Sonic Origins

I’ve played every Genesis-era Sonic the Hedgehog game countless times at this point in my life, and I own all of those games on multiple devices. However, I am still almost certainly going to pick up Sonic Origins next month.

At first blush, it’s hard to imagine a need for a collection like this, since all of these games have been showing up in game compilations ad nauseum throughout the years. At the same time, this specific collection has never actually been assembled before. This includes Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, and 3 (and Knuckles), as well as Sonic CD.

It sounds like they combined Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles into a single game (which should have always been the case, but Sega really wanted to go wild with their “lock-on technology”). However, it’s not clear whether this just means Knuckles will be in Sonic 3 (like in older Genesis collections) or if they actually went ahead and included the levels from Sonic & Knuckles in this package (like the Steam version). The trailer does show Mushroom Hill zone from Sonic & Knuckles, though, so it does seem like they really did go ahead and combine these games into one.

Sonic - Mushroom Hill

Either way, this is an interesting departure for modern Sonic collections, as Sega’s been leaving Sonic 3 out of the mix for a while (which led many to believe that the rumors about Michael Jackson writing music for that game were actually true).

Another game that tends to get left out in the lurch is Sonic CD, which in my opinion is the best Sonic game ever made. It’s nice to see that collected here as well.

All of these games will apparently have fully animated openings and endings, which is something Sega CD has always had. This makes me wonder if they’re going to clean up the Sonic CD animation, or if they’re creating a new one for this collection. I’m honestly hoping for the former, because Sonic CD‘s animations are incredible.

So far, so good. But let’s not pretend that Sega is anything other than a soul-sucking company that cares about its bottom line more than anything else — they aren’t our friends. And this becomes apparent when we look at some of the other decisions being made here.

For example, even though there was a really comprehensive collection on the Nintendo GameCube (the Sonic Mega Collection), Sonic Origins isn’t going the extra mile to include games like Sonic Spinball and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.

Bean Machine would have been a nice little bonus, but I’m not all that bummed about skipping it here. Sonic Spinball, on the other hand, is actually pretty incredible. It has this really dark, almost dystopian feel to it that really blew me away as a kid. However, the problem with Sonic Spinball is that it’s super short, with just four levels. In my opinion, Sonic Spinball is an essential for Genesis-era Sonic releases, and it always works better as a part of a collection than as a standalone game due to its length. And can you imagine what a newly animated intro for that game would look like?

Sonic Origins

Additionally, Sega is removing these Sonic games from various game marketplaces, which makes Sonic Origins the definitive Genesis Sonic collection and roadblocks fans from buying these games piecemeal. Further, the $40 price tag seems a little steep for this collection, even with the new content. I mean, not even Sonic Mania, which includes way more new content than Origins, only cost half that at release (and Sonic Mania is fantastic).

So even though I’m excited to play all of these games again, and I’m really curious to check out the new animations, I’m going to have to purchase this collection through gritted teeth. While it’ll be nice to see all these games bundled together, there are too many missing pieces, and the price tag is just a bit too high for me to really be excited about this.

With all that said, you can check out the trailer for Sonic Origins below.

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