It’s been 22 years since Sega released the first Sonic the Hedgehog game on the Sega Master System. Since then, there have been over 80 games starring the iconic blue blur. Some tried to branch out and try new things, while some stuck to the classic formula that fans enjoy. Fortunately, Sonic Origins Plus brings the original trilogy and more into one perfect package that has been upscaled and upgraded for modern consoles, while still maintaining the classic look and feel that made these original games such classics.
The act of porting Sonic games is nothing new, as it’s happened on most generations of consoles thus far; so what is it about this one that makes it so unique? Well, it’s an all-in package with some nifty additions in the Plus package that make this an experience you can’t get anywhere else. This time, you can play as the entire speedy squad, including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Amy in every stage of every game.
Each game has a re-visited animated intro in the style of what seems to be the 90’s TV series and then the choice of playing in classic mode with the traditional 4:3 ratio or the HD version, which is what we really came for. This full HD mode with full widescreen rendered graphics makes it look very similar to the previously released Sonic Mania. Another great feature is the inclusion of unlimited lives, now part of the anniversary package, so say goodbye to those pesky game-over screens when you’re stuck on the frustrating Marble Zone levels or thrown into the water and unable to get out in time. While it’s a welcome feature, it should have been here from the start.
One of my favourite ways to play is the Story mode; it serves up all the games and missions in chronological order, complete with updated intros. For hardcore Sonic fans like me, it is a fantastic way to get the full Sonic experience without going back and forth between titles.
Remade, Not Stretched
Visually, Sonic has never looked better, particularly in 2D form. Nothing feels stretched out or warped, instead catering for newer and wider screens; everything simply looks lovingly handcrafted for the modern age. Being able to play as Amy in the Plus mode version of this game was a great addition, and her signature hammer looks and plays well.
It’s not all about the gameplay though. There is also a museum where you can unlock some iconic and never-before-seen Sonic memorabilia, from user manuals to music and cover art. If you are a collector and fan of this series, you will want to collect as many rings as possible to unlock all of the goodies here.
Game Gear Goodness
The Plus version of this game adds numerous Game Gear titles, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Chaos, Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Sonic Labyrinth, Sonic Blast, Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic 2 in 1, Tails Adventure, Tails’ Skypatrol, Sonic Spinball.
It is a complete surprise to see titles like Skypatrol and Sonic Drift 2 thrown in; while they haven’t been given the same loving treatment as the original trilogy, it is still a treat to be able to play these on a modern console for the sake of accessibility. There are save points for these titles as you are playing and the controls are a little frustrating (on the Playstation 5 controller, anyway). That being said, I never thought I would be able to play Sonic Labyrinth or Tails Adventure on a PS5 console. But as a Game Gear kid, I am eternally grateful.
If you own the original Sonic Origins game, you can actually upgrade to the Plus package with this extra content, or buy the full game on the digital store. Keep in mind, if you do buy a physical copy, you get a magnificent 20-page book full of classic Sonic art, which is worth every cent.
Sonic Origins Plus is a must-have for fans of the blue blur. The game delivers a complete package of three classic Sonic titles with both Sega CD and Game Gear titles now available to play on modern consoles. Being able to switch between iconic characters also allows you to explore the worlds in a different manner, like flying through dangerous terrain with Tails or being able to smash through enemies with Amy’s hammer.
The reconstruction of the original games also looks spectacular on modern consoles, while maintaining their classic pixel vibes. Sonic Origins Plus is nothing short of a Sonic fan’s dream and a great entry point for newcomers to the series.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Complete Sonic collectors package, Additional Game Gear titles previously unable to be played now available
Lowlights: Occasional lag
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Review conducted on PS5 with a release code provided by the publisher.