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Sonic Colors (DS) Review

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Despite once being one of the video-game world's best mascots, Sonic has had some rough times in recent years. Ever since Sonic started meddling with all three-dimensions things have gone rather sour. Raised as a Mario-child, I was late to the Sonic fanbase. Still, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that Sonic should have remained in 2D. With Sonic 4's recent release gamers can breathe a sigh of relief as SEGA has finally returned to creating worthwhile Sonic titles. To verify this further, Sonic Colors is an even more impressive game.

While the Wii version of Sonic Colors is definitely the flagship title, the Nintendo DS alternative is great in it's own right. Graphically the Wii version blows this out of the water, but that isn't a fair comparison. Though also not to-scale with Sonic 4, Sonic Colors for the DS maintains the art style and familiar presentation of the original four Sonic games back on the Sega Genesis. Nostalgic is the word.

Sonic Colors' gameplay is the selling point of course. Though remaining true to the 2D series, it successfully implements new features without alienating the original fanbase. As you progress throughout the game's stages you'll unlock new abilities. The first of which being a 'Dash' move, that pushes Sonic to even faster speeds. These new elements don't at all ruin what we consider a “true Sonic” game to be, and finally show some signs of evolution in the series.

The Sonic Colors' soundtrack consists of a nice assortment of songs with similar quality to past 2D Sonic games. No particular song “stunned me with brilliance” or anything like that, but it was generally enjoyable. Not to sound harsh, but it is what I would expect in any Sonic title- anything less would be almost insulting. The sound effects are again, somewhat typical. Noises you recall from prior games are very likely recycled for use in Sonic Colors as well.

Besides the traditional levels you progress through, there are also many bonus stages and missions. Usually they consist of “collect X number of X thing” or “reach the goal in time!” They offer some variety to the game, but ultimately it will always come down to speed and precision in Sonic titles. Every stage also grades you on your performance, so you will always be aiming for that difficult S-Rank. Unfortunately the rewards for doing so are typically lackluster, with concept art and short cutscenes being the trophies. Similarly, every time I saw Tails or Knuckles in a cutscene I couldn't help but ponder on why there were no other playable characters in the game. It's not as if the series' alternate characters feature any drastic gameplay changes.

Small gripes aside, Sonic Colors is a great addition to your DS library. This is in every way a game that stays true to the series and continues SEGA's improving trend. Before playing Sonic Colors I couldn't get over the fact that the best game I've recently played with Sonic in it was a kart-racer. I am by no means a Sonic mega-fan, but I'm proof that anyone will enjoy this game.








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