play all the games in one big adventure, with new animated cutscenes to break up each title.
Mission mode features modified levels that will have specific conditions to fulfil to complete them.
They vary in difficulty and challenges to keep players on their toes. This mode is a great addition as it grants the game extra replay value increasing its overall longevity.
There are several for each game and players will be rewarded with the in-game currency for how well they rank.
Players will also be able to unlock Mirror Mode which will allow each level to be played in reverse.
This may seem a bit gimmicky but as it’s the first time this has been done for these games making it a fun inclusion.
The soundtrack comes complete with all the original tracks for three of the games, however, Sonic and Knuckles feature a new score. due to some issues.
The new tracks retain their fun electronic aesthetic but hard-core fans and purist may be disappointed by the massive differences in the old and new themes.
Museum mode is a vault where players can listen to music, watch movies and look at some original artwork.
There is a lot to be unlocked as well including the new animated intros and outros and never seen before content.
Players will be able to create their own playlist, however, it can only be listened to within this section.
Sega really should have allowed players to listen to their playlist anywhere in the game or at least within the menu, which is a shame as it features an extensive collection.
Sonic Origins is a great way to enjoy these classic titles for the first time, no matter how you play.
The updated visuals and extra gameplay options really accentuate the amount of work that has been poured into this collection of gems.
There are a few design choices that could’ve been implemented a lot better, however, Sega has released a fun anthology with plenty of replay value.