As we all know, Sonic the Hedgehogthe mythical mascot of SEGA, has not exactly gone through its best moment in recent times. And it is that there have been many disappointments that the followers of this fast character have been taking over the last few years, so unfortunately his popularity is not what it was a few decades ago.
Despite that, SEGA, with good reason, is determined to continue supporting its pet and every time a new project is announced, the expectation among fans resurfaces. Proof of this are titles like Sonic Frontiers (scheduled for this winter).
Well, this time we will talk about Sonic Origins, a compilation that includes four of the most successful titles of the blue hedgehog with the most interesting news. The game was announced on May 27, 2021 and was released last June for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox One. Nintendo Switch. This last version is the one that we will analyze today.
Will this compilation live up to expectations?
Sonic Origins is a compilation that includes 4 games in which we will relive the classic adventures of the famous hedgehog: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles y Sonic CD. We can play any of them and in the order we want from the main menu.
At first glance it doesn’t sound bad at all, but obviously this title hides much more than it seems, since it includes a series of news of the most outstanding and are the following:
- redefined classics: We can now play classic Sonic titles in high definition with new animations for the start and end of each of the games.
- Classic and Anniversary Mode: We can choose between playing in the many areas of Classic mode with the classic resolution of the game (4:3) and a limited number of lives or in the new Anniversary mode with infinite lives and an improved resolution to full screen (16:9) .
- Total challenge: Each game allows us to face the final bosses one after another. If we overcome this mode we will get coins.
- History mode: We can play all the games as if they were one, that is, in a row.
- Missions: We will have to complete acts with special rules to get coins with which we can retry special phases in Anniversary mode or unlock objects for our collection in the museum. By completing a mission for the first time we will obtain an additional bonus and according to the time it takes we will receive a rank (the highest is S).
- Museo: It allows us to enjoy the music and the illustrations of the game. We will need coins to be able to unlock its special content.
- My data and classification: Here our time will be recorded and we will compete against players from all over the world. We can also retry phases that we have already overcome.
As you know, all the titles included in this compilation are 2D side-scrolling platformers and feature Sonic as the protagonist, but you will be happy to know that we can also play with characters that were not originally available, such as Tails and Knuckles. In addition, each of them will have their own movements (Sonic can perform the whirlwind fall, Tails can fly for a limited time and Knuckles can float and grab walls to climb).
The objective, as usual, is to run at full speed, jump to attack enemies and dodge obstacles until you reach the end of the different Zones (worlds). Each Zone is divided into two Acts (levels). We must defeat the final boss at the end of the second Act to complete the Zone.
In order to carry out our mission successfully, our protagonist must achieve Rings (rings) as we go. If we keep at least one Ring we will not receive damage when we receive a hit. Of course, the Rings that we carry with us will drop, so we must try to recover as many as we can before they disappear. So far nothing that we do not know.
However, each title has some particularities in its gameplay. For example, in Sonic CD we can travel through time. To do this, we must go through the special signals and reach the maximum speed to travel to the past or the future. In addition, we can also unlock a mirror modein which we will have to play all the levels backwards.
On the other hand, in each title we have special phases. They all have in common that to access them we will have to reach the goal with 50 Rings or more and touch the giant Ring or lights that appear, but certain aspects change depending on the game. For example, in the special phase of Sonic The Hedgehog a Chaos Emerald awaits us, however, in Sonic CD, we must defeat all the UFOs before time runs out. On the other hand, in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 to overcome the phase we will have to get the number of Rings indicated to us. Finally, in Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, we will have to touch the giant Ring that is hidden somewhere in the area. Once we are in the special phase, we will have to change the blue spheres for red spheres or Rings.
Performance-wise, all titles are displayed very smoothly, appreciating a more than palpable improvement in this aspect with respect to the original titles. Unfortunately, not everything is good, as we have also come across some bugs (eg in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Tails can get stuck jumping off camera). It is not that they are very serious errors, but they can be somewhat annoying, spoiling the final result. The good thing is that SEGA is already aware of this, so they have confirmed that a patch is on the way to solve “various problems” in the game.
Finally, it should be noted that this title, like most Switch games, can be played in handheld mode, desktop mode and TV mode. In addition, also supports Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Nintendo Switch Online, and save data cloud service.
graphics and sound
On a graphic level, as we have already mentioned, the compilation includes four classic games from the saga, which translates into 16-bit retro pixelated graphicsalthough this time they have a remastered version in HDso in its Anniversary mode we can play all its titles in panoramic version. On this occasion they have once again been responsible for Sonic Mania (Christian Whitehead and his team) who have made these versions possible thanks to their engine Retro Engine. In addition, you will be happy to know that they have created openings y endings animated for each game, which is undoubtedly a hoot.
On the other hand, in Options we can adjust various parameters in the Sound (Effects and Music volume), the Graphics (enable or disable the Antialising and choose the regional cover art that we want to see in the main menu: Europe, North America or Japan) and, if we play in Classic mode, we can choose a design for the left and right edges of the screen (Letterbox) or disable it and leave it in black.
In terms of music, the compilation has magnificent compositionsalthough unfortunately it should be noted the absence of some sounds from the soundtrack of Sonic 3 & Knuckles due to licensing issues. A real pity. We can also add sounds to the playlist and enjoy them while we take a look at the museum. It should be noted that we can create a maximum of 5 playlists (in each of them we can have 300 songs) and we can have the same song in several lists.
Secondly, the sound effects look as good as ever, so veteran players will surely recognize them immediately. In addition, the title has the following languages: German, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and español.
Completing all the games in this compilation can take approximately a few 14 hours. A not insignificant duration, however, it must be taken into account, that it is a highly replayable title due to its multiple extras and various game modes.
Obviously this duration can increase or decrease depending on whether we go directly to advance or on the contrary we entertain ourselves in finding all the objects and extras of the game or we get stuck in some level or boss. What is certain is that the most completist players have fun for a while.
exist two downloadable content packs for Sonic Origins in the Switch eShop, which we can access from the game itself and are the following:
- Premium Fun Package: Contains difficult missions, a letterboxed background, additional character animations for the menus and audio player, as well as bonus remastered music themes. It occupies a space of 13 MB and its price is €3.99.
- Classic Music Package: Features additional remastered theme songs from the Sonic universe. It occupies a space of 237 MB and its price is €3.99.
These two packages are included in the Digital Deluxe Edition, which costs €44.99. The truth is that this has not pleased many fans of the saga, since SEGA has made it more difficult for players to access all the content. A mess of which you can learn more details, if you are interested, in this article.
Sonic Origins is a compilation that allows us to recall the origins of the blue hedgehog with interesting novelties, which his fans will surely like, but nostalgia may not be enough to convince some. Be that as it may, it is still a highly recommended title.
Sonic Origins is available in digital format, through the Switch eShop, from June 23 at a price of €39.99. You must have free space on your console or 3.6 GB microSD card to download it.