There are a myriad of ways for fans of the Sonic games to get mad. Be it a beloved game is a poor port, the new game doesn’t live up to expectations, or SEGA deciding to screw up what should’ve been a sure-fire hit. In the past few weeks it’s been the latter with the trailer of Sonic Origins and SEGA’s plans for the release of the game.
To get those out of the loop up to speed, Sonic Origins is the current gen ports of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games. However this collection not only includes the first 2 games, but also Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD. This is a reason to be excited because 3 & Knuckles have essentially been locked away for years. While not 100% confirmed it is speculated that the reason being is because Michael Jackson (the former pop star) helped with the music. He left the project early on due to legal issues of his own but some remnants of his music remained (allegedly). Ever since the King of Pop’s passing, SEGA decided to not fight with his estate’s legal team and kept 3 & Knuckles on lockdown after 2011 just to be safe. Sonic CD on the other hand just hasn’t gotten a ton of love. Fans do have a great port done by Sonic Mania’s Christian Whitehead for iOS and Android, but the last time this game was on a console was the GameCube’s Sonic Gems Collection. Now all 4 (or 5 if you count Sonic and Knuckles as a separate game) of the Genesis titles will be in 1 package. So why are fans so mad?
The reason being is because SEGA is starting to nickel and dime fans and it’s quickly biting them in the behind. While the trailer does look amazing and the animation sequences are gorgeous to look at, SEGA also came out with a chart (see below). This chart was supposed to tell fans what they would be getting should the preorder certain editions of the game, but all it did was confuse and outrage fans. SEGA was charging more for DLC that could’ve easily been in the main game with no problems. SEGA was also adding features that are arbitrary and just there to show off that you paid more money than other fans. These special “features” include animations in the menu, looking over different islands in the menu, and some music packs. There are some game modes locked behind a DLC pay wall like Mirror Mode and Hard Missions, but there is no current option to just pay 1 price and unlock everything. Thankfully the animations that were shown off in the trailer are in the base game and aren’t blocked behind a pay wall. However the things that are classified as DLC seem like they should be in the base game already.
One more thing that got fans mad was the lack of a physical copy of the game. It’s no secret that physical games cost quite a bit of money to make in today’s day and age. Last time SEGA had a digital release first was with Sonic Mania but that game gets a pass. It wasn’t developed by SEGA and it sold so well that it warranted a physical release with all the DLC included. Not only that but it also came with an art book and it was still an affordable game. The worst part is that SEGA knows the fans want a physical edition of the game and so far don’t plan to do anything about it. It feels like SEGA is testing the waters first to see if fan reception and sales would warrant a physical release. Looking as to what’s been said on Twitter it seems this strategy has backfired on SEGA.
Fans everywhere (including myself) aren’t really happy with this news. It’s a shame too because the games look like they have been remastered beautifully. The new Anniversary mode where players have unlimited lives is such a good addition and the animations that bridge the story throughout all the games is a great idea. Also being able to play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles throughout ALL the games is a great touch. It’s all this ‘extra’ stuff that SEGA wants to charge for that makes us mad. While the lack of a physical release is a bummer, I can live with a digital only version of the game. What I don’t want to live with, is a DLC pack that includes classic songs from past games that I can easily listen to on YouTube or modes that could’ve been unlocked by beating certain games. I don’t care about character animations in a menu screen and the fact that this ‘feature’ is being touted as DLC is insulting. Hopefully SEGA will rethink some of their DLC packs but with a June 23rd release date it seems unlikely. I do want this game, I want to play these games on modern consoles, but I might wait a bit until I finally purchase the game.