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Sonic Origins Review — Worth a Second Spin?

Should you revisit the iconic hedgehog’s most memorable adventures?

Jeremy Proome

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Sonic the Hedgehog has been seeing somewhat of a renaissance as of late, many thanks to the popularity of the live-action movies, but Sega’s anthropomorphic mascot does still need a kickstart in his video game endevours.

Enter Sonic Origins, a new multi-game collection featuring Sonic’s more-beloved adventures: Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD — all digitally remastered for current-gen platforms. Sometimes to go forward, you have to go backwards, and the decision to re-release these classics will undoubtedly remind fans why Sonic was so popular. So, we know these games are good, but have they aged well over the years, and do they warrant another play?

While the games have featured a resolution upgrade, there are a few extra add-ons, but the best elements are some brand-new animated cut-scenes reminiscent of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV show. They’re beautifully animated and have that 90s feel to them, giving you some context to what is actually happening between the Green Hill Zone, Sky Base Zone, and everything in between. Sadly, despite the great animations, there is no voice-acting. A small ommision, but it would’ve been a nice touch.

As for the games themselves, the bright, vivid colours of the original pop as they deserve to on modern TVs. The wider aspect ratio thanks to the resolution adjustment also gives you more ‘screen’ to see when Sonic and his buddies are speeding through the worlds. If the slicker visuals do anything, they remind you how fast these games are.

The frenetic speed of Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Sonic CD emphasise just how smart and elegant the level design of the original trilogy was, allowing you to fly through levels and rely on twitch reactions to avoid spikes, obstacles, and enemies without losing momentum.

The boss battles are great too and just another reminder of the brilliance of the original games, utilising the limited yet flexible move set Sonic had to throw some interesting dodge-and-attack fights into the game.

The games also feature Classic mode, allowing you to essentially play the originals (letterboxed with limited lives), or Anniversary Mode (wide-screen, remastered, and unlimited lives) which is a nice throwback too.

While there are great and arguably better 2D platformers out there than the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, there’s none that are as fast, colourful, and innovative for their time. Having all three original titles, along with the lesser-played but equally as good Sonic CD, in on current-gen systems, is worth it for any true Sonic fan.

Sonic Origins is available digitally on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

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