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Sonic Origins Switch Review – The Original Games, Modernized Magnificently

Sonic Origins Switch Review – The Original Games, Modernized Magnificently

Sonic Origins is a triumph in every way possible; it successfully modernizes the classic era of the series with the new Anniversary Mode. They’re now much more accessible than ever, but if you’re looking for the original experience, that’s here too. Here’s a breakdown of why Sonic Origins has been successful and a few issues that plague it.

Other Retro Remasters Should Take Note

Image via Sega

Sonic Origins has a new Anniversary Mode that dramatically changes the old-school Genesis titles. It makes the image 16:9 without stretching it, providing a wider range of view. In addition, new mechanics like the drop dash and better feeling controls are added across the board. The original Sonic the Hedgehog sees the biggest difference.

Something that makes retro games inaccessible for some is the sheer difficulty they have in store. The lives system in the classic games makes the retro Sonic titles much harder, requiring the player to play levels over and over again. In prior Sega collections, there was a quick save system but with games as difficult as these, you’d have to load them over and over again.

Removing the lives system altogether is magical as you can play segments of the game however many times you want. Simply respawning at the checkpoints makes these classic games far more enjoyable for today’s modern age of players. Future collections from Nintendo, Capcom, and Konami should consider removing the lives system altogether in their future retro releases.

However, if you want to play these titles the way they were originally played, there’s a Classic Mode available for you that brings back the lives and from our play time, the original physics.

Image via Sega

Despite all the positives of the Anniversary Mode, the developers haven’t perfected it. On multiple occasions during the introduction of a boss, there is no way to collect coins. The ending of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was specifically tough as you have to face two bosses in a row and can’t be hit once. The addition of rings in key areas of these games would be beneficial.

Something that will help your journey, on the other hand, are coins. You will receive them from finishing various tasks in the game we’ll mention later in the review. Coins can help you gain chaos emeralds easier as when you use one, you’ll be given the opportunity to retry the challenge. This will significantly improve your chances of getting Super Sonic by the end of the playthrough.

Sonic Origins looks glorious

Sonic Origins Sonic 3
Image via Sega

Just like Sonic Mania, Sega has taken the classic style of Sonic and remastered the visuals to an outstanding degree. It isn’t a remake, but the colors truly pop on screen.

The adjustment to 16:9 also removes the hideous black bars that plague many retro collections today. It looks so natural, and the image isn’t widened in a disgusting fashion; it’s as if these games have always been 16:9. Hopefully, other classic Sega games get the same treatment.

On the Nintendo Switch, we didn’t see Sonic Origins lag to any degree, either in portable mode or while docked. It also runs at a smooth 60 frames per second. The Sonic Origins collection would be perfect on a trip with short excursions of Green Hill Zone and Palmtree Panic in between flights or on the bed before sleeping.

In addition to the visual enhancements, there are some brilliant animated cutscenes that play before each game begins and after it ends. They’re well made with charming expressions and nods to the source material within the cutscene. They give context to the game you’re about to play, providing a more rounded experience.

Many modes to digest in Sonic Origins

Image via Sega

In addition to the Anniversary Mode and Classic Mode, there are many other options available to you.

First to discuss is the expansive Museum Mode. It has every song in the classic titles that you can listen to any time you’d like, including music from the spinoff titles. You can even make your own playlist. For those who love to look at concept art, Sonic Origins is filled to the brim with sketches, illustrations, and character details that any fan would be happy to look at. The aforementioned movies can also be viewed in this mode as well, including some segments of the 30th Anniversary Symphony.

As you play through Sonic Origins, you’re encouraged to collect coins. While playing the Anniversary Mode, you can get a coin by collecting 100 rings instead of an extra life, for example. Coins then unlock locked content in the Museum Mode, adding replayability to each of the four games.

Next, you can play the game in Mirror Mode, which has Sonic running from right to left. In addition, players of Sonic Origins can test themselves with the boss rush mode, which challenges you to a string of bosses with zero rings. You’ll get coins for your trouble.

To get more coins, you can retrieve them quickly within the new Mission mode. These are small segments of gameplay, which time you. If you finish the mission set out to you by Sega, you’ll be given a rank. S is for the best times in each mission, giving plenty of coins as a reward.

See Also

Sonic Origins Mission Mode
Image via Sega

You can rack up the coins quickly as each mission by default provides five. These missions are a fun distraction from the traditional games, and if you’re looking to play a bite-sized version of these games for a short session, the Mission mode is a great way to go.

Lastly, there’s the Classic Mode that places these Sonic games into 4:3 and you’ll have lives once more, just like the old days. Unfortunately, this mode is basic without any kind of rewind or even quick saves. The Classic Mode honestly feels like an afterthought because it lacks the features other retro collections have.

The best Sonic collection, ever

Screenshot via Nintendo Link, Game via Sega

Overall, Sonic Origins is arguably the best retro collection ever from Sega. It enhances the game’s to a stunning 16:9 format and makes the original Sonic titles much more streamlined with unlimited lives. In addition, each game of the series is such a banger with impeccable level design and memorable bosses.

Although rings aren’t available in key moments of these games and the classic mode lacks many important features, it is now far more enjoyable to play these treasured Sonic entries than ever before. Now, Sega should remaster the 3D games like Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes in its own collection.

To be completely honest, Sonic Origins may be the best game in the series from this year, when you consider the tepid response from Sonic Frontiers so far.

Something else to consider is that Sonic Origins is best played with a D-Pad. Purchasing a controller rather than using the Joy-con may be your best bet. Hori recently released a Sonic-themed Split Pad Pro that you might want to consider getting.

Sonic Origins Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review code provided by Sega
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Release Date: June 26th, 2022
Price: $39.99 or $44.99 for the Digital Deluxe Edition, £32.99/£36.99, €39.99/€42.99
Game Size: 3.6GB


The Anniversary Mode is a huge step up for this modern retro collection.

Each game feels better to control and adds the drop dash mechanic.

New modes like the Mission and Museum are excellent additions to the formula.


Some bosses are frustrating with a lack of rings to collect.

The classic mode should have features like rewind and quick save but doesn't.

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