Friday, December 21, 2007

Sonic & The Secret Rings Review


Sonic Lands. 3... 2... 1... GO! Sonic blasts off, into a game that is pretty much make-or-break for SEGA’s Mascot in 3D. Can Sonic finaly prove he’s ready to take on the Third Dimension after his recent (disappointing) Sonic the Hedgehog on 360 & PS3...

…And so, Sonic abandons the Chaos Emeralds, his friends, enemys, and everything else that , and picks up some, erm, RPG Skills. Hope SEGA have thought about this then…

..Well, yes, they have. This is definatly the best 3D Sonic game to date, and could probably (For now, anyway) be named one of the best on Wii. Basicaly, Sonic dashes through incredibly well designed levels with you tilting side to side and jumping with the ‘2’ Button to clear them, plus the added bit of Remote Magic (Waggle) to help him along…

…But that’s the biggest problem. Sonic is on Rails. Theres no more freedom as in Sonic 2 or whatever, he’s trapped on a specific path to dash across. While you could argue that in previous games in 3D the choise has been so narrow it doesn’t make a diffrence. Most the time it works, and it makes thoughs sections where the camra goes wonky that plagued previous Sonic games, (Which are kept to a minimum in here, thankfully) aren’t that confusing and don’t kill you frequently (We’re lokoing at you, Sonic Heroes’ Giant Crocodile)

..Then, like other 3D Sonic games, a Story is tacked on. Unfortunaly this isn’t as straight forward as “Robotnic has gone and captured some Animals. Go ahead and save them by gathering some Emeralds” or “An Evil Hdgehog is created. Sonic must stop it going mental and blowing Earth up.” no, this is more along the lines of “Some Spirt tells Sonic to enter a book to save the Arabian Nights, so he does and then some evil thing that’s erasing storys in books places a curse upon Sonic so he has a Flame on his chest and must find the seven World rings (Hence the name) to get the Erazor Djinn to remove the curse, with lots of other twists along the way”. Told it was confusing.

Although this story actualy works well, and is shown in a lot of depth, there are only 2 or 3 “Proper” 3D CGI Cutscenes, which are very impressive, so while we see why SEGA Didn’t make more, it’s a real shame.

As for the RPG Skills we mentioned earlier, these are in the form of “Skill Sets” Which are added onto the Skill Ring. You get 4 different rings to customise, and theres 100 Skills for you to colect, all got Via. Completing more and more missions in the main game. These range from simple things such as a Boost, to more sophisticated skills such as affecting power and jumping abiltys.

There are also a range of Extra modes, from the Main Adventure and the Options screen, they reach out to probably the best, Secret Book, which covers alsorts of unlockables, from Concept art to Adverts, from Music to Videos, from the Storybook Cutscenes to a complete history of Sonic, with all the box art, info and so on about every Sonic game. Then theres Medals, Developer nots and a diary by Big the Cat, oddly.

Last and Certainly least is Mini-Game party, which features 120 unlockable Mini-Games, which seem like some ideas SEGA Had left over after they finished Monkey Ball’s Party Mode. While some of these are better, (Pullnig Carpets from under a Trampoling Genie is our Personal Favorate) and some out-do similar games in other Mini-Game Partys (The Baloon Game is an awfull lot beter then the one in Warioware) the majority are boring and uninspiring, and should just be ignored in favour of the Main Game.

Overall, this is the sort of game Wii could do with more of. Easy to pick up, Great fun to play, plus lots of Depth in the Gameplay, even if the Mini-Game Party is disappointing, the Controls, Level Design, Extras and pratcicaly everything else are absolutely Spot-On. Well done Sonic, looks like the good old Hedgehog is realy for the Third Dimension after all…


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