28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Sonic is back!!!!,
This review is from: Sonic Colors - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
(Wait, was he ever gone?)
Sonic Colors has superb controls awesome levels excellent music ('cept Asteroid Coaster) stunning graphics (for Wii) but the story is silly and the voices are off but there is SUPER SONIC in the MAIN LEVELS!!!!
All right, I'll now decipher the above sentence. First of all, this game proves that Sonic the Hedgehog games still can appeal to a wide audience of gamers. I mean, the professional critics are running out of stuff to pick at! Myself, I am an enormous fan of Sonic, and have played nearly every game he has ever starred in, own and have read nearly all his hundreds of comic books, and watched almost every TV show of his. Obsessive? Maybe, but come on, he's "Way past cool"! (Comics fans will know where that came from) Now, I'm in a strange position, however, because faced with the game that so nearly reaches perfection, if find myself unable to give it five stars, even though it has far fewer flaws than Sonic Unleashed(which I rate a five). But let's get on to the game itself, and compare its many aspects.
+ Controls? Spot-on accurate. Sonic moves when you move the joystick, he jumps when you press A. There's no twitchiness, no lag, no headaches. The camera is fixed, but it's fixed in the proper location for each shot. This game also has a complement of several power-ups. They come in the form of aliens endowed with "Color Powers". One transforms Sonic into a drill, another into a laser, and so on. They make the game have immense replayability, as many areas are unreachable until certain power-ups are unlocked later on in the game.
+ Level design? Beautiful, fast, challenging, and yet intuitive. Did you want a 3D Sonic with levels in the style of the Genesis Classics? Here it is. Over the years Sonic Adventure always seemed to me to be the most like the originals in level design, but Sonic Colors ----if it was transformed into 2D and given 16-bit rendering---- would not seem out of place in the slightest. They are expansive, there are multiple pathways throughout them, and their artistic flair, coloring, and details are incredible. And finally, SEGA has given us a game where Sonic can adventure under water! Sonic Adventure is the only other 3D Sonic game where this is possible ----and that came out in 1999! I think a lot of fans have waited a long time for this (I know I have!), and Sonic Team delivered. Plus, if one presses the jump button repeatedly while underwater, Sonic can actually swim upwards! Yes, for those who care, this kind of messes with the whole "Sonic can't swim" backstory, but it makes the game a whole lot funner. Aquarium Park represents the pinnacle of this game's achievement, in my opinion. The soft twilight lighting, the elaborate detail of the Asian pagodas and buildings, the blue-domed sky, the majestic yet haunting beauty of the lumionous sea creatures in the dark water ----oh, it's magnificient. One of the best zones in all of Sonic history, and probably platform gaming! One must also not fail to mention the inclusion of the classic "badniks" from older entries into the series. To see robots like "Crabmeat" and "Buzzbomber" in a modern 3D Sonic game lends such a classic authenticity to the title, reminding me of the Genesis originals and the excellent TV show Sonic The Hedgehog - The Complete Series ("SatAm"). In addition to all of this single-player extravagance, there is an excellent two-player area as well. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (2001) was probably the last main game in the series to have a multiplayer aspect that was worth playing. Sonic Colors has a whole zone called "Sonic Simulator" where two players can race each other to the finish with multicolored "Sonic Robots" or their Mii avatars. The levels are simple, with players pretty much traversing paths through worlds of few colors and backgrounds composed of floating shapes, but this allows the graphics to remain top-notch without succumbing to framerate slowdown. The music is remixed versions of the main levels, rendered in "retro" video game fashion. Players can help or hinder each other, and the competion encountered while playing can be hilarious. The Boss Battles are some of the best in the series, mixing speed and agility in a gripping balance. Some of the early ones are pretty easy, but by the end of the game you will definitely find yourself challenged.
+ Music? Memorable, pleasant, well-orchestrated, and vibrantly detailed. Aquarium Park (there's that place again!) holds top honors; Terminal Velocity guards the bottom of the barrel position.
Tropical Resort has a sort of surfer theme to it. It is fast paced and fun, with a steady beat and a great array of guitars that are not screaching out heavy metal riffs.
Starlight carnival goes a more techno route, and yet is very upbeat and happy ----exactly what one would like in a carnival.
Planet Wisp has a beautiful theme based around a piano. Its soft and thoughtful, somewhat melancholy, yet pretty in its own right.
Sweet mountain is one of the weaker entries here, yet it is still entertaining, what with its mix of 1940s trumpets and early 1960s guitars. Its not entirely memorable, but it's not grating.
Aquarium Park. Heart-achingly stunning! Piano! Violins! Soft yet steady drums! Electronic synthesizers used to perfection! Just thinking about the music makes me want to cry with happiness. It has an Asian-styled theme that is mournful at times, optimistic at others, and always beautiful. These tracks alone would justify buying the soundtrack (which comes out in Japan late December. Check out amazon.co.jp if you are interested). One of my favorite bits of video-game music. Huh, it's one of the best pieces of music I've heard this year.
Asteroid Coaster jarringly shifts into rock, which in a game this artistic in approach felt quite jarring. It has a distinctive pattern running through it, but it just feels lacking compared to the other music here. Even as rock goes, it was not quite fantastic. About the only person who can pull off rock in a Sonic game is Jun Senoue (Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Sonic Heroes, etc.). A lot of his Sonic music may be on the harsh side, but at least it is memorable and about as "epic" as rock can get. The music here was just kind of bland and irritating. But things can always get worse...
....and they do in Terminal Velocity. Take all of the complaints lodged above (note "bland") and apply that here to the bland whines of this level. Did I mention bland?
+Graphics? Probably the best on the Wii. At times you could mistake this for a PlayStation3 game. Of course on closer observation one could note their error, but "closer" bears key importance here. The imagery is really that good.
Here come the problems with the game.
-The story is really pretty light. Basically, the evil Dr. Eggman claims to have given up his evil ways, and to prove his good will he has constructed an enormous amusement park in outer space. Sonic figures it's just a scheme for power, and of course he's right. Sonic and his friend Tails the two-tailed fox go up to space to investigate. They find that Eggman is using his park as a means to capture a certain race of aliens called Wisps. He intends to use their power to fuel a mind-control ray down to Mobius, the world where Sonic lives. While this premise sounds reasonably threatening (and somewhat comic-book-like), it is executed as a comedy. Is there anything wrong with that? Not really. But it just seems to miss a bit of heart. When I think of Sonic the Hedgehog stories ----whether it be in video game, comic book, or cartoon form---- I think of comedy, but the overarching memory is that of a story that really was gripping in an emotional sense. Sonic Advenure 1 and 2 are prime examples of this. Their storys could be transferred directly to the big screen and few would scoff. Sonic and the Black Knightwas imaginative and sad, but had a powerful message. The story in Sonic Colors is about as "epic" as its name (translation: it's not!) Yes, this is a game. Yes, it's a platforming game. Yes, stories are not really integral to this kind of game. But a great story doesn't hurt. This story wasn't bad, but it was just filled with jokes. Non-offensive, thankfully, but just puns and slapstick and childish humor. In many ways it resembled a story one would find in a Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destructiongame(except that, as mentioned earlier, the jokes in Sonic Colors are not offensive). The voice actors for all but Dr. Eggman have been changed. For those new to the series this has little impact. Some familiar with the series will find this welcome. Yet I do not believe I am alone in missing the old voice of Sonic and his friends. This is really getting into minor impact territory, but it still has an impact.
-Semi-minor annoyance: In every other Sonic game, when the player collects one hundred rings, they are granted an extra life. I believe this is the only game in which this is not true, and its absence is sorely missed (especially on those challenging levels!). Here's hoping this is just a one-time event.
-The difficulty is often rather low. Not that that is a bad thing, as this game was designed primarily for younger children. Sometimes though, a little extra challenge would have been nice.
-The game is kind of short. The story mode can be beaten in a day. Even to go back and collect the bonuses does not take very long. I and my siblings have been playing this game since it came out on Nov. 16, and as of Nov. 23 we have finished about 75% of the games side missions.
All in all, this game is highly recommended, and is a brilliant revelation of the fact that SEGA has learned from its successes and failures with the franchise.
It's not the greatest Sonic, but its a high-ranking title in the series.
P.S. ----Did I mention that you can play Super Sonic in the main levels? That is AWESOME! When all of the 180 special rings have been collected, and all of the Sonic Simulator levels have been completed, Sonic can transform into his invulnerable, superfast "Super" form. You can go back and replay any of the main levels in this form (after collecting 50 rings in the level). This game is the first 3D Sonic game in which this is possible. It brings back so many memories of the Genesis classics! A brilliant move that was well worth the wait.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2013 9:29:48 PM PDT
THAT WAS AN EPIC REVIEW
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013 11:05:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2013 11:06:51 AM PDT
R.J. Robledo says:
Thank you very much!
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