Saturday, 27 February 2010

Sonic and the Secret Rings Nintendo Wii Review

If you had three wishes what would they be?
My first two would be the obvious fame and fortune.
My third and final wish though would have to be me feeling the same about the wii now as I did back when it first came out, and no I don't mean that I want to get rid of feelings of disappointment and wasted potential, no I'm talking about the feeling gamers had back in the early days of the wii.
The feeling of control that the wii gave you was like nothing else you had ever played before, the games were simple, addictive and fun.
Saying that lets look back at one of those early games, Sonic and the Secret Rings.

Single Player
The games story revolves around the famous story book world of the Arabian Nights, a place which brought us tales such as Aladdin and Sinbad. The plot and story are very straight forward, Sonic the Hedgehog is sent to the Arabian Nights by a genie called Shahra to stop an evil genie called Erazor Djinn from destroying it.

The multiplayer is its own game altogether so here is a quick summary.
The party mode in Sonic and the Secret Rings is nothing more than a clone of Mario Party, you have four characters running around the board looking for items, the character with the most items wins.
The game is split into rounds, at the end of each round you are made to play a mini game (just like mario party).
To sum it up it was alright at the time but now the party mode isn't really worth playing, the board game is boring and the minigames are not that good by todays standard.

This time around SEGA decided to get rid of the traditional 3D platforming that was in the earlier 3D Sonic titles, this time they have gone for a completely different approach to it.
This time around you view sonic from the back, to add to that Sonic is now on rails he can move forward, back and side ways on the path that you are on. Sonic's movement is controlled by tilting the wiimote in different directions,tilting forwards will make him run, tilting backwards will make him backstep, and tilting to the sides will make him shift from side to side.
The movement controls are good but they are ruined by one thing, the backstep. In this game you can not jump backwards or turn around, because of this sonic is left valunable to enemy attack and other hazards, it's something that will annoy you.
On to jumping, straight to the point the jumping is broken, to jump you press 2, but if you want to do a bigger jump or clear a gap then you have to hold the jump button down, this can spoil things because you will find yourself stopping every few moments to charge a jump just so you can go on, to make things worse the jumping charges sometimes messes up so you end up falling of a cliff and dying, that's about it with jumping, on the upside sonic can still do the homing attack when he jumps.
Thankfully the game doesn't punish you for dying as you have unlimited lives.

Sonic also has a new ability known as time break and speed break.
Time break is the ability to slow down time, this is useful for getting through areas that require careful timing or a high amount of focus.
The Speed Break is the ability to break the speed barrier, think of it as a down graded version of the Chaos control power from Shadow the Hedgehog.
These ability's are not to be taken for granted though you will need spirt orbs to power them.
The game lets you play on several levels that are mostly based off the Arabian Nights stories, the levels are a mixed bag, they do have their moments but they also have their problems, some suffer from badly placed pits, obstacles,and platforms, some of the levels have a gimmick that can ruin it, one level has a wind that blows you back so that it is really hard to move forward, at times the wind even threw me back to the start of the stage due to a piece of debris hitting me.
Another thing that annoys me are the enemies, they just get in the way, I know that's the whole idea but these guys really get in the way, it can ruin the games fast pace.
Another problem I have with the enemies is the design, it's really uncreative, most of them are reused over and over just with different colours, after a while the sight of them really starts to annoy you.
What about the big enemies then? Well the boss battles range from mostly bad to a somewhat good, the earlier boss battles are really lame you just run in circles until you or the boss dies, the later ones are an improvement though.
One last thing that annoys me are the extra missions, the main levels are alright but some of the missions are tedious and lengthy, no one wants to do them, but you have to do these missions if you want to get further in the game.
One last thing I want to talk about is the level up system, as the game progresses you gain exp and level up, as you level up you are given the choice to upgrade sonic's ability's, doing this can really help you later on in the game.
As always the game is full of unlockable content including artwork, sound track, movies and more.
There is fun to be had in SatSR but there are also a lot of problems that can ruin it for you as well, but if you look past those problems here is a lot of fun to be had, the faluts won't bother you loads and they will at times be balanced out by the games good factors.
The game should take around eight to ten hours to complete.

Graphics and Sound
For an early wii title SanSR does look quite nice, Soinc looks much better than he did in the last few games and the levels do look like they have some life in them, the jungle level being a good example. What I also like is the way the cutscenes are done.
The music is different to the other sonic games, this time around the sound track has lyrics to go with it. In all the soundtrack is good.

The game did try something different which we do like to see, back then it was worth having but by todays standard its just another game, does have its faults but still fun.

+ Alright graphics.
+ Decent Soundtrack
+ nice unlockable content
+ Well presented cut scenes.

- Controls have some problems
- Broken jump
- Enemies are pretty crap
- Mostly bad missions
- Party mode is weak


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