Sonic Colors Ultimate is a faithful remake of the 2010 game that you’ll probably enjoy if you’re either a dedicated Sonic fan or a child that doesn’t mind the easy difficulty and childish dialogue. Otherwise, there’s not much to love here, with floaty gameplay and an unengaging story.
- Added extra content for the remake
- Ideal for young children
- Can customise Sonic
- Too easy for older gamers
- Forgettable levels
- Too much floaty platforming
- Disappointing visuals for modern standards
- Platforms:PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC via Epic Games Store. PS5 and Xbox Series X/S via backwards compatibility
- 4K resolution and 60fps performance:Updated with a 4K resolution for PC, PS4 and Xbox
Sonic Colors Ultimate is a remake of the 2010 Wii game that drops you back in Eggman’s theme park of horrors with the task of saving the aliens he’s been capturing.
This remake doesn’t really shake things up in terms of story or gameplay, but is pretty faithful to the original with a few added bits of content to keep things interesting.
While Sonic fans and young children may be able to find joy here, I’m sad to say I don’t think this is a worthwhile game for anyone else – it’s not devoid of fun, but it’s hardly a decent Sonic game.
- The story is child friendly
- It is the same as the remake
- It doesn’t follow on from any other game
Starting up Sonic Colors Ultimate, you don’t actually get much in terms of the story until you’ve completed a level or two.
You play as Sonic, who’s visiting Dr Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park. It becomes clear that Eggman is up to no good, as usual, this time concerning some little aliens, or Wisps, who he’s capturing and using in a nefarious plot to control the world.
Tails is also here, which is a nostalgic throwback, but there isn’t much else happening in terms of characters or story, so the game was very dependent on gameplay to keep your attention.
The script is tailored for a younger audience than myself, with tedious jokes about butts and farts running rampant. However, Sonic Colors Ultimate did make me laugh out loud on occasion, with Eggman’s absurd park announcements a particular highlight.
- A lot of platforming for Sonic
- Not very complicated, better for younger kids
- No lives or game overs
Since the story is rarely why you pick up a Sonic game, you want the gameplay to really shine. As someone who remembers playing the original version of Sonic Colors over a decade ago, I can say that it feels about the same.
For a character renowned for his speed, it really feels like Sonic spend a lot of time platforming and waiting around in this game. There are a few sections that are undoubtedly fun, when you can rush forward and appreciate the interesting backgrounds, but a lot of the time you’re constantly stopping and navigating awkward platforms.
The feeling of speed is missing, even when you boost it feels like you don’t ever get to go that fast, and there are some levels that even have Sonic automatically running forward in the intro for a ridiculous amount of time. I was either watching Sonic run without participating, or trying to get him to jump over spikes.
And I could forgive the platforming if it was easier to control. I remember the original actually feeling better to play on the Wii compared to the PS4, as the motion controls gave the gameplay a little more innovation.
With my PS4 controller, however, Sonic was floaty and awkward to control. It never felt gratifying getting to the end of the level, which is something I’ve felt with previous games, like Sonic Mania.
One of the biggest issues I personally had with this game was the complete removal of lives and game overs. This makes rings pretty useless unless you’re interested in getting an S rank, and it means you will keep respawning at your last checkpoint until you win.
I understand not wanting to make players frustrated with a difficult level, but not even giving me the option to make the game harder made it far more boring. Knowing there are no stakes, and the fact Tails can also return you to the exact spot you died – not even the checkpoint – meant I cared a lot less about learning the layout of the level or understanding the best way to get past an enemy.
The game also feels very samey throughout. I couldn’t tell you what happened in each world or what I actually accomplished after each level. With 45 story acts, there are very few I can remember as being unique in level design or gameplay, other than the few that heavily rely on the Wisps for help.
There are a total of eight Wisps in Colors, each giving you a unique ability to help traverse a level. Some are better than others, with my personal favourite being the Cyan Wisps, but I did appreciate the variety and the fact you need late-game Wisps to complete earlier parts of the game.
You can also customise Sonic, borrowing the main attraction of Sonic Forces, changing his in-game gloves, shoes, boosts and aura. This was a fun little add-on that I really appreciated.
Another new feature was Rival Rush, where you can race against Metal Sonic in order to win rewards. I liked this mode and appreciated the option, however, I don’t think it’s something you could really sink your teeth into unless you were a pretty avid completionist.
In general, I think if you were a big Sonic fan or someone that doesn’t want a particularly hard game, this wouldn’t be too bad of a choice. But without the love of Sonic to fuel me through it, the game felt very dull and repetitive, while being unreasonably slow.
- Will run in 4K at 60fps on PS4, Xbox and PC
- Visuals look outdated
Sonic Colors Ultimate has seen the resolution pushed up to 4K resolution for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, with revamped lighting and a stable 60fps performance.
However, I don’t really think it looks all that different from the original Wii version, with little seemingly down to boost the assets to modern standards. Sonic and the other characters aren’t particularly well defined, and I never found myself enamoured with the graphics in general.
The game is still pretty enough, with the design of Sweet Mountain getting a special shoutout for differentiating itself from the other worlds with a unique, fun aesthetic. But the graphics are a far cry from what we’ve come to expect from new games.
It also seems to lack a level of polish found with competing 2021 platformers such as Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, with characters phasing through the floor and the new lighting effects being very basic.
Should you buy it?
You want some 2010’s nostalgia and like Sonic:
If you like Sonic and want to revisit Eggman’s crazy theme park, this faithful remake has some things to enjoy and some new features to dig into.
You want to go fast:
Sonic Colors Ultimate is not the best gameplay the franchise has to offer. If you want more action and speed, I recommend picking up Sonic Mania or Sonic Generations.
Sonic Colors Ultimate unfortunately is a bit too slow for me, with repetitive gameplay and outdated visuals for 2021. It’s definitely better than some of Sonics’ latest outings, but there are still better games out there if you want to play as the speedy blue hedgehog.
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How we test
We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.
Played through the entire campaign
Tested on PS4
Sonic Colors is a kid friendly game that’s safe for most 5+ children to play.
The game is available on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Sega has added 4K resolutions, improved lighting and various other graphical upgrades to make the new version look more modern. There are also a couple of new game modes.