Launched for Sonic’s 30th Anniversary is the re-release of the 2010 classic title originally released on the Wii (and Nintendo DS), Sonic Colors. And what a rough launch it had. Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version, Sonic Colors Ultimate was plagued by bugs and glitches that made the game unplayable to a point that was equally infuriating to experience as it was entertaining to watch from the sidelines. While some were later confirmed to have been fabricated in emulation software, others were, painfully, confirmed to be real by various reviewers.
Our review of Sonic Colors Ultimate isn't ready yet, but we can confirm that the glitches being discussed on Twitter can happen on real Switch hardware with the 1.0.3 version of the game installed.
The following video was captured from our review copy. See replies for details. pic.twitter.com/8xad5LjlNy
— Nintendo World Report (@Nintendo_NWR) September 5, 2021
The funny thing is that most glitches were exclusive to the Nintendo Switch release. Sega has since promised to work closely with the out-sourced developers, Blind Squirrel, to patch out every legitimate issue. With that said, our review of Sonic Colors Ultimate is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, and we had no such issues as those shown above. Time to blast back to 2010!
After demonic alien invasions, the apocalypse, jumping in the Arabian Nights and the tales of King Arthur, hoverboard races, and being mutated into a werehog, Sonic and Tails blast off together to Eggman’s newly constructed outer space amusement park, spanning across five planets! Eggman claims that the theme park was built out of a sense of remorse for his past misdeeds, but a few minutes is all Sonic and Tails need to see that some evil plot is at work.
Sonic Colors came after an incredibly dark era for the franchise. Since 2005, the Sonic series had been releasing total catastrophes such as Shadow the Hedgehog or “good enough” titles such as Sonic Riders. Sonic Colors took a newly introduced BOOST mechanic from the series’ previous game, Sonic Unleashed, and fine-tuned it for what was considered the first “good” Sonic game in years. However, the real twist was that levels combined 2D side-scrolling and 3D BOOST gameplay with smooth, seamless transitions, combining the best of the old with the best of the new!
Traditionally, Sonic games are divided into a number of worlds with two stages and then a boss. Sonic Colors Ultimate follows a similar format, but instead offers five acts per world and then a boss stage, providing more than enough content to enjoy. Different aliens appear depending on the planet and stage selected to provide Sonic with a variety of power-ups to platform your way to the goal ring. Upon the first encounter with each different type of alien, they are presumed saved and scatter across the world map to appear in previously explored areas. This adds plenty of fun replay value for completionists when revisiting old levels to improve their scores and hunting for all the red stars, as new aliens provide new techniques for each level.
Quality of Life Improvements
Sonic Colors Ultimate has quite a few new features to set it apart from its original release in 2010.
- Controls are a lot more stable, making the game feel even more streamlined than ever.
- Newly added are cosmetic options to give Sonic new shoes, gloves, and a BOOST aura to suit the player’s aesthetic preferences (I’m a fan of the new ice-BOOST with electric blue sneakers). Stages have a new lighting engine that makes the colors pop more than ever!
- New game modes were added, including Rival Rush where players can race against Metal Sonic.
- The soundtrack has been remixed, and it’s way more fun.
- Life count is near non-existent with Tails saving you from pitfalls, and free invincibility for every 100 rings you collect.
- Finally, a spooky new ghost alien has been added, giving even veteran players from 2010 a new way to play many levels.
However, there are few things that were a bit odd. CGI cutscenes weren’t as polished off as we expected, and some even have an unpleasant grain over them, but that’s about it.
Sonic Colors Ultimate is still just as fun now as it was a decade ago. It’s fast, whimsical, goofy, and everything you’d want in a Sonic game. In the end, despite all its improvements, I think the biggest selling point is the fact that the game is no longer generation-locked to an outdated home console. It’s so good to have another classic Wii game brought forward.
Is it fun and worth playing? — Yes, even if you’ve played the original!
Should you pick it up? — Absolutely!
With the next mainline Sonic game not happening until next year, hopefully Sega and Sonic Team will deliver something even more explosive.
Sonic Colors Ultimate is available now for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Epic Games Store.