Sonic Colours review

Sonic drops his recent shade of embarrassed red for the altogether nobler blue sheen of days gone by in the excellent Sonic Colours.

By Rupert Higham, November 18, 2010

Inverting blue blocks and coins is one of the less exciting colour powers, but it does lead to some rudimentary puzzles.

Historically Sonic Team have constantly struggled to add to the fragile Sonic formula, with previous attempts to break-up the high-speed action with lock-on lasers and swinging swords serving only to destroy any sense of consistency or momentum. Colours has answered intelligently with, well, the Colour powers. Eschewing the need to introduce new characters for shifts in gameplay, colour powers are awarded by the game’s alien wisp creatures and imbue Sonic with eight varied new skills.

They are, for the most part, in keeping with the game’s momentum ethos, with the cyan laser ricocheting off of nearby walls propelling him to hidden areas, the pink spikes allowing you to speed along ceilings or spike-filled pitfalls and the green hover allowing you to boost skywards using ring trails. The blue cube block switching and the mildly entertaining purple frenzy colour powers fair less well, forcing you grind to a halt against your better judgment.

Discovering new colour powers allows you to revisit earlier levels and access them there, rewarding revisits.

Boss encounters rarely live up to their promise with three templates repeated every alternate world, which may not be so bad if they were interesting enough in the beginning. It’s fair to say that those three templates offer a variety of play styles, but switching between patterns after landing a successful hit curiously restarts you at the beginning of the boss area in an awkward manner.

Colours throws a bone to the multiplayer crowd with the Eggman’s Sonic Sim stages – a handful of single-colour co-op acts where colour powers can be combined between players with interesting outcomes. The faux-retro styling leaves a lot to be desired aesthetically, but it’s a reasonably innovative approach, and it certainly beats Mario Galaxy’s star collecting compromise.

Nobody plays Sonic games for the story and though the “Eggman stole the cute creatures to use them in a doomsday device” routine works perfectly well here, the numerous cuts scenes are painfully embarrassing. Sonic’s smart-mouth quips do little to ingratiate himself, coming off as a nineties has-been who missed the memo that New Kids on the Block-esque babble is really no longer acceptable. His personality is a lot more endearing when he lets his sneakers do the talking.

Functional is possibly the most positive thing you could say about the look of the Sonic Sim levels, but they play well.

The majority of gamers will be justifiably wary of 3D Sonic titles, and while this isn’t quite going to be Sega’s answer to Mario Galaxy in terms of meteoric Metacritic averages, it is a definitive unequivocal return to form for Sega’s mascot. It provides a well-paced and thrilling ride for those looking to indulge in Sega’s rollercoaster of spectacle and a rewarding online-enabled score challenge for hardened Sonic-fans that really want to hone their skills. It’s taken multiple console generations, various rebuilds of Sonic Team and more miserably failed experiments than Eggman’s R&D department, but it’s finally here: a Sonic game worthy of genuine praise.

8 out of 10

Posted in Reviews, Top 5, and tagged with , , , .

One Response to “Sonic Colours review”

  1. beqa says:

    i love sonic games.


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