Sonic Origins Review
Sonic the Hedgehog is basically seeing a resurgence as of late. With a couple of successful movie adaptations, recent game releases like Sonic Colors: Ultimate, and an upcoming open-zone title called Sonic Frontiers, it’s safe to say that the blue blur is having a good time.
Enter Sonic Origins.
As the title suggests, Sonic Origins is a compilation of the first four Sonic games that started it all. First released on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis and Sega CD, Sonic Origins collects Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD in one nifty package.
It goes without saying that the first Sonic game is memorable for a lot of reasons but most especially introducing the world to Sega’s mascot that went on to become a video game icon. The succeeding games introduce fans to longtime buddy Miles “Tails” Prower and another eventual fan favorite, Knuckles, Sonic’s enemy turned ally.
Run it Back
We’re not really going to go deep into each game, but one thing you must immediately know about Sonic Origins is that both hardcore Sonic fans and newcomers will enjoy the games. Enough to warrant an immediate purchase? That line is quite blurry.
Make no mistake about it, players headed into Sonic Origins will be getting some of the best games in the series faithfully brought over to modern consoles. This isn’t the first time these titles have been re-released in some way or form over the past years, but what makes Sonic Origins special is the addition of some features that makes playing these classics worthwhile again.
Sonic Origins allows players to enjoy these titles the classic 4:3 experience, but the biggest talking point here is Anniversary Mode, changing the way players will interact with the game down to its basic mechanics. Anniversary mode ditches 4:3 in favor of a widescreen experience and basically gives Sonic infinite lives and no timer to worry about.
It also allows players to play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles in certain titles, which is definitely a game-changing feature thanks to their abilities. Tails’ temporary hovering made it possible to reach parts that you’d normally have to try harder to reach as Sonic, while Knuckles’ gliding move lets you literally breeze through levels if you prefer a speedy finish.
Another unique feature that should make Anniversary Mode more user-friendly is the Coins. Not only are they used to unlock items in the Museum Mode (more on that later), but they serve as lives should you want to retry those challenging Bonus Levels to obtain the iconic Chaos Emeralds.
Mission Mode was another unique feature as it lets you play through all four Sonic games like they were a lengthy story campaign. What also was fun to experience were the short animation sequences scattered about, which gives the whole experience a fresh new twist.
While we’re glad these options exist in Sonic Origins, they feel a bit lackluster, especially when you consider that some basic functions found in retro re-releases like screen filters, rewind, and save states aren’t here. it’s a tiny nitpick, and its fairness could be argued, but it is one that we will further expound on in a bit when it relates to overall value.
Sonic Origins can be purchased in either the Standard ($39.99) or the more content-heavy Deluxe Edition ($44.99). Prior to its release, there was a bit of a discussion as to why certain features are locked behind the deluxe edition when they should have been included in the base package, to begin with.
In the Deluxe Edition of Sonic Origins, what you’ll be getting for some extra bucks are 100 bonus coins, Hard Missions, Letterbox Background, Character Animations, and Camera Controls in the Main Menu.
This is where the experience can get a little… questionable.
At $39.99, Sonic Origins is already quite pricey when you consider that it contains 4 classic Sonic games, the Museum Mode where you can unlock artworks and music, and the option for Anniversary Mode. On the flip side, considering the contents that were left out and locked behind the Deluxe Edition, the more expensive $44.99 doesn’t feel justified even if it was just $5 more.
On top of the aforementioned missing “basic” features that usually get added to re-releases like these, Sonic Origins begins to look a bit too pricey.
Sonic Origins should feel like a celebration of the Blue Blur and is supposed to be an introduction to newcomers who’s never heard of Sonic, so why lock some of the content for those who are only getting the Standard Edition.
The Deluxe Edition bonuses are also items that we feel any fan should enjoy regardless of what edition they buy. In a way, a Deluxe Edition feels unnecessary as all of these features should have been included in one hefty Sonic Origins experience.
What We Liked:
- Four major classic Sonic Titles in one package
- Gameplay is still fun and challenging
- Catchy Soundtrack
- Anniversary Mode
- Tons of unlockables in Museum Mode
What We Didn’t Like:
- Exclusive content in Deluxe Edition should have been default features in the game
- Bugs sprinkled here and there
Verdict: Buy it!
Sonic Origins is a fun romp and a trip back in time to when things were simpler. Getting some of the best Sonic games out there in one package is a sweet deal, and that alone should be worth the purchase. You’re also getting an Anniversary Mode to go with it, which adds some nifty features that shake up the gameplay experience.
If anything, Sonic Origins is a good compilation of Sonic games but is a bit pricey for what you get. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the Deluxe Edition locks players out of some bonus items that really should have just belonged to the base game.
Still, Sonic Origins is a great time for fans and newcomers alike and is a worthwhile way to experience the adventures of the terrific trio.
*Sonic Origins was reviewed on a PS5 via a review code provided by the publisher.