A Game Review of the Nintendo Wii 'Sonic Colors' by 'Jeremy Hardin' (JHardin1112)
Team Sonic has done a wonderful job creating a new game that is bursting at the seams with content and will appeal to your senses.
A review by JHardin1112.
Game - Sonic Colors
Version - Wii
Time Spent Playing - 5+ hours
Obtained - Review Copy from Sega
I enjoyed playing Sonic games on the Sega Genesis as a child. I have not played any since then, until now. From what I have read about previous games not being received well, I can say that you have nothing to worry about with Sonic Colors. The game brings back fond memories of that wonderful blue blur, is an absolute blast to play, and feels faster than ever before.
The story behind Sonic Colors seems straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon and does quite a decent job of laying the foundation for the rest of the game. The game takes place in an interstellar amusement park created and run by Eggman, a.k.a - Baldy McNosehair (in-game reference), and his two dopey robot minions. Eggman has enslaved an alien world full of creatures known as Wisps, and is harnessing their energy for his evil plans. The story is presented through humorous cut scenes with great looking visuals and voice acting that is done well.
Gameplay and Controls
Sonic Colors is laid out in a hub world concept. From the world map you are able to access each planet and it's area map. In addition to each area, you are also able to reach Eggman's Sonic Simulator. In the Sonic Simulator, you play as a Robot Sonic and race through stripped down, bare, no frills levels. This is in no way a bad thing. In fact, the design choice is fitting for a simulator and works quite well. The simulator consists of 21 levels, three for each of the seven areas. Your goal is to collect rings and achieve a high score. You can control the speed of Sonic and you can even play as your Mii. When you are ready for some challenges, you can enter the Egg Shuttle, which is home to the challenge mode. In here, you race through levels of the game trying to achieve high scores based on your speed, rings, etc. Your scores are then recorded and displayed on the side of the shuttle. The final extra area you can access is the options. Within the options menu, you can access: settings, movies, character customization, and online leader boards. Before you connect to the online leader board, you can view your scores for each level. Then, once connected, you can see where you rank among friends, local, or top 20 scores. I obviously have quite a long way to go, as I rank 2,278 in the first level. Rather than attribute it to my lack of skill, let's just blame my score on the fact that I am trying to review the game. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Now that I have explained the extras, here is the meat of the game, the levels. The world map consists of the space station and five surrounding planets. Your goal in Sonic Colors is to race through each act of the areas and to free the imprisoned Wisps until you reach the inevitable boss battle. As you progress through the levels, you will obtain the basic Wisps ability of boost. The more Wisps you collect, the more your boost bar fills up. By using boost, you can access ordinarily inaccessible areas. You can also barrel down enemies without getting hurt. Scattered about the acts are special Wisps power ups. Once you beat the first act in each world, the Wisps power ups are then unlocked on other planets you have visited. These power ups can also be used to access hidden areas, alternate paths, and more. There are six areas in the game, each with six acts and one boss battle. Even without all the extras, you have 36 acts to run through and seven bosses to conquer. As you make your way through each level, you will see six red rings scattered about. Some of these rings can't be reached the first time through the level, as you don't have access to all the necessary Wisps. In addition to these unreachable rings, there are also unreachable areas, and multiple paths you can take. This design choice ensures high replay value an several hours of enjoyable gameplay. If the idea of replaying a level solely for the red coins, high scores, and unreachable areas isn't enough to motivate you, then what about Super Sonic? That's right! If you obtain all 180 red coins, AND clear every Sonic Simulator stage, you will unlock the option to play as Super Sonic. Given all the options, the $50 price is well worth it. Who am I kidding? I was sold on this game after the first couple of acts!
The game controls with either the Wiimote and Nunchuk or the GameCube controller. I tried both schemes and they worked well. For this review, I used the Wiimote and Nunchuk scheme. You can double jump, dash forward, slide, and slam the ground. To control the Wisps, you simply shake the remote. To use the boost power, you press and hold B. Doing so depletes your boost bar, which can be easily be refilled by defeating certain enemies or destroying the containers that house the Wisps.
Visuals and Sound
The visuals of Sonic Colors are some of the best to date on the Wii in my opinion. There are a variety of locales, lush environments, vibrant colors, and excellent level design. You can run through piles of popcorn while racing through Sweet Mountain, smash through Gingerbread men as you round corners, or ride the Dragon Roller Coaster, which flies through space, as mountains spew green liquid out in the background. Every single level has plenty of visuals that you will truly enjoy, if you're able to notice them as you speed past. Seriously though, I recommend taking a dry run through the acts from time to time just to enjoy all the visual extras. The cut scenes are done really well. As I mentioned before, they look like they could be a Saturday morning cartoon. One final thing to note about the visuals is the animation and detail on the area maps. Every area map is animated and stays true to the theme of the world.
The music is catchy, enjoyable, and well suited to each act. I know I would enjoy the soundtrack to this game. The voice acting is done really well. Sonic and Tails come across as sarcastic, funny, serious, and playful. Some games have voice acting that can be irritating and ill-suited for the characters. Thankfully this is not the case for Sonic Colors.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Team Sonic has done a wonderful job creating a new game that is bursting at the seams with content and will appeal to your senses. From stunning visuals, and catchy tunes, to the incredibly enjoyable gameplay and speed, Sonic Colors has just about everything you could want from a game. For the Sonic fans out there, this is a must have. As for the rest of us who haven't followed Sonic over the years, guess what? This is a must have.
Final Score: 5 out of 5
I have only put 5+ hours into the game, but I know I will be spending several more hours enjoying all that Sonic Colors has to offer. For $50, this is definitely a smart buy.
Our thanks again to 'JHardin1112' for another one of his amazing reviews!