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Old 06-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
Eric Bowman
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Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

***6/16, 6:32 PM: Further Addressed Richard's additional criticisms.

**6/16: Addressed Richard's additional criticisms.

*6/13: Addressed Richard's criticisms.


Sonic Colors Review

Experience Has Taught Me To Investigate Anything That Glows...


HIGH: Seeing Sonic Swim. It's About Freakin' Time.

LOW: “Hey Tails, you just missed the B.B.B.E. The Best! Boss! Beating! Ever!” *cringe*

WTF: Why is Sonic's mouth on the side of his face?


I know this is going to be incredibly difficult to believe, but Dr. Eggman... is up to no good. If that wasn't shocking enough, then listen to this: this is a Sonic game worth playing with more than two dimensions. So to anyone who's been completely dismissing everything the hedgehog stars in for the past nine years, I submit now as the time to return to the series.


Anyone who played the Xbox 360 or PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed will be familiar with this style of Sonic game: the high-speed on-rails sections where Sonic can only move left and right, the scripted setpiece moments that the player can't control, and the fluid transition between 2D and 3D gameplay. As someone who loved the Daytime stages in Unleashed, I was happy to see this formula expanded on. It properly expresses Sonic's specific brand of platforming, with a ton of loops, curves, and vertical movement. Sonic's controls still aren't perfect, however, particularly when it comes to the floaty jump. Maybe it's because this game takes place in space, but when comparing this Sonic to that of the momentum-based originals, Sonic Colors Sonic feels as light as a feather. It's very strange considering how Sonic the Hedgehog 4 had the opposite problem, in that Sonic controlled with the grace of a boulder. Even so, this is the best Sonic has ever controlled in the third dimension.


Remember how the good Sonic games had power-ups? Remember how I said this is a good Sonic game? Sonic Colors proudly continues this trend in a big way, with some of the most enjoyable power-ups in any platformer I've played. The power-ups, which are brought on by different-colored wisps, can range from turning Sonic into a laser that can ricochet off walls to a pink spikeball that can attach to walls and ceilings. These work to mix up the gameplay and promote returning to previous stages to use new wisps to find new areas, without detracting from the game's core. There was rarely ever a moment where I saw a wisp in my path and got annoyed or disappointed. They serve more as game-changing rewards for getting that far into the level. They really couldn't have been implemented any better.


Comparing the plot of Sonic Colors to the plot of other 3D Sonic games is like comparing Kung Fu Panda to Atonement. Sonic doesn't get shot in the back and killed, (Sonic The Hedgehog 2006) transported to the Dark Ages by a witch trying to make herself immortal, (Sonic and the Black Knight) or turned into a werewolf with stretchy arms, (Sonic Unleashed) and there certainly isn't a human love interest who brings Sonic back to life by kissing his corpse. Best of all, Sonic's stupid, pointless, uninspired, game-ruining, poorly-voiced, completely unlikeable friends don't make appearances, with the forgivable exception of Tails. So now I can actually play as Sonic for the entirety of a Sonic game, something that has never happened in a 3D entry. (That's not a joke. This is the first 3D Sonic game where Sonic is the only playable character.) Sonic Team has gotten back to the original formula: Sonic versus Eggman. I wouldn't change that one bit.


With the stupidity of past plots behind it, Sonic Colors keeps it simple with Sonic running through an amusement park in space to save a race of aliens called wisps. This allows for Sonic to explore an impressive number of colorful levels. They all maintain an amusement park theme, from ferris wheel bosses to the least-safe roller coaster ever. This may make it sound like every level has the same visual feel, but there's enough spin on that theme in each level to justify it. The aquarium level is particularly refreshing, mainly because it displays that Sonic doesn't insta-drown when he touches water like he's done in his other recent 3D games.


Sonic Team seems to have finally caught on to how much everyone hates both the writing and voices of recent Sonic games, and has approached this problem with the purification strategy: get rid of all of them and replace them with people who don't suck at their jobs. The new voice cast consists of voice-acting veterans Roger Craig Smith ( Resident Evil 5, Assassin's Creed II) and Kate Higgins, (The voice of Sakura in Naruto) both of which nail the voices. The new writers previously worked on Madworld and Happy Tree Friends, and provide Sonic with one-liners that are actually funny, and not annoying. Sure, they're still cheesy, and some are downright cringe-inducing, but I'm not afraid to laugh at lines like “Come on, let's make like Eggman's hairline, and recede.” Even though gameplay is what matters in a Sonic game, greatly improved presentation is appreciated, and Sonic Team deserves a round of applause for making cutscenes in a Sonic game that are actually a joy to watch.


Sonic Colors manages to bring out a more whimsical type of fun than I've come to expect from modern games. The series has largely returned to its roots, and the result is a game that is a joy to play in just about every aspect. Put good graphics, (especially for a Wii game) inventive platforming, fun power-ups, clever writing, and fantastic music onto a disk, and Sonic Colors is the result. Minor control issues, wimpy boss battles, and a length of only about six hours keep the game from reaching the levels of the Super Mario Galaxy games, but it still stands as one of the best third-party titles on a Nintendo console in recent memory. For anyone who has been looking for a reminder of why they ever liked this damn hedgehog in the first place but is tired of replaying the Genesis classics, it may be time to dust off the Wii.



8.0 out of 10



Disclosures: This game was rented from Family Video for the Wii. It was completed with the Nintendo Gamecube Controller. No time was put into the multiplayer. Approximately seven hours were put into the game, and it was completed.

Parents: Sonic Colors is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB for “Cartoon Violence.” It's basically the equivalent of a Saturday morning cartoon in terms of language and (lack of) violence.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing: The game provides subtitles that are automatically enabled when you start the game. This game should be quite accessible for those hard of hearing/deaf.
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Last edited by Eric Bowman; 06-16-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:57 PM   #2
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

seems a bit long. otherwise, i liked it.

edit: nevermind, its not to long.

Last edited by BoomBiffBoom; 06-09-2011 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Great review. It is well-written, well-informed and well-structured.

You clearly know what you're talking about, and your review encompasses my own feelings about this game perfectly; finally a nice 3D Sonic game that can be enjoyed fully without leaving a sour taste in the mouth.

The dust off your wii comment isn't necessary, though... Also, in your last paragraph, which gives a largely positive vibe, you use the word pathetic to describe the boss battles; it resonates strangely, and I don't think it is quite appropriate. I would use the word disappointing instead, but that's just a suggestion.

I do hope some mods will read and greenlight this review, but I fear Sonic Colors is not very popular on these forums...

Last edited by Gog; 06-06-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gog View Post
Great review. It is well-written, well-informed and well-structured.

You clearly know what you're talking about, and your review encompasses my own feelings about this game perfectly; finally a nice 3D Sonic game that can be enjoyed fully without leaving a sour taste in the mouth.

The dust off your wii comment isn't necessary, though... Also, in your last paragraph, which gives a largely positive vibe, you use the word pathetic to describe the boss battles; it resonates strangely, and I don't think it is quite appropriate. I would use the word disappointing instead, but that's just a suggestion.

I do hope some mods will read and greenlight this review, but I fear Sonic Colors is not very popular on these forums...
Thanks for the comment!

I appreciate the kind words. I knew that by making a review of a Sonic game, I ran the risk of it being overlooked, especially on these forums. In the end, I decided I'd review games I actually wanted to talk about, rather than what's going to get me the most votes.

I agree with you that the word "pathetic", in addition to feeling out of place, is also a bit ambiguous as to what was actually pathetic about them. I think "wimpy" would be a better word for that, because it makes it clear that the problem was the low difficulty, not any sort of bland design, or something along those lines.

As for the "dust off your Wii" comment... I can certainly see where you're coming from, but I picked that line because I wanted to make it clear that I'm not a Wii fan in order to prove that I'm judging this game in comparison to all games, and not just Wii games. Sonic Colors isn't just good for a Wii game. It's good, period. I'll stick with that line for now, although I might ponder it some more.

I appreciate the feedback. I was starting to worry no one was going to go near a Sonic review with a ten-foot pole.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

I'd echo Gog's comments - excellent review, and there's been some decent writing on here recently (haven't read your LA Noire review yet as I thought I spotted some spoilers in the first draft!). Good to see!

I would just say that you go a little bit overboard in some bits. For example, I think this is a bit harsh:

Quote:
Sonic Team seems to have finally caught on to how much everyone hates both the writing and voices of recent Sonic games, and has approached this problem with the purification strategy: get rid of all of them and replace them with people who don't suck at their jobs.
That's about it, really. The rest of it rocks.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
I'd echo Gog's comments - excellent review, and there's been some decent writing on here recently (haven't read your LA Noire review yet as I thought I spotted some spoilers in the first draft!). Good to see!

I would just say that you go a little bit overboard in some bits. For example, I think this is a bit harsh:



That's about it, really. The rest of it rocks.
Hey Pedro, thanks for the nice comment! I removed the case spoiler that was in my L.A. Noire review, so I don't think you should worry about reading that.

I'm definitely going to think about the harshness you mentioned, I can see how people could see that as being of poor taste. Keeping passion in a review while not going overboard can be a tough balance.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBiffBoom View Post
seems a bit long. otherwise, i liked it.
Thanks for the comment. The review is 965 words, which I believe is a fair length.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:47 PM   #8
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Nice to read a review with a sense of humor. Five stars.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:13 AM   #9
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Hey Decabo, this is almost ready as-is, but there's a few things to look at.
  • "Sonic doesn't insta-drown when he touches water anymore." Sonic actually went into water in almost all of the Genesis games. Maybe you mean something different here?
  • Move the 4th and 5th paragraphs to where they are after the 1st paragraph. The mechanical discussion fits better right after your opening, and the plot parts segue nicely into the part about voice acting.

Nice job-you've been turning out some good stuff lately.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:37 AM   #10
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Naik View Post
Hey Decabo, this is almost ready as-is, but there's a few things to look at.
  • "Sonic doesn't insta-drown when he touches water anymore." Sonic actually went into water in almost all of the Genesis games. Maybe you mean something different here?
  • Move the 4th and 5th paragraphs to where they are after the 1st paragraph. The mechanical discussion fits better right after your opening, and the plot parts segue nicely into the part about voice acting.

Nice job-you've been turning out some good stuff lately.
Hey Richard, thanks for the comment!

The insta-drown comment refers to recent 3D Sonic games. Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is infamous for killing Sonic if he touches a foot of water, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MWEHwvcnyM, jump to 2:48) and Sonic Unleashed also loved make entire stages based on the water being deadly. It always struck me as dumb, so I'm glad Sonic Team is actually focusing on giving Sonic reasonable threats. I'll update the review so it's clear I'm drawing a distinction with past 3D Sonic games, not Sonic games as a whole.

I see what you mean about the paragraphs, it seems strange to have the plot and voice-acting paragraphs so far apart. I'll address that as suggested.

Thanks for the continued feedback on my reviews, it's been incredibly helpful.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 PM   #11
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Almost forgot-you're using "you" in some places. Clean that up and it's a greenlight.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Naik View Post
Almost forgot-you're using "you" in some places. Clean that up and it's a greenlight.
Damn, dude, I suck. How did I make a review filled "you" after my L.A. Noire review? Anyway, thanks for addressing that, I removed all of them.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:50 PM   #13
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Still a few of them in there. And I forgot too, so no worries
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #14
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Naik View Post
Still a few of them in there. And I forgot too, so no worries
FFFFFFFF-

All right, I think I got the last one, as well as correcting a couple typos in the process. I wouldn't be surprised if there's still some in there.

I don't understand how anyone got a review posted before you joined, Richard. Seems like you're the only one who bothers to check these. Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #15
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Sonic Colors

One more-just use Ctrl F to find it.
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