Covid, be damned, the past couple of years have indeed been a magical period for classic Sega fans. First, we were treated to Streets of Rage 4 last year- and the developers are continuing to support it through DLC. Next, Inin Games’ remake of Mega Drive cult classic Wonderboy IV has just hit the market in the form of Wonderboy: Asha In Monster World (look for our review of it within the coming week). Also, even the long-lost Alex Kidd is making a comeback later this month with Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX. That leaves us with one question- what about the character that put SEGA on the map in North America? Sonic’s speeding towards his 30th anniversary, and fortunately for fans both young and old, SEGA’s got a lot in store for us, as revealed in the stream above.
The first big takeaway is something that’s been spinning in the rumor mill for quite some time- an HD rerelease of Sonic Colors. Sonic Colors Ultimate will be arriving for all modern consoles on September 7th, with physical copies retailing for $39.99 (yet again doing what Nintendon’t with that budget price tag). There’s also a digital deluxe version offering some exclusive goodies as well as early access. That is if you find yourself crossing your arms and tapping your foot in anticipation. That’s not all, however. A two-part animated series titled Rise of the Wisps based on this particular entry will premiere at some point this summer. It will feature the voice of Roger Craig Smith as Sonic.
Second is yet another confirmation of a widespread rumor- a new compilation of classic Sonic games. Coming at some point next year, Sonic Origins will feature beefed-up versions of Sonic 1-3K as well as Sonic CD. Although it’s too soon to say for sure, the ports of these games may be the fantastic mobile ports done by Christian Whitehead and co (Sonic Mania). In case you’re wondering why this is a big deal- here you go. The mobile ports of these classics added a greater field of view and modernized also save systems and bonus features. The Sonic 2 mobile port went as far as to include a previously scrapped zone in the original version. This will also mark the first time the complete Sonic 3 & Knuckles experience is included on any console compilation disc/cartridge. (There was a collection for Windows 98, however. That was my first experience with this legendary title, by the way!)
Last but not least, there was a small teaser for the next big Sonic adventure at the end of the stream. It shows Sonic blazing through a forest with a strange symbol towards the tail-end of the 30 second run time, leaving much to the imagination. Speculation suggests that this new game may be called “Sonic Rangers” and take cues from open-world epics such as Breath of the Wild. As with any new “big” Sonic game, our best bet is to remain casually optimistic. The most important thing to keep in mind moving forward is that the gameplay and momentum-based physics at the core of the Sonic franchise can work in an open-world design structure, as demonstrated by fan project “Sonic Utopia.“
If you (somehow) haven’t played Sonic Mania yet or have been on the fence about Team Sonic Racing or Sonic Forces, SEGA has also announced that this trio will be coming to the PlayStation Now service PS4/PS5 this week. However, my opinion of Forces isn’t much better than the consensus. Nevertheless, mania and Team Sonic Racing are a guaranteed good time, even if the latter could’ve used a bit of a boost to its roster.
What bit of Sonic news are you most amped up about? I’m equally excited about all three of these takeaways. As a classic Sonic fan, the possibility that the mobile ports of the Genesis trilogy+CD could be added to that upcoming compilation is a dream come true. In addition, I was one of those people who truly enjoyed Colors upon release and still come back to it on the Wii from time to time. I can’t wait to see how this already beautifully presented game fares with a 1080P punchup.