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Sonic Colors Ultimate

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Sonic Colors: Ultimate (launch)
Sonic Colors Ultimate.jpg
Sega, would it kill you to ship a proper, functioning remaster without so many glitches?
Protagonist(s): Sonic the Hedgehog
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release: September 7, 2021
September 3, 2021 (Digital Deluxe Edition)
Engine: Blind Squirrel Engine
Godot[1]
Hedgehog Engine
Developer(s): Blind Squirrel Games
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: United States
Series: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic Colors: Ultimate is a 2021 remaster of Sonic Colors, which was originally released in 2010 for the Wii and Nintendo DS. The remaster was developed by Blind Squirrel Games and was based on the Wii version of Sonic Colors. It was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 7th, 2021 internationally, with the Japanese release coming 2 days later. However, people who bought the Digital Deluxe Edition were able to play the game four days earlier, on September 3rd, 2021.

Bad Qualities

  1. Like Sonic Origins, the game was very clearly rushed. As a result, many of the following bad qualities can be attributed to this.
  2. An incredible amount of glitches and technical issues, especially at launch. Some of which still exist even after the latest patch are listed below:
    • One of the most infamous glitches in the remaster is the "Infinite Colors" glitch, which could potentially give players seizures. This was patched in an update.
    • On the Xbox and PlayStation versions, it was incredibly easy to corrupt your save at launch. This was also patched in an update.
    • The infamous opening to Starlight Carnival Act 3. This glitch still exists as of 2022.
  3. Some of the graphical effects that were in the original game are missing in the remaster, and the remaster occasionally suffers from pop-in issues, which is more noticeable in the Starlight Carnival and Aquarium Park levels.
    • The Big Chaser in Terminal Velocity Act 1 in particular is harder to deal with because unlike the original where you could see the laser beams, you can't see where they're coming from in Ultimate, making it more difficult to keep your ring count and stay alive. Again, this glitch still exists as of 2022.
  4. The Nintendo Switch version runs worse than the other versions, which is inexcusable, since the original game was released on the Wii, which was significantly less powerful than the 8th gen consoles, let alone the Switch.
    • The Switch version also suffers from long loading times, almost on par with the load times from Sonic '06. Again, this is inexcusable, since the Wii version (which was disc-based) could load stages in only a few seconds.
  5. The cutscenes in the remaster are just the Wii cutscenes upscaled through an AI upscaler instead of being redone from scratch, which creates a sharp contrast between the updated in-game visuals and the cutscenes. This is similar to what Game Freak did in Pokémon Sword and Shield where they upscaled many Pokemon and reused those from the 3DS rather than doing it from scratch.
  6. Some of the new song remixes sound terrible when compared to the original game. A notable example is Planet Wisp Act 1, where all of the soul is taken out of the song in favor of a generic techno remix that sounds like a MIDI rendition.
  7. The Jade Ghost Wisp (a Wisp that originally appeared in Team Sonic Racing) feels oddly unpolished and out of place, feeling more like a debug feature.
  8. Several missed opportunities:
    1. Polishing the controls to be closer to Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, with the drifting and quickstep mapped to the triggers and bumpers respectively.
    2. Allowing you to gain boost with rings.
    3. Merging some of the acts to make them longer.
    4. Adding the DS version, not just Red Burst and Violet Void, but also other characters who do not appear in the console versions as well.
    5. Making a "hard mode".
  9. Awful sound balancing that makes Sonic Adventure 2: Battle sound better in comparison. The perfect homing attack in particular is earbleeding.

Good Qualities

  1. It finally allows players to play the game on modern consoles and PC, when it was previously exclusive to the Wii.
  2. The game runs at 60fps on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, and it can even run at 8K and up to 120fps on 9th gen systems.
  3. Barring a few remixes, the soundtrack is still very good, and the Version 3.0.0 patch added the option to choose between the original and remixed soundtracks.
    • Also, depending on your view, you might hear some remixes sounding better then the original compositions.
  4. There are some decent additions, like character customization and races against Metal Sonic in Rival Rush mode, which helps extend game time quite a bit.
  5. Some of the patches fixed some of the issues above.

Reception

Sonic Colors: Ultimate got mixed reviews from fans and critics. Mitchell Saltzman from IGN expressing that the port still holds the original game up as "one of the best modern Sonic games", but remarked that the amount of new stuff added into the port fails to elevate the gaming experience beyond that of the original game apart from the frame rate and resolution upgrade. He also panned the lack of toggle between the original and remixed soundtracks. Mitch Vogel from Nintendo Life praised the not in-depth plot, the inclusion of the Wisps, gameplay variety and the new additions presented in the port, but disliked the little enhancements made to the Nintendo Switch port in terms of performance and graphics as well as the 2.5D sections and the remixed soundtrack. Cristina Alexander from "The Gamer" also praised the additions presented in the port. However, she found the Jade Wisp to be underwhelming. Chris Carter from Destructoid praised the "expansive stages" that some of the Wisps allow in a stage, the gorgeous levels, its replayability and the labyrinthine layout, but criticized the "pushover" and recycled bosses, and the "not-on point" writing.

While certain fans feel that the remaster stays faithful to the original game, it did not improve the "wooden physics" provided when Sonic is jumping around on a 2D plane found in the original game. In addition, the extra modes and features could not add anything to offset the story or enhance the level design. Fans have also criticized some of the remixes played during the stages and the amount of glitches.

Videos

References

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