Sonic Colors: Ultimate Review

Sonic Colors is perhaps one of the more exciting and true to form 3D Sonic titles that has come out because the 6th console generation. A handful of the Sonic titles since Adventure 2 have had some fatal flaw for them (the horrors of Sonic ‘06 and Sonic Boom simply to name some) or have been mostly forgettable.

Sonic Colors is really a game which has stood the test of your time. It lived vicariously through its memes, well-received Wisp mechanics, solid gameplay, and memorable soundtrack. Sonic Colors came out 11 years back but was just a Wii and DS exclusive. It has now gotten the HD remaster treatment like Monkey Ball Banana Blitz did back in 2022.

Owners of PC or current-generation consoles may go through among the finest 3D Sonic titles because the Adventure games in all of its HD glory. Sonic Colors: Ultimate is identical game all of us knew from 2010, but it’s not just an HD port. This game comes with some new things to offer like the Rival Rush mode featuring Metal Sonic, as well as the Jade Ghost from Team Sonic Racing.

The Rival Rush mode is really a series of races against one of Sonic’s sworn enemies— Metal Sonic. He’ll appear in the different worlds of the game and you must get to the goal ring before he is doing. It’s like a time-trial mode but with higher stakes. The addition of the Jade Ghost will add new paths to take and new areas to explore within the levels we once perused in the original 2010 game.

On top of that, the game does allow you to purchase cosmetics for Sonic, giving him just a little more to his already bubbly personality. Customization options vary from different colored gloves, shoes, boost effects, and auras.

Also, in light of the resurfaced game difficulty debate, farmville does a swell job in including modes for people who are new or not so great at platformers. Sonic Colors: Ultimate has this new Tails life system where if Sonic falls into a pit, Tails is available in in order to save him and produce him back to the nearest safe platform. It’s like a secondary checkpoint system. This also preserves the score and rings that will have been lost had you really lost a life.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate provides a great time from beginning to end. It’s as true like a modern Sonic game could be. You play as Sonic and zip through levels at breakneck speeds, with the occasional change to platforming and lightweight puzzles. It might appear like a short game if you’re a person who plays a game title from start to credits, but there’s a lot more to return to in subsequent playthroughs.

Mentioned earlier about the Wisps, farmville, even in its original 2010 variant introduced this new mechanic that's been lightly adapted in other titles called Wisps. They kind of escape from the typical Sonic The Hedgehog gameplay formula of going fast and holding forward. These Wisps, which are tied heavily towards the game’s story, bring in a refreshing and very strong element towards the game’s exploration and collectible hunting.

They essentially replace the power-up capsules in Sonic games such as the electric barrier or fire barrier and supply things like wall climbing through the Pink Spikes Wisp. Addititionally there is the orange Rocket Wisp which shoots Sonic excessive in heaven, putting him into this freefalling mode where he is able to reach platforms and higher pathways that wouldn’t be possible with other things.

There can also be the classic Laser Wisp that temporarily turns Sonic right into a laser and shoots him through different obstacles in the path. There are additional Wisps hanging around that really increase the depth as to the appears like a simple “go-fast” platformer.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate isn’t entirely a 3D Sonic game, though. The game alternates between 2D and 3D sections in levels, which may be a little disorienting initially, but it’s a pleasant change of pace. The majority of the 3D sections tend to be the various components where Sonic goes at his fastest, while the 2D parts are where it’s a great deal slower in pace and deals with more traditional platforming.

Unfortunately, and hopefully the developers address this, the Quick Step sections are a bit clunky and oftentimes lead to failing those parts. Quick Stepping is really a feature in more recent Sonic titles where he is running on the solid path where he is able to quickly dash to the left or right to dodge obstacles and gain rings. Because it is at this time, the controls are bound to the same left stick that you’d use to maneuver Sonic in any direction with.

Sometimes whenever you shift many times in succession, it’s hard to reorient the stick back to the middle and try it again in the same direction. This oftentimes leads to misinputs because of the fast timing. In other games like Sonic Generations and even Sonic Forces, players can press the right and left bumper buttons on their own controllers to perform Quick Stages in these fast running segments. Sonic Colors: Ultimate does not have this, but it should, because running certain levels to get collectibles is such headaches.

Since farmville got the visual upgrade, so did the performance aspect. This game, at least around the PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as PC, runs in a smooth 60 fps with 4K capabilities on newer hardware like the PS5 and Xbox Series systems. It’s beautiful and maintains even throughout the intense running sections. Nintendo Switch owners will have a different experience, though.

While this game’s visuals are actually crisp and deserve the praise for the quality, the cutscenes haven’t really been upgraded very much. They appear a bit too grainy, and at least in my experience, the audio is much quieter than the rest of the game. These cutscenes seem like they were upscaled to around 720p at best. However, a minimum of we can now experience the notorious “No copyright law within the universe is gonna stop me” scene in HD.

This game, apart from being a graphical upgrade from its original self, also has a completely remastered and somewhat remixed soundtrack. The orchestral themes are perfect; the person level themes as well as their remixes are top tier and just what makes Sonic games so great. Say what you want concerning the newer games, but the orchestral arrangements give games like Super Mario Galaxy a run because of its money.

The dynamic music for every world and each individual level provide them with so much personality and uniqueness. Keep in mind, this can be a very colorful game (sorry for the bad pun). Sonic games are usually filled with rock music, however this game dips its toes in a lot of popular modern genres. Honestly, using the soundtrack coming out around the 29th on CD and digital streaming services, this will complete the Sonic Colors experience.

The Verdict

Sonic Colors: Ultimate is an exceptional port for modern day consoles. It’s mostly of the great 3D Sonic games that gives hope that Sega will give the iconic Blue Blur a proper return to form. For those who have never played this game but like Sonic games in general, I recommend checking this out. It’s one of those games that feels refreshing enough to reel people back into the series after being in a decline. This game breaks from the conventional “gotta go fast” mechanics but does so in a way where it still maintains its identity and charm that fans knew growing up in early 2000s.

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