One particularly bright spot in Sonic’s recent history was the release of Sonic Mania. One part sequel and one part reimagining of the 2D classics, that retro revival proved to be one of the best-rated and best-selling Sonic projects in recent years. In the (frankly baffling) absence of a true follow-up to Sonic Mania, Sega has instead opted to look to that game’s inspiration for Sonic’s latest 2D release. Billed as Sonic Origins, this new collection presents all the original four Sonic games—including the rarely re-released Sonic 3 & Knuckles—in enhanced widescreen format with the new option to treat all the 2D entries as if they were all one big game. The end result is, well, exactly what you’d expect. All these classic Sonic games look better than ever with their new presentation and some light quality of life updates, but those of you who have already run through Green Hill Zone more times than you can count may be left wishing for a little more.
Clearly, the main draw of this package is the original 16-bit platformers and we’re happy to report that they each remain tremendously enjoyable in their own way. There’s good reason why so many Sonic fans remember these games so fondly (and perhaps a little longingly), and that’s because these games really got what Sonic is all about. No overwrought stories and bizarre self-insert characters here, just a blue dude with a ‘tude who fights an evil mustache man to save a bunch of animals and, eventually, the world.
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