I didn’t get this game right away. Past Sonic titles on the Wii (Sonic and the Black Knight was decent but not spectacular either and don’t even get me started with Sonic and the secret rings) made a skeptic. Also, the title name didn’t inspire much confidence either.
So i decided to wait a bit more for reviews to accumulate, seeing how most of them are positive I decided to pay full (Wii) price for the game. Well, I also like it very much. I’m surprised to say it is the first good Sonic game in a while. Unlike Sonic 4 which in my opinion was a huge disappointment.
Controls: Highly playable, all kinds of control schemes Wiiremote, Wiiremote + Nunchuck, Classic controller and Gamecube controller (personally I prefer using the classic controller pro). Fast and enjoyable to control, I like the added mobility in the water stages. I don’t like the fact you now need an alien powerup to follow a trail of rings, just doesn’t feel natural.
Visuals: Colorful and detailed stages, smooth transitions between 2D and 3D environments. I like how the water looks and the overall level design alto ugh sometimes it may be confusing. One problem I found is is that sometimes Sonic appears to be too small in the 2D environment, it’s like they wanted to show more things at the same but it can be uncomfortable having to get closer to the TV.
Sound: The music is deep and matches (so far) the stages you’re playing. Mostly techno, very well composed. You get the option to choose the voice acting so you don’t have to suffer with the cheesy english voice acting (although this new cast is better than the 4kids cast). Strangely you cannot change the language until after beating the first two acts of Tropical Resort.
Instead of experimenting with werehogs, having a bunch of playable characters or adding a lot of nonsensical exploration (Sonic 2006 anyone?) this time Sega kept it clean and Sonic is the only playable character. Platforming action at its finest, you finish a level then the next one opens, that’s it. The fun is still there, the challenge is still there. Alien powerups are optional for the most part, but sometimes you have to use them in order to advance.
The difficulty is moderate for the most part but sometimes they got a bit carried away with the 2D 3D transition bosses specially with the final boss.
As per replay value, there is a mini game called the “Sonic Simulator”, it is pretty much a series of “virtual” 2.5 D platforming stages. The music sounds sort of 16bitish and the stages look like they are unfinished because of this simulator kinda theme. I just began playing that part of the game so I don’t know what happens when you finish all of those stages.
In order to unlock of all the Sonic Simulator stages you have to collect all of the red coins scattered throughout the stages. Also as a reward you’ll be able to unlock Super Sonic as playable character.
Overall this game is a vast improvement over past Sonic titles and definitively a step in the right direction. It’s a shame Sega didn’t release it on other consoles (or at least the Xbox 360).