The lead-up to the release of Sonic Origins was a drag for many, including myself. The thirteen-month wait for this game felt like it could’ve been only a few months. It was announced too early and it left fans wondering what the collection will be like for a long time.
We finally have Origins on digital storefronts, and when I spent half an hour playing the collection for the first time, I thought to myself: “Damn. This isn’t really all that”. It’s not like SEGA was hyping up this collection to be the greatest, but when looking at past Sonic collections, this feels like the bare minimum in terms of its content.
Sonic Origins collects the four mainline Sonic games from the Genesis era, adding new styles to play the games, a museum that collects past artwork and music, Blue Spheres, a boss rush mode for each game, and a mission mode with new level layouts. The idea of a mission mode with a new level design is a great idea. It’s a new way to challenge players and gives the old games new life.
Knuckles the Echidna appears to be playable in every game in this collection except for Sonic CD, just like in its last rerelease in 2013. I have no solid idea why he’s missing as a playable character in CD, but it’s disappointing. Hopefully, they can add him in as a playable character in a future update.
My next gripe with this collection is the handling of the Sonic 3&K PC music. I do not mind that they had to replace some of the music in Sonic 3&K. It’s no deal-breaker for me. But the remastering of the PC music used in Origins felt weak and soft for the most part. It’s not like I was much of a fan of the originals, but at least they felt sharper to me. I have little knowledge of music so all I can do is describe how it sounds to me.
What made me interested in this collection were the animated cutscenes by Powerhouse Animation. I would say I’m a fan of their work. Some of their credits include Seis Manos, Epithet Erased, and Castlevania. All these shows listed are beautiful so hearing that they would get to work on Origins made me excited. To no surprise, they did an outstanding job.
I’m always up for animated Sonic content based on the games. Glad to hear they’ll be coming back for the Sonic Frontiers Prologue.
It’s a shame this collection doesn’t include more than just the mainline Classic Sonic titles. With all the games included, it definitely fits the Origins name, but I feel there is more to the Classic Sonic games’ history than just the four.
Knuckles’ Chaotix introduced us to the Chaotix for the first time in games. The Chaotix feels like they’re forgotten about in the Classic Sonic cast, rarely getting attention in for their classic forms. To this day, Chaotix has never been rereleased and it is still only available on the 32x add-on. This would have been a great way to introduce the game to a new generation of fans.
The same goes for Sonic Spinball, which is only available on Nintendo Switch through the Nintendo Switch Online expansion pack. Outside of that, the only way to available way to play this game is through Steam. The Veg-O-Fortress is the main setting of Sonic Spinball and has a cameo in Sonic Origins’ mission mode.
Flicky Island from Sonic 3D Blast makes a cameo in the museum menu. The last release of Sonic 3D Blast was on Steam in 2010 and remains as the only way to play the game on modern hardware.
The 8-bit Sonic games are also shafted and are part of Sonic’s history. Sonic Triple Trouble introduced us to Fang the Sniper, leader of the Hooligans. These titles, I felt, should not be left behind when talking about Sonic’s history or origins and they have not been rereleased since 2013, which is nearly a decade! Or for some Sonic Chaos’ case, 2009. The latest consoles to play these games are through the Nintendo 3DS and Wii. The latter has had their online store shut down since 2019.
I’m a fan of the drop dash being implemented in each game. Ever since the release of Sonic Mania, I’ve developed a habit of holding down the jump button in the other 2D classic titles. Thankfully, this collection does not put this habit in vain. The impact of the drop dash in Sonic 1 feels noticeably softer compared to the other titles.
The museum has tons of amazing artwork and newly revealed content as well! I’m especially happy that we got an appearance from the Sonic 30th Anniversary Comic Special from 2021. The museum collects all of the available covers for the issue. This is very similar to Sonic Mega Collection‘s gallery of the Archie Sonic comics. It’s nice to see the IDW Sonic series get similar treatment. Congratulations to all of the artists who had their cover featured!
Sonic Origins is a solid Classic Sonic collection when looking at all the new content and additions. New fans of the Sonic series should consider picking this up. All of the additions included makes the games much more streamlined in an official way thanks to Anniversary mode. The asking price for this game feels like a stretch knowing that its library is not as extensive as past collections.
Hopefully, this game will continue to receive support through patches. There have been reports of bugs and glitches in this collection. Perhaps, additional content and quality of life improvements could be added as well post-launch. It’s not a healthy idea that a game publisher releases content updates for a game collection that should be the definitive way to its games. But I still don’t understand how/why Knuckles isn’t playable in Sonic CD.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this review of Sonic Origins. Please watch The Owl House.