Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review: Sonic Colors (Wii)

Sonic Colors
Nintendo Wii

When Sega first released Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis in 1991, it was something totally unique and fresh. Instead of trying to make just another inferior Mario clone like most companies, they basically created their own sub-genre of platformers that hasn't been matched to this day.

In case you don't know what the Sonic games were about, here's a summary: run to the right really, really fast and don't die. Okay, so it was a little more than that, but that's the basic shell of the game. It wasn't as if you would just hold the right button on your controller and sometimes jump; at least half of each level required patience, accurate jumping skills, and good timing--not too far off from what you would expect from a Mario game. Looking back, the level design in Sonic games was incredible. If you didn't just blaze through the levels and took time to stop and look for different ways to go or secret areas, you would realize that the levels were actually gigantic and complex. Also, the music in the series was always fantastic.

Somewhere along the road Sega lost sight of what made Sonic so special. They tried to give it more storyline and add new playable characters; for a series that is all about speed, all this did was slow things down. I had heard good things about the latest Sonic game, Sonic Colors, so I thought I'd give it a chance and I added it to my Gamefly queue.

Finally it came, and I was ready to revive a dead passion for Sonic. I was expecting a lengthy, terribly voiced, boring series of cutscenes once I started a new game; I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was thrown directly in the beginning of a level just like in the old Sonic games. It felt a little weird as I tried walking around in 3D at first, but once I actually started running something strange happened--I smiled because of a Sonic game. It felt completely natural and nostalgic as I rushed up and down hills and plowing through enemies.

After I played through two exciting levels, then came the cutscene. I thought "oh boy, here we go..." To my surprise, I was entertained by the cutscene. The voice acting was great, the characters were well animated, it didn't drag on, and there was some funny dialogue. Of course, I turned the voice acting to Japanese once I saw that it was an option, so I can't really say how great the English voice acting was throughout the game; from what I saw it was very good though.

My favorite part about this game is that it combines various gameplay styles, but unlike past epic fail Sonic games, they are all variations on the same style of gameplay. Sometimes you are running fast with full 3D control, other times you are running really fast from a sidescrolling perspective, other times Sonic runs automatically and you just have to control his "quick steps" left and right to dodge obstacles. All the gameplay styles flow into each other seamlessly and it makes for incredible and exciting levels. Oh and you have a boost button which consumes your boost bar; it makes you go even faster, like, seizure-inducing faster.

I understand that a game shouldn't be just running really fast the entire time, but I did find that some of the more conventional platforming and exploration sections of the levels really slowed it down. It felt a little like when you are in a hurry to get somewhere and you have to stop for a red light. I am almost starting to think that Sonic games should just be running really fast the entire time, almost more like a racing game. The platforming stuff is better suited for plumbers anyway.

There are also these cute little aliens called Wisps in the game. They are part of the plot, but they also help you in the gameplay. There are Laser, Drill, Rocket, Spike, Nega, and a green one that makes you fly (I can't remember the name). They are pretty cool, but I feel like some of them also slow down the game at some parts.

The game looks fantastic too, it has something that most modern games do not have--color. You will probably forget that you're playing on the Wii most of the time. The level design is outstanding; and especially considering how fast you are going through them as well as all the things going on in the background and foreground, I am surprised that the Wii can run it so smoothly. The music is generally incredible and goes very well with the pace and structure of the game. All levels in a world have the same song, but each level has its own variation of that song. P.S. Is it wrong that I love the theme song? (Video on the right)

Overall it is an amazing game. The only real issue I have with it is that it didn't even take me six hours to beat. No matter how great it is, I would never pay full price for a game this short. Rent it, you will love it for the one or two days it takes to beat.

Gameplay - 7/10
Visual - 8/10
Audio - 7/10


  1. this can't beat sonic adventure 2 for the genesis, where shadow appears.

  2. Haha Julio, stop ruining my blog.