Sega has had a troubled past with their favorite hedgehog. Past Sonic games have tanked both commercially and critically, rife with poor gameplay, annoying voice acting, and tacked on stories. It’s sad, but Sonic has become sort of a punchline for bad games. However, 2010 seems like the year for Sonic, because the Wii Sonic Colors is the third released this year that makes being the hedgehog fun again.
First of all, you’re going to want to play this on Wii. I’ve played the demo on Xbox, and it doesn’t feel anything like playing the Wii version, and you’re getting four extra colors of Wisps with the
Wii Sonic Colors. The Wisps are the biggest change to the gameplay, granting Sonic new abilities with each color you unlock. White Wisps give you infinite boosts, Yellow Wisps let you drill through soft ground, Purple Wisps turn you into a giant chomping beast. This twist adds a lot of replayability to the game as well: once you unlock a certain color of Wisp, you can revisit any previous level to find new areas with it’s abilities.
You’ll also probably notice how old school the game feels, like Sonic is right back to his Genesis days. The game constantly switches between isometric 2-D platformer and full on 3-D. This constantly shifting point of view is very remniscient of New Super Mario Brothers, and the mechanic works equally as well as it did in that game. This is very much a revisitation of older Sonic games, even going so far as to focus on nobody except the most vital 3 characters in the Sonic universe: Sonic, Tails, and Eggman. This is made even better by the recasting of the voice actors.
However, I have to admit that the precision and timing involved with parts of this game were a bit frustrating. The difficulty bar is raised very high about mid-way through the game, but if you’re an old school Sonic fan, you probably welcome the challenge. Also, some of the features, feel a little tacked on, like the co-op mode.
The co-op mode is obviously another throwback to old school Sonic. I can’t speak for other consoles, but the Sonic Colors Wii game is very confusing in co-op mode, with that same steep learning curve. For some reason, they’ve decided to put both players on one screen, and when you’re talking about a hedgehog who can run at the speed of sound, that’s not going to cut it.
All in all, this is a good game, especially if you’ve got fond memories of playing the old Genesis sonic games. The gameplay is fast and beautiful, the story is solid, and did I mention they recast those annoying voice actors? All in all, if you’re a Sonic fan, the Sonic Colors Wii version is one you need to add to your collection. You won’t be disappointed.