Sonic Colors is a game that I missed when it was first released back in 2010, but I had the chance to pick it up recently and I couldn’t pass over that opportunity. I am a long-time fan of the Sonic series in general and that includes Sonic 3D Blast. So when this game started receiving great critical praise and captured the hearts of the Sonic hardcore, I knew this was a game that I couldn’t miss. However, now that I have spent a considerable amount of time with the game, is this title worthy of all its praise?
Before I critique the gameplay, let’s look at the story. It all begins when Sonic and Tails sneak into Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park. Upon arrival we learn that Eggman created this new amusement park to make up for all the trouble he caused in the past, however, Sonic sees right through this gesture and tries to figure out Eggman’s angle. Eggman is in fact up to something with plans to capture an alien species (Wisps) and use their energy as a source of power for Eggman’s many inventions. As you progress through the game, the story unfolds in a series of gorgeous and awesome cinematic scenes. Most of the dialogue and voice acting is well done with Eggman’s robots Orbot and Cubot being my favourite characters. Their dialogue is extremely funny and charming while Tails on the other hand is just flat out annoying and unfunny.
Sonic Colors is a lot like previous 3D Sonic adventures in that it includes fast advancement with quick sidestepping, homing attacks and drifting being integral parts of the gameplay. Sonic is also easily controlled with just a Wii Remote (you can also use the Nunchuck, Classic Controller or the GameCube controller if you wish) and a few buttons making it easily accessible. However, Sonic Colors has much more to offer than the core design of past 3D Sonic games.
Sonic Colors also brings back some classic sidescrolling platforming action which is mixed in quite well with the traditional 3D gameplay. There are multiple paths to take throughout each level that features a number of varying challenges and level of difficulty. On each course the main objective is to reach the end goal and this is all I ask for in any Sonic game. Sonic Colors doesn’t just mix both styles of gameplay as it also introduces a brand new power-up system for Sonic as well.
There are eight different color Wisps that offer up a variety of different abilities. These abilities include the Cyan Wisp’s laser ability which allows Sonic to transform into a laser, and the Orange Wisp which will send Sonic sky high by imitating a rocket. Most of these powers are useful for getting to the goal, but not necessarily needed. You will be using these powers to find each level’s hidden red Special Rings. My only complaint with the powers is that it is much harder to activate the special power-ups than it needs to be when using the Wii Remote. You need to shake the controller to activate them and sometimes the Wii Remote doesn’t register this for some reason. It can take you out of action when this happens, but it isn’t a deal breaker.
There are seven worlds in Sonic Colors with five acts and one boss in each world; the final area being the exception! Sonic Colors also introduces an overworld map for each world. This is akin to most Super Mario games and works well here. Most of the boss battles are fantastic and well designed, especially the clever final boss, but there are some bosses which are just repeats (albeit with new obstacles) of previous fights. That stands out as being lazy in an otherwise brilliantly designed game.
Each level in Sonic Colors also contains a set of Special Rings. 180 of these can be found and with the ability to achieve “S” ranks on each stage, there is plenty of replay value contained within this package. There are also plenty of Sonic Simulator stages that are unlocked as you collect these special red rings, so there is a lot to see.
As I mentioned before, Sonic Colors has gorgeous looking cinematics, but the graphics are also very strong in the main gameplay as well. Bringing the Sonic franchise into space allowed SEGA the ability to be really creative and colorful and it really shows. Graphics aside for a moment, Sonic Colors also boasts a good soundtrack with only a few average tracks. I also really liked that SEGA added in the classic “I’m going to drown soon” theme which brings back some good memories, and a lot of fear.
Sonic fans will be extremely satisfied with Sonic Colors for its mix of gameplay styles and the new additions. This is a game that I will be coming back to again in the future and think that it is a must for any Wii collection.