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Sonic and the Secret Rings

 

 

SCORE: 90

 

Sonic and the Secret Rings 

 

Sonic and the Secret Rings is Sega’s first Sonic video game designed specifically for the Nintendo Wii. The control scheme level design, and extras exhibit that quite well. Players hold the Wii Remote sideways, lower the left side to go left, and lower the right side to go right. Pulling the Wii Remote back towards the player’s body puts the breaks on, whereas shaking the Wii Remote towards the screen will launch Sonic towards an enemy if there is a target lock. The ‘2’ button is used to jump, and charge up the jump. Sonic can be stopped with the ‘1’ button, but he really does want to run forward. This is Sonics first solo game in awhile. The storyline follows Sonic as he helps Shahra (genie of the magic ring) stop the evil genie Erazor. Both of these genies come from the book Arabian Nights. Erazor is deleting pages in the book in an attempt to get out of that world into Sonic’s world. So Sonic agrees to take part in a pre-emptive strike. Quite a few of the regular Sonic characters make cameo appearances in this game, as characters in the book, who are not familar with Sonic.

There are two sides to the graphics of Sonic and the Secret Rings. The first comes from the cut scenes, which are artistic in their nature, and look like an old book. There is little animation in them, but the way it is done is actually pretty nice. The second comes from the game levels themselves. The graphics look better than I would have expected, especially on the Nintendo Wii. The polish and shine is not at the level of the Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 game (completely different game). The camera works just as it should in this game though. In fact the first thing I noticed while playing Sonic and the Secret Rings is just how well the camera kept up with the super sonic speeds. Sonic can attack the bad spirits in this game, and they vanish after being hit. This animation usually happens so fast that the violence is kept at a minimum. I like the art work, and style used in this game. Sega did a wonderful job with some very bright and colorful graphics.

My son and I enjoy watching the Sonic X cartoon on DVD. We get an entire season at a time, and have really gotten into the intro theme. That intro theme is different from the one used in Sonic and the Secret Rings. I do like the music in this game, and the intro song has an awesome beat to it. It reminds me of 1980’s rock in a way. Bear in mind I am someone who normally likes Christian Contemporary, Praise & Worship, and Gospel. I could not find all the lyrics, and the music can not be turned off easily, so if the music does bother you, muting the television is the only solution. The normal Sonic sounds are in this game, and work quite well.

Sonic and the Secret Rings starts out pretty easy at first, and becomes much more difficult later in the game. As the player plays, they wind up leveling up Sonic. The more Sonic levels up, the more skills he learns. These skills can be used by equipping them on one of four different rings Sonic can equip. There is a lot of diversity within the game levels. There are straight getting to the goal, finding so many coins, beating so many enemies, racing through the level, unlocking someone’s cage, etc. Sega also included an amazing array of unlockable content. Some of that content is the movie scenes, other content is drawings of various character. As if that was not enough a complete party game is also included. I am honestly quite a bit surprised that Sega spent so much time and energy on this game. More than one player can compete in the party games, and there are plenty of reasons to replay this game. In my humble opinion this game is worth your hard earned dollars.

Sonic is always wanting to run forward. Running into a spot where a jump needs to be performed because an obstacle is in the way really displays this. Sonic will bounce back, and then bump into it again. Going backwards can be very difficult at times, especially when Sonic is going at a breakneck speed. This game does control more like a racing game, but the player can jump. It can be difficult to really classify the controls other than the explanation given at the beginning of this review. There was one level where Sonic has to put four dinosaur eggs in their nests. Missing the nest, or getting hit means having to loop back around the level again. There was also a level where Sonic rides a piece of wood over some giant tidal waves that was pure brilliance. Overall the level design is really good, with a rare exception here and there. I had a lot of fun playing this game, and will continue to do so with the Party mode.

The genie part of this game seems way more fantasy to me, and does not get occultic. Sonic takes a fiery dart for Shahra, and this selfless act costs him. Still this sacrifice is very honorable. At times Sonic cares more about fun than stopping the evil character, but that is more of Sonic having fun while stopping evil. I would love to see a sequel to this game on the Nintendo Wii, for now though I will enjoy this game that will most assuredly become a classic in the future. This is one game your family may want to check out.
- Paul

 

Graphics: 89%
Sound: 94%
Replay/Extras: 99%
Gameplay: 85%
Family Friendly Factor: 83%
System: Wii
Publisher: Sega
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone
{Cartoon Violence}


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