Sonic Colours (Wii)
My oh my haven't we been spoiled? In the final months of 2010 SEGA released four different Sonic games (five if you want to consider Sonic 4 iOS as being seperate to the other versions). Whilst you could argue that this is a little bit of oversaturation, it's aided by the fact that, by and large, the games have been pretty good...
But if you thought Sonic 4 was the delicious cake you've waited oh so long for, I've got news for you - Sonic Colours on the Wii is the icing AND the cherry on top.
You should know this by now, but here's a brief recap if not. Dr. Eggman has apparently seen the error of his ways, and has created a massive floating theme park in space, as you do. Sonic sees through this ruse, whereas Tails pulls a Knuckles and falls for it like a gullable so-and-so...at least he does intially.
Turns out Eggman has been kidnapping little aliens called Wisps to harness their Hyper-go-on (yes, really) power. Cue Sonic setting off to save the day and defeat Eggman.
To be honest, that's all you need to know. The story works, and doesn't distract you from the gameplay with overly long cutscenes. It tells you what you need to know, and then lets you get on with it. Nice and simple.
-GAMEPLAY & CONTROLS-
Before you play Sonic Colours, you should probably make a decision as to HOW you're going to play it. Very wisely for a platform game, Sonic Team have given you every option you could possibly want as far as a control method goes. Wiimote & Nunchuk, Wiimote on it's own, Wii Classic Controller OR the Gamecube pad are all viable. I played using the Wiimote and Nunchuk, and for me that worked perfectly fine. If it's not your style, however, the different choices will be more than welcome.
Also, it's worth noting that if you for whatever reason hated the Day levels in Sonic Unleashed, you should perhaps stop reading now. This game won't be for you, because every level feels like a Day level. There are some where the camera's locked in 2D mode, but for the most part the camera switches from 3D to 2D and back again.
If you're still reading, thanks. Colours plays like any Sonic game in the 3D era, with Sonic having to make his way through the various levels, collecting rings, defeating the obstacle course Badniks and reaching the goal at the end. Some levels try to mix things up with a constantly scrolling screen, and each Act has 5 Red Rings to collect, but the real gamechangers are the Wisps. The Wii version features Spike, Hover, Frenzy, Cube, and Laser Wisps, alongside our favourite, the DRILL (UNCE UNCE UNCE etc).
Quite strangely, the Wisps don't feel like a gimmick like so many other additions to the Sonic series have been, and compliment the game very well, with certain powers opening up more routes through the levels as the game progresses. If you want to take them, that is. Whilst you can explore the levels, it still feels like you're pushing against the tide. 3D era Sonic is generally fast for the sake of it, and trying to slow down and explore various routes can be met with some difficulty on the control side of things. Bottomless pits are marked with a "!" (much like Sonic 4), but if you're going fast, you're bound to fall anyway.
Again, your mileage here will vary dependant on your thoughts on Unleashed, as the same sound team are present here. They do a brilliant job of taking Sonic away from the pop-rock sound he's had since the Adventure era which, whilst it wasn't really all that bad to begin with, it had started to grate. Unleashed bucked the trend brilliantly by going with musical styles that complimented the levels, and the same applies here. Particular favourites include Sweet Mountain, which starts off so punchy it stays in the mind for a while, and Planet Wisp. Special mention to the theme for Starlight Carnival's Map as well, which has a little bit of a Daft Punk vibe at the beginning.
Just like Unleashed, and Sonic 2006 to a lesser extent, you can very easily listen to the soundtrack outside of the game, and if you can afford it, a soundtrack purchase would be very highly recommended.
It's long been my opinion that, although the games have suffered at times, the soundtracks have always been one of the high points, and even though the games are improving in quality, the soundtracks are as well. Sonic Team have a good sound team here, and they should continue to work on the franchise. Very well done.
Sonic Colours is THE best 3D Sonic game, without question. Taking what many people liked about Unleashed and improving on small issues such as the camera, Colours is a game that should be played by any Sonic fan.
The game also feels at home on the Wii. I get the feeling that Sonic Team could really settle down and make the game they wanted to make, what with only needing to code for one platform. Don't get me wrong, the game would look an absolute beauty in HD, but I feel the overall quality would suffer as a result.
Graphics - 5/5
Can't go wrong here. It's not the best looking on the Wii, as it seems only Nintendo can manage gorgeous games, but it's certainly one of the best 3rd party efforts.
Gameplay - 4/5
Whilst this is the best Sonic has handled in 3D, there's a few design choices that seem questionable. If Sonic Team want you to explore the levels in future games, Sonic needs to be a bit slower. As he is at the moment, you're bound to go flying off ledges a little too often. Other than that, everything works fine. The Wisps don't feel gimmicky either, which is nice.
Sound - 5/5
I'm so happy that the sound team for Unleashed was kept on. The Unleashed soundtrack was a real ear-pleaser, with themes that complimented the levels. Colours is no exception. Absolutely superb.
Length - 3/5
Although each level has 7 Acts and a Boss, some of the Acts are very short. As a result, unless you want to shoot around collecting Red Rings and S-ranking every level, the game can be over in a day or two. You'll have fun regardless, though.
Overall - 4/5
This was so close to being a 5. If the gameplay was a bit more finely tuned, and the game packed a little more of a challenge, it'd be there. Even without those, Sonic Colours is still the best Sonic's been in 3D. You really do owe it to yourself to play it.
18th March, 2012 - 19:41 GMT
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