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Preview: Sonic Colors Ultimate Seems as Slick as Ever

sonic colors ultimate

When it comes to some of the more recent Sonic the Hedgehog adventures, not all of them are considered beloved, meaningful additions to the series. Sonic Colors is something of an outlier, as it’s a modern entry that generally got a lot of things right at the time at best and was competent at worst. Now Sonic Colors Ultimate is on the way and after spending some time at the Tropical Resort, I have a better idea of how things are looking this time around.

For starters, Sonic Colors Ultimate is much more crisp and clear than before. This is a vibrant game on any platform, to be certain. Especially the Tropical Resort area, which is filled with neon lights, colorful enemies, and spaces that look like they wouldn’t be out of place in some high-end hotel. This is further emphasized in this HD remaster. Everything seems more well-defined than before, especially in this first area I explored. Though granted, in most cases I was going too fast to really take everything in. This also carried over to the early story scenes in Tropical Resort. The voice acting is as welcoming and familiar as ever, with all of the characters’ designs looking quite accurate. Though, admittedly, Sonic’s eyes sometimes look a bit too shiny and the textures in this early build led to him appearing unrealistic. (Shocking, I’m sure.)

sonic colors ultimate

It also feels like there’s a greater sense of smoothness and speed. With Sonic the Hedgehog games, a cohesive experience that runs well is essential, since you’ll be using quick reflexes to make decisions and get by. Normally, I’m not a stickler for frame rates. But with Sonic Colors Ultimate, it seemed possible to see and appreciate the upgrade during the Tropical Resort levels I played through. (The full game offers 60 fps and 4k support.) The new sense of consistency especially seemed apparently in the segments where Sonic is racing through loops or the action is shifting from an over-the-shoulder perspective to suddenly seeing everything from the sidelines. Everything was incredibly smooth and kept up the pace when I played.

Of course, given how early my explorations of Eggman’s new tourist trap were, I didn’t get to sample all of the new additions to Sonic Colors Ultimate. But some of them do come up fairly quickly. Tails Save is one. If you’re going through one of the 2.5D-to-3D levels, you’ll sometimes find yourself faced with huge, dangerous gaps. Grind rails, boosting, or using a Wisp’s ability is usually the way to safely mind the gap, but sometimes you have to jump and hope for the best. If you grabbed Tails icons, he will zip in for a quick save when Sonic would normally fall to his doom. And frankly, it works very well. He’s a swift save and the icons are easy to see, so there’s no worry about overlooking one.

sonic colors ultimate

The Park Tokens are another element that came up fairly early on. These are new items you can earn by playing, then put toward customization options. Nothing has a direct affect on gameplay, which is a positive. You don’t have to worry about being penalized for not paying attention or earning these extra collectibles. But what’s also assuring is that these items are all rather visible. Once you have them, you can pretty clearly see the color changes for things like Sonic’s gloves, shoes, and boosts.

All together, it feels like Sonic Colors Ultimate is going to be a chance to appreciate one of the more recent Sonic the Hedgehog games that effectively uses the series’ formula. This one seems to both look and run better than before. It also feels like elements like the Tails save system could come in handy for people learning how to use his moveset in the game. And as for the customization items, they could prove to be an incentive for people to keep replaying.

Sonic Colors Ultimate will come to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Epic Games Store on September 7, 2021. The original Sonic Colors games appeared on the Nintendo DS and Wii.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.