Man, I’ve put out writing this review for a solid five days since I initially got (and beat) Sonic Colours Ultimate, and for good reason.
I just knew it was gonna take some time to really process everything, and that I needed some time to understand what I liked and didn’t, and I believe it’s all mostly clear now, so let’s get to it.
Let’s start off with going through the original base game that goes mostly untouched, since I feel like there’s much to talk about when it comes to the Ultimate part of the port itself.
Sonic Colours is a title that brought honor back to the Sonic franchise in the eyes of the mainstream media and your average videogame player. The game follows Sonic and Tails visiting a brand new interstellar amusement park built by none other than Dr. Eggman, who claims that he is trying to right his wrongs by building the place so people can have a good time and forgive him for his past acts.
Sonic obviously smells rotten and gets on a capsule alongside Tails to visit the place and see what evil plot Eggman must be hiding behind the scenes. A simple set up, followed by, for better or for worse, a very simple way to go about storytelling. The story leaves much to be desired in terms of execution. Even as a long time fan, I don’t mind the simple story that’s going on here, but I’m not keen on the writing for Sonic & Tails, or the way the cutscenes play out, they’re extremely static, with little more going on than our main characters standing there, talking and spitting out jokes that, to me personally, fail to get laughter out of me in most occasions.
The gameplay in Sonic Colours is something we’re all also very familiar with. It’s a slower version of the Day Time stages from Sonic Unleashed, where there’s a bigger emphasis on platforming rather than “speeding” through the levels, and liking one over the other is all up to personal preference.
The one thing I want to point out here is how the Wisps were introduced in this game. Even if some may find them overused in games nowadays (which I would rather say they’re misused, not overused), the Wisps are the best they’ve ever been in this game. Using them adds to the gameplay and in most cases, allows Sonic to go through the better route, instead of being slapped into the level to the point they feel like an afterthought like one may be inclined to feel in future entries.
Without wasting much more time to describe a game we all know and love (please just go with it), Sonic Colours is a joy to play through, listen to, and experience, but leaves much to be desired in terms of level design, with an abundance of blocky 2D platforming, not enough 3D sections where you aren’t quickstepping, on rails or drifting, and one or two Wisps that just are never all that fun to use (looking at you for the most part, Cube).
My final review of Sonic Colours, one of my favorite Sonic games, and the one that solidified my stay as a fan forever when I played it at a very young age, now stands at a solid 80/100.
But we haven’t gotten to the Ultimate part.
Sonic Colours Ultimate
What. Happened. Here. Question mark.
Before we get into what happened, let me quickly guide you through some changes that I genuinely believe make this port a competent release, and why getting it isn’t a bad idea at all:
- The gameplay has been smoothed out around the edges: there’s a new Sweet Spot mechanic where Sonic will get boost if he times a Homing Attack correctly,
- There’s a brand new OST that as of today sits at the top of my favorite Sonic OST of all time (yeah, no kidding, it used to be Colours and I think this one manages to outdo the previous one in many ways for me personally, but that’s all subjective),
- There’s some very cool additions like customization that has managed to keep me swapping Sonic’s drip multiple times throughout each play session,
- Rival Rush who people claim you race against Metal Sonic and is supposed to be hard, but I have to admit, I only saw the Metallic fella at the beginning of my levels and then proceeded to flawlessly kick his butt without seeing him ever again. I guess that’s my problem for being too good? I apologize I guess? Skill issue.
As for the whole “what happened” part, I’m sure everyone knows the drill by now. The visual glitches and audio mixing issues plague what is otherwise a decent enough remaster of the original Sonic Colours. And it’s a shame, a big shame.
These issues are constant throughout the game, more so in the Switch version of all things which I can’t recommend you buy as things stand from the get go, to be seen if a patch or two can change that.
As for the other versions, if you really want to play Colours natively again, and you can deal with music giving up, sound effects going loud and quiet, and various, noticeable visual glitches on your screen at times, then by no means is this an outmost terrible purchase. The morality on whether or not supporting the product as it stands is up to the buyer though, not up to me.
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