Previews// 25 Hours into Sonic Colours

Posted 21 Sep 2010 12:36 by
Companies:
Games: Sonic Colours
I've just clocked up 25 hours worth of play time on the latest preview build of Sonic Colours – that's a lot of time when you consider that this is a version with the last three Zones locked out. Even more impressive is that I actually wanted to spend the time playing it for that long. A Sonic the Hedgehog game hasn't held my attention like this since Sonic Adventure 2 in 2001.

And you know what? I absolutely loved it.

Sonic Colours, after some deep investigation, is looking like the game that will really set the series back on track. Gorgeous scenery and colourful landscapes make this one of the best-looking titles on the Wii (only the Super Mario Galaxy games look better). The level design is vastly improved over the 'hold right/forward to win' methodology of recent Sonic games. And perhaps best of all, the story doesn't seem to be an absolute facepalm.

You can read my last preview of Sonic Colours to learn about the plot and initial Wisp powers in the game. Here, I will say that the dialogue and writing is a dramatic change to the cringe-worthy 'Power of Teamwork' nonsense that polluted the last few games.

The American writers behind Platinum Games' Madworld – yes, that rather violent chainsaw'em up on the Wii – are reportedly behind the script to Sonic Colours, and the result is refreshing.

Couple this with new vocal talent, including Roger Craig Smith – also known for voicing Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5 – as Sonic, and you have a presentation that appeals to both kids and adults in its delivery and humour.

The cutscenes are pretty good in themselves, but what seals the deal in the writing department is the frequent tannoy announcements from Dr. Eggman as you play through the stages.

“Please don't be concerned if you hear any aliens screaming. The screams are how they communicate. Really. I promise,” says one announcement, while another calls out for Sonic to visit the “security office” to pick up his “lost keys.”

The Zones (or worlds, as Eggman's chained them all up to build an amusement park) in the game are all made up of six Acts (stages) and a boss battle. You start your adventure in the central hub, the Tropical Resort – a crazy Aztec-themed stage that features palm trees and jazzy music against a starry backdrop.

From Tropical Resort, you venture onto four other announced worlds. Sweet Mountain sees you run through popcorn and grind on candy canes to reach the goal marker, with one Act having Sonic run around a giant hamburger. Starlight Carnival is undoubtedly one of the prettiest, dashing along celestial pathways and platforming around Eggman's fleet of starships.

Planet Wisp is a beautifully green stage, marred with scaffolding and construction workers as its transformation harks back to the classic Sonic the Hedgehog with its environmental messages. One Act here has a chasm to cross using the homing attack, but if you fall you enter another segment of the level where Sonic is free-falling. Makes a change from dying.

Aquatic Park is an indoor water world bound with a Samurai theme, and is the first time a true water level has appeared in a modern Sonic game.

Level design gives a gentle nod to both modern and classic games in the series – you can zip through most stages as brainlessly as you like, or use the Wisp power ups to really think about opening up alternative pathways.

Whichever way you decide to take, there's some mean platforming elements waiting for you. Rotating platforms, climbing vertically up a huge starship, dodging massive jellybean rockets in midair... this is a platformer first, and a speed-based game second.

That doesn't mean there are no speed elements. The boost from Sonic Unleashed returns, but you feel less compelled to use it thanks to the numerous opportunities available to take higher paths and tactically use Wisp powers. Add the hidden red Special Rings in each Act, and you'll find yourself exploring every nook and cranny as a result.

Having said that, long stretches of road, grind rails and free-falling areas are great speed-based rewards for getting past a time-consuming platforming section.
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Comments

speedduelist 21 Sep 2010 13:01
1/13
really good read :)

you really did play 25 hours?
also i am sorry for too much questions but how good is exploration and the level design of acquirement park and star light carnival? and how much 3d and how much 2d (50/50?)

Thanks, answer if you will :)
speedduelist 21 Sep 2010 13:04
2/13
also is their CGI Cut scenes or are they real time rendered?
sorry for too much questions >_<
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Jmack 21 Sep 2010 14:29
3/13
Wow 6 Acts per zone and a boss...amazing!!!
Nikesh 21 Sep 2010 14:32
4/13
@speedduelist I think SEGA claimed that the 3D to 2D is 50:50 on all levels but I think its more 40:60.
Also this game should definately have CGI cutscenes since there were loads of CGI in the trailers.
sonicfan 21 Sep 2010 17:21
5/13
How is the new voices? Roger and Kate did a good job?
deleted 21 Sep 2010 18:21
6/13
Refreshing to read a positive review on Sonic a little excited now.
sonic 21 Sep 2010 18:38
7/13
you know then gameplay is great but dont think for one second that roger craig smith is great i dont care who hes voiced his so called sonic ive herd is tacky as hell Jason was the one true Sonic
SiLeNtDo0m 21 Sep 2010 18:53
8/13
@sonic
Lol. I remember the period where everyone HATED Griffith. Now they are begging for him back? Personally I think the greatest Sonic voice actor was by FAR Jaleel White from the original Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog show. Good times...

Anyways great preview! I'm so looking forward to this. Can't wait to find out what the last zones and Wisps are.
sonicfan 21 Sep 2010 19:42
9/13
Roger's voice sounds tacky as hell? lol, Grifith sucked and didn't do such an amazing job as Sonic when he first started either. It took him more then 5 years to finally get Sonic's voice in character. Jason as the 'one true Sonic', yeah right!
confusedphantom 22 Sep 2010 02:45
10/13
@sonicfan He already said it in the preview.

Couple this with new vocal talent, including Roger Craig Smith – also known for voicing Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5 – as Sonic, and you have a presentation that appeals to both kids and adults in its delivery and humour.
evildeathbee 22 Sep 2010 16:52
11/13
@sonic
You heard a slowed-down version of Roger's Sonic voice on a YouTube video of a tacky Alton Towers hotel room. You don't know anything yet, so stop being a dick and wait for the game to come out.
Sonic 30 Sep 2010 23:01
12/13
It is too tacky as hell apperntly you guys are tone def IT IS tacky as hell and Griffith WAS THE GREATEST and I know alot mre that you fags know
Sonic 12 Oct 2010 02:38
13/13
@SonicFan Go F*** yourself Erik thats right I know who you are sonicvoicefag
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