Yes… Another Sonic review…
Sonic Colours, that’s colours with a U by the way, is another step in the right direction. It took the best part of Sonic Unleashed (also with a U), that’s the incredibly fast and enjoyable day stages for those of you who aren’t keeping up (pun intended), and made a whole game of it. But don’t think Sonic Colours hasn’t brought anything new to the table.
Wisps. No I haven’t started talking jibberish, wisps are, apart from being an exceptionally cruel word for people with lisps (which is also an incredibly cruel word), an alien race, who are the main plot point of the game. After realising that he’s never going to get the Chaos Emeralds, Eggman resorts to stealing an entire planet of aliens. Literally. The entire planet. He then brings it into Earths orbit, builds a giant theme park, in space, claims he’s built it to make up for the amount of times he’s tried to destory the Earth, and no-one seems to have any flashbacks to the ARK. Eggman plus giant theme park, in space, made up of multiple planets, and a giant pillar in the centre that’s pointing towards the Earth, means it’s perfectly safe and not at all part of his evil plan.
Right anyway, Sonic, who is known for his detective skills, just knows that Eggman is up to something. So what does he do? Trash the place in true Sonic style. Fast, fluent and fun. The gameplay is basically the same as Sonic Unleashed’s day stages, so I won’t go into too much detail, however something feels different. I’m not on about the fact that there are now aliens that you can absorb and use their powers, I’m on about the normal gameplay. I can’t put my finger on it, but something feels slightly different. Probably because it’s on Wii, and I’m thinking about the Xbox version of Unleashed. As a side note, you are able to double jump in this game. Thought you might like to know.
Being as though this space station is supposed to be a theme park, there are a number of themed zones. There’s Sweet Mountain, Asteroid Coaster, the Starlight Carnival, and a few others. Those might not be the actual names, but it’s from the top of my head. Each zone has six acts and a boss, apart from the final zone, which has two acts and a boss. Personally I think that six acts may be a bit too much, as most of the acts are realtively short. They could’ve just combined a few, made each one a bit longer, and only had three acts. The bosses are fun, but not too challenging. However each boss is used twice in the game. Couldn’t Sonic Team come up with anymore ideas? Though fair play to them, at this point they had been doing the series for 19 years. Anyway the wisps. The Wii version has 8 wisps. The White Wisp, which fills your boost gauge. The Yellow wisp, which allows you to become a drill, however if you’re underground when you run out of power, you will die. You can also use this underwater. If you run out underwater, you’ll just revert back to normal Sonic. This one can be a bit of a pain to control. Speaking of underwater, the good old classic last ditch attempts for air are back, however they are easier than before, with the inclusion of the double jump. The double jump allows you to get back to the surface, and is the closest Sonic will ever get to swimming, forgetting Olympic Games (or as I like to call it MASATOG).
Anyway where was I? Oh yes, wisps. There’s a cyan one which turns you into a laser, and you can bounce of walls, smash up enemies, reflect of prisms and enter electric circuits for a shortcut. There’s a blue one, which momentarily turns you into a cube. Then any blue cubes become blue rings, and vice versa. This can be used to create paths, so you can continue the level. There’s a green wisp, which allows you to hover, and you can also use the ring dash while in this form. It’s a little slippery to control, but it works. There’s an orange one that turns you into a rocket. You shoot up into the sky, explode, and float back down again. What quite happened to gravity is a mystery, but yes he floats. This is very rarely used, in my experience, to continue the level, and is mainly used to get items.
In avoidance of the previous paragraph becoming too long, I will continue my list of the wisps here. There’s a pink one which turns you into a ball of spikes, because Hedgehogs don’t come with their own. Well technically they don’t. If you actually want to read the technicalities see the bottom of the page. Anyway these spikes allow you to grip to walls. I find this one the second most difficult to control, but apart from that it’s very useful, as you can still jump, and you can most importantly smash through some parts of the walls, to reach secret areas.
And last but not least is the purple wisp. This one is both the best and worst. It’s the best, because you become what resembles some sort of alien wolf, and eat literally everything in your way. However it is extremely difficult to control, but it does balance it out, considering how amazing it is. Hang on a sec? Transforming into a wolf? Anyone else getting de ja vu?
Anyway one of the biggest changes, is to do with the characters themselves. The entire voice cast has been replaced, with the exception of Mike Pollock, who’s amazing at being Eggman. Sonic is now voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who, while pretty good, doesn’t beat Griffith for me. Well Griffith in Unleashed anyway. Tails now sounds more like a boy, because he is in fact voiced by… a girl again. I won’t go into the voice actors too much, as it doesn’t effect the game too much, however I will say that Tails’s is an improvement, while I’m not too keen on Sonic’s, however it’s still pretty good. And Eggman’s brilliant as always.
Well while I don’t often mind, I’ll quickly review the graphics. For a Wii game, they’re pretty damn good. Nice, bright and colourful, making the game look beautiful. Not as good as Unleashed, but still pretty damn good. As a theme park, there were a lot of chances to make dazzling levels, and SEGA pounced on the chance, just like a Classic Sonic fan boy pounces on the chance to moan about Modern Sonic. Green eyes. What will they think of next?
But there’s got too be something bad about the game, hasn’t there? Well there is. It’s too short. I beat it within a few hours, and although the replay value is immense, I feel we could’ve done with at least another zone. The bosses are fun, but are repeated. Apart from the last boss. And with the amount of amazing music in the game, I find the lack of a sound test disappointing.
Speaking of the music, did I mention it’s amazing? Well just thought I should. As I say with most Sonic games, the music gets stuck in my head. That’s why the person I sit next to in Physics sometimes starts to hear “rolling around at the speed of sound, got places to go, gotta follow my rainbow” to the left of them. Most of the level themes are amazing, a few of my favourites being Planet Wisp, Aquatic Park and Speak With Your Heart which, like Endless Possibilities, I find quite inspirational. However, pieces such as Sweet Mountain, aren’t quite as good. But the best piece in the game has to be the main theme, Reach For The Stars. No it’s not S Club 7. While the normal version is exquisite (how sophisticated), the orchestral version is just… beautiful. What is it with Sonic games and orchestral themes? His World was brilliant in both versions. Endless Possibilities was extraordinary in both versions. And Reach For The Stars continues the tradition!
Something else that was added to this game was the Sonic Simulator. It’s basically extra levels. They play the same as the main game, apart from the fact that a second player can join in the fun. Personally I think that the levels are more enjoyable when played alone. One thing that I like in these levels, is that they borrow a lot of things from the old Mega Drive games. Remember Spring Yard Zone, with the giant spiked balls that moved from side to side. Those are in here. Infact if you pay really close attention, you’ll notice that some of them are as close to an exact replica of previous levels. Go on Youtube and pull up a video of Marble Zone from Sonic 1. Play it while playing the first level of the second act in the Simulator. It’s the exact same level. It’s like Generations a year early.
Anyway, you play as Sonic Drones, which are (would you have guessed it) drones, that look like Sonic. It’s kind of like Metal Sonic having kids. Actually, it’s nothing like that, and like me, you now probably have a very disturbing image in your head. Well what do you think he did with Amy when he kidnapped her in Sonic CD? Anyway they come in a variety of different colours (again with a U) such as green, pink, black or classic blue, however they all play the same. Something else you can do is play as your Miis. Again nothing is changed gameplay wise, but they look creepy and personally I prefer to play as the Sonic Drones.
But something that annoys me about the Sonic Simulator is how you unlock more levels. To unlock more levels you need to collect red emblems that are found within the levels of the main game. They’re sort of similar to the Fire Souls in Secret Rings. Anyway there’s six in each level, and once you’ve collected enough you’ll unlock a new level. There are seven different zones, and each zone has three acts. To complete every level the Simulator has to offer, you’ll have to collect every single emblem. Your reward for collecting every single emblem, and completeing every single Simulator stage? I would say “we’ll let you find out that for yourself” but then you’d probably just go on Youtube and find a video telling you, so I’ll just come out with it. You get.
It’s that cool that it got it’s own two line paragraph. Yes your reward is for you to be able to play as Super Sonic in the ordinary levels. For the first time in a 3D Sonic game! I hope to see this in future games, but with an easier way to get the Emeralds. (Since time of writing, Generations has come out, and it’s easier to get the Emeralds.)
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough, so I’ll wrap it up here. Final thoughts? It’s a brilliant game. It took the best part of another brilliant game, did it well, but like I said, just felt different somehow. While I found the addition of the wisps cool, don’t bring them back again. They were fun, but don’t over do it. Anyway, overall the game is short, but an immense amount of fun. If you enjoyed Unleashed day stages as much as me, and you don’t have this game, it’s a must. Final score? A respectable 8 out of 10. Good old Sonic fun. Also be on the look out for MASATLTTOG.
Technicalities: Hedgehogs have quills. Also hedgehogs can actually swim. But then again there aren’t many blue anthropomorphic hedgehogs who can speak are there?