Sonic Colors: Ultimate Review - Color Me Indifferent




Sonic Colors: Ultimate


Sonic Team



Reviewed On
Also On

Xbox One, PC, Switch


3D Platformer



Review copy provided by the publisher

By Sam Woods

September 2, 2021

Sonic the Hedgehog has a storied history. A history that has split the opinion of gamers for many, many years.

I myself grew up with Nintendo consoles, however, always had a good time when playing Sonic titles. Whether that was around my friend’s houses, via Xbox Live Arcade or however else I may have consumed it.

My penchant for 3D Mario games though meant my time with Sonic was limited and the most recent 3D Sonic title I’d played was Sonic Heroes on my GameCube, so when the opportunity to check out Sonic Colors: Ultimate popped up, I was intrigued to see how far the Blue Blur had come.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate – Gameplay Video

Sonic Colors: Ultimate – Gameplay Video

Eggman Strikes Again

If you play Sonic games, it’s unlikely you play them for the deep story and lore and more for a fast-paced adventure but that doesn’t stop Sonic Colors: Ultimate from trying.

Dr Robotnik is up to his old tricks again, this time out capturing a breed of aliens called “Wisps” and enslaving them in his giant amusement park. His giant amusement park that he’s built way up in space.

While the story isn’t exactly gripping, it allows Sonic Colors some creativity in both the setting and gameplay, with the interplanetary amusements offering an interesting locale and the wisps presenting some changes to the usual Sonic formula.

Colorful By Name, Colorful By Nature

Each environment and area looks really good.

It’s safe to say that Sonic Colors: Ultimate lives up to its name.

Each environment and area looks really good. Bright vibrant colours whizz by as you rip along each one of the game’s many levels and it’s certainly a treat for the eyes (and the ears too) – at least in the gameplay sections.

On the other side of the coin, it’s fair to say that the cutscenes haven’t aged particularly well and some of the models and animations could definitely have done with a little more love.

Gotta Go Fast

Let’s start with my favourite parts of the gameplay.

The levels are designed pretty well and there’s a nice variety in them, ranging from some slightly more puzzle-focused levels to speed-based ones to some that are loaded with enemies and more.

Balance and variety are key and Sonic Colors: Ultimate mostly does this with some clever twists and turns along the way. While understandably some may have issues with the switching between 2.5D and 3D, for me, the novelty didn’t really wear thin and it kept me on my toes.

There’s also plenty to do for completionists, with lots of collectables and differing paths across each and every stage.

For the most part, I also enjoyed the length of the levels, with most ranging somewhere between two and six minutes, providing you don’t keep dying. But therein lies the problem.

Controlling Sonic at times was frustrating.

While Sonic Colors: Ultimate is generous with the checkpoints, some of the levels just felt unnecessarily challenging and I perished over and over again. The same can be said for one or two of the bosses which would throw a quick one-two punch, costing you your rings and then life and forcing you to start again.

It also doesn’t help that as I said, I’m more of a Mario fan, but controlling Sonic at times was frustrating. The titular blue hedgehog often felt too floaty and I’d overshoot or undershoot a platform that I was supposed to land on and fall to my death. I understand that Sonic fans are probably used to this, but as somebody who has only dabbled, this was really frustrating.

I also found that the Wisps didn’t particularly add anything to the game. While they allowed Sonic Colors: Ultimate to incorporate a range of different mechanics and puzzles, they often slowed down the pace, something that Sonic games should really strive to achieve.

Overall, for Sonic purists there’s undoubtedly a great time to be had with Sonic Colors: Ultimate. For those who are more fairweather Sonic fans or are looking for a new adventure to dive into, the game might be a little more of a challenge to enjoy.

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Sam Woods

Sam is the Managing Editor at DualShockers. He's been playing video games for as long as he can remember and you can regularly find him on his Nintendo Switch. When he's not playing games, he'll no doubt be suffering watching his beloved Ipswich Town.

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