The Gaming Landscape
Some things in the gaming landscape will remain true. Activision will make billions by releasing only one game a year, Nintendo will announce whatever they want whenever they want(damn all the “leaks” and rumors), and it’s going to be even more difficult to get your hands on a new console.
But, one other truth to the world of gaming is the old saying, “release it now, patch it later.” Yes, regardless of what the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, has to say about how a delayed game will be eventually good, developers and publishers will still release an unfinished product.
From Live-Service MMO’s to Cyberpunk 2077, The gaming industry is one of the only places where you can release an unfinished product and not have to worry about the consequences.
If anyone knows that better, it’s SEGA. Just look at how they treated their beloved mascot for years. From the legendarily bad Sonic ‘06 to the infamously horrible Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, we’ve seen SEGA treat its iconic hero with the same respect as a neglectful father to their unwanted child. Even when things seem to be looking good for the old Hedgehog, SEGA has to get drunk and throw the bottle towards their mascot.
For a more recent example, look at what they would do to Sonic’s most beloved 3D Adventure, Sonic Colors. Released in 2010 on the Wii, Sonic Colors was the first 3D Sonic game since his Dreamcast days to win over the respect of both fans and critics. So, with the Blue Boy’s 30th anniversary this year, SEGA decided to re-release this critical darling on modern consoles in Sonic Colors Ultimate. Promising improved visuals and new features, Sonic Colors Ultimate was one of the fall’s more anticipated releases… but then fans got their hands on it.
Sonic Colors Ultimate
Regardless of which version you buy it on, Sonic Colors Ultimate is yet another example of the “release it now, patch it later “ slogan.
The “Ultimate“ Edition of Colors has had reports of some glitches on the PS4 and Xbox One, with the former having reports
of corrupt saved data.
While the glitches in Sonic Colors Ultimate don’t make it unplayable on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, no one should have to lose their save file for whatever reason.
But none of that compares to the Switch version, which is one of the most broken games I’ve seen in years. Sonic Colors is a Wii game with HD graphics on a system on par with the Xbox 360 and PS3. There’s no excuse as to why this version runs the way it does. When using any of the Wisps, the game’s will drop to around the ’20s. None of this was in the original Wii version, which managed to retain a 30 FPS at all times.
Additionally, the game seems to take longer to load levels than the original Wii version by a whole 10 seconds. Again, this is a system that is vastly superior to the Wii in every way. Finally, several visual glitches will require you to either restart the level or close the game entirely. You can see it all in the video but watch at your own risk, especially if you have Epilepsy.
A Game that Needs Improvement
How Sonic Colors Ultimate even released something like this isn’t surprising, but you still have to wonder how? How can a game from a decade ago run worse on more powerful hardware? Aside from adding a new wisp and some new cosmetics, all that was here was just HD visuals. Even Sonic Forces managed to run better on the Switch, and that’s a game from 4 years ago, built from the ground up.
How long are we going to tolerate this? If developers can’t make a game run because the publisher wants it on the deadline, maybe don’t ask so much from them. SEGA had just one job, and they blew it. Yes, it’s very playable on the PS4 and Xbox One, but that’s not the point. All platforms should be playable; there’s no excuse. But, that’s sadly becoming the standard in this industry. Sure, you can’t catch every bug, but at least you should catch one so big and obvious as flickering lights.
Sonic Colors Ultimate is just another example of how even your heroes can let you down.