Sonic Colors: Ultimate (American English) (ソニックカラーズ アルティメット Sonikku Karāzu Arutimetto?) or Sonic Colours: Ultimate (British English), is an enhanced remaster of the Wii version of Sonic Colors. It was released on 7 September 2021 both physically and digitally for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One consoles, and as a digital-only release on for PC via the Epic Games Store in most countries and on 9 September in Japan. It can also be played on Xbox Series X and Series S and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility. Players who opted for the Digital Deluxe version of the game instead received the game on 3 September 2021.
|White Wisps||The most common type of Wisps, the White Wisps are very friendly and love to talk. They do not have the power to transform, but they can give Sonic a Boost.|
|Cyan Wisps||Cyan Wisps are a special breed. They are very fast, never seem to stop moving, and as a result they can seem a little scatterbrained. Their powers allow Sonic to utilize the Cyan Laser.|
|Jade Wisps||Keep an eye out for the new Jade Wisp. This mysterious creature grants Sonic the ability to pass through walls easily and levitate like a ghost to reach otherwise impossible areas.|
|Pink Wisps||Pink Wisps can be somewhat harsh, but they are in fact very kind by nature. You’ll often find them near walls. Utilize the powers of the Pink Wisps to transform Sonic into a Pink Spike so he can move around easily in all directions when on a wall.|
|Green Wisps||Green Wisps are subtle, yet pretty goofy. You never know when you might come across one as they don’t hang out in one particular spot, but keep an eye out for them when you’re flying. They give Sonic the power to hover.|
|Orange Wisps||Orange Wisps are very sensitive, emotional Wisps. They are easily elated when praised, but they can also get depressed if they’ve made a mistake. Be careful not to upset them, since they can get angry very easily. Luckily, Sonic reaps the benefits of their powerful emotions when they transform him into an Orange Rocket.|
|Blue Wisps||Blue Wisps have sharp minds and are excellent leaders. Whenever they decide to do something big, the Blue Wisps are most always successful. Their powers allow Sonic to become indestructible as Blue Cube.|
|Yellow Wisps||Yellow Wisps are very fond of earth and water. Their powers allow Sonic to transform into Yellow Drill to reach underground and underwater spots quickly.|
|Purple Wisps||Once Wisps are captured by Dr. Eggman, they are converted into Purple Wisps. These unfortunate Wisps are violent and forced to carry out Dr. Eggman’s evil plans.|
- The Jade Wisp, a Wisp that debuted in Team Sonic Racing, is featured as a Color Power that grants the Jade Ghost. This Color Power can be obtained in various places and allows Sonic to go through solid objects in order to discover alternate paths that were not in the original game.
- The life system has been entirely removed, meaning that players can start over from where they failed without fearing a game over. Likewise, lives and 1-Ups have been replaced by different features.
- Tails now has the ability to lift Sonic back into the levels. This can be accomplished by obtaining a new type of collectable called Tails Saves that appears in the Acts, and the counter for the amount of Tails Saves the player has replaces the life counter. When using a Tails Save, rather than respawning from the beginning of an Act, starting over from last Star Post touched, or getting a game over, Tails will come in, pick up Sonic and fly him to his last known location.
- The 100 Count Ring returns from the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Unleashed, replacing the 1-Up in Acts. In this game, in addition to granting the player one hundred Rings when picked up, it makes Sonic invincible for a short time.
- The Homing Attack has a new feature, the "sweet spot attack," where timing the attack just as a green circle overlaps the Homing Attack reticle will award Sonic with Boost energy for the Boost Gauge.
- The player is able to customize Sonic's appearance and visual effects in the Options Satellite's Customize menu. This includes Sonic's gloves, shoes, Boost, and aura. In the case of the Boost for example, the player can customize which effects that will follow Sonic when he uses the Boost. In the case of the aura, the player can give Sonic different colored energy auras. These are merely cosmetic, and do not affect Sonic's control performance in gameplay. All the customization options can be unlocked with the new Park Tokens. However, the customization items do not affect the in-game cutscenes.
- The sound effect for collecting a Park Token or a Tails Save is recycled from the old 1-Up sound.
- Getting an A or S-Rank in an Act will now reward Park Tokens instead of 1-Ups.
- Attacking the score during the results screen grants a Tails Save instead of a 1-Up.
- The game introduces a new mode called "Rival Rush", which are challenges where Sonic can race against Metal Sonic, who did not appear in the original game, and win rewards for beating him. Races are unlocked by collecting fifteen Red Star Rings in an Area, and Metal Sonic will race in one specific Act per Area.
- The Super Sonic menu in the Options Satellite now has a list of criteria for using Super Sonic.
- There is now an "Extras" section in the Option Satellite that includes music and cutscenes. The latter are now named rather than simply numbered, although they cannot be viewed in full screen.
- The World Map now displays what percentage of the game has been completed.
- Several Red Star Rings have have been placed in new positions from the original game.
- Apart from the Jade Wisp, several Acts feature Wisps that were not in the original game's Acts:
- Miis are no longer playable in Game Land despite the presence of Miis on the Nintendo Switch. The swappable colors for the Virtual Hedgehogs take the Miis' place, and can be selected by simply pressing left and right, rather than having to press a specific button for each color.
- Enhanced visuals and graphics. Cutscene videos in particular have been updated for HD and 4K resolutions. While most versions run at 60 FPS and have 4K support, the Nintendo Switch version is capped at 30 FPS due to the console being at 1080p or engine limitations.
- The subtitles have a different font from the original game.
- Certain cutscene dialogue that was not subtitled in the original game is now subtitled, including:
- In the first cutscene, Cubot's long rambling when he is trying to catch Yacker and a Cyan Wisp is subtitled.
- In the cutscene before the fight with Rotatatron, Cubot is subtitled when mocking Eggman after he tells him to collect more Wisps, as well him talking to himself after Eggman throws a wrench at him.
- In the cutscene before the fight with Rotatatron, Orbot saying, "Eh, boss?", is subtitled.
- In the cutscene before the fight with the Nega-Wisp Armor, Tails saying "Isn't that..." and Sonic saying, "It can't be." is subtitled.
- The game is voiced in English, Japanese, French, Italian, German and Spanish as with all Sonic games since Sonic Generations, whereas the original game was only voiced in English and Japanese. The game also includes two new languages, Russian and Polish, albeit only as subtitles in the game, alongside the aforementioned six languages in the original game. English, Spanish, and French text can now be changed between the American and European variants on PC via the Epic Games Store Launcher's Language option (American English, British English, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, and Canadian French). This may vary depending on the version.
- Subtitles in each language are synced to their respective voice languages instead of syncing to the selected voice language. Polish and Russian subtitles are synced to the English voices.
- The whole soundtrack has been remixed, including the main theme, boss theme, and the credits theme, and the player is unable to change the soundtrack back to the original version. The earlier three Acts of an Area will play the remix, while the later three will play the original version. One stage, however, will have the original version in all acts, unless the Digital deluxe version is purchased. Since version 3.0.0, the option to play an act's original music is now available
- Before version 3.0.0, the cutscenes cannot be played in full-screen in the Options Satellite, unlike in the original game.
- The Options Satellite has been given an aesthetic overhaul.
- The Wisps have altered animations on the level selection screen and inside Wisp Capsules.
- The Special Rings are called "Red Star Rings", matching their name change from Sonic Generations onwards.
- When the player collects a Red Star Ring, a confetti effect will appear on-screen.
- The "Navigation Mode" has a few changes. Tails' voice can be heard at various times, such as whenever Sonic presses a Switch, telling him its effect, watch out for specific obstacles, and even if he managed to get out of bounds.
- Some of the Hint Rings now have images accompanying their tips.
- On the results screen, there is a timer on the bottom that shows how long the player can control Sonic before he does his victory animation.
- Rainbow Rings and Dash Rings now have a more technological design with arrows on them, similar to the Dash Rings in Sonic Adventure and the mechanical Rings from Sonic Generations.
- Wisp Capsules for Wisps that have not been unlocked yet now have a lock inside of the colored Wisp Capsule.
- During specific cinematic sections of Acts, the HUD will briefly disappear until Sonic either bounces on a Spring or jumps from a Jump Panel.
- The Homing Attack leaves a rainbow trail when Sonic times it right.
- The exclamation mark that warns the player of bottomless pits is replaced by the warning signs from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, while the bottom side of the screen glows red and yellow arrows pointing downwards appear.
- The exclamation mark signs used when warning about other hazards is colored red instead of yellow and the top side of the screen glows red as well.
- Several sound effects have been modified.
- The sound effect from bouncing off of a Spring is now also used when Sonic goes through a Rainbow Ring, Dash Ring, or when he steps on a Dash Panel.
- The Homing Attack has new sound effects for when it is performed at the right time.
- The music used for most of the Wisps are now taken from Sonic Lost World, rather than the original game. Sega stated that the original version of most of the Wisps' music qualities were too low to appear in the game.
- Several point bonuses are named differently:
- Super Sonic has a new theme when transformed into him.
- The Nega-Wisp Armor's eyes resemble their design from the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, despite retaining their original design from the Wii version of the game in the cutscenes.
- The pushing platforms in Asteroid Coaster emit a new sound.
- The bombs emit a sound when getting closer which are same as the swings from Sweet Mountain, when getting enough speed.
- The same sound in those swings have a lower volume.
- Egg Pawns fall faster before version 3.0.0.
- The animation of the unlocked Wisps is slower.
- Sonic's walking animation on the World Map is a bit slower.
- In Starlight Carnival Act 1, after the Moto Bug section, a new transition appears when Sonic is about to step on the launcher.
- The credits are longer (thirty minutes in total), making this the Sonic game with the longest credits duration.
- Falling platforms make a tremble effect before stepping on them.
- Chroma Cubes now glow blue, pink, purple or yellow depending on the Wisp that Sonic has.
- Sonic spouts new mid-level dialogue after beating certain bosses. These were originally unused lines from the Wii version:
The game's controls have been refined from what they used to be. While the original release utilized the Wii Remote's motion controls to activate Color Powers, as well as its pointer to navigate the World Map, Sonic Colors: Ultimate does not feature any motion controls. The controls can even be customized to different button layouts as per the player's preference.
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Rotatatron (Tropical Resort)
- Captain Jelly (Sweet Mountain)
- Frigate Orcan (Starlight Carnival)
- Refreshinator (Planet Wisp)
- Admiral Jelly (Aquarium Park)
- Asteroid Coaster sub-boss (Asteroid Coaster)
- Frigate Skullian (Asteroid Coaster)
- Nega-Wisp Armor (Terminal Velocity)
- Tropical Resort
- Sweet Mountain
- Starlight Carnival
- Planet Wisp
- Aquarium Park
- Asteroid Coaster
- Terminal Velocity
|Big Fantastic Achievement||Unlock All Trophies||N/A|
|...All I Got Is This Tropical Resort T-Shirt||Complete Tropical Resort||20|
|Sugar Rush||Complete Sweet Mountain||20|
|What Happens In The Starlight Carnival…||Complete Starlight Carnival||20|
|Be Free||Complete Planet Wisp||20|
|Bucket O' Sushi||Complete Aquarium Park||20|
|Zero Gravity Thrill Ride||Complete Asteroid Coaster||20|
|I Foiled A Plot And I Liked It||Complete Terminal Velocity||30|
|Superstar||Collect All 180 Red Star Rings||50|
|The Complete Set||Collect All 5 Red Star Rings In Any Level||20|
|My Body Is A Weapon||Destroy 50 Enemies Using Homing Attacks||20|
|Going Green!||Collect The Green Chaos Emerald||10|
|A Day In The Sun||Collect The Yellow Chaos Emerald||10|
|Silver Certificate||Collect The Silver Chaos Emerald||10|
|Big Red Rock||Collect The Red Chaos Emerald||10|
|Color Of Royalty||Collect The Purple Chaos Emerald||10|
|Blue Me Away!||Collect The Blue Chaos Emerald||10|
|What's A Cyan!?||Collect The Cyan Chaos Emerald||10|
|Flying Low||Finish Any Act As Super Sonic||10|
|Ooooh Shiny!||Get An "S" Rank On Any Act||30|
|Destroyer!||Destroy 100 Enemies Using Homing Attacks||10|
|Take That, Me!||Beat A Previous Personal Best On Any Level||15|
|Why Are Records Made? To Be BROKEN!||Set A Personal Best, And Then Break All Of The Numbers On The Results Screen||15|
|A Student||Get An "A" Rank Or Higher On Any Act||15|
|Reach For The Stars||Grab All 5 Red Star Rings In One Run On Any Act||30|
|Harder Than You Think||Complete Any Act Without Picking Up Any Rings||30|
|Tropical Domination||Get 100% In Tropical Resort||20|
|The Taste Of Perfection||Get 100% In Sweet Mountain||20|
|Carnival Of Completion||Get 100% In Starlight Carnival||20|
|Wisp It, Wisp It Good!||Get 100% In Planet Wisp||20|
|Soaked In Excellence||Get 100% In Aquarium Park||20|
|Interstellar Coaster Crusher||Get 100% In Asteroid Coaster||20|
|Running The Gauntlet||Get 100% In Terminal Velocity||20|
|Precious||Collect 300 Rings In One Run||30|
|Long Haul||Complete Egg Shuttle||30|
|Stay On Target||Destroy 100 Enemies Using Sweet Spot Homing Attacks||20|
|Handing Out Shiners||Defeat Rotatatron With Less Than 3 Hits||30|
|Crunching The Captain||Defeat Captain Jelly With Less Than 3 Hits||30|
|Crashing The Party Barge||Get An "S" Rank Against Frigate Orcan||30|
|Eye Of The Hedgehog||Defeat Refreshinator With Less Than 3 Hits||30|
|Fast As A Shark||Defeat Admiral Jelly With Less Than 3 Hits||30|
|Smash N' Grab||Get An "S" Rank Against Frigate Skullian||30|
|Putting A Spin On The Negative||Get An "S" Rank Against Nega-Wisp Armor||50|
|Breaking Ranks||Break Every Rank From D To S On The Results Screen||15|
|No Ring Left Behind||Collect All 30 Red Star Rings From Any Area||50|
|Giving Credits Where Credits Due||Play Through The Credits Level||10|
|Steppin' Up||Score 100,000 Points In One Run Using Quick Step||10|
According to Sega and Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Colors was chosen to be remastered because of the increase of new and younger fans since the releases of Sonic Mania, Sonic Forces, and Team Sonic Racing, as well as the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog film. Since Iizuka wanted to deliver the "quintessential Sonic game," and Sonic Colors since was a rather successful game on its original hardware, it was deemed the ideal game to serve as the continuation for the aforementioned fans. However, since it was exclusive to the Wii and Nintendo DS, it was decided to make a remaster of the game. In addition, new features were added to help beginner players play the game. In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Iizuka explained that Sonic Colors: Ultimate was named this way because it is intended to be the definitive version of Sonic Colors that includes many features that were missing in the original.
Sonic Colors: Ultimate was primarily developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the staff working on the game from home. However, according to director Aaron Roseman, it only took the staff a few weeks to adapt to those changes. Roseman also stated that the game does not use all the technical features of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but runs very well on both consoles.
When it came to "translating" Sonic Colors from a Wii game (whose console was all about motion controls) to another game pack, the developers made use of the format in the original Sonic Colors that supported the standard game controller and "mimicked" the button layer from there over to Sonic Colors: Ultimate.
Rumors about a remastered edition of Sonic Colors began circulating in April 2021 when said game was found listed in the portfolio of the German dubbing studio, IK Sample (which is also the same studio that dubs the Sonic games in German). The game was later officially announced during the Sonic Central video presentation on 27 May 2021 that showcased news regarding the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary celebration. Among these announcements were also the announcement trailer for this game.
On 28 May 2021, 3D artist Brian Connelly, who worked on shaders and VFX, shared his work on ArtStation. One of the examples featured interface element of the open-source engine Godot, indicated that this was the engine the game was built on. This lined up with a LinkedIn profile of a Blind Squirrel Games developer which mentioned an open-source engine.
On 28 July 2021, it was announced that a two-disk album titled Sonic Colors: Ultimate Original Soundtrack "Re-Colors" featuring tracks from the soundtrack would be released by Wave Master as a physical format and in digital format worldwide on various distribution sites and subscription-type music distribution services on 29 September 2021, although pre-orders were already made available on 29 July 2021. It contains thirty-eight songs, including arrangements of original vocal and instrumental songs, as well as new songs for the new Rival Rush mode. Its booklet also contains commentary on all the songs by the remixers.
On 27 May 2021, along with the announcement of Sonic Colors: Ultimate, official media revealed that, for a limited time, those pre-ordering the standard retail physical copies of the game would receive an exclusive Baby Sonic keychain based on the character from the Sonic the Hedgehog film. Those who pre-purchased the Digital Deluxe version of the game on the other hand received the following in-game content:
- Exclusive player icons.
- An ultimate cosmetic pack which lets the player customize Sonic with exclusive gold and silver gloves and shoes, an electric Boost and aura based on those from the Sonic the Hedgehog film, and exclusive player icons (both from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the Sonic the Hedgehog film).
- Three exclusive original game remixes.
During the announcement for Sonic Colors: Ultimate it was also revealed that to promote the release of the game, a two-episode 2D cartoon animated series called Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps would be released in summer 2021. This series featured Sonic and Tails teaming up with a Jade Wisp to save some captured Wisps on Sweet Mountain. Later, in late August 2021, a comic series prequel to Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, titled Sonic Colors Comics, was released on the official Sonic Twitter sites as well.
Much like with Sonic Forces and Team Sonic Racing, a Twitter Takeover event was held by the English voice actors of Sonic, Tails, Eggman, Shadow (despite not appearing in the game), and Yacker answering fan questions on Twitter to promote the release of the game. Unlike in the game, Tails and Yacker are voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey rather than Kate Higgins and Utako Yoshino respectively.
Other promotions included Planet Wisp being added as a location in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, along with two new tracks and a special Event. The Wisps also appeared in Sonic Dash as collectible items for a limited time, in which collecting four of them would grant the player various rewards.
|Nintendo Life||8/10 (Switch)|
|Push Square||6/10 (PS4)|
Sonic Colors: Ultimate has received generally favorable to mixed or average reviews from the critics. Mitchell Saltzman from IGN expressing that the port still holds the original game up as "one of the best modern Sonic games", but remarked that the amount of new stuff added into the port fails to elevate the gaming experience beyond that of the original game apart from the frame rate and resolution upgrade. He also panned the lack of toggle between the original and remixed soundtracks. Mitch Vogel from Nintendo Life praised the not in-depth plot, the inclusion of the Wisps, gameplay variety and the new additions presented in the port, but disliked the little enhancements made to the Nintendo Switch port in terms of performance and graphics as well as the 2.5D sections and the remixed soundtrack. Cristina Alexander from "The Gamer" also praised the additions presented in the port. However, she found the Jade Wisp to be underwhelming. Chris Carter from Destructoid praised the "expansive stages" that some of the Wisps allow in a stage, the gorgeous levels, its replayability and the labyrinthine layout, but criticized the "pushover" and recycled bosses, and the "not-on point" writing.
On the other hand, while certain fans feel that while Sonic Colors: Ultimate stays faithful to the original game, it did not improve the "wooden physics" provided when Sonic is jumping around on a 2D plane found in the original game. In addition, the extra modes and features could not add anything to offset the story or enhance the level design. Fans have also criticized some of the remixes played during the stages and the amount of glitches. Stephen Tailby from Push Square, while in agreement with most of the positive reviews, criticized the "smudgy" cutscenes, several of Sonic's abilities being mapped to the same buttons, frustrating level design at times and the recycled bosses; giving the game a score of 6 out of 10. Ben Clarke from the BBC felt that the remaster has "butchered" the original game's experience for him. He criticized the "incredibly blurry and compressed" cutscenes, the lack of toggling option between the remixed and the original soundtrack, the "disappointing" number of Rival Rushes, the various glitches, the number of game crashes as well as panning the visual issues that happen to stages and objects; making them feel inconsistent with each other.
|Role||English voice actor||Japanese voice actor||French voice actor||Italian voice actor||German voice actor||Spanish voice actor|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||Roger Craig Smith||Jun'ichi Kanemaru||Alexandre Gillet||Renato Novara||Marc Stachel||Ángel de Gracia|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||Kate Higgins||Ryō Hirohashi||Marie-Eugénie Maréchal||Benedetta Ponticelli||Paulina Weiner||Graciela Molina|
|Dr. Eggman||Mike Pollock||Chikao Ōtsuka (archive)||Marc Bretonnière||Aldo Stella||Johannes Oliver Hamm||Francesc Belda|
|Orbot||Kirk Thornton||Mitsuo Iwata||Tony Marot||Massimo Di Benedetto||Romanus Fuhrmann||Albert Vilcan|
|Cubot||Wally Wingert||Wataru Takagi||Benjamin Pascal||Luca Sandri||Matthias Horn||Xadi Mouslemeni Mateu|
|Announcer||Roger Craig Smith||Fumihiko Tachiki||Luc Boulad||Stefano Lucchelli|
- Version 1.0.1 - General bug fixes.
- Version 1.0.2 - General bug fixes.
- Version 1.0.3 - General bug fixes.
- Version 1.0.4 (14 September 2021) - General bug fixes.
- Version 2.6 (22 November 2021) - The update has brought the following changes:
- Improved stability on all platforms.
- Updates to the save-game system.
- Audio mixing improvements.
- Music now loops in credits.
- Update to "Giving Credit Where Credit's Due" trophy/achievement description.
- Nintendo Switch-specific:
- Eggman fireworks now appear at the end of Terminal Velocity.
- Fix for issue where Yellow Drill Wisp could not damage Captain Jelly.
- Various bug fixes
- Version 3.0.0 (15 December 2021) - The update has brought the following changes:
- General bug fixes.
- New free, customizable content for Sonic.
- Burst Shoes
- Burst Gloves
- Fireworks Boost
- Fireworks Aura
- Ultimate remix / Original music soundtrack toggle.
- Full-screen boost blur effect on/off toggle.
- Tails navigation on/off toggle.
- Full-screen movie playback from the Options Satellite.
- Improved visibility for Cyan Wisp targeting line.
- Improved stability on all platforms.
- Updates to specific enemy attack speeds.
- Improved Green Hover Wisp Ring Dash functionality
- Nintendo Switch-specific:
- Improved visibility of Big Chaser attack visual effects.
- For some reason, the music files in the Options Satellite for Tropical Resort Act 2 and 4 remixes are switched.
- For some reason, the music for the Save Select in the original version is still present in this game, despite this version only having one save file.
- For some reason, the music files in the Options Satellite of Starlight Carnival Acts 4 and 6 plays the same music.
- Much like the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Symphony and Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, this game was dedicated to Keisuke Nagai, who was a licensing manager for Sega.
- Despite Colleen O'Shaughnessey and Kotaro Nakamura being the current voices of Tails (in English) and Eggman (in Japanese) respectively, Kate Higgins returns to voice Tails and archives of Chikao Ōtsuka were used for Eggman.
- Sonic Colors: Ultimate is the second Sonic game in the series to be released on Epic Games Store for the PC version, rather than Steam, the first being Sonic Mania.
- The background music used in the debut trailer is "Gotta Go", by Gyom.
- In a piece of promotional artwork announcing pre-orders for the game being live on Nintendo Switch, Tails Doll can be seen within a pile of Wisp plushes.
- The voice clip of the announcer yelling the Jade Ghost Color Power is recycled from Team Sonic Racing.
- However, for unknown reasons, in the French, Italian, German and Spanish dubs, the announcer does not yell the Jade Ghost Color Power.
- Some of the achievement titles are references to various popular culture:
- "Eye of the Hedgehog" is a reference to the Survivor song titled "Eye of the Tiger".
- "Wisp it, Wisp it Good" is a reference to the DEVO song, "Whip It!".
- "What Happens in the Starlight Carnival" is a reference to the slogan "What Happens Here, Stays Here".
- "I Foiled A Plot And I Liked It" is a reference to the Katy Perry song title "I Kissed A Girl".
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