Over a decade ago, Sonic Colors debuted and it was a solid platformer so let's see if bringing it back via an Ultimate edition was worth it.
I remember when Sonic Colors came out and I thoroughly enjoyed playing it on my Wii, especially after the unconventional Storybook titles which were hard for me to get into. I also bought the DS version which was different enough to be considered its own game. Unfortunately, Sonic Colors: Ultimate is just a remake of the Wii iteration which feels like a missed opportunity because why not include the DS game as a bonus? To me, it's a big part of the overall Sonic Colors experience but I digress.
For the unfamiliar, Sonic Colors presents a blend of 2D and 3D platforming and the gameplay consistently shifts between the 2 perspectives throughout each level. What makes its gameplay stand out is the use of wisps as power-ups which transform Sonic into things like a drill that can tunnel in soft ground or a rocket that shoots straight up. These are not only handy for completing the stages, you'll also have to use them to discover the many cleverly hidden collectibles, too, and in the end, it's one rewarding formula.
Playing through Sonic Colors: Ultimate obviously made me nostalgic for my experience with the Wii version but at the same time, I felt a bit disappointed as if it's not as good of a game as I remember it being. I actually had slightly more fun with last year's Ben 10: Power Trip than this; how is that possible? I think a lot of it has to do with how been-there-done-that the 3D Sonic formula feels at this point. It's definitely not as versatile of a gameplay formula as other similar 3D platformers but there's a bit more to it than that, though.
Now, don't get me wrong; I enjoyed my time with Sonic Colors: Ultimate. In fact, its diverse collection of environments and intricately designed stages are truly fantastic. Plus, being able to master the campaign by collecting all 5 Red Star Rings in each level and discovering every single Chaos Emerald adds a good chunk of replay value. Oh, and you can always try to outdo your previous efforts and hopefully get an S rank in the process. This game also includes Rival Rush mode where you can race Metal Sonic and that's cool I guess.
Speaking of additions, Sonic Colors: Ultimate also includes a new wisp that lets you take alternate paths after passing through objects but it can be argued that this isn't really all that substantial. The difficulty is lowered, too, by removing lives and adding Tails power-ups that allow him to rescue you if you fall off a stage. You can even customize Sonic with unlocked cosmetic items which may appeal to some. The graphics are enhanced as well while boasting a higher resolution and frame rate although some of the original's sense of style has been compromised at parts and the new remixed music tracks are welcome, especially because the original tracks are included, too.
Finally, Sonic Colors: Ultimate can be a clunky and glitchy game at times. Specifically, I encountered many moments when the visuals kept freezing then starting again as if it was loading mid-level and I once got stuck behind an invisible wall which made me restart the level. Another aspect that annoyed me which was in the original game is that the bosses are repeated so you'll end up fighting the same ones twice each which just feels lazy. Sure, they're more powerful but why not make a completely unique boss for each area?
Sonic Colors: Ultimate does a decent job of bringing back a good game for modern audiences. Although I have fond memories of the original, this remake made me realise that my memory can't always be trusted when it comes to how well certain games will hold up.
- + Classic gameplay that incorporates wisp power-ups in a clever and rewarding way
- + Lots of replay value for completionists
- + Some welcome extras and enhancements
- - Frequently clunky and glitchy gameplay
- - Repeated bosses can get annoying
- - Additions aren't all that great