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The 12 new Game Gear games in Sonic Origins Plus expansion sound weird, according to early reports

Out of tune

The upcoming expansion pack for Sonic Origins (aptly named Sonic Origins Plus) appears to be out in the wild early ahead of its launch on June 23rd, but fans don't seem to be particularly happy with the game's sound quality. The Plus expansion will bring remastered visuals, bonus characters, new modes and challenges to the original Sonic Origins compilation, but it's the audio quality of the 12 new Sonic Game Gear additions that fans seem to have taken issue with. As spotted by TheGamer, fans who have got their hands on copies of the game early, such as YouTuber belmont gr, are reporting that the Game Gear games sound off, like there's some kind of echo effect.

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Twitter user errorickplus has since shared a clip online showing a comparison between Sonic 2's Game Gear sound in Sonic Origins Plus and how it sounds on the open source emulator platform RetroArch. This highlights the problem quite effectively, and the Plus version definitely doesn't sound great - like it's got an oddly crunchy feel to it that feels bad in the teeth.

According to another Twitter user, kirisamemofo, this echo effect seems to have been caused by a strange stereo effect that's been applied to these Game Gear games. To show their working, they took the Plus audio and popped it into audio editing program Audacity before making it mono again. In doing so, kirisamemofo has seemingly recreated the cleaner version heard in errorickplus' emulator clip. It's also worth noting that the Game Gear itself only had a mono speaker anyway when it came out in the early 90s, which makes this apparent stereo transformation a bit of an odd choice on Sega's part.

Sonic Origins originally released in 2022, compiling Sonic 1, 2, 3 (& Knuckles), and CD (as well as a few extra bits and pieces) into a single game. In truth, fans weren't happy about the state of the compilation back then either, and one of the developers even expressed his own disappointment in how Sega had handled its release.

Sonic Origins Plus is due out this week on June 23rd, but it's currently unclear if Sega will fix these issues prior to or even after release. We've reached out to Sega for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.

This isn't the only 2D Sonic game that Sega have in the works either, as they recently announced Sonic Superstars at Summer Game Fest, with a rough autumn release window. The game certainly seems like it should please classic Sonic fans, though if they're not your bag, there might not be much for you, according to our Ed.

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