Sonic Origins

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Sonic Origins
Sonic Origins.jpg
"I make 31 years look good." Well, that's not an excuse for this remaster turning out three-quarters baked, Sonic!
Protagonist(s): Sonic the Hedgehog
Miles "Tails" Prower
Knuckles the Echidna (excluding Sonic CD)
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Xbox One
Xbox Series X/S
Release: June 23, 2022
Engine: Retro Engine (games)
Hedgehog Engine (menus)
Developer(s): Sonic Team
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: United States
Series: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic Origins is a compilation of four classic Sonic games developed by Sonic Team and Headcannon, and published by Sega. It features remasters of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic CD (1993), and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994). The remasters in the compilation are powered by the Retro Engine, developed by Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and used in the previous remasters of Sonic 1, Sonic 2 and Sonic CD, the former two of which were previously exclusive to mobile devices, alongside Sonic Mania.

The compilation was originally teased in 2020 following the success of the 2020 Sonic movie, and was shown off on May 27, 2021 during the Sonic Central presentation made in honor of Sonic's 30th anniversary, before being released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on June 23, 2022, 31 years after the release of the original Sonic game.

Bad Qualities

  1. The compilation's $40 price tag is too much for remasters of 30+ year old games. You could get the first two Sonic games and Sonic CD on mobile devices for free (and optionally pay $3 each game to remove ads and play them offline), unlike this compilation, especially since it uses the aforementioned mobile remasters of those games.
    • Similar to Rockstar Games with Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, Sega has decided to delist the emulated versions of the original games (and the 2011 Sonic CD remaster) from all digital storefronts in light of the compilation's release, with only the mobile and 3DS versions being unaffected (the latter system's releases will be delisted anyway along with every other digital game on the system following the eShop closure in 2023).
    • To add insult to injury, the Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems Collection compilations had over 20 games each for a much cheaper price nearly 20 years ago, when combined, containing all of the games you see here and 35 other games, proving that this compilation is nothing short of a ripoff.
  2. This compilation introduces some new bugs that weren't present in the original versions or even the previous mobile releases of the remasters, such as graphical glitches, Tails becoming stuck while following Sonic, or the game becoming softlocked.
  3. As with the previous PC ports of Sega games like Sonic Forces, the PC version of Sonic Origins uses the much-maligned Denuvo DRM (which are known to reducing SSD lifespan by writing some unnecessary amount of data).
    • The PC port somehow requires you to have 6GB of RAM, GTX 750/Radeon HD 7790 (both 2GB VRAM) to play, despite being a remaster of 2D games that many low-end PCs can handle (also counting the original versions that runs on Genesis emulators) without issues.
    • The partial reason for the steep system requirements is because the menus are powered by the Hedgehog Engine, the same engine that powered games like Sonic Generations and the aforementioned Sonic Forces.
  4. Some of the menus feel very poorly integrated.
    • When selecting characters in Sonic 1, 2, and CD, a text box will suddenly pop up where you get to choose your character.
    • Some settings are not available within the compilation's menu and must be accessed from within the games, like with toggling the Spin Dash and the soundtracks for Sonic CD.
  5. A few songs in the sound test are mislabeled. For example, "Midnight Greenhouse", the stage theme for Botanic Base in Knuckles Chaotix, is called "Door Into Summer", even though that's actually the name of the intro stage theme for the game.
    • Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic Spinball aren't included besides their music in the sound test, even though they could've easily made the compilation's price tag a bit more tolerable, and the former game could've benefitted from a Retro Engine remaster, considering it was never re-released.
    • This problem was fixed in version 1.04.
  6. Certain sounds are missing in Sonic CD, like Sonic's voice clips and the JP music loops that were present in the 2011 remaster.
    • In regard to Sonic's voice clips, one can assume it's to be consistent with Classic Sonic being voiceless since Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces.
  7. The remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles feels somewhat unfinished compared to the other games.
    • The music sounds way more muffled compared to the first two Sonic games, which had their music remastered.
    • While we're on the subject, the music for Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone and Launch Base Zone sounds completely different from the original game, using the music from the 1993 prototype and the Sonic & Knuckles Collection for PC, remixed by Jun Senoue. While this was to be expected due to the music licensing issues involving Michael Jackson and Brad Buxer (who composed the aforementioned songs in the original game), and the new music for Ice Cap Zone and Launch Base Zone sounds tolerable, the new Carnival Night Zone music sounds inferior compared to the original prototype's music or even the Sonic & Knuckles Collection. In fact, even Classic Collection on the DS kept the original music, along with several other re-releases, like Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Super Sonic's theme also sounds like it was composed using the wrong instruments, like those from Sonic 4.
    • Due to widescreen issues, the Ice Cap Zone act 2 boss can be skipped entirely if playing as Super Sonic, and the player can outrun the camera and die in act 2 of Marble Garden Zone.
    • The score in Sonic 3 & Knuckles is reset to 0 if you restart a level.
    • If Sonic touches the water while having the Thunder shield, it will be completely glitched and will display a white area which the player can no longer see Sonic if he enters it
    • It suffered from being rushed, meddled and crunched all at once. Simon "Stealth" Thomley of Headcannon revealed that he and his team were unhappy with the state that Sonic Origins launched in, feeling that they weren't given enough time to work on the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster, and Sega considered them as "outsiders creating a separate project that was then wrangled into something entirely different".[1]
  8. Some of the compilation's features (like character animations, extra missions and Mirror Mode) are locked behind DLC packs, even though, logically, this compilation shouldn't have any DLC.
  9. The "Classic" Mode is just the remastered versions in a 4:3 aspect ratio with a lives system instead of the original versions running in an emulator, with Sonic 1 still having the Spin Dash and Sonic 2 still having the Hidden Palace Zone entrance instead of a spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone.
  10. You cannot play as Knuckles in Sonic CD.
  11. The games look a bit blurry due to the game using a bilinear filter, and unlike Sonic Mania, there are no screen filters that can be applied.

Good Qualities

  1. It finally allows players to play the Christian Whitehead remasters of Sonic 1 and 2 on consoles and PC, when they were previously exclusive to mobile devices.
    • Despite being somewhat unfinished, it's also the first proper release (and official remaster) of Sonic 3 & Knuckles in over 12 years, since the Sonic Classic Collection for the Nintendo DS.
  2. The vocals in the opening and ending themes of the Japanese soundtrack of Sonic CD were reinstated after they were left as instrumentals in the 2011 re-release.
  3. The Story Mode features brand new cutscenes that explain some backstory, like how Tails met Sonic in Sonic 2 and how Knuckles teamed up with Dr. Eggman in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  4. The Anniversary Mode has unlimited lives, making it friendly for beginners and newcomers to the series. The lives are replaced by coins, which can be used to retry special stages if the player fails them to make 100% completions of the game much easier. The coins can also be used as currency to unlock stuff in the Museum mode.
    • It also adds the Drop Dash to all games, although for Sonic 1, 2, and CD, you can't change direction after you use it like in Sonic Mania. It also makes getting a time warp in certain levels of Sonic CD much easier.
  5. The 2P levels in Sonic 3 & Knuckles were remade at full scale, instead of being squished to accommodate two player split-screen like in the original game.
  6. There's a mission mode, where the player can compete in various tasks, like racing against the clock or destroying a certain amount of badniks in a short amount of time. Completing these will also earn the player coins.
  7. The PC version has a growing modding community, with mods that make the sprites less blurry, and restoring the Michael Jackson/Brad Buxer music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  8. Big Arms is now fought again as Sonic and Tails in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and it sports a new animation after defeating it. It also has a new transition cutscene with Eggman flying towards the Death Egg in the background which leads into the Sonic & Knuckles zones.
  9. The game has received a patch that fixes Tails' AI, as well as fixes the mislabeled tracks in the music player and fixing the glitches in Sonic 2 and 3 that weren't present in the original game.


Although Sonic Origins got positive reviews from critics, the fans' reactions to the compilation were mixed to negative. Fans criticized the compilation's various bugs and glitches, the replaced music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, some features being locked behind DLC packs that should've been part of the compilation in the first place, and its steep price tag, seeming as Sega didn't learn their lesson from the Sonic Colors: Ultimate remaster, which was also launched in a buggy and unfinished state. Some people even compared Sega's practice of delisting emulated versions of the original games to what Rockstar Games did with Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, which was also met with unanimous backlash. Other people compared the situation to the launch of Unity ports of Doom and Doom II, which also launched in a rocky state, but managed to improve over time, and some are hoping that Sonic Origins would redeem itself as well.

Simon Thomley of Headcannon admitted that he and his team were dissatisfied with the way Sonic Origins turned out at launch, and felt that Sega should've let them delay the game and give more development time.



  • After fans debated the continuity of Sonic CD, this compilation officially confirmed that Sonic CD takes place before the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


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