Sonic Origins Plus Review

Sonic Origins is a great way to experience the classic adventures on modern hardware and this expansion manages to go one further.

Focused on an all new Game Gear selection, there’s some real rare gems in here, including early Drift titles and solo adventures with Tails.

How to Play

Plus can either be purchased seperately if you already own Sonic Origins. Alternatively, you can buy Sonic Origins Plus as a complete package. Once added to the game, there’s a new menu called Game Gear where you can find all 12 of the releases.

This is a fairly simple release, and more of an addition to the package SEGA already put out. The Game Gear titles themselves haven’t aged magnificently and aren’t as well presented as the previous batch. Particularly on the big screen.

In handheld form, whether via Switch or Steam Deck, however, these really shine and can make for a great way to relive some memories or create new ones.

That said, Plus also adds content to the existing titles, creating all-new possibilities for the player, such as adding in Amy Rose as a playable character in all the original titles, and even letting you play as Knuckles in Sonic CD.

For that alone, this collection is worth the upgrade as it adds a refreshing way to replay games you’ve probably played a hundred times over.

Plus does also bundle in all the pre-existing DLC for the game as well, making this the definitive, essential way to play Sonic Origins.

But going back to the meat of the content is the Game Gear games. While Sonic Origins itself was only able to capture the holy triefcta of Sonic games in addition to CD, the Game Gear games are a lot more interesting and experimental.

For instance, you’ve now got Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine in here. This was a fantastic spin-off that really introduced Puyo Puyo to the Western World and while the Genesis version is much more polished and definitive, the Game Gear port is still a great time.

You’ve also got the equally fantastic Sonic Spinball. Again, the Genesis version is much more polished – you can play this on Nintendo Switch Online, by the way – the Game Gear port isn’t half bad either and a great way to pass the time.

But the rest of the games are much more catered and specific to the Game Gear, such as Sonic Chaos, Sonic Drift, Labyrinth and Triple Trouble.

Some of these games never actually released outside of certain regions either, which makes Plus an even more essential get for Sonic collectors.

But starting with the original Sonic the Hedgehog, these are mostly recreations of the classic Genesis games, but with unique twists of their own. Sonic 1 is probably the most faithful, though there were some changes to level design and enemies.

From Sonic 2 onwards, the games take quite a different turn. You actually start in a level called Under Ground Zone in a mine cart, not the iconic Emerald Hill. And Tails isn’t playable.

From then onwards, all bets are off with the Sonic games as they go in almost entirely new directions. Which, again, is really refreshing for those who may have played the original games and want a bit of a new challenge.

Going back to my original point about the presentation of these – on a console like Xbox or PS, you’re only playing in a very small box with most of the screen taken up by borders. This is obviously because the Game Gear screen is comparitively smaller, which makes these a more natural fit on handheld.

They also control a little bit hit and miss with some inputs a bit delayed and quite a bit of slowdown, lag and frame rate drops dragging the experience down a bit when things get hectic.

But at least there are save states now which make it a lot easier for you to go back, revisit and try again from a particularly tricky section, should you want to.

And some of the Game Gear originals are actually pretty great, Sonic Chaos is a blast, and Drift is well worth playing. It’s certainly no Sonic Team Racing or Mario Kart, but for a bit of something different from within the package, it’s worth a play. Especially since it was a Japanese only title.

Triple Trouble, along with Blast has some of the best visuals and animation on the Game Gear, though gameplay wise could be almost like any other Sonic game.

It’s probably the Tails games that will get the most interest in this package since they’re solo adventures and offer slightly different ways to play with Skypatrol having you flying through levels, while Adventure is a bit more of a core experience with the fox throwing bombs and climbing over obstacles.

Sonic Labyrinth also feels like the precursor to Sonic 3D Mania with the hedgehog roaming through 2.5D mazes. It’s obviously not as well thought out and designed as the eventual Saturn release, but it really adds to the variety of the wider package.

And ultimately, that’s what these 12 games set out to do. They give just enough to be different and stop the Origins package just feeling about the same Sonic games you know a little too well. This explores the wider range of the SEGA catalogue and even introduces some newbies you’ve probably never seen before.

Game Gear inputs and performance aside, this is essential for Sonic collectors.


Sonic Origins Plus really fills out and completes this package, adding much more variety to the catalogue and giving you some clever, different ways to play titles you already know and love. Most of the titles haven’t aged that well with brutal difficulty, hit and miss control inputs and some lag. To be honest, they probably also look, feel and play better on handheld with the majority of the screen taken up by borders, but there’s some real gems in here Sonic Collectors shouldn’t be without.


+ Adds great variety to the Sonic Origins package
+ Never before ways to play classic games and some titles included you may have never seen before
+ Makes this package feel more complete for Sonic Collectors
+ Save States!


– Game Gear games haven’t aged that well and performance / input is a bit stiff and shaky
– Playing on a such a small screen doesn’t feel great on modern day TVs

Sonic Origins Plus Review

7 out of 10

Code kindly received from SEGA for Review Purposes

Played on Xbox Series X

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