Sonic Origins Review thumbnail

Sonic Origins Review

Revisit the Hedgehog's 16-bit classics

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on

Sonic Origins is also available for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Sonic Origins is rated Everyone by the ESRB

Sega's iconic Hedgehog has had many adventures and you can now replay 4 of them which are better than ever thanks to Sonic Origins.

│ At Video Chums, accessibility is important and we go to great lengths to ensure that it's easy for everyone to enjoy our content. 👩‍🦯

Sonic Origins screenshot 1
Sonic and Tails sure love hanging out together

The state of game compilations

Before getting to the review, I want to discuss what game compilations have become in modern times. I've been gaming for over 30 years and love game collections. Without a doubt, the golden age of game compilations was the PS2 era because back then, you could buy a disc with 20 to 40 games included and it was usually less than half the price of a full game. For the most part, these compilations got the emulation down perfectly and there was a ton of bonus content and options. Nowadays, collections generally feature far fewer games with much less bonus content; some even have none. For example, compare Taito Legends 2 for PS2 (39 games, decent extras) with Taito Milestones for Switch (10 games, no extras). What happened? Are gamers supposed to be okay with this? 🤔 v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

The games of Sonic Origins

With that off my chest, Sonic Origins features 4 classic Sonic games. On the plus side, they are great games that are a ton of fun but there are still only 4 of them. Specifically, you get Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD. I guess you could consider it 5 games as Sonic 3 & Knuckles includes the levels from both Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. These games have been enhanced which I'll discuss later and they've all held up beautifully. However, when you compare this to Sonic Mega Collection Plus for PlayStation 2, it leaves a lot to be desired as that compilation had 20 games including super-fun spin-offs like Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and other Sega classics such as Ristar and Comix Zone as well as 6 Game Gear games.

Sonic Mega Collection Plus Review
Sonic Origins screenshot 2
Playing Sonic CD always makes me dizzy

Enhancements

The best part about Sonic Origins is that these games aren't simply emulated as they've been rebuilt although they stay true to the original games. The most substantial alteration is the fact that they're now rendered in widescreen and being able to see more of your surroundings is wonderful. On the downside, I experienced some odd glitches such as clipping through the bottom of a stage once yet being able to jump back in. Also, Sonic 3's soundtrack has been replaced and it's definitely a step down from the original.

Content-wise, Sonic Origins lets you play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in each game except for Sonic CD which is awesome. You also get lovely animated cutscenes before and after each game that add a great deal of charm to these already colourful experiences. 😊

On top of all that, you can purchase DLC that grants you music tracks from other Sonic games, wallpaper, new character animations in the menus, and hard challenge missions. However, all of this is very tacked-on and could have easily been included in the base game.

Challenges

Speaking of challenge missions, each game includes at least 17 of them that will put you in unique scenarios where you have to accomplish tasks within a time limit in order to receive a rank based on your completion time. These are a ton of fun and reminded me of the challenges in Mega Man Legacy Collection. You also get a Story Mode where you can play each game in succession as well as Boss Rush Mode and Mirror Mode which flips the games horizontally. Plus, you can browse your best stage completion times in a ranking menu and play the classic games with their 4:3 aspect ratio. Oh, and you can play Blue Spheres from the main menu because why not? 😅

Museum

As you play the games and complete challenge missions, you'll amass a collection of coins that you can redeem in a museum menu which contains some very cool content such as music, illustrations, and movie cutscenes. Some noteworthy inclusions are the Sonic Mania Adventures episodes, video footage of a symphony playing Sonic music, animatics, box art and manual scans, and loads of sketches and promotional artwork. I should also mention that every menu option is represented with a 3D island and each one is quite cute as you watch the characters and a bunch of animals run and fly around them. Now, that's how you implement bonus content! 😄

Sonic Origins screenshot 3
Hey, when did Sonic become a little chibi chum?

Sonic Origins does an excellent job with its presentation, bonus content, and modernizations of classic games. On the other hand, I wish more games were included even if they didn't get the royal treatment that the 4 titles here did.

  • + The 4 included titles are still great and even better in widescreen
  • + Plenty of rewarding challenges to master
  • + Excellent museum content and cutscenes
  • - No matter how you slice it, including only 4 games is kind of a bummer
  • - DLC should have been in the base game
  • - Contains some odd glitches
7.0 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Sonic Origins
Sega Genesis Games Trivia

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