Sonic Colors

8.0 Overall Score

Written by on December 13, 2010 in

Speed. Precision. Robots. Invasive aliens. It’s been awhile since SEGA took the initiative to make a Hedgehog based game that is not only worth acknowledging, but also playing. This time around they appear to have taken all their previous accomplishments and failures and forged them into an amalgamation of quality. Over the past 10 years, they have attempted to rekindle the speedy success that was seen in 90s with almost consistent failure. For some reason, SEGA just couldn’t learn that if they only went back to the world of 2D, they could easily have an instant Sonic success.

With the advent of SEGA’s game system encore came Sonic Adventure, the first and last decent 3D Sonic game. It had character, it had charm, and it had Chao’s – who were adorable and fun to raise. Unfortunately, Sonic Adventure 2 removed all the charm and fun of the first game, and made incredibly bad decisions – such as making the theme song for Knuckles a rap song. Regardless of liking or not liking rap, this was a horrible choice as Knuckles is an Echidna – an egg-laying mammal native to New Guinea – which is a country whom has quite a bit more tribal music than rap. I could write a review alone on how they COULD have written fun sounding tribal music that is appropriate for Knuckles, but alas – they failed miserably. The same level of fail as deciding to prevent the nuke from landing in your neighborhood by hitting it with another nuke.

… but I digress.

Where were we?

Oh, yes… Sonic Colors!

So, after years and years and years of SEGA simply refusing to go back to the era of 2D games that everyone knows and loves and would nearly guarantee a successful Sonic game, and then continuing to create failure upon failure of 3D games, someone over at the Home of Blast Processing threw the correct dart at the right target and out came Sonic Colors. A 3D game that brings back many of the 2D qualities everyone missed.

The game is polished, there is no questioning that. The pre-level UIs are straight out of the original Sonic games, and there is a fun little animation of Sonic stretching at the start of each level to help make sure he doesn’t get any of those awful cramps one gets when running faster than a Mach truck with broken brakes.

Though, there is something about the game; a nod back to a time when pasta-pounding plumbers and spiky mammals were at absolute war. Nintendo releases a pair of games that take place in outer space, and SEGA responds by releasing a game that takes place in outer space on the exact same console. Sonic Colors might be the best Sonic game in years, but there must be someone over at SEGA, wringing their hands with evil glee, over the fact that they are secretly competing with Mario once again.

Ok. So let’s get to brass tacks and… stuff… that describes talking about games. Sonic Colors starts with the ever nefarious Doctor Eggman (or Dr. Robotnik from those just arriving in their DeLoreans from 1991) building a theme park – IN SPACE – and apologizing to everyone and everything for his past transgressions. Apparently overpriced snack stands and roller coasters – IN SPACE – can make up for nearly 20 years of attempting to dominate,  roboticize, pollute and generally take over the world. Good thing to remember for those evil geniuses reading this – if you aren’t successful, just open a theme park and everything is better.

So Eggman opens this theme park, apologizes for a life of making Satan look a puppy, and all is supposedly well. Sonic, however wise in his years, doesn’t quite believe him. So he grabs his buddy Tails, hops in the space elevator, then smashes his way through an endless cloud of balloons and harmless welcome robots waving greeting signs. It isn’t long before Sonic and Tails discover the true sinister plot which involves kidnapping aliens (called Wisps) and CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED*. These aliens,  in their exceptionally creepy nature, are capable of merging themselves with Sonic, not unlike a good skin cream, giving him spiffy new abilities. Unfortunately, these abilities aren’t all that well planned out by the developers, causing them to not really be as fun as they could be.

I make an awesome skin cream.

For example, the first ability Sonic obtains is the Laser ability. This works similar to the aiming mechanism in the classic Bust-a-Move, however without the same precision. While the player is able to aim sonic to bounce off of the scenery, the actual functionality to do this is rather poor, and more often than not you will find the target line sticking in a certain direction and refusing to allow you to actually aim it where you want it.

The other main problem I found with this game was the speed at which it expects the player to learn new skills. In most games, they will flash a quick training blurb on the screen, giving you ample time to read it and acknowledge it, and then they present you with the situation where you need to use it. In Sonic Colors , you get about the same amount of time that it takes a street light to turn green and the New Yorker behind you to lay on their horn (or, for those not from the East Coast – a split second).  The game does, however, have a number of game-pausing “?” targets to hit, but there is still a number of times where requirements are displayed with no way to actually read or acknowledge them before you must make use of them.

Go, Go, Hedgehog.

So. What do I think of the game? It’s good! It’s actually rather fun. The cut-scenes are well done (though Sonic only talks out of the sides of his face), the gameplay is fun, and the music is worth a soundtrack purchase.  This is a game that I give 4 / 5 Robotocized Furry Mammals.

If you’ve got a Wii, and you have a Wii remote, then this game is worth picking up. Yes, it may be a gleeful secret giant middle-finger to Nintendo in response to Super Mario Galaxy, yes it may have times that you are expected to learn at the speed of light, and yes it may be a 3D Sonic game. But in the end, it is what a video game should be… FUN.

Peace out, readers. Enjoy applying that Wisp cream!

*Censored by our crack team of Spoiler Prevention Cats

A copy of Sonic Colors was supplied to The Married Gamers for the purpose of examination and review. When not writing reviews and articles, Dave Calabrese runs his game development company, Cerulean Games, Inc. and enjoys the mountain air of Denver, CO.

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Author: Dave Calabrese View all posts by
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave has always looked towards creative mediums as a way to showcase untold stories and to entertain others. From a young age, Dave would spend hours in his family's home creating home-made board games and writing stories. His father worked in the game industry, which allowed Dave the early insight on another direction he could take his creative inspirations in. He eventually found a job in the game industry, and seven years later had a stack of published games under his belt and a number of award winning titles to bulletpoint his resume with. Dave continues to pave the way to the future of the games industry by telling stories and entertaining through interactive mediums which will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you come back for more.

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