Sonic Origins may not be the best collection out there or even the optimal versions of the games it contained, but it’s still a great way to re-experience Sonic’s Genesis classics. In my review, I loved additions like animated cutscenes and the extras like mission mode while still feeling like it lacked certain features such as rewind, and I lamented the removal of Michal Jackson’s compositions. Apparently my opinion is not the one the majority of the Sonic community holds, but I’m happy to revisit some of my favorite games recreated for the modern era. However, I do feel like Sonic Origins Plus is what this game should have been from the beginning.
Available as a $10 DLC upgrade, the Plus pack adds two main things: a set of Game Gear games, and Amy “Rosy the Rascal” Rose being playable in all four Genesis games. Knuckles is now playable in Sonic CD as well, which really should have been the case originally, but I digress. Plus adds a total of 12 Game Gear games, none of which are really what I would call “good”. The Game Gear just hasn’t aged well, with a tiny screen that necessitates big sprites and a miniscule field of view. It’s difficult to go back to any of these originals when fan remakes, such as the excellent Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit by Noah Copland, and these aren’t very good versions of those originals anyway. The sound is genuinely terrible, with harsh notes and a weird echo present at all times. I dipped my toes into each game, but I’d be hesitant to go back even if I wanted to without hitting the mute button first.
Really, the main attraction here is Amy. Amy has always been one of my favorite characters in the Sonic cannon, and it’s a delight to play as the classic version of her here. She plays a lot like Sonic, but can press Jump again in the air to pull out her Piko-Piko Hammer and make her hitbox much bigger. This allows her to absolutely destroy some bosses, and it’s a lot of fun to master. Holding down the button until you land will have her perform a hammer rush, laying waste to any enemies foolish enough to be directly in front of her. Unfortunately, the hammer can’t damage enemies through spikes, and while I feel that should be the case it would totally break the game in most cases.
Her sprites are also super adorable. She’s bubbly and curious, but with a quick temper you can see in her hammer rush attack. I will say she doesn’t quite fit in Sonic 1 or CD as her sprite has a bit too much detail for those games, making her stand out against the backgrounds. She’s also been added retroactively to the Island menus, doing some cute poses if you focus the camera on her.
Amy is a lot of fun, but I do have some complaints. I still wish her hammer could go through spikes constantly, but more importantly she feels like an afterthought in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Collecting all 7 Chaos Emeralds will let her turn into Super Amy, which is great, but going a step beyond to upgrade them to the Super Emeralds just… gives you Super Amy again. The sprite and effects are exactly the same too, unlike the rest of the characters. The only difference I felt is she could go a bit faster and jump slightly higher, but that’s it.
The way the game handles character selection is also incredibly weird. You have one option in the menu for each character solo, but also another option for Sonic, Knuckles, and Amy followed by Tails. I don’t see a reason for this many options to clutter the screen when simply turning Tails on or off as a companion would have been cleaner. If you want to go a step further, a full fledged team select menu like the Sonic Advance games would have been awesome, especially since I don’t see why Sonic, Knuckles, or Amy couldn’t be your partner and not just Tails.
While I think this DLC is worth it as a hardcore Amy fan (I just think she’s neat), I do have to mention the pricing. As previously mentioned, the upgrade is $10 for existing owners, but for newcomers the price of the game as a whole has been lowered by $10, making the price of everything together cost the same amount as just the base game when it launched. It’s a strange decision that weirdly punishes early adopters for things that should have been in the game originally. I’m lucky in that I received both of these products for free from SEGA, but if I had purchased the game myself I have to admit I would feel ripped off.
David is the kind of person to wear his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him playing all kinds of games: AAAs, Indies, game jam games, games of all genres, and writing about them! Here. On this website. When not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, games, or enjoying a good book.
David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3, and Gravity Rush.
Sonic Origins Plus
While Sonic Origins Plus’ additions feel like they should have been in the base game, Amy is a delight to play as. She’ll have you playing these four excellent games in new ways, despite some odd design decisions. Unfortunately, the selection of Game Gear games have not aged well and are marred by some terrible sound emulation.