SEGA adds a handful of Game Gear games and a new character to the video game that celebrates the story of the blue hedgehog.
The last birthday of one of the most famous gaming mascots in the world was spent with announcements, surprises and updates on the future of a historic SEGA brand – find all the news from Sonic’s 32nd anniversary here – underlining the strong will of the Japanese house Of put that Blue Hedgehog back center stage which has won a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts since the early 1990s.
The captivating re-edition of Sonic Origins fits on the long wave of this push by Sonic, the collection with a strong nostalgic charge that allowed us to recover the first chapters of the series. With the intention of invigorating the basic package with ben 12 works released on Game Gear and the character of Amy, usable in titles related to the main proposal of Origins, the insiders have proposed to us Sonic Origins Pluswhich we have tested extensively: will the new content be worth the expense?
The excellent contents related to last year’s offer have remained unchanged, and this is why we will not dwell on the meticulous description of the mechanics or the improvements made on various fronts, since our review of Sonic Origins is exhaustive and still applicable to this one expanded reissue.
SEGA’s intent, just a year after the publication of the original collection, is evidently that of expand the catalog of classics available to Sonic fanswho will thus be able to get their hands on even more exponents of the franchise: the nostalgic operation that has shed new light on cornerstones such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic CD is enriched with the raids of the chapters distributed on the Game Gear, giving the possibility of recover these pieces also to those who have never owned the ill-fated portable console. The technological jewel that in SEGA’s plans should have rivaled the Game Boy did not have the desired commercial success, but welcomed in its catalog a handful of Sonic-branded titles with fluctuating value, from spin-offs with peculiar gameplay to simple mini-games. Unfortunately we must report as the new grafts have not undergone any type of modernization or revision, as opposed to the components of the basic product offer. In essence, the 12 iterations for Game Gear are proposed through a simple emulation and, despite having an indisputable historical value, they present some problems.
The old-fashioned resolution and above all the presence of lateral bands that adjust the video format to modern panels are not the best for the overall visual impact and can negatively affect the legibility of the levels. The portable console’s very small screen prevented you from seeing what was within walking distance of Sonic, e the same criticality reappears in this contemporary proposalwith inevitable deaths and a trial and error amplified by the snappy movements of the protagonist and the problematic frame rate.
If the original components of Sonic Origins offer an Anniversary Mode to meet less patient players with unlimited lives and an improved graphic resolution, the absence of this novelty for the portable chapters causes an experience at times frustrating, which could have been circumvented with the insertion of Master System versions of the same titles.
Missteps and great insights
In addition to the classic platform games published on Game Gear dedicated to the Hedgehog, in this update we also find variations on the theme of famous video games. Think for example of the Puyo Puyo reskin that is Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machineor even at the first go-kart rides of the hero in blue, with sonic drift and Sonic Drift 2, with a light-hearted and light approach thanks to the mechanics reduced to the bone.
Among the titles with a high historical value brought to our days by this Plus version we find Sonic Chaos, which in 1993 gave fans the opportunity to impersonate Tails by inserting his flying skills in a more reasoned platform than the previous chapters (at the time it was awarded as one of the best games available for the console). We then mention his direct successor Sonic Triple Trouble, originally released only on the Game Gear. Of far less exciting quality are Sonic Spinball, the ominous attempt to insert the Blue Hedgehog in a confusing pinball machine with staid rhythms, and Sonic Labyrinth, which forces the player to a constant Spin Dash to move within levels without surprises . Sonic Blast, on the other hand, has cleared the pre-rendered graphics on Game Gear, with far from excellent results. Among the ups and downs of this nostalgic edition stand out, for different reasons, the two spin-offs Tails’ Skypatrol and Tails Adventurewho see the best friend of the fastest Hedgehog in the world as the absolute protagonist of experiences with very different mechanics compared to the classic Sonic games.
Skypatrol is remembered for being the first exponent of the a leave the SEGA mascot on the benchbut also due to the lack of creative verve of an overly phlegmatic platform, while Adventure had the courage to revolutionize the playful formula by basting a metroidvania experience with a role-playing soulwhich saw the yellow fox use equipment and items found in the levels to defeat an evil dictator bent on exploiting the Chaos Emeralds.
The value of a hammer
The Plus version proposal is fleshed out with new modes that expand the basic title, among which we find those of the optional Premium Fun and Classic Music packages, originally sold separately to the old edition of the game but included in the current one. These DLC add additional stages, special challenges, animated shorts and a music library.
Origins Plus allows you to use Knuckles in Sonic CD, with completely new areas reachable thanks to his mid-air dash. Another welcome surprise is, for the first time in the series, the inclusion of Amy as a playable character: although her moveset is almost completely superimposable on that of the main protagonist, Pink Hedgehog can also hit enemies with his large hammermaking it easier to zip through the many levels.
In listing the innovations introduced to a collection that has been greeted with jubilation, the Plus version does not hide SEGA’s desire to reinvigorate the Sonic brand at every useful opportunity. Certainly aimed at a niche of hardcore Blue Hedgehog fansthe new package does not offer truly unmissable content, unlike the 2022 Sonic Origins. True fans can still grab the much-requested physical edition of the game, which also boasts a SEGA Genesis-style reversible cover as well as a 20-page artbook.
For all those who have taken their first steps in the world of video games together with the blue mascot, this Plus version of Sonic Origins becomes an almost obligatory purchase, while the remaining owners of the base game could spend the 9.99 euros to expand the content offer , however, knowing that the Game Gear iterations are devoid of those small – but vital – tweaks that have made the epochal chapters of the saga shine in a new light.
Sonic OriginsPlayStation 5 Analyzed VersionThe reissue of the collection that delighted all Sonic nostalgics last year fleshes out its offer with a handful of titles with fluctuating quality: devoid of those small modernization processes that had characterized the first chapters of the series in the last edition , Sonic Origins Plus games originally released on the Game Gear are more distinguished by their historical value. The addition of Amy as a playable character is an important step for the entire saga, but her moveset does not revolutionize the approach to those levels that we have now learned by heart. Basically, if you missed the 2022 appointment, you absolutely must make this expanded edition yours. Die-hard fans of the pet with base experience might think seriously about upgrading, everyone else should think twice.