Sonic Origins' launch yesterday saw the return of the blue blurs classic Mega Drive/Genesis games, all bundled together on modern consoles. The most noteworthy 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 version possible, Headcannon — one of the developers behind the wonderful Sonic Mania — worked together with Sega to recreate the classic interlocking duo in the Retro Engine. Now that the collection is out, Stealth — the alias of Headcannon's Simon Thomley — has acknowledged some of the problems with the final release and shared some of the complications behind them on Twitter.
The full thread (which is quite long and well worth reading in its entirety) details how Stealth and the team submitted a build that they acknowledge needed some fixes, but Stealth also noted bugs in the final build that were not present in Headcannon's build — the result of Sega's integration of the team's work into the overall Origins game.
Stealth also states that the team wants "these problems to be addressed" and asked to do major fixes before Origins shipped, and enquired about possibly delaying the game, and was told this wasn't possible — which, with the game locked for launch on Sonic's birthday, is certainly understandable from a marketing perspective. Headcannon is currently waiting to hear back from Sega on whether it can implement some post-release patches.
It should be noted that Stealth is careful to clarify that the issue is complicated, and he and other members who worked on this version of Sonic 3 are also highly complimentary of Sega employees who are called out by name, including the head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka:
Sega has yet to respond or announce if patches will be issued. While the issues cited above might go unnoticed by new players of the games, Sonic fans who started with the series in the '90s have been noting various differences. However, the largest changes — those affecting audio tracks credited to Michael Jackson and/or his team — have been attracting the more widespread attention, most notably from Yuji Naka himself.
If there are any updates to the game, we'll be sure to let you know.