Sonic fans have had to be strong for many years. Although the blue hedgehog has survived to this day, no series part after the Mega Drive era has managed to keep up with its origins. SEGA just doesn’t manage to transport the blue mascot’s fast-paced gameplay into the third dimension in a sensible and satisfying way.
Even today, the pixelated 2D series parts are still considered the better games. To honor that love, Sega is putting all the main parts of the one-time “Super Mario Killer” from the Mega Drive into a collection for PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Included are four or five games – depending on how you count. Where Sonic 1, 2 and Sonic CD are each their own games, Sonic 3 was divided into two at the time, because otherwise it would have gone beyond the limits of the game cartridge due to its size. That’s why Sonic 3 came first and half a year later Sonic & Knuckles, which continued the story. The two modules could then be combined to form one large game, and that is included in the collection.
It’s not the first time Sega has put these games in a collection, but at least the first time in recent memory. Fans will be more annoyed by the measures that Sega has taken in preparation for the Sonic Origins Collection. The individual sales of the corresponding games were discontinued on almost all platforms. You can only buy part 1 and part 2 individually on the Nintendo Switch or gamble with the Nintendo Switch online subscription.
Source: Sega/Screenshot: PC Games
Otherwise, Sega doesn’t exactly cover itself with fame in the run-up to the release. On the one hand, there is the quite steep price of 40 euros for that
The main game, but also the additional packages that are already being offered and are intended to encourage people to buy the deluxe edition, are at least questionable.
Although this deluxe edition costs “only” 5 euros more, the content of the additional packages is almost ridiculously small. Character animations in the main menu? More backgrounds for the 4:3 versions of the games? Additional pieces of music that you might listen to once in the menu and then never again? Here Sega really ticked all the boxes on the checklist of brazen monetization, even before Sonic Origins (buy now €35.99 )appeared at all.
But apart from the questionable pre-order bonuses and additional packages, there are fortunately still the games that are in the collection and here we can fortunately say: They still play really well even after 30 years. There’s even a story this time! Well, that existed back then, but it was mostly told in the manual and ignored by the players.
That’s why it was decided to produce small cartoons that are shown before and after a game. In which the admittedly very simple plot is told. dr Robotnik turns animals into robots and Sonic wants to stop that. Don’t expect great cinema: the characters remain silent, the focus is on slapstick and the material is maybe ten minutes long. It’s still entertaining and it connects the games with each other. In the story mode of Sonic Origins you play all the games one after the other and so you really have the feeling of playing a coherent whole.
In terms of gameplay, the games still have it. Rushing through the levels with Sonic and his friends is fun and with the appropriate level knowledge, a decent flow feeling arises. Collecting rings, knocking down opponents with the spin attack and finding your way through the zones will still work in 2022 just as it did in 1992.
The boss fights are sometimes very easy, but sometimes more demanding. But they never really get that tricky. The controls are handy and mostly react as you know it from back then. Of course we recommend a controller, but prefer to use the digit cross and not the analog stick for movement. It has occasionally happened to us that we accidentally braked at full speed because the sticks were not quite correctly aligned and the game therefore immediately recognized a different movement.
Moving on to page 2, why nothing in Sonic Origins is actually “original”!