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.