Update [Wed 13th Jul, 2022 09:30 BST]: Modder Xanman has taken to Twitter saying that his original comments — specifically “It’s become way clearer that this game is absolute s***” — was “a huge exaggeration on my part”.
Linking to VGC’s coverage of his comments, he goes on to say “Origins is fine imo. It does what it set out to do, has some issues, but nothing that really affects the game”.
Original Story [Tue 12th Jul, 2022 10:45 BST]: While Sonic Origins offers a convenient way to play the hedgehog’s most celebrated 16-bit outings on modern consoles, many veterans fans haven’t been satisfied with the quality of the versions included in the collection. The game boasts various enhancements such as widescreen support and new gameplay modes, but also introduces errors, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and behaviours that some die-hard Sonic fans aren’t happy about.
The latest dissatisfied voice from the Sonic fan community is that of Xanman, creator of BetterOrigins, a mod for the PC version of the game which aimed to fix various errors and improve the overall quality (thanks, TheGamer).
However, having gone through the game’s files, Xanman has decided to halt work on the mod entirely. “Hey, so we decided to stop the development of this project,” Xanman wrote on the mod’s GameBanana page:
“After really digging into the files for this game, it’s become way clearer that this game is absolute s***. We’ve fixed enough where the game is a bit more serviceable but really, especially without scripts, there’s not a whole lot we can ‘fix’ without just redoing sprites.”
“MAYBE I’ll come back to this in the future, when script editing becomes a thing. But for now, screw this game.”
It’s not just the fan community that has voiced its dissatisfaction with the final product. Headcannon’s Simon Thornley, who worked on the Sonic 3 & Knuckles part of the collection, took to Twitter recently to voice his frustrations, and also provide partial explanations as to how these issues arose.
For a better idea of the types of issues the BetterOrigins mod fixed, here’s a list of patch notes from Update 1.5 as per the mod’s GameBanana Updates page:
Adjustment – Sonic 1 Palette issues have been fixed
Improvement – CD’s title screen has been cleaned up and use the full resolution beta assets as a base
Bugfix – Sonic 2 bosses actually flash properly
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Life icons are accurate
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Elemental Shields use correct sprites
Bugfix – Sonic 2 – Fixes a color error in some of Tails’ sprites having incorrect transparent pixels
Bugfix – Sonic 2 – Fixes a color error in some of Knuckles’ sprites making the black a dark green
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Sprites from S3 use S1 blacks
Improvement – Sonic 2 – Eggman’s sprites have been corrected
Bugfix – Sonic 2 – Monitors don’t have 2 grey pixels on their screens anymore
Improvement – Casino Night flippers are corrected
Improvement – Casino Night star blocks have been corrected
Improvement – Casino Night visuals are fixed (it was very broken)
Bugfix – Metropolis has proper palette cycle
Improvement – Wing Fortress has proper transparency
Bugfix – All Wing Fortress tiles use their proper palette
Improvement – The Wing Fortress threadmill use its original palette
Improvement – Oil Ocean’s palette cycle is correct
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Life text & HUD was touched up
Improvement – Sonic 2 – Spinning signpost frames now all use full color range
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Spinning signpost frames properly use S2 signposts as a base
Adjustment – Sonic 2 – Monitors’ bottom part is the same on both sides
Adjustment – Casino Night’s colored bumpers don’t flash anymore
Addition – Oil Ocean now use purple instead of green
Improvement – Oil Ocean oil is properly affected by gravity (it doesn’t go up anymore smh)
Improvement – Metropolis has more logical palette on some tiles
Improvement – Death Egg Robot looks slightly more like the original
Addition – Ending now has a limited palette
Bugfix – The Carnival Night barrel’s green pixels has been fixed
We called the game “a fine collection for new fans, less so for the hardcore Sonic crowd” in our 7/10 review of the Switch version. While it functions well enough for more casual fans just dipping their toe into Sonic’s original 16-bit catalogue, it’s clear that many believe these vintage platformers deserved more care and attention — especially with these being the nominal ‘ultimate’ versions of the games, according to Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka.
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