Review – Sonic Colors: Ultimate

I consider myself to be a very tolerant person when it comes to enjoying 3D Sonic games. Yes, I know that they are not the best games in the franchise and that 2D Sonic will always reign supreme, but I actually like a good chunk of these divisive entries. I did enjoy Sonic Forces, unlike pretty much the rest of the population of Earth, and I actually find Sonic Lost World to be a somewhat underrated (albeit hella janky) gem of a game. Hell, even Sonic Unleashed was a bit of fun… with the right mindset. Sonic Colors: Ultimate, Sega’s way to celebrate their main mascot’s 30th anniversary, on the other hand, is just inexcusably bad.

Sonic Colors Framerate

Sonic Colors: Ultimate suffers from an inexcusable amount of framerate issues.

Sonic Colors is considered one of the better 3D Sonic games out there, and rightfully so. It had some of the best level designs and controls from that franchise’s era, featuring a nice mix between 3D and 2D sections in each level, and a camera that was there to help you, not annoy you. There was also a neat little gimmick with the aliens you can find throughout each level, which give you temporary power-ups like a lightning-fast speed dash or a drill. In theory, everything that was good in the original Sonic Colors is here… but worse.

The main problem lies in how unfinished this remaster feels when it comes to its porting, but there are also some brand new additions that certainly did not win me over. The brand new mode where you basically race against Metal Sonic in predetermined levels feels rushed and uninspired (yes, I’m going to say “rushed” and “unfinished” a lot during this review, so put your seat belts on). There is a new power-up that allows you to clip through walls like a ghost. Sonic has a brand new model, who looks way more modern than the one that shows up during the game’s untouched cutscenes. Finally, you can spend tokens on cosmetic accessories for Sonic, such as new shows and auras. I like the implementation of the latter, even if it’s skin deep.

Sonic Colors Cutscenes

The cutscenes weren’t upscaled, and they still feature the older Sonic model featured in the original Wii version. The better looking one.

We’ve all seen how poorly Sonic Colors: Ultimate ran on the Switch prior to launch. While it does run a LOT better on an Xbox, targeting 60fps and not featuring glitches that looked more like a bad LSD trip, that doesn’t mean this is a good port of the Wii original. On the contrary, this remaster screams “Sega hired us to remaster this game, but gave us half the necessary time needed for us to release it without glitches”. The amount of technical problems scattered throughout this version of Sonic Colors: Ultimate is immense.


Sadly, you cannot buy the Gamer hat from Sonic Forces.

The game does run at 60fps at times, but it suffers from some terrible frame stutters which ruin any kind of sensation of speed it was supposed to provide during its faster sections. In fact, the framerate even freezes for a few milliseconds whenever you highlight a new option on the pause menu, and I legitimately do not remember the last time I’ve seen that in a higher-budgeted game. Not even Cyberpunk 2077 suffered from that! The game also crashed twice and would occasionally run on mute for no particular reason. The (average at best) soundtrack would occasionally vanish at times, whilst the sound effects would either vanish or be played with some severe delays during other sections. I almost want to believe this is some sick joke to prove us that Sonic is so fast that not even his sound effects can keep up with him.

Level Design

This is the only level that looks somewhat impressive for today’s standards. Too bad the sound effects ceased to exist while I was in it.

I want to believe that Sonic Colors: Ultimate was released in such an incomplete state out of an unrealistic deadline mandated by Sega. I really want to believe that the same studio that helped deliver Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and Bioshock: The Collection needed a bit more time to fix the tons of bugs present in this underwhelming “remaster”. As it stands, Sonic Colors: Ultimate might possibly be one of the most embarrassing releases in Sonic‘s already uneven history, and one depressing way to celebrate the mascot’s 30th anniversary. If you really want to play it, try to grab a copy of the Wii version. It is still the best one out there, despite its age.


Graphics: 5.5

Multiple framerate issues and uneven lighting effects tarnish what was once considered to be one of the best looking Sonic games ever made.

Gameplay: 6.0

If you can put up with the numerous framerate issues, which ruin its overall sensation of speed and pinpoint precision, Sonic Colors: Ultimate features simple controls. Sadly, its issues are way too glaring to be ignored.

Sound: 4.0

The soundtrack is not as good as the Sonic Adventure games, but it’s still quite decent. The voice acting is not as bad as other Sonic games. With that being said, this game’s sound department is beyond glitched, with sound effects and even the music randomly disappearing for no particular reason.

Fun Factor: 5.0

Sonic Colors is a great game… if you play it on the Wii. Sonic Colors: Ultimate on the other hand, is a massively rushed job which suffers from a myriad of unforgivable bugs.

Final Verdict: 5.5

Sonic Colors: Ultimate is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.