Currently Playing: Sonic & The Secret Rings (Wii)

Sonic is back and i do hope its for the better. I enjoyed the classic sonic and i had fun playing Sonic Adventures too but recently with the new games for the xbox360 & ps3, the franchise is getting a bit questionable. Maybe its time for another Nights (hint, hint)? Will this new Sonic for the Wii step up from the rest?

Well, sonic is back and this time he’s not with his friends anymore… Kind of. Sonic is transported into the fantasy world of the Arabian Nights with the help of a lady genie in distress. The world of the Arabian Nights is being erased by Erazer Djin. Sonic will have to defeat him to free the world from destruction. The story is told in 2d illustrations which usually work if done right, but its not in this case because from the start, it doesn’t feel it was thought out. It shouldn’t have been bad but the game wasn’t linear to play and the cutscenes are fixed on certain missions. Also the character cameos doesn’t help either, it feels more confused than it should have.

The game itself is a breath of fresh air since it changed because of the wii. Its nice to see what ideas they can make out of the wiimote. Its good to say that this game doesn’t need the sensor most of the time. So you can comfortably play the game at any reasonable position or distance. You will have to hold the wiimote sideways like a regular controller, but this game will take advantage of the motion sensor. You will have to thrust, twist, turn and more with the controller. I found the controls interesting at the moment but not for long. Playing Sonic continually runs, you can only manipulate his subtle movements thru turning the controller, he can jump and attack move back and a little more.

The game moves very fast as what you might expect from Sonic. But the camera view makes this game a memorization chore. The controls don’t react fast as classic sonic games. Most of the react a split second later than you’d want. Memorization is the key to this game so that you can react at the precise moment. Visual cues wont help much since the camera is terrible. Don’t get me wrong, the game get a lot better later in the game, although some players may not enjoy the game before the even reach that point.

There are skills that add up as long as you get more points. You gain them when you finish a mission and you can activate them by customizing a ring. You have 4 rings that you can customize at your heart’s content although you can only use 1 in a mission. You can activate only a certain number of skills per ring unless you level up. So keep on playing those missions until you get enough. Some missions will require you to have certain skills before you can more forward. The more skills there are the more mobile and flexible Sonic gets to be.

Visually, the game looks great if it wasn’t for the bad camera angles. The graphics are sharp and you wont experience any slow downs. Environments are varied and vast which you can appreciate but not beautiful enough to make you want to stop and enjoy the view. The level design at the start seems a bit bland, but it gets better the farther you get.

The music is rather ok, not my cup of tea. Although it does sound as most Sonic games it is not as memorable as the Genesis era. The voice acting are bad, something that you’d expect from most Sega games like House of the Dead. Everything feels forced in, not a lot of effort was put into it.

They really did a lot of things to each level and it would have been a good thing if only you aren’t too restricted to getting good scores on each mission. If you don’t get a good set of the requirements, you wont be able to open other new locations. If your not into perfecting each game this can be just a bad roadblock to enjoy the game to its fullest.

There are a ton of party games, something that was felt inspired from tons of party games but then again it feels like these games were an afterthought than actually part of the game. It’s hard to enjoy the mini games because the controls aren’t responsive as you’d expect.

This game is better than the previous Sonic games, the controls and the camera needs a lot of work. The game does make a refreshing take on the famous blue hedgehog which seems like a good direction. If you are persistent enough, the game gets a lot better and enjoyable.

Originally published on GamEX Magazine.

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