Sonic Colours Review

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Oh no, it’s another Sonic game. 2010 hasn’t been the worst year for Sonic, DIMPS effort on Sonic 4: Episode One wasn’t too bad, though I never understood why Sonics very own sense of speed felt diminished and the feeling of inertia downplayed, but even still it wasn’t a bad effort if not a little pricy for what you got. The funny story surrounding Sonic Colours is that we’ve been ranting about it for some time. I called the shots about this game on a podcast that it would totally trounce Sonic 4 in every aspect and I am absolutely right. What astounded me was that Sega were trying to suppress the hype surrounding Colours in fear that it would take the emphasis off the DLC only Sonic 4. Thing is, what we saw from the trailer back at E3 threw us into a frenzy and rightly so because Sonic Colours is nothing short of brilliant. It’s a return to form, the ultimate come back and a game that has outdone Sonic Adventure.

Sonic Team have extracted everything that was positively shit about every Sonic game and threw it into the trash can. Gone are the crappy side characters, the Werehog and the fucking swords and back is the fizzing fast game play that leaves your head in a dizzy spin of excitement. Sonic Colours is basically a glorified Sonic Unleashed minus the stupid plot, stupid night transformation and leaves the very essence that had your jaw dropping when you first played the Unleashed demo. This time around Dr. Eggman has been abducting aliens called Wisps and is harnessing their power to once again do a worldly bad deed. To lure Sonic & Tails he decided to make a theme park based planet system and provide a huge giant shuttle stemming from what can only be described as planet Earth going all the way up to his amusement park. The amusement park is set up into sub-system worlds which stem from Aquarium, Disco and Cake themed levels. No we are not kidding! One sub-world is made entirely out of delicious cake! All of these levels are beautifully created utilizing zips, loops, inverts and quick reaction areas. Sonic also takes a leap out of Super Mario Galaxy in some areas with more platform orientated action but in Colours it actually works because the levels are no longer than 6-7 minutes in length.

Colours does like to dabble in plenty of death drop areas and chaining enemy kills together and using certain Wisp power ups will be needed to make your way across huge gaps. It changes the fast frenetic game play up at the right times preventing the game from ever going stale. Expect to get a little frustrated with these elements though, especially levels which you’ll be required to scale heights as opposed to speeding it down gunning wide paths. These elements do come into play throughout the game and will test your patience with the game and it’s a real juxtaposition to the care free Sonic we are used to seeing throughout the game as a whole. When the speed is on though, real enjoyment is ensued. At times the control is taken away from the player but only to serve and highlight the level design and at the right moments. Each individual sub-world is crated to offer something new and inventive whilst at the same time you are sat their admiring the beauty of each world, the colourfulness it possess and the hope that one day this game will find it’s way in HD because if it did it would be nothing short of a visual masterpiece.

The games main new design area is Wisps. Replacing the standard Sonic power-ups when Wisps are saved they possess Sonic with different power-ups. One turns Sonic into a laser, targeting diamonds around the game area as the hedgehog zig-zags through the games terrain. The green Wisp power-up allows Sonic to do a tails and fly and other power-ups include sticking to walls and ceilings and drilling through soft terrain. Power-ups then that go above and beyond of, any Sonic game in previous iterations. End level bosses are satisfying too. The first boss you experience before the game even kicks off is a huge ferris wheel monster that must be attacked in the middle. You get a real sense of scale here and whilst I don’t want to ruin the other bosses, they are certainly carrying on in the same level of quality.

Sonic Colours also has multiplayer but it is restricted to the Dr Eggman’s Sonic Simulator which, is a pretty cool game addition. It allows you to play a whole new Sonic game but with the visual style of the Mirrors Edge time trial runs. You can have 1.5 players whereby you have a player trailing and attached to you or alternatively you can work co-operatively to complete levels. In some essence I am not so sure this would have worked too well in the single player as you’d have to start playing around with opening/closing doors and switches which would just slow the game down. Colours also offers a decent amount of replay value. Each level has hidden tokens and you are rewarded a letter rating dependent on how fast you are and how many rings you have totalled each level. Whilst it’s relatively easy to complete the game, it is difficult to nail down 100% completion so that’ll please people looking to get more out of their offering.

There are only two gripes with this game really, the music (Jun Senmoue) and the wall jumping. Colours music is extremely fast and energetic but it does not take this into consideration when the pace of the game slows down, this can throw you a little as a player as it just doesn’t sound right. Secondly wall jumping is aggravating and whilst it works, it’s difficult to pull off with any real flow. I am also delighted to announce that the voice acting is very good and so is the dialogue. Early on in the game Tails is trying to create a device to understand what the Wisps are saying, much to the embarrassment of Tails it doesn’t quite work at first and the hilarity ensues. The dialogue between Eggman’s robots are good too, I particularly like Cubot and Orbot whom bring humour to the fore.

Whilst Sonic Colours is not without its few hindrances, they are worth the frustration they create as round the corner is another blissfully enjoyable thrill ride of speed. The games platform based additions serve a good purpose keeping the game fresh and whilst you are not expecting these features from Sonic, they never last long enough to become stale. In essence this is the very best Sonic game since the 90’s and pushes beyond that of Sonic Adventure. To do that really does give this 2D/3D spliced effort the commendation it deserves. Essential purchase!

95/100

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