Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Sonic Colors (Wii)

Sonic Colors

Developed by Sonic Team
Published by Sega
for the Wii
Released November 16th, 2010

Reaching for the Stars:

When it comes to the Sonic franchise, speed means everything.  The reason why the Genesis games were so revered was because it gave gamers a sense of speed never felt before.  When converting from its 2D origin into 3D, this vital element was lost among all the new gameplay gimmicks implemented, cheesy character additions, and try-hard story-telling.  Now, in Sonic's odyssey through space, he has finally regained what was lost to him almost a decade ago.  Sonic Colors revives the long dead franchise and sends it in a glorious new direction that devoted fans will appreciate and admire.

If you take the best parts of Sonic Unleashed, fine-tune them, and add a bunch of colorful alien abilities then you'll end up with Sonic Colors.  When you begin the first level, you'll instantly gain a sense of haste, something that Sonic Team has attempted to find for over a decade. The capability to boost by collecting Wisp bubbles adds even more agility to the already supersonic experience.  Not only did they find that perfect level of heart-pounding speed, they created a game that flows incredibly well and has enough variety in its Wisp abilities to never allow room for a dull moment.

In every level, Sonic has the option to use different Wisp abilities that alter the gameplay dramatically.  Amidst the thrilling rush of each level,  Sonic will be able to shoot faster than light with the White Wisp's Laser, burrow underground with the Orange Wisp's Drill, and shoot up to the stars with the Red Wisp's Rocket, among many others.  With each new Wisp unlocked, the game offers more and more ways to blaze passed a level.  Although, the game is painfully short (you'll beat it in under 5 hours), Sonic Colors offers a stunning amount of replay value.  You'll spend hours going through each world again and again trying to figure out the right Wisp combination in order to obtain the five hidden red rings or to achieve S rank.

There were a few controlling quirks that had me thinking they could have done a better job with the control scheme.  There are forced sections in certain levels that has Sonic running straight forward making the player move him left or right to avoid enemies or objects.  They designated the analog stick for this maneuver but because you'll already be holding the stick up to run, it makes dashing right and left a little tricky as Sonic will either refuse to move or will move twice in one direction.  Another forced section has you braking while turning in order to drift.  This actually feels great it's just a shame that you aren't able to do this any time you'd like.  Drifting would have really come in handy during some sections that don't designate it.  The option to use the Gamecube controller along with the Classic controller gives some leeway to players who aren't comfortable with the default Wiimote controls.

Even boss levels in Colors give the player a sense of speed as Sonic is must chase after warping Space Ships and take them out with homing attacks or Wisp abilities.  The bosses, although entertaining, are interesting at first but they begin to feel rehashed and overused.  There are three different boss styles that are slightly altered to be played in all six major worlds.  It would have felt more complete if each world had a boss unique to every planet.  I won't gripe too much about it as the final boss more than makes up for this flaw and instantly made the list for one of my favorite boss battles of all time.

Sonic Colors gives longtime fans of the Blue Blur a charming story full of humor and spot-on voice acting.  With beautiful, vibrant and (needless to say) colorful environments that perfectly blends with the high levels of breakneck camera blur mixed with another amazing soundtrack, this installment gives everybody a reason to love Sonic once again.  Sonic Colors plays like a Sonic game should; fast-paced, intuitive, and exhilarating.

Graphics:  2/2

Sound:  2/2

Playability:  5/5

Lasting Appeal:  2/3

Fun:  4/5

RANK:  B+ 

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