7 Sonic Games that should be remastered for the Nintendo Switch
By: Tobin Carlberg | November 14, 2022
The blue blur has seen a tremendous surge in popularity after the recent release of Sonic Frontiers, two widely successful movies, and a brand new show coming to Netflix this December. For us Sonic fans, this means there’s a greater chance that Sega could bring back some older cult classics to the Nintendo Switch. Currently, there are only six Sonic titles on the console — our boy deserves better! Here are a few Sonic games that we think should be added to the Switch catalog.
FYI: We understand that there are many fan favorites hidden deep in the Sonic archives, like Sonic Pinball Party and Knuckles' Chaotix to name a few, but we’re going to stick to the games that we believe could really benefit from a remaster on the Switch.
(Image Credit: Sonic Team, Traveller’s Tales)
Originally released on the Sega Saturn in 1997, Sonic R is an experimental racing game that set the tone for Sonic’s future in 3D. In Sonic R, instead of competing with race cars, Sonic and friends run to the finish line on foot, with each character having their own unique moves and abilities. Not to mention, the game's theme song is super catchy!
While Sonic R only has five courses, the exploration makes it more replayable. But there’s no sugarcoating the fact that this game is hard to control — turning is frustrating and you’ll find yourself running into walls constantly. The nice thing is that you can use the 3D environment to your advantage! Incorporating 3D elements lets you take shortcuts for faster race times, and it will also help you find all the secret collectibles scattered around the world. By winning first place in each world and grabbing all the chaos emeralds and coins throughout the map, you can unlock fun bonus characters like Metal Sonic, Dr. Egg Robo, and the infamously cursed Tails Doll.
Even though the turning mechanics may feel stiff and outdated, the clunkiness is what gives Sonic R its charm. With all of its different game modes, including the time trials, a balloon collectathon, and most notably a tag mode where you have to tap each player to win, we could see this being a meme-worthy adventure if it were ported to Nintendo Switch as an online multiplayer experience.
(Image Credit: Sonic Team, Now Production)
While Sonic R paved the way for the hedgehog’s initial 3D experience, Sonic Adventure was Sega’s true transition to the third dimension, with full open worlds to explore, and an extensive voice cast for Sonic and his friends. And while the original 2D games showed glimpses of Sonic’s sass by having him glare at the screen and tap his foot impatiently until you started moving again, Sonic Adventure established the hedgehog’s personality in a way we hadn’t seen before. With his sarcastic, edgy quips and energetic spirit, he showed fans that his quick wit could match his lightning-fast speed.
But that’s not all Sonic Adventure introduced — we got a ton of new storylines through the perspective of six playable characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, a robot named E-102 Gamma, and even Big the Cat. Each storyline would lead you into an open world full of hidden shortcuts and special upgrades to find. On top of that, Sonic’s signature spin dash made a comeback from the original games and proved to be especially helpful in a 3D format. By using the spin dash, Sonic can quickly accelerate to access shortcuts and unlock new pathways throughout the game.
Above all, Sonic Adventure gave a sense of freedom and openness that hadn’t been explored yet in a Sonic game, which is why this classic deserves a remaster to smooth out the art style, graphics, and controls. We’re sure the original Dreamcast and GameCube players would love to revisit this game with a fresh coat of paint.
Sonic Adventure 2
(Image Credit: Sonic Team, Sega, Sega Studio USA)
Sonic Adventure 2 ramped up the stakes with its more linear and fast-paced level design. From the opening cutscene, it’s a non-stop rollercoaster ride. To put it into perspective, the first level has you control Sonic as he’s on the run from the government. He’s being held captive in a helicopter for a crime he’s wrongfully accused of, so to break free, Sonic rips off a piece of the helicopter and turns it into a makeshift snowboard, jumps out of the copter, and slides down the steep roads of the San Francisco-inspired “City Escape'' level. Yes, the story is as absurd as it sounds.
Compared to the first game, Sonic Adventure 2 feels much grander in scale (Eggman literally blows up part of the moon and threatens to destroy the earth), which sets up some exciting set pieces in each level. This game also introduces Shadow, giving Sonic a more menacing and edgier rival. He’s Sonic’s equal in speed and power — but his personality is quite the opposite, with his brooding and deep-toned monologues, ruthless killer instinct, and vengeful-looking glare.
Shadow the Hedgehog
(Image Credit: Sega Studio USA)
After the success of Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow quickly became a fan-favorite. Sega’s 2005 spinoff featured the antihero in his own title, with a much different approach than other games in the franchise. This time around, they wanted to make sure it featured a darker tone, arming Shadow with assault rifles and vehicles to drive, as well as having him spew mildly-edgy curse words throughout the game.
Despite the overly ambitious punk aesthetic and the clear use of dramatic, Michael Bay-inspired action that’s pulled straight from the early 2000s, Shadow the Hedgehog is still a pretty fun game. It offers a variety of weapons to keep the gameplay from getting stale, with the option to equip guns, swords, canons, lasers, and lock-on weapons. One of the highlights is a special weapon called an Egg Vacuum, where you can suck up several enemies until your gun straight-up explodes. Ultimately, it plays like a third-person shooter, mixed with the speed and gameplay mechanics we have all come to expect from a Sonic game.
Unfortunately, the game as a whole is poorly structured. There are three different types of storylines that you can choose from, including a good, neutral, and evil path. Each playthrough has six stages, but here’s the catch — you have to play the game 10 times over just to unlock the “true ending”. This can get really tedious! So if this game was going to get a remake for the Nintendo Switch, we would recommend condensing it into one cohesive story to avoid the monotony.
(Image Credit: Sonic Team, Sega)
Sonic Heroes switched up the mechanics by giving you the option to swap between three different characters on command. Instead of just controlling Sonic, you play through each level as a trio to keep things interesting. With a nice blend of speed, power, and flight-type characters, you have to figure out which characters work best for certain platforming challenges. For example, Tails is most useful when you need to float over hard-to-reach obstacles, Knuckles is great for punching through enemies with his brute strength, while Sonic comes in handy for the downhill slopes and loop-de-loops.
The game also features iconic landscapes such as the bright and tropical Seaside Hill, the futuristic city of Grand Metropolis, and the neon-lit Casino Park. After completing the four main storylines in the game, you unlock the hidden final boss fight where you face off against the evil and treacherous Metal Sonic!
While the original game is notorious for its messy camera angles and frustrating level designs, a full remaster could fix all the defects and shortcomings to make it a much smoother experience overall.
(Image Credit: Sonic Team, Dimps)
Sonic Unleashed offers a ton of interesting gameplay elements that you won’t find anywhere else. After the evil Dr. Eggman turns Sonic into a werewolf (or werehog, if you will), he is transformed into a vicious beast after dark. In these nighttime stages, you get to power through a grittier platforming style in which Sonic strikes down waves of enemies with his newfound strength.
But don’t worry, Sonic Unleashed doesn’t lack in speed. Once the sun sets and Sonic returns to his original hedgehog form, you're greeted with a ton of fast-paced levels. Each daytime stage is built with beautiful landscapes that are inspired by classic locations around the world, and are accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack to complement the gameplay.
This game was fundamental to the franchise because it introduced what’s called the “boost formula” to 3D Sonic games. This type of gameplay allows you to reach full speed instantly with a simple button press. To maintain that pace, you’ll have to jump, drift, and quickly sidestep through various obstacles while traveling at the speed of light. This was a departure from the open world and exploratory style of Sonic Adventure’s gameplay, but a great way to showcase the hedgehog’s true speed.
(Image Credit: Sonic Team)
A love letter to the old Sega Genesis games and a celebration of modern 3D Sonic, Sonic Generations has two worlds collide when Modern Sonic (left) and Classic Sonic (right) have to work together to take down the interdimensional beast threatening their universe. Play through the side-scrolling, more platforming-heavy 2D levels like the original games, and then speed through the fast-paced style of the contemporary 3D Sonic games.
Experience some fan-favorite locations from previous installments — including Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, City Escape, and Seaside Hill! Every level has been taken from different games with a fresh upgrade, featuring some rival battles and refurbished boss fights from past Sonic titles. As a whole, Sonic Generations highlights all the best things about the series: the groovy music, amazing level design, the compelling villains, and of course, the heroes.
While this game wouldn’t need much of a remaster since it’s still pretty fresh and well-made, it would be great to see Sonic Generations ported to the Nintendo Switch.
Gotta go fast!
Reflecting on this list, the Sonic franchise has come a long way since the first game in 1991. And while Sonic games have had their fair share of good and bad installments, there's no denying that they offer a ton of variety. Some fans prefer the old 2D style of the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy, while others enjoy the exploratory nature of Sonic Adventure, or the speed of Sonic Unleashed. The great thing is, there are lots to choose from! Let’s just hope they add more of these classics to the Nintendo Switch.
Though we’ll have to wait and see if Sega remasters older Sonic games for the Switch, you can play the newly released Sonic Frontiers game in the meantime! Sonic Frontiers has the same classic, open-world feel as its predecessors, combined with the speed of the modern boost formula (and a bit of side-scrolling here and there), so we’ve finally got a nice blend of all these gameplay styles.
If you need a controller to help you traverse through the vast open worlds of the Sonic universe, NexiGo has your back! You don’t want a controller with stick drift or the wrong type of grip when you're going fast, otherwise you might end up with a super low rank in your next time trial. And you know what they say — that’s no good!
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