The launch of Sonic Origins yesterday saw the return of the classic fuzzy blue Mega Drive/Genesis games, all bundled together on modern consoles. The most notable part of the bundle is Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which sees Sonic 3 ported to consoles with new HD upgrades for the first time.
To help make this release possible, Headcannon – one of the developers of the wonderful Sonic Mania – worked with Sega to recreate the classic duo interwoven into the retro engine. Now that the collection is out, Stealth – Headcannon’s Simon Thomley alias – has acknowledged some of the issues with the final version and shared some of the complications behind them on Twitter.
The full thread (which is quite long and worth reading in its entirety) details how Stealth and the team submitted a build that they felt needed some fixing, but Stealth also noted bugs in the build finale that weren’t present in Headcannon’s version – the result of Sega’s integration of the team’s work into the overall Origins game.
Stealth also states that the team wants “these issues fixed” and has asked to make major fixes before Origins ships, and inquired about possibly delaying the game, and has been told that this is not possible. It wasn’t possible – which, with the game locked for launch on Sonic’s birthday, is certainly understandable from a marketing standpoint. Headcannon is currently awaiting a response from Sega on whether it can implement post-release fixes.
It should be noted that Stealth is careful to make it clear that the matter is complicated, and he and other members who worked on this version of Sonic 3 are also very complimentary of the Sega employees who are referred to by name, including the Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka:
Sega has yet to respond or announce if any fixes will be released. While the issues cited above may go unnoticed by new players to the games, Sonic fans who started out with the series in the 90s have noted various differences. However, the most significant changes – those affecting the audio tracks attributed to Michael Jackson and/or his team – attracted the most widespread attention, especially from Yuji Naka himself.
If there are any updates to the game, we’ll be sure to let you know.