The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Mario blew gamers’ minds when he blasted to space in 2007’s sublime
Super Mario Galaxy. Now Sonic is taking his platforming antics to the
stars with Sonic Colors, but unlike Nintendo’s plumber, this hedgehog is
stuck floating in a gaping void of mediocrity.
This time, Dr.
Eggman has built a gigantic galactic theme park he’s using to capture
colorful aliens called wisps. It’s up to Sonic and Tails to free these
critters while cracking self-aware jokes that poke fun at the series’
absurdity. Sonic Colors sports the wittiest writing I’ve ever heard in a
Sonic game, and even the surliest Sega fan will chuckle.
Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors frequently shifts between 3D and 2D
gameplay, but instead of offensively bad combat, this game features the
predictable on-rails running we’ve known since Sonic Adventure. While
these guided rollercoaster rides show off stunning environments like a
park made of sweets or a lush alien planet, their limited control either
left me yawning or dead as the action abruptly shifted back into my
power. During several fast-paced stretches Sonic is supposed to perform
quick sidesteps, but the move is unresponsive and the game never
clarifies when you need to maintain momentum by pressing forward on the
Sonic’s adventure enjoys some marginal improvement
in the 2D sections. Wisp power-ups do well to spice up gameplay variety,
but for almost every useful ability there is a complete dud.
Transforming into a drill, rocket, or ricocheting laser results in the
most enjoyable action I’ve played in a console Sonic game in years, but
the wall-clinging buzzsaw and frenzied berserker powers control like
you’re holding the nunchuk upside-down. Handling the hedgehog becomes
even more frustrating when you combine his floaty physics with precious,
life-giving rings that disappear unreasonably fast after getting hit.
Colors is plagued by uneven difficulty. At its best you’ll be blasting
across water and dismantling gigantic starships. At its worst you’ll be
repeatedly falling into surprise pits or groaning as a joyous run is
halted by a jarring section with moving spring platforms. A two-player
mode in which two Sonics share a screen is available, but you don’t want
to play that crowded mess.
Sonic Team’s most recent Wii offering
is evidence that it’s attempting to claw its way out of a deep grave
crammed with disappointing titles. Some diehard Sonic fans with
unlimited patience may find enjoyment here, but the rest of us should
pick up one of Sonic’s fully 2D titles until they get it right.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.