FInally a Sonic game thats fun and to the point.
Mindchamber wrote this review on .
In comes “Sonic and the Secret rings.” This Sonic game is the first original Sonic title for the Nintendo Wii, and NOT a port of the Horrible “Sonic the hedgehog, for the 360 and Ps3.
Sega Completely Scrapped the buggy old Game play and engine, and focused on what made the original Genesis Sonic games so much fun, which was Speed, and twitch game play. In SSR you can no longer rotate sonic or look around. You can only run forward, side to side, and back peddle. The camera for the most part is always looking forward. So the player’s only job is to control sonic, by moving him left, right forward, back, jump and homing attack.
Basically the game is now on rails, like Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon, or Space Harrier. The camera zooms through the terrain in the level, and it’s your job not to trip Sonic up in the process. Simple as that! Why it took Sega this long to figure this out is beyond me. While the Wii controls can take some getting used to, (you have to tilt the remote sideways to move left and right, flip the remote upside down for backpedaling, and thrust the remote forward to do the homing attack) the moves themselves don’t get any more complicated than that. You can simply enjoy moving Sonic at blazing speeds, which is really what all we Sonic fans wanted to begin with.
If that was all there was to this game I would have been happy. Thankfully Sega had some fun with this new Sonic game.
The First thing you’ll notice is the Storyline,. Sonics not set on the planet mobius as in the previous games, but in the World from the fairly tale book “Arabian Nights”. The Story sets the mood for the graphics which are, lots of warm tones, and sandy sunsets, with very dream like Arabian hymns for background music. The Cinemas are shown through painted panels on weathered looking pages, which also add to the dreamy storybook charm.
The graphics themselves aren’t very impressive. I would say they are on par with the original graphics on the Dreamcast, which still are very good, but blocky compared to today’s standards. The major difference is that the Wii, while not very powerful, sports a host of nifty filters and effects up its sleeve. Cool effects like Burred backgrounds to create depth, bump mapping for that nice shimmer effects on water, and strains of fur on Sonics head, to Bloom effects for that warm sunny Arabian haze. All of this really gives the graphics that extra punch. Personally I feel this is the best looking game on the Wii to date. As I already mentioned, locking the camera, and setting the game on rails was a stroke of genius. Whether the camera comes in low when Sonic hits those mach 1 speeds, or pulls back to a helicopter view to show a stampede of Triceratops on your tail, the new on-rails game play lets you control Sonic better during these intense situations. Without having to worry about unavoidably falling off.
There are about seven levels in the single player mode, which is average for a 2D Sonic game, but kind of short for a full priced next-gen game. Luckily (much like the painted panel cinemas), Sega came up with some creative ways to keep the game fresh without it coming off too cheap.
Each Level will have about 8 to ten objectives you have to complete each time you run through them. So when you complete the level the first time, the Second time you may be asked to do it without breaking vases scattered through out the level, or without dying once, or under a set time limit. These types of objectives are very common in most racing games, so it’s no surprise it’s a great fit here.
In an effort to pad out the experience a bit further, SSR has a small leveling up system, complete with new abilities, like “slowdown”, and “speed dashing from the starting position.” It probably seemed like a great idea on paper but the extra abilites aren't needed to progress, and don't really have any effect on the game.
In keeping with the “Wii” tradition, SSR comes with over 30 multiplayer minigames. They are a fun diversion, but like the RPG and leveling up system, they can seem a bit tacked on and undercooked.
There have been some bumps along the way, but with games like “Sonic Rush” for the DS, and now “Sonic and the Secret Rings” it looks like Sonic finally recovered from his few stumbles and is ready to show us what he can really do.