A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game features the franchise's usual "good vs. evil" plot. Sonic is putting the needs of others first, rescuing the Wisps and stopping Dr. Eggman's latest plot to take over the world. There are themes of friendship and teamwork, between Sonic and the Wisps, as the game progresses.
Positive Role Models
Sonic is a positive character, putting the needs of others above his own and working to make his world better. He's a character that fights for those that can't necessarily stand up for themselves, and he does so with a generally upbeat attitude regardless of the obstacles he faces.
Ease of Play
While the mechanics are easy to pick up and play, it's the platforming elements combines with Sonic's inherent speed that make the game difficult. Fast reflexes and precise timing are the key to survival.
Violence & Scariness
There's a bit of cartoonish violence, with Sonic barreling through, knocking over, and otherwise smacking enemies out of his way. There's never any blood or graphic violence though. Enemies simply disappear from the screen after getting defeated and Sonic flashes when injured and respawns when defeated.
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Products & Purchases
The game is part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, which has spawned numerous games, cartoon, toys, collectibles, and even feature films. It's a remake of the original 2010 Sonic Colors game on the Wii. Sonic Colors: Ultimate also supports microtransactions in the form of cosmetic outfits and the like, available for purchase through the online store.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sonic Colors: Ultimate is a fast-paced action/adventure platform game, available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows based PCs. The game's an expanded remake of 2010's Sonic Colors for the Nintendo Wii. As Sonic, players must run, jump, and dodge through stages at high speed on a quest to save captures Wisps and stop the nefarious plans of his longtime villain, Dr. Eggman. There's a good amount of cartoon violence throughout the game, but nothing that's bloody or graphic in nature. The game does support microtransactions, with players able to buy mostly cosmetic items/outfits via the online shop.
Is It Any Good?
For three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog has been blazing a trail for platform gaming that leaves most of the competition behind in his wake. As a part of Sonic's 30th anniversary celebration, Sega has remastered 2010's original Sonic Colors with the release of Sonic Colors: Ultimate. The enhanced visuals and remixed soundtrack do a great job of giving the decade old fan-favorite a modern makeover. Gameplay remains unchanged from the original, though Sonic games have never been known for their complexity. Run, jump, boost, repeat, tends to be the formula. The real difficulty lies in adapting to Sonic's signature speed. The better you play, the more speed Sonic picks up, which in turn makes avoiding obstacles that much more difficult.
While the foundation of most Sonic games might be the same, that hasn't stopped Sonic Colors from building on top of it. Wisps, earned during play, add a few extra tricks to Sonic's arsenal, including the ability to climb walls, turn into a drill, and (with Ultimate's introduction of the Jade Wisp) move through solid objects. This adds an extra layer of exploration and planning as Sonic uses these abilities to not only bypass enemies and obstacles, but also to get to otherwise inaccessible or secret areas. Sonic Colors: Ultimate does include a co-op mode, but it's not immediately available and doesn't have anything to do with the main game. You can't call on a friend like Tails or Knuckles to help beat Dr. Eggman. Instead, co-op is limited to a "Sonic Simulator," where players choose different colored Sonic avatars and race through a separate selection of retro styled stages. It's a bit odd because players can stun or bounce each other around as if it's a competitive race, but the final score and best times are a combined joint effort. The Sonic Simulator isn't actually bad, but it looks and plays so different than the main game that it almost feels like it was tossed in as an afterthought, and a missed opportunity for some better team play.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.