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Sonic Colors

Sonic Colors Wii Preview
by Tim Turi on Jun 16, 2010 at 11:43 AM
Platform Wii, DS
Publisher Sega
Developer Sega
Release 2010
Rating Everyone

Sonic Colors came as a surprise announcement last month, and now that I’ve played it I’ll admit it was surprisingly fun as well. The game shares a lot of similarities with the Dreamcast classic Sonic Adventure with enough new stuff to make the formula even more entertaining.

The demo began in a Tropical Resort level, sporting polished and gorgeous graphics. The acting begins in 3D, with Sonic rushing down familiar-feeling ramps in 3D while using his homing attack to chain together attacks on enemies. Now Sonic has a boost meter, allowing players to give him a quick jolt of speed whenever they choose. The screen even blurs when Sonic reaches top velocity, creating a wonderful sense of speed. Controlling Sonic in these 3D sections feels a bit touchy, but it’s still leaps and bounds better than the Sonic Adventure titles. This level and another which is set on a floating candy factory have interesting designs, but it’s easy to get confused when speed clashes with complicated obstacles.

Sonic Colors’ biggest innovation is the additions of Wisps. These colorful extraterrestrial critters have been captured by Dr. Eggman and held captive in his intergalactic amusement park/fortress. As Sonic liberates these aliens he obtains special powers. One Wisp can turn Sonic into a laser, which is activated by shaking the Wii Remote, tweaking trajectory with the analog stick, and firing at the target. Another turns the hedgehog into a drill, facilitating super fast, mole-like digging to collect buried rings. These powers become most useful when the game shifts into a 2D perspective, allowing for more precision. Just as in Sonic Unleashed, the 2D sections of the game are actually more fun than the 3D parts. Hopefully later stages involve more interesting level design.

The final zone I played features a boss battle. Platforms rotate around a central weak point, and Sonic must navigate them to attack. While the fight is rather underwhelming, using a Wisp power to thread a laser through the platforms to deliver the final blow is very satisfying.

Overall, Sonic Colors is shaping up to be the best Sonic title available on modern consoles. If Sonic Team sticks with the simple formula they’ve established, while refining what’s already present, then Sonic fans ready for another 3D excursion are in for a treat.

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Sonic Colors

Wii, DS
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