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Sonic Colours Ultimate Megathread


VisionaryofSUPER
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VisionaryofSUPER

Well, since it's out and all. I guess I felt it'd be appropriate for people to document their experiences with the game and all.

Sonic Colours Ultimate recently released as the "definitive" remaster of the original Sonic Colours, for all consoles beyond the PC. The release has been met with a lot of contention and mixed opinions on the state of the actual product itself due to... a variety of issues/glitches/audio bugs/poor performance etc, while still technically functioning enough to get good reviews during the immediate release. And as of now, SEGA are on their way to patch the game...

 

Welp. I bought the game on Switch, just because I wanted to. So far, the experience has been really fun to me. Since my TV is pretty small as is, a lot of the sloppier details don't stick out to me as much. I haven't encountered any major  graphical glitches so far (aside from the Egg Sattlelite's thrusters breaking) so I'll count myself lucky. More annoying has been the constant amount of audio bugs all over the place with the wisps especially, losing their musical tracks, honestly annoying. The new menus are finicky and really cheap to look at too, such as how lame the rival rush pop up looks.

When it comes to the good. Yeah, it's Sonic Colours, a game I've always had a fondness for, and this remaster hasn't really tarnished that experience for me. It's fun to go through the levels at such brisk pace and relive a time when it really felt like Sonic was taking a bold step back into prevalence again. Of course, it's also still Colors; filler levels and all that bog down the pace of the game. (I just beat the first three worlds so far, and am in the middle of S-ranking them.)

When it comes to the new stuff. I do admit I really like the Rainbow homing attack, it does add an extra layer to levels that were stingy with the boost. Though I wish the devs chose a less grating noise when you land it.

The Rival rush is just a good ol' time attack, and that is fun in its own right. Wish it was in more than one world per world, but whatevs.

The Jade Wisp is also really fun, and I can appreciate that it makes use of a lot of the empty space areas in Colour's 2D sections. While it's sloppy on the visual front (it's really clear the levels weren't supposed to account you being in these segments, so there's a lot of pop in) I do think mechanically, it adds some pretty neat depth to the 2D segments when it comes to that Star Ring hunting.

*Sigh* A lot of these new additions aren't bad ideas, but if only there was just a bit more polish on this product. Oh well. Hope the patches address some of the polish part, though I'm not super hopeful.

So, how has your experience been with the game so far?

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Got it on PS4, beat the main campaign and now doing S Ranks and Red Rings.

My thoughts on Sonic Colors haven't changed much in fact playing it again made me appreciate more things about it. I still really like the game and it's still one of my favorites, I like most of the the levels I enjoy most of the wisp usage, I like how big the levels can be in terms of alternative paths to take. A bit too blocky and a bit on the short side overall yeah but nonetheless still a lot of fun.

One thing I do have a lower opinion on is the story/writing though, I remember I used to defend this a lot when it was new but actually sitting down and watching it all again....yeah nah. Granted I'm not angry or cringing while watching it like some people get I'm mostly just bored and not laughing.  Cutscenes where characters stand around and talk with little interesting cinematography are boring. It's very much a story for little kids and not really something I want from the series anymore but it's ultimately harmless for what it is. Unlike a SLW or Forces where they do try and fail colossally. But yeah some cute moments but not for me.

 As a remaster I think it needs work but it's definitely not a DX situation. I can only speak for myself but my time with the gane was glitch free in terms of game play, visually I noticed some pop in but that's about it, I think most of the big problems cone in regards to the audio. Certain sound effects are to quiet or to loud like the homing attack noise, or don't play at all like the Wisps themes or result screen music. This happened to me very consistently and needs to be corrected. Laggy menus, sfx slider NOT BEING TIED WITH THE MUSIC, and the longer load times as well, I feel like these shouldn't be problems to begin with.

Graphically I think the game actually does look pretty good for the most part and the smooth 60fps help with that. It really does come through when playing it on my tv and not seeing it through a YT video. I think Tropical Resort still needs touching up but it's not as much of a dark unlit disaster the worst of the screen shots showed, and yes the bloom needs to be toned down as well.

Rival Rush is cool of horribly cheap in every facet of its presentation, having to find the optimal path through a Colors level is almost like trying to solve a puzzle since level progression is tied to the Wisps and not just boosting and reacting in time, I like that.

Honestly I can see why it reviewed well if all you did was the main campaign. It's not as broken as Sonic Twitter would have you believe, it's definitely perfectly playable but at the same time TONS of work still needs to be done to make it the true definitive version and there's no reason not to demand better or expect a remaster to surpass the original which was near flawless when it came to performance,  loading, audio, visuals etc yet this version has all these little issues 

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VisionaryofSUPER

I'm coming to think the Sonic movie aura is a really cool effect, and I would love if modern Sonic adopted it in the future. I mean, lose the glowing eyes but keep the lighting and maybe even the individual quills.

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Saving a big "full thoughts" post for once I've 100%'d the game, but just a quick one since I felt this deserved more permanence than a status update:

If you accidentally hit the "replay stage" button on the score screen, the game will not save anything you did if you then quit the stage. You have to return to the map screen from the score screen to save any Red Rings/S-Rank/high score you obtained.  This took me by surprise, as if you collect some new red rings, reach the end of the stage, and then hit "replay stage", said red rings will remain collected - but I assume that's temporary too, and they'll be lost if you then quit.  No idea if beating the stage normally is enough to save whatever you achieved on the previous run, though (as in you don't have to recollect/reachieve stuff on that second, accidental run).

It seems fairly intuitive that you have to beat the stage in order to keep what you've collected, but the fact that you MUST then return to the map screen, not so much.  Was pretty annoying since getting S-ranks tends to come down to "collect all the red rings in a single run without any mistakes" on most stages, so I've been doing them in tandem, and I had to do an entire four minute S-rank run over again because I accidentally knocked the right bumper on the score screen, went "whoops, well, I'll just quit out", and upon arriving at the map screen, saw my 0 red rings and B rank re-instated for said stage.

 

EDIT: I've been told this happened in the original game too, which I didn't even consider because for some reason I didn't remember there being a replay stage option in the Wii version. Still, shame it wasn't fixed.

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Sonictrainer
23 minutes ago, JezMM said:

If you accidentally hit the "replay stage" button on the score screen, the game will not save anything you did if you then quit the stage.

This also happens in Game Land.

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VisionaryofSUPER
6 hours ago, JezMM said:

If you accidentally hit the "replay stage" button on the score screen, the game will not save anything you did if you then quit the stage. You have to return to the map screen from the score screen to save any Red Rings/S-Rank/high score you obtained. 

EDIT: I've been told this happened in the original game too, which I didn't even consider because for some reason I didn't remember there being a replay stage option in the Wii version. Still, shame it wasn't fixed.

For whatever reason, this was what I figured would happen if I hit that button. It felt like the function stuck out to me as a remnant of outdated save mechanics of the early 2000s. And so, it resonated with my oldie brain. 

----

So I've been grinding S-ranks, and I really do feel like some of the stories about how you can cheese all the ranks is fairly exaggerated. Yeah, there are definitely stages that you can cheese, but so far, I've found myself really having to push myself with these S-ranks. 

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Okay time for my big thoughts post since I've 100%'d the game now.

Sadly this remake hasn't caused any kind of epiphany for me regarding the original game, but granted I've played it through plenty of times over the years so it's not like I had become unfamiliar with it.  I guess I can say the game is slightly more engaging when you're collecting all the red rings and such, something I haven't done since it came out.  So I probably did have more fun here than I do on the many casual playthroughs done over the years where there's nothing major incentivising me to vary my routes and such.  The Wisps are more engaging to use in this regard than I typically think of them, even if all the same, I'd rather be playing regular daytime Unleashed over neuteured daytime Unleashed with little gimmicky moments sprinkled around.

In the end, I had little issue with the visuals, and often found myself forgetting that the game ever looked any different.  I dig the more atmospheric lighting, though there's definitely a few noticable downgrades here and there such as Sonic's model and wibbly-wobblies in the AI upscaled cut-scenes (though I did find those not as jarring a switch from the in-game graphics as I thought they'd be, at least).  I'm fortunate to have a high-end PC, and had no performance issues whatsoever, game ran smooth as butter 100% of the time (which like, you'd hope, considering the same is true of Generations and Forces on this PC, including running graphically intensive mods like the Unleashed Project).

Of course, the biggest downgrade is sound-wise.  The audio-mixing is just atrocious, with both glitches and seemingly deliberate terrible choices like the extremely loud perfect homing attack sfx and sfx in general being very happy to drown out the music completely when there's a lot of them in a row.  I enjoy the remixes, although I kind of wish they were all as substantial as the vocal themes, boss themes, Planet Wisp and Aquarium Park.  The rest are fine, just unremarkable - and much like how there was a bit of inconsistency in the original soundtrack (Planet Wisp and Sweet Mountain not quite matching the other zones in terms of Act 1 / Act 2 / Act 3 musical styles), there's an inconsistency here too.  Metal Sonic's music gets points for being an original theme instead of another Stardust Speedway retread, but unfortunately it's a little forgettable, and I lament the missed opportunity for them to give us a home console quality version of the special stage theme from the DS version here.  Finally, there's the issue that the remixes, while enjoyable, do not quite match the original game and perhaps would've been better as an unlockable thing, with the original soundtrack being used for the initial playthrough.  It's a shame that this will be some people's first impression of the game, rather than the original intention for the music.

The rest of the changes don't really mean too much.  The Tails saves are so abundant that I never ran out of them, so they might as well have been as infinite as the regular lives.  Since falling from dying is the easiest mistake to make, it is kinda nice to only lose time from it now instead of rings and wisps too.  I liked having a collectable that replaces lives in the park tokens, but unlocking all the cosmetics was just an arbitrary task to complete for the sake of 100% completion for me.  In the end the only cosmetics I used were Movie Sonic's boost and the chrome red shoes for Sonic.  Everything else just looked kinda tacky and messy to me.  On the subject of Park Tokens though, not being able to keep any you collect during Egg Shuttle is a really crappy decision.  The Metal Sonic races are decent, though the lack of interaction does kinda make me wish they had just added a time trial mode with par times for EVERY stage as an extra challenge for all those who enjoy a Sonic game where S-ranking a stage is way more about speed than figuring out the optimal route for points gain under the game's rules and setup.

So yeah, overall I don't think this is the disaster of a port on SADX levels.  If they can just fix the audio issues, including adding some features to make the soundtrack changes optional, I could call this a solid port on par with the original.  I can certainly see it replacing the original release for me.

 

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Ryannumber1Scarer

A random tidbit I discovered on the Cutting Room Floor - there's placeholders in the files for Steam Achievements, meaning the PC version was far enough in development to get to the achievements section, before going EGS exclusive. 

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EGS exclusives are usually timed, so it's probably easier to develop the Steam stuff now (especially as other platforms have achievements anyway) so they can just activate it on Steam next year.

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VisionaryofSUPER

So I am moving steadily. Just S-ranked Aquarium Park. Boy there were a lot of tough stages there when it came to the S-ranking, such as Act 2. But the Sweet Spot technique really comes in handy for these kinds of stage that limit boost. I also gotta say, AP chugs the framerate badly, yet another example of this port's problems, along with the excessive audio cutting out when using the drill underwater.

I am having great fun with the game as is, and even the new additions, but the quality of the presentation is still unacceptable.

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Blue Blood
1 hour ago, Cube said:

EGS exclusives are usually timed, so it's probably easier to develop the Steam stuff now (especially as other platforms have achievements anyway) so they can just activate it on Steam next year.

It's not quite that situation though. The game was very likely not supposed to be an EGS exclusive (timed out otherwise) until the eleventh hour. When the game was announced and the website went live, it was listed for Steam with no mention of the EGS for a least a few hours, maybe even a few days. Had this game launched/been announced in 2020 like it was originally supposed to be, it might not have been in EGS at all. Epic heart threw money at SEGA to make it an exclusive,which is pretty standard practice for them.

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LegoFedora

Base PS4 version here, I really liked it! I am not a graphics person by any means, 60 fps and 30 fps are all the same to me, so some flickering textures mean nothing unless specifically pointed out to me. Keep that in mind ig. It feels a bit rough around the edges, but I didn't run into any major glitches or anything (the only music one was the lack of Metal Sonic music when selecting rival rush). Tails Assist placed me backwards on a rail once, but nothing that jumping and holding back didn't solve. Game plays as well as it did on the wii, game looks pretty good. Was just as fun as I remember it being as a kid, even though Terminal Velocity is annoying. I have no idea how to dodge the crab/snail punch things reliably.

The customization was fun to mess with, but you get park tokens so rarely that it takes awhile to save up for even a pair of shoes. Rival Rushes are weird, most of them give 60 tokens but one of them (I think it was starlight carnival's?) gave me 150. I wish there was an easy method to farm them, even if it involved replaying the same rival rush on repeat but oh well.

Red rings are still fun, only have about 100 of them though. Some are a bit more annoying to get, I swear the hover wisp doesn't follow ring trails nearly as reliably as it used to. The new red ring locations with the jade wisps are meh. Most of them just involve hitting a button from what I've seen. I wish there was a puzzle of sort for one of them using the jade wisp's ability to latch onto targets to get through it but oh well. Still working on 100%ing it, but so far it's pretty fine as for as collecting goes.

Remixed music is fine, nothing remarkable (absolutely hate Planet Wisp's remix though. Tempted to disable that dlc just so I don't have to hear it ever again). Music never really sticks out to me in a game, it's always in one ear out the other. Going off that basis, the music was fine since it was never bad enough for me to notice it was there (except again, Planet Wisp's remixes being the exception).

Is this the absolute best remaster possible? No, especially after people are discovering the cut content. But it's a pretty good version of Colors, especially for younger kids who may not even notice the small graphical glitches sprinkled throughout. I'd say it was worth the $40 to be able to play one of my favorite childhood games on modern systems now. And at the very least we finally have a boost game that isn't Forces on modern systems, that alone is a plus in my book.

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VisionaryofSUPER

I finally beat the game 100%. All the S-ranks, all the red rings, all the achievements, and all the cosmetics.

This has been great fun. I'd have loved to have actually experienced playing Colors on the Wii back when it came out get the initial rush of "Sonic is good again" vibes, because even to this day, the game still oozes a lot of that charm in just its dedication to scope on the Wii hardware, as well as the ingenuity of the level aesthetics. The story has, and never will be anything to write home about, but I gotta say I just love how the levels look.

When it comes to the changes of this remaster; a lot feels like a rough draft of better ideas. Now, I'm not gonna judge the visuals much since the Switch version has been so ridiculously gimped on that front. The direction the artists did to try and revamp the levels is fine, just different from the original, but the bloom is excessive on any version; future updates should really turn that shit down.

I will remark the amount of visual glitches I've had has been far from acceptable, but I think you all know that story. This happens the most when I am restarting levels rather than my first run-throughs where geometry will bug out once I've restarted enough. Another reset usually fixes that, but still. Unacceptable.

Other changes that feel first drafty are the additions of the Jade Wisp and the Rival Rush. I do like the Jade when I use her, but the application is just kind of limited to these segments. Honestly though, if expanded upon, Jade could have served as a better hover wisp without needing to remove the light speed dash from Sonic. But her time limit doesn't last long enough, and she's restricted in how far you can take her. Oh well.

Rival rush is a fine time attack mode with a really cheap presentation. Fuck off with those pngs and terrible html5 menus in the beginning and end. Otherwise, it's a good mode that feels it could have been expanded into more stages, and maybe even included more interactive elements. But that was probably out of the scope of this remaster.

The cosmetics are fine. I actually like more than a few of the color combos, and the different boosts and auras are pretty nice. But they just don't make much of an impact, and I wish they at least had something like hats and shirts for Sonic to make more of a noticeable change on him. But again, out of the scope of this remaster I bet. Those icons are worthless though.

Overall, I had a good time playing the remaster on my Switch, and didn't have as many frustrations and bugs as I could have experienced. But the stuff I did experience was too much, when a playthrough of the game on Wii runs flawlessly. And those load times are fucking unacceptable for a game already running lower quality assets to slap it on the Switch.

So then, here's hoping for patches to clean this thing up. SEGA had better shell out the dough for fixing this thing up if they expect this to sell in the long run.

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So I found the game pretty meh-ok tbh. It’s alright, but certainly nowhere near as fun for me as something like Sonic Unleashed or especially Generations. It’s better than forces I’ll say that much, but not really a hard bar to pass. Just about everything about Colors Ultimate feels like a lesser version of something from other boost games outside forces. The controls feel a bit floaty and precision feels much more unreliable in this game as a result, especially with the level design that sometimes throws small platforms requiring tight precise your way. There’s some occasional bullshit enemy design and placement, the wisps sometimes feel very glitchy/finicky (spikes and rocket idk how are less enjoyable than the generations versions), and fuck half the bosses here. Asteroid coasters gets a notable middle finger from me. Overall, I’ll probably continue playing as I attempt to S-rank this game, but tbh, playing this just made me want to play Generations. I didn’t have a terrible time (though the bugs at points certainly tried my patience), but I’ll probably shelve this in the next month or so. 

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So, from what I can tell for Colors Ultimate:

Switch - Worst version. Performs worse than Wii version and, while the seizure bugs were fixed, he jumps lower in that version. 

PS4 Version - Same general graphical glitches as Switch, and unsure if this is an issue on PS5 only, but can crash and corrupt your save file. If its on PS4 also, you have to be care and backup your saves. Also, PS4 Pro version only runs at 1440p max and Base PS4 has framerate issues.

Xbox - Base X1 has frame rate issues, but One X, Series S, and Series X run great. Series X (And possibly S) has the fewest graphical issues and SX runs at a full 4K 60 FPS. Also no corrupted save issues that I'm aware of.

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CertifiedNobody

Sonic Colors Ultimate  is updating on my Xbox One with an 8 GB update, anyone know what that's about? I haven't seen any info on a new patch.

On 9/18/2021 at 10:42 PM, PSI Wind said:

So, from what I can tell for Colors Ultimate:

Switch - Worst version. Performs worse than Wii version and, while the seizure bugs were fixed, he jumps lower in that version. 

PS4 Version - Same general graphical glitches as Switch, and unsure if this is an issue on PS5 only, but can crash and corrupt your save file. If its on PS4 also, you have to be care and backup your saves. Also, PS4 Pro version only runs at 1440p max and Base PS4 has framerate issues.

Xbox - Base X1 has frame rate issues, but One X, Series S, and Series X run great. Series X (And possibly S) has the fewest graphical issues and SX runs at a full 4K 60 FPS. Also no corrupted save issues that I'm aware of.

How does the PC version compare?

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1 hour ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Sonic Colors Ultimate  is updating on my Xbox One with an 8 GB update, anyone know what that's about? I haven't seen any info on a new patch.

How does the PC version compare?

I wouldn't know, haven't played it. However, it got an update prior to the consoles that fixed a few things that would hinder performance from what I heard. Also fixed the boost gauge having an empty section

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The missing Wisp music bug appears to have been fixed on Xbox, but the starting animation for Starlight Carnival Act 3 and Sonic's buggy eyelids haven't been fixed yet. 

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14 hours ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Sonic Colors Ultimate  is updating on my Xbox One with an 8 GB update, anyone know what that's about? I haven't seen any info on a new patch.

How does the PC version compare?

Seems to be as stable as PS5 from my experience (for a point of reference, I'm on a beefy PC capable of playing VR games not at HIGHEST visual fidelity but above average - all existing modern 3D Sonic games run flawlessly on it).  Worth mentioning that Colours has next to no graphical settings to select from in-game so there's not much you can do if you're on a low-spec machine other than turn the resolution down and turn V-Sync off (that's literally it).  Having said that, the menus do support the mouse which is unusual for a quick n' dirty console port, so there's that.

Beyond that, all the "standard" lack of polish elements are present - the glitched out Starlight Carnival Act 3 intro, Sonic's sticky eyelids, incorrectly applied map screen animations, etc.  Audio left/right balance and mixing issues.

The only thing from my own experience different in the PC version that I never see in console footage is a unique glitch where the "COLOUR BONUS" points notification glitches out and will display whatever the last recieved bonus was elsewhere in the level instead. So you'll be drilling around and it'll be saying "CHECKPOINT BONUS" over and over again, or "QUICK STEP BONUS" if that was the last thing you did, etc.

I've also never seen the screen where Metal Sonic challenges you and it asks if you want to accept - I'm not sure when the screen is meant to occur, but unlocking a Rival Rush simply tells you you've uncovered the secret location of this zone's rival rush, and pushing the button to begin Rival Rush goes straight into the "VS" intro screen and the race begins.  I'm guessing this is also where the slower-paced "Rival Rush" song plays (as oppose to "Rival Rush - VS Metal Sonic"), because I've never heard it in game.

Like many modern games (this is still a novelty to me for whatever reason) it also supports quick switching between controller and keyboard controls if you push one or the other. Did cause me issues once where I accidentally hit a keyboard key when heading into Game Land and it refused to let me select "1 Player" because it deemed two controllers to be active.  Not that I know what the hell 1.5 Player even is after all these years lol.

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The nice thing about the PC version though is you can put the left and right D-Pad on the bumpers, thus putting the Quick Step on the bumpers as well.

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So I don’t really engage with the Arin hate on Twitter, but lol holy shit he’s actually getting mad because the games not shit, and he’s kinda revealing his intentions with these games?

 

 

 

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Is he not aware the major glitches were patched out already? Im sure he mustve heard of by now like cmon

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Ryannumber1Scarer
24 minutes ago, KHCast said:

So I don’t really engage with the Arin hate on Twitter, but lol holy shit he’s actually getting mad because the games not shit, and he’s kinda revealing his intentions with these games?

 

 

 

I sincerely hope SEGA stop trying to appeal to him, it's still genuinely baffling to me they wasted so much time, money and effort to get Arin on board as their big influencer when he literally has such a level of contempt for this series that he can't stand it when the game 'isn't' breaking.

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Dr. Detective Mike

I merely waited a few weeks before playing it today. There's some minor lag occassionally but other than that, no problems.

Well, other then the problems I already have with Colors as a game. I doubt this'll tide me over until Rangers or whatever it's called but there is some neat stuff here. The game at least looks good. Customization seemed a bit pointless as far as gloves and shoes for me since Sonic always feels so far away but doing it with his boost aura was a good move.

Other then that, it feels like the same game. Good first acts followed by acts where you stand on a switch and slowly wait for platforms or lasers to slowly rotate or make their way down. The majority of the game being 2D means it feels like Sonic is hugging the wall of this place rather then exploring it to me.

Then of course there's how little happens in the game. 

Hopefully Rangers will be more 3D as was speculated and it'll at least feel like a big adventure again. 

I really wish I could play as Tails too. I'd be over the moon about that.

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https://www.pcinvasion.com/sonic-colors-ultimate-review/

Quote

While Sonic Colors: Ultimate allows resolution up to 4K and an uncapped framerate, that’s about your lot. There are no options for antialiasing, textures, or shadows. You get the choice of window type, resolution, brightness, and whether you want V-Sync on or off.

I should have seen this weeks ago but no graphical options for a PC game in 2021 is pathetic.

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