As part of Sonic’s 30th Anniversary celebration, Sonic Origins was announced with a 2022 release date. We got to see a short trailer revealing which games will be returning in this remastered collection as well as its planned year of release. However, nothing more has been officially announced on the topic; other than that Sonic 3 & Knuckles will be available on a 16:9 aspect ratio.
It’s nearly been a year now since the collection was originally revealed. With many games being delayed recently, it’s hard not to assume the worst. Sonic Origins is a collection of the first five mainline games from the 90s. So, what’s taking it so long to reach the virtual shelves? While there is no official news, we can certainly speculate.
SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES
Sonic 3 & Knuckles. One of the most beloved Sonic games in the series. Sonic Origins marks the first time this game will be re-released since 2011. Why you might ask? Take the following with a pinch of salt, as this is all still considered a theory. As far as public knowledge goes, Michael Jackson is believed to have worked on a few of the soundtracks for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and possibly even some for Sonic & Knuckles. SEGA to this day denies that this is true, however. Apparently, there is a long-standing legal battle between SEGA and Michael Jackson’s estate, assuming the theory is true. This is what may have led to SEGA being unable to re-release the two games, despite being able to re-release Sonic 1 and Sonic 2.
This could mean two things for Sonic Origins when it finally gets a release date. Either it will use the soundtracks supposedly composed by Michael Jackson and his team, or these specific ones will be replaced with the ones created by SEGA for the game’s early prototype version. This would upset many fans who grew up with the tracks that were originally in the game.
REMASTERS, REMAKES OR EMULATIONS?
One topic that is rather blurry right now is how the games are actually being developed. Emulator-based porting is a significantly easier task and, if they’d done it this way, the game could quite possibly have been in our hands by now. However, Takashi Iizuka, one of the developers of the game, has stated that he wishes to ‘revive’ these games. Sonic Origins will not feature emulator-based ports. They have announced plans to modify the game and implement new features. This means that, no matter how many times you’ve played these games, there will be something new for everyone to enjoy upon release.
The extent to which they are being ‘revived’ is unclear, however. I’d say to expect something somewhere between a remaster (upgraded graphics, sounds etc) and a remake (new assets and elements). While we’d all love for the team to remake the titles entirely to the level of Sonic Mania, I don’t personally think this is very likely. Despite this, porting these original games and re-mastering them (to a small extent) will take more time than just emulating them.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 MOVIE
After the first movie’s huge success, SEGA voiced its desire to have released a game alongside the movie. However, there was nothing for them to release at the time. With this in mind, it’s a huge possibility that Sonic Origins’ release date is just around the corner. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is set to release on April 1st 2022. Could we expect a new video game to coincide with the movie’s release this time around? If so, the only Sonic game that is set to release in 2022 that we know of is none other than Sonic Origins. After a year of development, could it finally be time?
It makes even more sense bearing in mind what SEGA has previously stated about this title. They expressed that this collection was created for new fans of the franchise, such as those who have come in through the latest games or the first movie that wish to know the ‘origins’ of Sonic. For many of us, though, it’s bringing forth that need for nostalgia, to relive our younger days. So, if the stars align, a very close release date could, in fact, be likely.
When do you think Sonic Origins‘ release date will be?