Sonic Colors Ultimate Xbox Series X Review

Sonic Colors Ultimate delivers on everything you could want from a Sonic game.

By Grayshadow, Posted 04 Sep 2021

Back in 2010 Sonic Colors was released to a lot of positive reception, giving Sonic a much-needed boost. Now SEGA has re-released the title for modern audiences as Sonic Colors Ultimate with updated performance, cosmetics, and a new Rival Rush mode. Modern fans may find the mechanics outdated especially those who played Sonic Generations but Sonic Colors delivers on all things Sonic. Rushing through colorful stages where precision is rewarded is getting that S rank requires great dedication.
 

Sonic Colors Ultimate,NoobFeed,
 

Sonic Colors Ultimate has Sonic traveling to Eggman's newly created amusement park. At first, it seems legit until Sonic discovers Eggman has kidnapped an alien race known as the Wisps as a power source. Sonic and Tails must travel through the park to save the Wisps from Eggman and free the Wisps' homeworld that Eggman has also captured.

The story has never been a centerpiece of the Sonic franchise and here is no different. It's basic and effective, with Sonic and Tails occasionally talking to push the story forward such as Tails inventing a translator to understand the Wisps and Sonic trash-talking Eggman's robots. The performances are adequate and the updated visuals do look nice.
 

Sonic Colors Ultimate,NoobFeed,
 

Everyone plays Sonic games for the high-speed gameplay and Sonic Colors Ultimate delivers on that. With each planet having a distinct theme such as water, space, tropical, a world made of dessert, and more. Each environment is wonderfully decorated and has a lot of variety to it especially the color palette.

As with Sonic tradition, each stage is divided into difficulty options based on the player's performance. Better speed, mobility, and response time will get to faster but harder sections of the stage whereas the opposite will be slower but easier to navigate. This natural sense of difficulty ensures those who wish to master the game and gather all the Red Coins hidden throughout will have to try and make those perfect runs.

What makes Sonic Colors stand out is the use of Wisps. Each one provides distinct abilities Sonic can use to navigate the level, some are optional and others are required. All Sonic needs to do is run into a capsule and the ability is available but you can only store 1 at a time, getting a new one will remove the other Wisp ability. These abilities include a laser for a light-speed dash, drilling through the soil, rocketing into the air, hovering, and swapping blue blocks. The newest addition is the Ghost Wisp that allows Sonic to bypass certain sections. The game teases you with these abilities at the beginning with locked capsules of future abilities to highlight what can be used later.

Those who played Sonic Generations, which is often considered the best version of modern Sonic controls, will find the mobility system limited. The developers decided to keep the original systems to ensure a classic experience as the stages are designed for these actions but at a cost. Sonic definitely feels stiffer here and drifting is poor compared to Sonic Generations. This is understandable since Sonic Generations was released 1 year after Sonic Colors so they were able to fine-tune these systems for ideal control but going back to them means you don't get the best controls of modern Sonic.
 

Sonic Colors Ultimate,NoobFeed,
 

Speaking of performance while the general gameplay is fast the interface is not. Selecting stages from the main HUB has a significant delay to it, especially when selecting the Egg Shuttle. When deciding on cosmetics there's a noticeable delay every time you select a different option. It's confusing especially when playing on something like an Xbox Series X.

Cosmetics is a new addition not available in the original. Sonic has a multitude of items to choose from that include various gloves, shoes, auras, and profile pics from SEGA's legacy. You can earn these by collecting tokens in each stage and create your own version of Sonic.
 

Sonic Colors Ultimate,NoobFeed,
 

If you're planning to play the game straight without 100% everything it'll take around 3 hours to complete the adventure. Many of the stages take around 2-3 minutes to complete with longer stages sprinkled in. However, getting every Red Coin, beating the Game Land stages, and getting an S Rank in each level will take around 20 hours depending on skill level. There's a lot to do especially if you want to gain access to Super Sonic, who basically breaks everything and is a thrill to play as.

Sonic Colors Ultimate is a great Sonic game and delivers what fans love about the Blue Blur. It's fast, light-hearted, and encourages quick decision-making. The visual and performance upgrade allows for some amazing runs, especially for Sonic world record players. I do hope the developers resolve the lagging issues of the interface in a future patch but the core gameplay remains solid. If you're a fan of Sonic then Sonic Colors Ultimate will deliver everything you could want from a Sonic game. And if you're not you'll still find an action-packed adventure full of beautiful worlds ready to be sped through.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): Sonic Team, Dimps, Blind Squirrel Entertainment
Genres: 3D Platformer
Themes: Adventure, Action
Release Date: 2021-09-07

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