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Sonic Origins review for Switch


Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: SEGA
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Honestly, pretty much everything I wrote about the PS5 version of Sonic Origins also goes for the Switch version. They’re the same game, after all – and, thankfully, the Switch version seems to perform just as well, in case that was your biggest worry.

(I mean, that should be expected, seeing as we’re talking about 30-year-old games. Remastered versions of 30-year-old games, admittedly, but they’re still the flashy, fast-moving 2D platformers so many people will remember from their youth.)

That said, there are a few things I should mention here that I forgot to highlight in that other review. For starters, one of the neatest things about the Anniversary Mode – where you really see the remastered versions shine, and the package attempts to form all four games into one cohesive story – is that you’re not just restricted to playing as Sonic, you can also play as Tails or Knuckles. Not only does it look bizarre (since, after all, you’re watching these other characters rush through the iconic levels, instead of the usual blue blur), if you play with Tails it feels like a different game. Maybe it was just my imagination, but it felt like he was moving more slowly – and seeing as the whole point of Sonic is to go as fast as possible, that’s a pretty big departure. It changed how you play the game, which is a pretty interesting way to approach levels that have been around for so long.

The other thing, unfortunately, is less positive: unless you’re really keen on seeing these classic games recontextualized like that, the value proposition of playing Sonic Origins over, say, the SEGA Genesis Classics collection is harder to see. While the Anniversary mode and the remastered graphics are undoubtedly interesting if you’re looking for a new spin (pun not intended) on these games, if you don’t care about those things, then it’s really just a couple of classic platformers getting another re-release.

Still, given the enduring popularity of Sonic over the years – even with a couple of missteps along the way – it seems like there are plenty of people who will value getting a chance to play these games with fresh eyes and from a different perspective. If you’re one of those people, then Sonic Origins absolutely makes it worthwhile to revisit these classics.

SEGA provided us with a Sonic Origins Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-