Review: Sonic & The Secret Rings

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After the recent streak of disappointment of Sonic games on both the Xbox360 and the PS3; Sonic fans turned to the latest installment of the series on the Wii, hoping that they might get the game they always wanted. The question is, did they get it? Well, yes and no. First, it is importantly to stress out that Sonic and the Secret Rings makes a solid attempt to fix the problems that plagued the game for years such as dull playable characters, horrible camera, and awful gameplay. Let us start with the story first. This time around, Sonic is being transported inside a storybook of the classic tale Arabian Nights in order to stop an evil Genie from taking over the world of the Arabian Nights. As you can see It’s not the story itself that is interesting, it is actually the theme because surprisingly it works quite well. The gameplay is where the big change starts. You see, Sonic and the Secret Rings ditches the free roaming aspects and annoying camera for a more concise and somewhat “on-rails” experience. That is, you are able to move left and right by actually tilting the Wiimote left and right like a steering wheel, but Sonic is almost always running forward, although there’s more freedom allowed. If you played Excite Truck before on the Wii then you will definitely feel home with this game; if not, than you have to give it a little more time to adjust with the control. Don’t worry, you will not grow tired from this game as long as you are preforming settled movements and always remembering that in order to execute Sonic’s homing attack you will have to shove the controller toward the screen ( again in a settled movement) not by pressing the jump button a second time. Another new facet, and one that’s highly welcomed, is the addition of experience point that gives the game an RPG feel. By accumulating enough EXP, Sonic learns special skills that allow him to perform new moves and most of the time ease the way you play the game (i.e. making maneuvering Sonic easily). The various worlds are wonderfully designed and enjoyable to play especially since each world is unique not only in its scenery, but also in the variety of obstacles and enemies and some of these courses are really exhilarating. The graphics are lavish and pleasure to the eye and the levels are extremely detailed and colorful. Special effects are in full force throughout the game and the little details, like heat signatures, reflections, and dust particles don’t go unnoticed. You will either love or hate the soundtrack since it has these pop rock themes with cheesy lyrics (yet I couldn’t help humming them in my head) with few Arabian-influenced background instruments that works really well. The voice acting is generally good yet the writing and the dialogue are pretty painful. The game will take up to 20 hours of gameplay and maybe more if you willing to undertake the bonus missions, and the multiplayer Party Mode (featuring 40 Wii-specific mini-games) certainly adds more life into it.

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In the end, Sonic and the Secret Rings has it flaws yet it manages to keep the whole package together quite well. However, it is the game that forces its way around you, not the other way around. Sonic and the Secret rings is certainly an encouraging sign that good Sonic games can still be made but in small baby steps. If you have a Wii, and do consider that the other Sonic game were OK, then this baby will certainly add a smile to your face.

Overall Score
8.1
out of 10

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I only wish you can control the speed rather than have Sonic automatically run :/

    Reply

  2. @3baid

    I know what you mean…it will be great to have more control over Sonic’s speed but still the formula works even though it is incredibly frustrating most of the time.

    Reply

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