Sonic Colours

So, the Sonic Unleashed review was a disaster, but that game is over and done with, I may never touch it again.

Now, this was a game I was looking forward to, I’ve heard good stuff about it and I finally got a copy of it. Is it any good? Sonic Colors (ソニックカラーズ Sonikku Karāzu), but in Europe and Australia, we have a more intelligible name, Sonic Colours, developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega and was released in 2010.

Dr. Eggman opens an amusement park as an apology for his evil deeds. The park is made up of a number of different planets changed together…like Sonic CD. Sonic and Tails investigate and meet an alien named Yacker, who is one of the Wisps, an alien species who have been kidnapped by Eggman so he can use their energy to fuel a mind-control cannon.

So now we’re back to a nice, simple story, and it really fits the series well, that and I don’t have to over-analyse it. I just feel the humor can be cringy (I’ll say it now, it’s not as bad as a future game in the series). But by far the weirdest thing about the story are…no, not the aliens, but the fact that the writers, Ken Pontac and Warren Graff, also wrote MadWorld and Happy Tree Friends, a violent video game and a violent cartoon…OK maybe not that violent compared to other things, but they’re violent nonetheless, so seeing them writing a Sonic story is…kind of funny when you think about it.

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The Nature Vs. Technology metaphor rears its beautiful head.

Sonic’s gameplay is near enough the daytime stages from Sonic Unleashed, if a bit slower but just about right without being 06 and it plays just as well as the daytime stages from Sonic Unleashed, I’m saying it’s more balanced. It can also support all of the compatible controllers the Wii has…and you know, that GameCube controller is boss mate, hehehe, good one Sega. NOICE!!! Sorry.

Anyway, Sonic can boost around the levels and he can get them by using White Wisps, though, I don’t think there’s ever enough of them for the levels that may need it since there are parts where you don’t run that much and goes to basic platforming. Yes, there are platforming parts as well as the speedy areas, but you know what, they balance well, because I never had the dissatisfaction of the lack of speed levels, I knew I had my fill of that so I’m left with a nice package here.

Sonic also has the air stomp, the wall jump and the double jump which can be very useful when there’s bottomless pits. And they’re not upgradable, you get them right from the start. But for some reason, the spin dash is gone. Heck, I even tried to do it at one point and was a bit puzzled about it, but it’s not the end of the world since I don’t think I needed it that much.

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Russian Daisy: Me and my Gopniks crank that s*** up by 11.

Well, we finally have a Sonic game with no gimmicks and all gameplay…hahaha, I couldn’t say that with a straight face, of course we have needless gimmicks…to an extent. So when all else fails…

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We have the wisps, they’re power-ups and you can use them in the levels. The Cyan Wisp will let you become a laser and bounce of walls and such and even go through power lines. The Yellow Wisp will turn you into a drill where you can travel through soft ground and water…and apparently controls like Nights from Nights into Dreams. The Orange Wisp will allow you to become a rocket and shoot upwards into the air, once you’re done with it, Sonic will turn back to normal and freefall…and somehow doesn’t die from it. The Pink Wisp can turn Sonic into a spiky ball…just like what Sonic can do? Anyway, he can climb up walls and ceilings and use a spin dash to destroy specific objects and enemies…wait, the spin dash is a power-up? What the heck Sonic Team?

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USE THE SPEED DASH YOU B******!

The Blue Wisp will let you turn blue blocks into blue rings, and vice versa, allowing you to go to hidden areas and find some good items. The Green Wisp allows you to hover and fast travel via a set of rings, just like the light speed…dash. GOD DAMMIT SONIC TEAM! And finally we have the Purple Wisp, where Sonic becomes the purple Ultimate Chimera as you chomp down everything in sight, the more you eat, the bigger you get. Thankfully, they’re not the biggest hindrance as you only use them to get to alternative areas anyway, but they’re fun to use nonetheless.

There are seven different places to travel on, each with 6 acts and a boss…wait, six? Well on the bright side, most levels are very short and don’t overstay there welcome so that’s a plus. So here are the planets I can talk about.

Tropical Resort: Whilst it’s not Green Hill (RUINED FOREVER), it’s still a nice, colourful place. It’s basically the entrance to the park and a tutorial to show you how the game works and does a good job explaining to you how the game works.

Sweet Mountain: Also known as the USA, this planet is made up of food, it’s A Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs gone sexual I guess.

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Oh hey, it’s Flying Battery Zone!

Starlight Carnival: Take Tron, take too many drugs and you have a wacky and colourful techno-land. I like this one.

Planet Wisp: And here’s where we find out that this is the Wisp’s home planet being constructed into an attraction by Eggman, meaning that there are some dangerous parts to the levels. This also brings back the notion of Nature Vs. Technology from the classic Sonic games and it does it really well…mostly by being subtle about it.

Aquatic Park: A water planet with some Japanese flair to it. And for some reason, Sonic, for the first time since…ever, he can now swim underwater again. Why he was able to drown instantly in other 3D Sonic games is a complete mystery.

Asteroid Coaster: …it has asteroids…and rollercoasters…there’s also Saturn…get it ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

Terminal Velocity: This one can kiss my butt. I mean it’s not that hard but it’s that robot that shoots lasers and can hit you at the end, I mean you tell me to jump, I jump, I still get it, WHY?

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This place is literal cancer.

The graphics, for the Wii, are amazing, and I played this on a small CRT TV and it still looks fantastic. The level design is beautiful, vibrant and just incredibly dynamic at times, just what a Sonic game should be. Heck, the graphics are much better than freaking Sonic 06 and that was for HD consoles, how do you do that? The music is really good, it’s up there as one of my favourites, my favourites are Sweet Mountain, Starlight Carnival, Planet Wisp, Aquatic Park and the final boss. Some really great tunes here and I recommend having a listen to some or when you’re playing the game. But that Yellow Wisp Drill music though…sounds like early 00’s Britain.

The game is short, very short, I clocked in a measly 5 hours. The game is also easy though there are some parts that I find annoying. The bosses are a complete and utter joke, they’re easy, very easy. In fact, they’re the easiest bosses in near enough any Sonic game, I was surprised by this. I would accept this, however, they repeat and it’s ridiculous. The final boss is OK, it’s challenging the first time but it’s still easy.

My other issue is that despite being a 3D Sonic game, the majority of the game consists of 2.5D sections, and even when you do have 3D sections, they’re repetitive. And finally, the controls. They’re good, but jumping feels a bit stiff, it just feels off at times, though this doesn’t hinder the gameplay that much.

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WE’VE FINALLY RECOVERED!

Overall, Sonic Colours is a fantastic 3D Sonic game. This is a true example of a game that takes the best of what Sonic can do and make a Sonic game near worthy of the classics. It’s also the first time since Adventure that I truly had fun playing this one. It’s simple, it’s fast (at times), it’s fun, it’s a Sonic game to me. Whilst it may have some issues, at least they’re issues that at least don’t kill the experience. This is Sonic’s best 3D game in years and, judging from Generations, it’s going to get better.

You can get it on the Nintendo Wii.

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