I'm usually not one for remakes, mostly because A. They're usually done for games that honestly were already good enough already and didn't need remaking and B. For the most part I'd prefer to have original versions of games made more accesible by porting them to modern platforms, rather than attempting to remake them. Sometimes things are the way they are for a reason, and even if a game is less accesible for modern sensibilities (or even the seinsibilities of its time) I still believe that experience is worth being preserved. That being said, I could not possibly be happier that this remake exists and, in lieu of the fact that Sega likely wants nothing to do with the game themselves and won't dare port it to anything, I think this is far and away the perfect way to play Sonic 06 in the modern day.
I wouldn't have said that before, simply due to the fact that, although it was still excellent, it simply wasn't complete, with Silver's entire campaign still being exclusive to the original. However, as ChaosX, the madlad himself, recently shadowdropped the Silver update with no prior warning, I feel comfortable saying that, at least for the average person, P-06 could in its current state serve as a stand-in for the original.
Now, I honestly quite like the original Sonic 06. It's got a lot of charm, some occasional moments of genuinely good character writing, a very soft and pleasant artstyle (barring the uncannily realistic humans), and some seriously solid level design. That, and its brokenness also makes it very fun to mess around with, like a nice little sandbox that occasionally phases halfway out of reality without warning. Of course, that being said, I cannot in good conscience recommend anyone play the base version. It is extremely slow, the physics are frankly atrocious, the side missions are more annoying than fun, and it does like to introduce the occasional gimmick that of course, "functions" in quotation marks so large they could be seen from space. It's mostly funny if you don't take it too seriously, but there were times when even I began to lose patience with it. It's not a game for the faint of heart, that much is a given, and I can't possibly blame anyone for not liking Sonic 06 of all things. Thus it brings me great joy to say that P-06 fixes all of that. Yes, everything.
For starters, the character physics are fined tuned to damn near perfection. If you're used to how the original plays, the major boost in speed can be tough to get to grips with at times, but it's worth the effort because hot DAMN that hedgehog can move now. All of them can, in fact. Every character has increased movement speed, you can carry your momentum both on the ground and in the air WAY more than you could before, the spindash actually works now with no delay and doesn't lock you to the ground (yeah it did that lol), you can roll down slopes netting you insane speed, and some characters have been given additional moves and abilities (or in the case of Amy, had her entire moveset rebuilt from the ground up) in order to make them more versatile and fun to play. Even the more gimmicky aspects of the game like Shadow's weird vehicles have been fine-tuned to work much smoother, they're honestly kind of fun now (and also vastly de-emphasized, which helps). They even fixed Silver's ball puzzle, which is something I didn't even know was possible to fix without simply removing it entirely. The game's smoother than it's ever been and it's honestly deeply impressive.
Those are just the most obvious changes, but there's been plenty of other extra details and additions that just bring the whole experience to a new level. The game looks just utterly beautiful now. I already thought the environment design of the original was really good, but the HD overhaul, the added weather effects and the new lightling all just make these levels pop in such a spectacular way. And I swear to god, those character models have to have been remade or at least refined in some way because they look fantastic. And they animate so well!!! I was genuinely astonished at how well some of the in-game cutscenes were animated, my boy Silver has never looked better in his life. Also, there are in-game cutscenes now! Mostly just short little scenes before the start of a level, but still all of these are remake original and very well-done. Not necessary, but greatly appreciated and fit well considering how much of a cinematic flair the game had always had.
But the best part? This game has SECRET UPGRADES. Yeah! Remember that cool thing they did back in SA2 where they would hide upgrades around the levels to find? That they did once and then never again? That's back now! The crucial difference however being that all your core moves are unlocked from the get-go, and any additional upgrades are purely optional and, as a result, much better hidden. You serously have to wrack your brain and explore places you would not expect in order to find some of these, but once you do, oh MAN are they fun to use. I don't want to spoil what all of them are or where to find them, but among the new upgrades each of the main hedgehogs now has their own take on a Super form they can achieve by S-ranking each of their levels, actually giving you a genuine concrete incentive to do so beyond simple bragging rights. The way these unlockable upgrades are handled in this game make me wish the concept had become a mainstay in the official games - it gives the game so much extra replay value and cracks the potential for these characters' movesets wide open.
P-06 is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of game, the sort of thing one can usually only really dream of existing. I do still love the original 06 despite its numerous flaws, as it has some genuinely good ideas and a ton of ambition and heart put into it, and I honestly would give my right arm to see a world in which Sonic Team was given the time and resources to fully complete the game and make it truly shine. But thanks to the hard work of ChaosX, we finally get to see a glimpse into that reality, a world in which Sonic 06 was completed, and the fact that people almost unanimously seem to be loving it just warms my heart immensely. What's even crazier though is that, despite now having completed all three main campaigns, the man is STILL not done yet. Apparently there are (distant) future plans in the works to add both the bosses and Hard mode levels from the original game and, eventually, the ENTIRE Story Mode added in which I cannot even begin to imagine what that would look like. Granted, I am not asking for these things - I think more than enough hard work and passion has been put into this project to be considered complete enough to be worth anybody's time regardless of what happens in the future - however, were this all to come to fruition I honestly, hand to God, believe that not only would this be the definitive way to play 06, but also could be put right up next to the Adventure games as the very best that 3D Sonic has to offer. At least, I think so anyway, but I'm biased since I'm one of the weird ones that already liked 06. The fact though that so many other people seem to also share that opinion, though? That speaks volumes. Even if you HATE 06 - which again, can't blame you - I heavily suggest you play this game. No buts about it, it's Sonic at his best.

It's kind of hard to cope with how much I love this game. It's by all means not well-made - the animations are jank, the physics are stiff, the dialogue is utterly corny, the optimization is piss-poor and the game is riddled with bugs and just plain bizarre design choices. Everyone knows this stuff, the game's issues have been documented and discussed so extensively it's become tiresome. There is every reason to dislike this game, and most people do. But, I don't. I like it a lot, actually, not even in spite of the way it is but specifically because of it.
For starters, the game's vibes are absolutely immaculate. The music of course is amazing, honestly being one of my favorite osts in the entire Sonic series. It perfectly captures the mood of any given moment, from the mellow yet groovy hub world tracks to the high energy level themes. There's a nice bit of variety in it too, incorporating rock and orchestral of course, but also a little bit of funk and even electronic influences as wellI for areas like Aquatic Base and White Acropolis. It's great stuff, I honestly don't think there's a single song in the whole soundtrack I dislike. It's just super well-composed.
The settings are really nice as well. The way everything is lit and textured makes it feel like an early PS2 game, and I don't mean that as a criticism, I honestly like that kind of aesthetic a lot, at least in this. It helps though that the game has some genuinely great environment design and art direction. You see it the most I think in the more open areas of places like Wave Ocean, Tropical Jungle and Dusty Desert I think (excellent level names, btw, very descriptive lol). The virbrant colors and the way the light spills over everything is just genuinely beautiful, it's really serene in a way I like. It's a lot of fun to explore all of these areas and just see what's what, not even following the objective.
The whole game has a really pleasant, comfy feel to it, honestly. I think it's in part because everything feels so, artificial I guess? That makes it sound bad, but I promise it's not. Like, the way the NPCs move about in their bizarre, arm-flailing fashion, the fact all the areas are spearated by fantasy portal mirrors, the way the game will just plop you into a new area without any warning during a side quest, and especially the way the main characters themselves look. They look and move like puppets or stuffed animals, it's all really silly but in a fun way. It gives the whole game a feeling of like a kid playing with their toys and making up adventures for them that don't really make sense but are still fun just on principle. It's all fake, but it feels significant. And of course the pre-rendered cutscenes are just good, no stipulations attached. The animation is fluid and kinetic and the models look fantastic. It feels like a Final Fantasy game, straight up.
That sort of fairy-tale-esque feeling extends to the writing as well. Again, the story doesn't really makes sense - it attempts to create its own internal logic with all the time travel shenanigans, but its so tough to mentally keep track of it all it hardly matters. It's a long string of "Hey wouldn't this be sick as fuck" without a whole lot of logic attached and while I feel like they could've made it something genuinely spectacular if they were able to workshop it more, I think it's fine as-is. To be honest - and this is kind of a spicy onion I'm aware - I don't think any of the Adventure-style games (I'm one of Those people that like to group 06, Shadow and Heroes in with Adventure 1 and 2) have like really deep or even super logically consistent stories. They're high adventure shounen action games made primarily for kids, just with much higher stakes and greater spectacle than would be expected out of a platformer at the time, and that's what gives them their appeal. They're just really entertaining. And honestly, a lot of the character writing in 06 is just straight-up good as well, at least for what it is. Silver and Blaze are honestly in my like top 5 favorite Sonic characters, you really feel for their struggle in this game, and Team Dark's weird found family dynamic is more believable in this game than any other. I even like Princess Elise, though I feel they did squander a lot of her potential by keeping her kidnapped most of the time. She just wants the chance to be more than what her role has designated for her, and Sonic does his best to give her that freedom, at least for a little while. It's really touching stuff, I love these characters.
Of course, we can't really talk 06 without talking about the gameplay - I've kind of been putting it off because I feel enough has been said about everything that's wrong with it, so we'll get it out of the way quickly. Yeah, there's a ton of bugs, way too many loading screens, the game controls like shit and the amigo characters are underbaked. But like, all of that shit is also really funny. I get how for a lot of people that stuff can be a turn-off especially considering how long the game is, but the nature of playing 06 is just that eventually you're gonna die and it's most likely not going to be your fault, and once you've accepted that it all just becomes part of the joke and it's really goofy and fun. This is a silly game for silly folk, you can't take it too seriously. Just uh, be sure to save often.
I think a lot of the issues however are mitigated by the fact that the game's level design is genuinely really solid. There's a lot of branching pathways, hidden secrets to find, a healthy mix of goofy combat you can easily cheese with the broken gems and bounce bracelet, and tests of more technical platforming skill (admittedly a lot of the fun comes from finding creative ways to skip these though, which you can say is a bad thing but I don't think so). The setpieces are great fun, and there's even a surprising amount of open-ended stages where you just sort of explore and run around, and those are easily my favorite. They play to this game's strengths the best, I'd say. There are some sections that are just so broken that even I begin to lose patience with them - Sonic's Mach Speed sections, Shadow's weird vechicles, and Silver's Balls Puzzle come to mind - but these bits are broken up by fun stuff enough to where I don't really mind too much, and some sections like the ball puzzle can even be skipped entirely if you're willing to get... "creative".
Overall, this game is busted. It's absolutely busted, it's jank from top to bottom in every aspect and I love it for that. It's like the world's ugliest dog - there are a lot of things about it that are kinda gross and off-putting but it's so damn endearing that you can't help but love it anyway. There's been a couple fan projects in recent years that have attempted to remake/modify this game it to try and reach its full potential, and that makes me really happy honestly. Pretty much everyone knows about ChaosX's Project 06 by now, and it is an absolutely phenomenal effort (even if the semi-poor optimization makes it tough to play sometimes even on my nice computer), but I personally wanna shoutout a modpack project for Xenia called Legacy of Solaris which I don't see many people talking about. It fixes pretty much all the game's issues on the gameplay side, removing bugs, polishing the physics, and even revamping certain character's movesets entirely. It feels fantastic to play and there's so much truly excellent extra content they've added in too that makes it even more worthwhile. I think with the Solaris modpack added in, this is a strong contender for my favorite Sonic game of all time. I'd recommend it to anyone, in my opinion it's easily the best way to experience the game. But, putting all of those aside for a bit, I think the original vanilla version still has it's own value as well, in a weird way. I love how odd and rough and crunchy everything is, it's charming in a way no other game can be, and I really appreciate that. It's got Sonic's spirit written all over it, and I mean that in the best way possible.

You and three friends embark on a journey to get mad stacks and beat the shit out of each other, and accidentally save the world in the process. An extreme hassle to actually play even with modern online emulation workarounds, considering you need four people with free time and for everything to actually connect and work properly. And if you want to play the "intended" way with one gamecube and four GBAs AND link cables then good luck. But, once the stars align and everything works, it's great fun. Truly the real Four Sword was the friends we made along the way... and then lost, because you killed them with bombs too many times.

a party game forged by Satan in Hell. you may think you have the perfect plan but you don't. there are minigames but only sometimes. you WILL want to kill your friends at some point. Violence is Inevitable.
however, the funny pudding dog is very cute. 10/10


Super Mario 64 with the design philosophy of LSD Dream Emulator. i love this shit, i adore how this game is put together.
it starts out only ever so slightly different - Mario makes different noises, the music is slightly off, and the design of the castle lobby has been altered, but not too much. you could easily go in assuming this is some sort of beta restoration hack (which it kind of is in a sense, it does seem to bring in a lot of beta/unused elements). but as you go deeper and deeper, things begin to get more and more bizarre, you find enemies and npcs that just do not look right, uncannily empty areas that feel almost as though they've been actively abandoned, rooms that kill you for no reason, reality begins to fold in on itself and places connect to other places until you have no idea where you started or how to get back.
geographically, this game makes zero sense. fanmade maps of this game's layout do exist, but they're so complex that it'll warp your brain just looking at them. let me be clear, this is not a critcism - i love this about it. two people could play this game at the same time and have wildly different experiences. it's the kind of game that keeps you thinking long after you've played it, wondering what potential paths you could take and what bizarre nonsense lies beyond.
B3313 pushes the very concept of Mario 64 to its absolute limit. it is no longer a game anymore - it is an idea, one that can be molded and morphed into whatever beautiful, sinister shape we wish. it's a work of art, and a perfect encapsulation of what can happen when a beloved piece of media reaches beyond the boundaries of its physical form and becomes something else entirely.

you can throw a turnip in this one

Super Mario 64 is one of the most iconicvideo games of all time. veeryone knows this game slaps and while its not my personal favorite 3d Mairo, it's easily the most impactful one and I can completely understand anyone who says this one is their favorite.
You really can get Mario pretty much anywhere you want him to go with enough skill and its incredibly satisfying to do so. There's a ton of creative potential in this game's mechanics, Mario's moveset is incredibly diverse, and it's always a great feeling when you see a potential skip or trick, think "i can probably do that" and then be amazed when it actually works. The control isn't perfect - getting Mario to do a side-hop is finnicky and the camera likes to get sassy in tight spaces, but other than the that the game just feels good to play.
The game's also got a really ambient vibe to it - the soundtrack has this iconically bizarre soundfont that they use masterfully to fit such a wide variety of moods. Dire Dire Docks is serene and peaceful, Cave Dungeon is deep and oppresive, and the Slider theme gives me war flashbacks from Rainbow Ride. The grahpics are crude, as is the nature of early 3d games, but i think that fits it perfectly. It gives the game a whimsical, but also kind of myserious vibe where you can't always quite tell exactly what a thing is supposed to be just by looking at it. It helps the levels are rather abstract as well - all floating islands suspended in nowhere, all with their own iconic theme, but designed in such a way that they don't quite feel like "real" places, almost more like the fantastical dreams of a kid who's mind is filled with adventures of Mario.
it's a pretty short game, you can beat it casually in like a couple hours if you know what you're doing (getting all the stars take a good bit more time, but I like doing it), and if you're a speedrunner you've probably figured out how to beat this game in negative time by now. It's just a damn good time, and definitely deserving of its iconic status.

(Old Hunters DLC currently incomplete)