Sonic Colors Ultimate Continues Trend of Half-Baked Releases

Image provided by SEGA.
Image provided by SEGA. /

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Sonic Colors is considered to be one of the best “modern-style” games in the series, yet few have played it due to its inaccessibility. As a title on the Nintendo Wii (excluding a Sonic Rush-styled version on the Nintendo DS), it remained a relic of the past for the longest time until SEGA’s announcement of modern console releases. Hopes were high, and many were eager to finally experience the colorful exploits of Sonic and the Wisps in Eggman’s interstellar amusement park.

However, the product received by all was something most fans should’ve expected: a half-baked rushed title that’s chock-full of glitches and bugs. Sonic Colors Ultimate brought little to the table in terms of new content, but that was something the $40 price tag made up for. What revokes the justification of the price tag is what this game had in store for those unlucky to purchase it.

Sonic has a track record full of controversial releases, whether it’s due to critiques of game design, overall gameplay, or both. It seems all integrity has been lost with the series, as releases following the infamous “Sonic ‘06” lack a certain level of passion and quality in them. Sonic Colors Ultimate is the latest testament to this rhetoric, which is especially disappointing considering that it’s a simple port.

The game isn’t bad. It retains the gameplay and the heart of what made Sonic Colors enjoyable, from the rockin’ music to the exhilarating action. However, what happens when things go wrong in a game where the colors are supposed to feel so right?

You get repeated instances when the colors feel TOO right., specifically in the Switch version.

Graphical glitches are common in games, and it’s an inevitability with the launch of any title. However, they’re usually localized in a particular area or instance in the gameplay. But when a game is starting to develop a reputation at launch for containing flashing lights, there is a problem. 

There are three main areas in Sonic Colors Ultimate that are becoming notorious for graphical issues: Tropical Resort, Sweet Mountain, and Terminal Velocity.

If the issues ended here, then the game wouldn’t be that bad. But despite the colors feeling too right in this game, there are moments where nothing feels right at all. On top of widespread graphical issues contained in the Switch release of the title, all versions of the title suffer from actual issues, including the infamous “corrupted data” bug within the PlayStation releases. Sonic Colors isn’t a terribly long game, but it doesn't excuse the inclusion of one of the most dreaded types of bugs in gaming. 

In a Sonic game, most of the immersion comes from going full speed with no hindrances. For the most part, Sonic Team usually nails this down. Players cannot say the same for Sonic Colors Ultimate, as there are quite a bit of moment where going fast can punish them.

Despite how widespread these issues are, SEGA themselves have yet to make a public statement. Even the official Sonic The Hedgehog Twitter (@sonic_hedgehog) has remained silent under this fire.

It’s truly disappointing to see that this once-hyped release fell flat from its flaws, especially in what should’ve been the resurgence of a cult hit. Fans of the series are becoming fed up with the state of the series, especially if simple re-releases suffer the same botched development as the actual new game. Glitches of this caliber are simply inexcusable, no matter the game or studio.

Sonic Colors will always be a fun game. It’s a game that shook up the formula, and even though it was different, it’s loved for being different. It’s just a shame to know that this time around, the colors didn’t feel so right.