REVIEW: Sonic Colors (DS)
A blue streak speeds by and it's too fast for the naked eye. If you're a kid born in the 80's then you'll know who I'm talking about. It's Sonic the Hedgehog and he's supposedly the fastest thing alive. It's been pretty rough for our spiny blue friend lately with a lot of his games that disappoint more than satisfy. Maybe Sonic Colors for the Nintendo DS can help whisk away all those bad vibes and fill it with color.
Sonic Colors Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega Platform: Nintendo DS Rating: E for Everyone Release: 11/16/2010
Sonic Colors for the Nintendo DS is a "2.5-D" (2-D game with 3-D graphics) side scroller much like the classic Sonic games on the Sega Genesis. Although this one plays more like the Sonic Rush games also on the Nintendo DS. You control Sonic (and ONLY Sonic) and through each stage trying to reach the goal in the shortest amount of time possible while collecting rings and dodging / eliminating enemies.
Dr. Eggman is up to no good again. This time he opens "Dr. Eggman's Interstellar Amusement Park" in space which is made up of different planet sized zones. Of course this is all just a front for his grander evil scheme of using a mind control beam to manipulate others to do his bidding. Sonic and Tail check out the theme park and find out that Dr. Eggman is kidnapping aliens called Wisps, turning them into Nega-Wisps and uses their power to fuel the weapon. It's up to Sonic to visit each zone, free the Wisps and shut down the generators liking to the amusement park.
Sonic still has all his basic moves along with new ones found in some of his previous 3-D titles. The new ones being the homing attack, a ground slide, and a air executed foot stomp. What really sets this game apart from other Sonic titles is his ability to merge with Wisps and change into different forms depending on what color Wisp he merges with.
White Boost - allow Sonic to use a speed boost which rockets him forward and knocks away any enemy in front of him.
Cyan Laser - turns Sonic into a thin laser that bounces of any solid surface, the surface of water, off mirrors that change the laser's path, and through power lines.
Yellow Drill - let's Sonic drill through soft ground or water. If you run out of power while still in soft ground, you lose a life.
Orange Rocket - blasts Sonic straight up and ends with a slow glide which can be cancelled by performing a homing attack, a boost, or a foot stomp. Ring hooks can change the direction of the rocket.
Red Burst - turns Sonic into a living fireball that can perform multiple jumps by blowing himself up by holding down and releasing any of the face buttons. Holding down a face button long enough before release can cause a huge screen clearing explosion.
Violet Void - transforms Sonic in a floating black hole that can suck up nearby rings and enemies, growing bigger in the process.
I love how the game announces what form you take when activated. Outside of white Wisps, the other colored Wisps appear when you need them or to allow you to access certain areas of a level. It's easy to spot when you need them due to signs in the background that show a picture of what form you need. The levels are vast and have many paths and short cuts to reach the goal. In my opinion, this game has some of the best level design to ever grace a Sonic game. It's frantic, fun, and not as frustratingly hard as the Sonic Rush or Sonic Advance games. Most of the time you're going at break neck speeds. If you do come to a screeching halt due to maybe some forced platforming segments or a hit by an enemy, one hit of the boost button can send you rocketing toward the goal in no time.
The sense of speed in this game is incredible, you can zoom through stages in an average of 3-4mins in your first run. The great thing is, even though you're hitting mach 2, you never feel lost. You feel like you are always in control. Sure you might run into a bad guy that sends your rings flying but it's easy to remember where that spot is and when you'll usually pass it in the next run. Cheap deaths are still present but are usually avoidable if you are paying attention.
Boss fights are also more forgiving here, they are also the easiest to S-Rank. You can also boost in boss fights which deal more damage and are sometimes essential in beating the boss.
There are red rings present in the game that you can collect. These unlock concept art that is viewable in the game's gallery mode. Collecting all the red rings unlocks Infinite Boost mode for Story levels. Special stages are also present which you control Sonic using the stylus and the reward for each special stage is a chaos emerald. Collecting all 7 chaos emeralds unlocks the game's secret boss.
Sonic Colors for the Nintendo DS actually has very good multiplayer support. You can connect with a friend either locally or online. You can compete against a computer controlled player, an actual living person or even game share to people who don't have a copy of the game. Opponents appear as glowing orbs so you won't have the satisfaction of seeing different colored Sonics unlike the Wii version. Online leader boards are also present so you can brag to the world how fast you completed a level.
I tend to get excited about Sonic games because I love the sense of speed it gives to the player. Dashing through colorful worlds at break neck speeds has always amused me since Sonic Adventure and the Sonic Advance games on the GBA. Let's be honest, the old Genesis game were great but Sonic couldn't run THAT fast back in the day. I had a blast with Sonic Colors on the DS. Though it's relatively short, it's a worthy addition to any gamer's portable collection. This game is a solid platformer and proves that Sonic can really move and that he's the fastest thing alive... in the video game world at least.
(Original Post by Migoy)