61 of 81 people found the following review helpful
How Sonic got most of his groove back.,
This review is from: Sonic and the Secret Rings - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
Call me crazy, call me a fan of deep gameplay, but I've just never understood this whole Sonic the Hedgehog hullaballoo. Back when Sonic made his console debut in the early 90s he immediately separated himself from his biggest competitor, a chubby plumber, and in doing so, set himself apart as the "cool" console mascot. And cool he was. While Mario was busy breaking bricks and lollygagging his way through pipes, Sonic was flying through worlds with ease, doing all sorts of cool tricks in the process. However, what Mario lacked in "coolness" he always made up for with deep, addictive gameplay. Sonic was cool, yeah, but when it came down to the quality of the gaming experience, he just never could gain ground on that chubby guy.
This flaw of Sonic followed him into the 3D era as well. The arrival of the Sega Dreamcast brought Sonic fans the Sonic Adventure series, which often slowed down the speedy hedgehog in favor of more traditional 3D platforming. In a way, it worked. But this was Sonic, and you can't very well have Sonic and not have speed! So Sonic the Hedgehog has been in sort of a drought over the better part of a decade, trying his best to keep up in his old age. Often plagued by poor camera control and even poorer character control, Sega's mascot is no longer the poster child for "cool" gaming, but the perfect example of what a video game shouldn't be.
The light at the end of the tunnel for Sonic was supposed to be his latest adventure, Sonic and the Secret Rings, and at first look, it seems like a pretty solid idea. Bring Sonic back to his roots, make him fast, recreate the 2D Sonic experience in 3D. So the folks over at Sega have Sonic constantly moving in this game along a set path, the player steers him left and right by tilting the Wii remote accordingly. To jump, simply hit the 2 button. Shove the remote forward mid-air to perform a homing attack (a gesture that really feels quite solid).
So far so good. Sonic is once again running through worlds, collecting rings and other valuables while blasting into enemies. But then the core flaw of Sonic the Hedgehog once again becomes apparant. The gameplay is still pretty shallow. Sega has tried to paint over this problem by allowing Sonic to gain experience points throughout his adventure, making him faster, stronger, and more cocky. Still, this is 2007. Running fast and collecting rings may have been compelling, or jaw dropping in 1991, but we've come to expect more from our games nowadays, especially when they're platformers. Sadly, Sonic and the Secret Rings does not recreate the excitement and experience of the traditional Sonic game, nor does it create a new experience to get excited about. It's simply disappointing.
However, from a visual standpoint, Sonic and the Secret Rings does not disappoint. You won't find the benefits of high definition gaming as you would Sonic's other current-generation endeavors. But what Sonic and the Secret Rings lacks in polish and shine, it makes up for in beauty and detail. The worlds that Sonic speeds through are beautifully and meticulously created, often giving players something to gawk at when the game slows its pace occasionally. Having played Sonic the Hedgehog on Xbox 360, I can safely say that Sonic and the Secret Rings is a much more satisfying game where both visuals and gameplay are concerned.
In the end, the gamers will decide if Sonic and the Secret Rings is a hit or a miss. Sonic fans of old may enjoy the new twist on the old gameplay, but fans who never really latched on to the series will most likely be disappointed again. Is it the best 3D Sonic game? It really depends on what you're looking for. As a traditional 3D platformer it fails, but in recreating the 2D world of Sonic in 3D it at least comes close. Sonic may not be as cool as he used to be, but at least he's trying.
Menus and cutscenes are artistically created, and work in setting the environment of the world of the Arabian Nights. But the story is a little silly, and largely unnecessary.
Some of the best graphics available on the Wii, and the level design is often meticulously crafted to enhance the experience.
The music in the game is worse than Excite Truck, but unfortunately the game does not offer the custom sountrack option. As always, Sonic is better when he's not talking, but he still won't shut up.
Going fast is fun for a while, but then it wears off. The game suffers from the same follies of the original Sonic games, with the added problem of going backwards which is neither intuitive nor fun.
6.0 Lasting Appeal
RPG fans may find some saving grace in the experience points, but the tacked-on party games are just lame and poorly presented.
(out of 10 / not an average)
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 27, 2007 8:00:08 PM PST
R. Haggard says:
Way to go on ripping off IGN's scoring format, you tool.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2007 7:56:33 AM PST
Cale E. Reneau says:
I originally wrote the review on IGN's Reader Review section.
I copied it. Sue me.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2007 2:09:39 PM PST
It seems a majority of the thirteen year olds, on these comments, are quick to pull out the largest insult in their arsenal, for absolutely no reason. Yeah so like entering into an interesting intercourse of events, well I noticed her face was melting.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2007 3:58:20 PM PST
Shaq Attack haha says:
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2007 8:33:06 AM PST
Cale E. Reneau says:
Sorry, but when you review a game you review relative to the system that you play it on. Everyone knows that the Wii can't compete with the other systems on graphics, but it's not trying to either.
Because it's essentially a last-gen system, you can compare it to those if you like...and in that case, it's still not bad.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2007 2:43:26 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 22, 2007 7:41:28 AM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2007 12:01:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2007 12:03:28 PM PST
Anyone who mentions the graphics of the competing systems are just jealous that they spent at least $500, and most probably hundreds more, to remain seated on their couch.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2007 6:33:52 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 22, 2007 7:41:08 AM PDT]
Posted on Apr 17, 2007 8:54:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2007 8:55:40 AM PDT
Adrian Jenkins says:
Why all the angst between Wii owners and PS3 (or XBox2) owners? The graphics on the Wii will not compare with those on the PS3 in a couple of years. As of now, the gameplay on the PS3 is not NEARLY as fun or stylish as the Wii. I have both systems, exactly as I had the PS and the N64, or the PS2 and the Gamecube. I love them both...
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2008 9:51:24 AM PDT
Atli Hafsteinsson says:
Confuse... what do you mean by Wii being a last-gen system; it's only 2 years old!!