Sonic the Hedgehog both the character and his many video games have always been popular ever since he was introduced to the world in 1991. Sonic was Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario and he has been a famous mascot for the company for more than three decades now.
Sonic the Hedgehog is so popular now; the character has two live-action movies alongside a ton of video games. However, Sonic’s video game history has been patchy in recent times as fans have criticized the direction the series has gone as of late.
Some of the recent games that fans have not liked include Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic Boom and more recently Sonic Forces in 2017. Many of these games are 3D, so this is a change from the classic formula of the ‘90s. Only Sonic Mania was well received because it captured the magic of the originals.
If you have never played the original Sonic video games, well now you can thanks to the 2022 release of Sonic Origins. Sonic Origins includes the classic ‘90s games of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD and even Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. All of these games were available originally on the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) and Sega CD consoles.
The Sonic games have been released many times over the years, but this game includes some newer features. Not to mention you get four of the best Sonic games of all time in one complete package. The only negative thing I can say about the game right now is that it’s a bit pricey.
Sonic Origins is only available digitally and it’s $39.99 for the Standard Version and $44.99 for the Deluxe Version. This is pretty expensive for 2D games released in the ‘90s. The game should have been much cheaper considering it’s a remaster and not a full-on remake of the original games.
That being said, some people will like the fact that the original games have relatively been untouched for this new release. The gameplay is as fast as ever, and Sonic Origins retains the original 2D sprites that were prevalent back in the early ‘90s. It’s great to see that 2D games don’t look outdated as much as early 3D games did.
For those of you new to the Sonic franchise, Sonic games are really fast-paced 2D platform games. The main goal of Sonic games is to reach the end of the level as fast as possible while also attaining a really high score if you want to be on top of the leaderboards.
The controls are really simplistic too as you guide Sonic through the levels using the left stick, and you can jump and attack using the X button on PlayStation consoles. Some of the other games also allow you to play as Tails and Knuckles too. These two can glide which is helpful if you need to reach higher or long platforms.
The only sad part about the character selection is that Amy Rose isn’t playable whatsoever in Sonic Origins. I understand she wasn’t playable in the original games, but it would have been a nice new feature if Sega added it here in this game. After all, Amy Rose is a playable character in many other newer Sonic games released over the years.
There are two main ways that you can play Sonic Origins and its four games. There is Anniversary Mode where you can play the game in 16:9 widescreen. This mode somewhat stretches the image quality quite a bit so you will see pixelation with some of the sprites and background environment. However, this mode has unlimited lives so it’s ‘easier’.
Older fans and purists will probably prefer playing the game in its Classic Mode. The lives system is kept, and you can play the game in its original 4:3 format. Sure this mode makes the game a bit harder, but the spites aren’t as blurry when the image quality hasn’t been stretched.
Sonic Origins also adds a new Boss Rush mode that allows you to play through all of the bosses in the four games you play. There is even Mission Mode where you do different goals like attaining rings or destroying lots of enemies within a certain time limit.
There are also new animated cutscenes for each game, and all of them look wonderful in full HD. The game also even includes a Museum Mode where you can look at the likes of artwork, videos, concept art and much more. You will have to unlock these as you play through the main game.
The main thing that might intimidate newer players to this franchise is its difficulty. There are no difficulty levels in this game, and some of the levels in the older games can be quite challenging. That said, the game doesn’t feel cheap or unfair as you need to learn the patterns and layout of the levels if you want to be successful.
Sonic Origins Review Verdict
Overall, Sonic Origins is a great collection if you are a fan of the original four Sonic games from the ’90s. All four games still look and play great even though they can be challenging. However, this collection does not add too many new features other than a Boss Rush mode and unlimited lives. Still, this is a great collection if you love platform games in general.
[Editor’s Note: Sonic Origins was reviewed on the PlayStation 5 and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]