Gaming My Way

01 Feb

Sonic Colors Review (Wii)

Sega, congratulations. After 10 long years, you’ve finally created a 3d Sonic the Hedgehog game unmarred by terrible side gameplay.  But seriously, did you have to call it Sonic Colors? I mean, how am I going to explain this game in my collection to my friends?

That aside, I’m sure many Sonic fans will be happy to know that this game has none of the following: slow werehog combat, guns, emerald treasure hunts, fishing mini-games, clunky mech levels, clunky control, and godawful (and unnecessary) tutorials. Seriously, it’s all gone. All that’s left is wonderful 3d and 2d levels built for speed and platforming. While I miss the ability to use Tails and Knuckles as alternate characters to play through the same levels with different abilities, as in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles, it’s not a huge loss compared to everything we’ve gained.

Gameplay is simple and sweet. Blast through the levels at top speed, with the occasional platforming segments that slow you down a bit (but not more than in the old Genesis days), destroy badniks, and defeat Robotnik (yes, I know, he’s called Eggman now, but no, I refuse).

Occasionally, you’ll come across wisps that temporarily grant you different powers, but thankfully, these either add to the speed or the platforming in the game rather than detract from it. Wall climbing, rocket boosts to get high above the level, becoming a laser to bounce off walls and through crystals, among others, all provide some extra things to consider in going through a level and looking for alternative routes.

I felt some levels were a bit short, but most are a good length, comparable to one act of the old games. And with 38 levels, plus seven boss stages, this game is easily longer than any of the older games, though it is also easier to finish as you can save your progress. Still, if that bothers you, there’s also an unlockable challenge mode that lets you play the game straight through, no saving, as though it were one of the old school games. A nice feature, to be sure, though one I haven’t used yet.

The music is great for the most part, though I never could get into the themes of Sweet Mountain, for whatever reason. Still, that’s more a matter of preference than quality I think, as I prefer the music that complements the speed of the game that is found in most other stages. The final boss music, in particular, was amazingly well done, and is not the usual bad 80’s style music you may have become used to in recent years.

The visual style is also great, and really gets the most out of what the Wii offers. The worlds are vibrant, crisp, and very well rendered. Nowhere is this more noticeable than on Planet Wisp, with its stellar blend of lush plant life and metal machinery. Even so, all of the levels are very nicely put together and have their high points, I’m just drawn in by the over the top nature imagery making a resurgence in many games these days.

My sole disappointment in this game is that Tails and Knuckles aren’t playable as they were in Sonic 3 and Knuckles, but this is a very minor complaint. It’s also far preferable to trying to shoehorn bad gameplay in on their backs, which Sega has finally resisted the urge to do.

This game is the best Sonic the Hedgehog game to be released in years. If you like the blue blur, you should have this game by now, and if you don’t, you should get it. If you’ve left the fold, or have never been a part of it, this is the game to try if you’re looking to give the series a second chance. I’m confident it can open your heart to the series once again.

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