Sonic Origins review by

In 2021, Sonic celebrated its 30th anniversary and many fans were disappointed by the lack of SEGA-hosted events. Even if the hedgehog’s aura is no longer the same as when it started, we are still talking about the company’s mascot! To satisfy the community, the publisher responded with Sonic Origins, yet another compilation of Mega Drive episodes (early 1990s SEGA console) and, a rare occurrence that must be underlined, the exclusive Mega CD adventure (player add-on to Mega Drive) . Enough to be conquered?

I don’t see any disdain from your people, these words are just the mirror of the feelings of Sonic fans. The latter were waiting for a festival for their thirtieth anniversary and the few announcements about the famous hedgehog did not convince many people. Furthermore, many hoped that sonic origins or the definitive compilation, despite the presence of games seen and reviewed.

The cream of creams?

As its name suggests, Sonic Origins analyzes the beginnings of the hedgehog and brings together all of his early adventures. Therefore, we find Sonic the Hedgehog, sonic the hedgehog 2, sonic 3 and knuckles (gathering sonic 3 Y sonic and knuckles) Y sonic disk. We thus benefit from the increased power of the pet and simply excellent games. The first Sonic lays the foundations of the license, with the universe of Green Hill Zone, Dr. Robotnik or the animals to save. This is followed by two episodes that optimize the gameplay of the original and explore new environments by integrating new characters. To put it right off the bat, with Mario, we have the crème de la crème of 1990s platformers for those who love speed, spectacle, and exploration. On the other hand, you will not find any episodes released on portable consoles and fewer adventures in 3D. Sonic Origins is only interested in the genesis of the little hedgehog. A little light on all that, when you know that there is a string of funny episodes published at the same time.

Games reviewed for maximum pleasure?

Sonic Origins: A compilation worthy of the 30th anniversary of SEGA's hedgehog?

The new “star” item allows you to unlock Museum Mode items.

Inevitably, with a build like this, we have a right to wonder if it will hold up over time. After all, there are only 4 games and Sonics, except for Sonic CD and its space-time progression, aren’t known for their longevity. In these conditions, what remains for this compilation? Well it’s simple, each game is divided into two modes: Classic and Anniversary. The first fully transcribes the original game with limited lives and the screen in 4/3 resolution (square format). The second, on the other hand, grants infinite lives, advocates viewing in 16/9 (rectangular format) and adds a “star” item that allows, once in the menus, to go to the Museum to unlock a large number of capable items. to awaken any nostalgia. fan crack. Illustrations, videos, music, development documents, there is a lot to do! This section is really a success and pushes you to finish each of the games by collecting all the emeralds (to have the real ending and a maximum of stars).

On top of all this, Sonic Origins offers an Adventure mode that lets you relive all 4 games in one trip! For each of the titles in the compilation there is also a Mission mode (with objectives to be met such as eliminating a certain number of enemies, etc.) and a boss fever which consists of defeating each boss in record time. It’s all pretty traditional, but it works pretty well for those who want to prolong the pleasure. Compared to his smaller comrades, Sonic 3 & Knuckles also has a section blue spheres which roughly takes up the bonus levels of the homonymous game by adding two new colors (the green balls and the purple balls that act as teleporters). With the Sonic Mania team, SEGA has sought to optimize the contours of each game as much as possible and we had fun trying each option present in the compilation, such as changing characters (playing with Tails or Knuckles instead of Sonic). Each title has been remade with the tools of sonic mania and we can only salute the fluidity of the set and the quality of the graphics.

Real novelty?

If the additions are interesting, it is still necessary to remember that the featured games actually benefit from the optimizations of the mobile versions released in 2013. There is no original version in this compilation! Players can thus discover elements that were not present in the original versions. For example, in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it is possible to access the Hidden Palace Areaa level that was once abandoned. There are also a bunch of little tweaks, like adding the spin board (as Sonic curls up in his spot and suddenly speeds up) to the first named Sonic. The effort is commendable and the build is quite complete from this point of view. On the other hand, there are omissions that are strange. With the exception of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which had basic saves, it’s impossible to save every time! Same remark for the rewind function (when you lose, you can go back a few seconds to start over) which is absent! Finally, don’t expect to have fun with the graphic filters or the different display options, there are hardly any! Only consolation prize: the presence of different frames for the resolution in 4/3. Yes.

As for the music of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which was originally born from the collaboration with Michael Jackson, for some it has disappeared! The emblematic themes of the levels Carnival Night, ice cap Y launch pad have been replaced by compositions by one of SEGA’s historical musicians: Jun Senoue. If this music is not inaudible, far from it, however, it does not have the charm of the melodies of yesteryear. If we add sound and visual errors, all these elements put end to end make us say that Sonic Origins could have deserved a few more weeks of development.

clean dressing

Sonic Origins: A compilation worthy of the 30th anniversary of SEGA's hedgehog?

This observation is even more unfortunate as the Sonic Mania team has integrated new cartoons and a really neat interface. Players can thus open a map and move around the different islands to enjoy each game, mission or Museum. The developers have even added a small animated island in the background that you can “visit” by zooming in on the different characters going about their business. Of course, to some people this will seem completely anecdotal, but it shows the care that goes into the build when it comes to wrapping. Hence why it is essential? Probably not…

Sonic Origins: A compilation worthy of the 30th anniversary of SEGA's hedgehog? Sonic Origins: A compilation worthy of the 30th anniversary of SEGA's hedgehog?

Whether we like it or not, and although the offer of games is excellent, SEGA already offered this type of compilations twenty-five years ago! for example in sonic jam on the Saturn (SEGA’s console released in 1994), players could enjoy most of the games shown here (in their original format) and even a completely free 3D section where Sonic could walk around and enter buildings to see videos or illustrations, listen to music or trace the history of the license. Of course, Sonic Origins goes further in terms of content, but the gap isn’t that big by comparison. In a pinch, for added impact, the developers could have envisioned an enhanced version of this 3D section of Sonic Jam. Therefore, we will reserve Sonic Origins mainly for newbies who want to discover the beginnings of the franchise. The rest will return to their original consoles and games. Note that to have all the content you have to get the Deluxe version, a little more expensive, which adds Mirror mode (levels are done from right to left and not from left to right), some animations and music.



  • Game interface and skin
  • Excellent games in optimized versions
  • The cartoons
  • The different game modes
  • A well stocked museum

Weak points

  • Missing music in Sonic 3
  • very few games
  • Display and sound errors
  • 16:9 is not suitable for 2 player mode
  • A slightly salty addition (even more so in the Deluxe version)

Although it is a nice tribute to the first adventures of the hedgehog, Sonic Origins deserved a better ending. Overall, this build is okay, but the options it offers are not enough to make up for some shortcomings. Despite a really successful seasoning with its cartoons and colorful interface, the SEGA game constantly oscillates between good and evil. We’re having a good time, but for Sonic’s 30th anniversary, we were right to expect more games and surprises. Especially at a price of forty euros.


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