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I grew up on original Sonic games. That’s when I liked them. I like them now.

I have also enjoyed them in the various collections released by Sega over the years, returning to the mega collection for Sonic Jam and PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox on Saturday.

So, yes, we already have plenty of sonic compilation. But Origins – released on June 23 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC – still looks special.

Play it again

The original includes the first Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 and Skeletons. You get both “original” versions of these games in the classic 4: 3 aspect ratio, but you can also play “anniversary” versions of each game displayed on the widescreen, giving Sonic its drop-dash capability from Sonic Mania and getting rid of it. Live, which means no more game overs.

Instead of extra lives, you can collect coins that give you extra effort on the bonus levels of each game. This makes it easier and less frustrating to collect all those chaos emeralds. It’s a smart switch.

Bonus stages of Sonic CD.
Bonus stages of Sonic CD.

It feels great to experience these games on the widescreen. Looking a little further makes the stage easier to navigate, especially at Sonic’s signature high speed.

So these are specific versions of these games, right? Maybe! I’ve made a few mistakes. Notably, the tails often get stuck in the offscreen when I play Sonic 2. Instead of going back to me, he just keeps jumping against the wall. I know he’s jumping because I can hear that sound effect repeating on the loop until I kindly finish the level. This has not happened to me many times. It’s not a game-breaking bug, but it’s annoying.

Sega also replaced some of the music tracks from Sonic 3 and Knuckles – possibly working secretly to Michael Jackson – with new songs. This only affects certain levels, but it does mean erasing some good songs like Icecap Zone theme. The replacement tune is OK, but it will make a vague change for many. It doesn’t bother me much, and this is only for a few levels, but it’s different if you grew up with Sonic 3.

Get ready for some new music here.

All in one

Origins also offers a “story” mode, in which you can play all four games sequentially. The compilation also includes new, adorable animated cutscenes that help to better combine titles descriptively.

I like the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčturning these four into a big game. Since my first time going to “Story Mode”, I’m more likely to play each title individually, but it makes for a fun way to explore these remasters for your first playthrough.

What else

These games look very good and play better than ever before in HD. But what else do you get? As far as extras are concerned, there is not a single tone. You get a small museum mode, boss rush and some bonus missions. But, say, compared to Sonic Jam’s 3D exploratory world with its multiple media museums, it’s a little less.

But, alas, I am not Really Here for the bonus. I’m here for those four games. And with a little oddity aside, this is a wonderful remaster. If you are a Sonic fan who already owns these games in other compilations, Origins is worth it.

Sonic Origins for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will be released on June 23. Sega gave us the PS5 code for this review.

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