Unlike other 3D Sonic games, this game has Sonic running automatically as the player moves the Wiimote to make him move left and right in roller-coaster type stages as he avoids obstacles and defeats enemies. This probably makes it the worst Sonic game in years by default, an impressive feat considering Sonic the Hedgehog had come out just one year earlier .
An RPG-like levelling up system has been added to level-up his stats, such as speed, agility, and power, which allows him to have new abilities and get to new areas.
Instead of being divided into the usual Acts, the game is divided into Chapters, each representing a story of the Arabian Nights, inside each chapter including missions for Sonic to complete. The first mission in every Chapter is an Action Stage, where Sonic needs to get from point A to point B. Later missions include collecting a certain number of coins, not being hit, and racing against the clock.
The game also includes an ill-advised full blown multiplayer Mario Party style game, where up to four players can play minigames and boards. Your progress on the single player adventure allows you to unlock more minigames, game modes, and special features, including concept art, storyboards, and cut-scenes.
Taking place inside the pages of The Arabian Nights, a genie named Erazor Djinn is using his magic to erase the pages of the book, changing the stories for his own advantage.
A genie by the name of Shahra wishes to fight back, but is unable to do so, so she summons an otherworldly hero to come and intervene, which resulted in Sonic the Hedgehog to be picked to go into the book.
Erazor Djinn, seeing the great power of speed Sonic has, curses Sonic, forcing him to gather the seven World Rings, which would make him supreme controller of all the stories of the book, within a limited number of time or otherwise, Sonic would die.
Sonic accidentally finds out that this curse, although killing him, has given incredible powers of speed, allowing him to go faster than ever before, and even slowing down time, which becomes the game's main gameplay element.
"Originally, we were going to produce Sonic the Hedgehog, the game we did for the Xbox 360, on all platforms, including the Wii, but after we looked at the Wii remote and the features of the controller, we decided to produce a new, completely different Sonic title for the system. I already had this basic idea [of Sonic constantly moving forward] in my mind, and when Sega asked me to produce the Wii game, I thought it would be a perfect fit." - Yojiro Ogawa on the creation of the game.
Although he worked a little bit on the original Sonic Adventure , this was Yojiro Ogawa's (of Phantasy Star, Feel the Magic, and Panzer Dragoon fame) first Sonic game with him as the leader. When he started production on this game, development was already underway for the Sonic game for HD consoles. He wanted his game to be "completely different" from the 360 game. The development team for this game was much larger than the average Sonic team, due to the short development schedule given to the game.
Since at the time, the Wii was going by the code name of Nintendo Revolution, he felt it was the proper time to "revolutionize" Sonic, and make him do things he has never done before. It was at this time when he decided to have the game take place inside The Arabian Nights. Sonic's friends do appear on the game, but dressed up and acting as characters from the book, much to Sonic's confusion.
"I realized that many of the other characters [in the series] were becoming too strong. Usually when we create a Sonic title, we create the Sonic parts first, then add some powers to each of the other characters to differentiate them. But as a result, those other characters become stronger than Sonic. With this game, I wanted to focus on Sonic and allow the players to customize him according to their own tastes." - Yojiro Ogawa on creating Sonic and the Secret Rings's RPG system.
This game is the first Sonic game to employ an RPG-like system for upgrading Sonic's abilities throughout the course of the game. During the level, Sonic gains experience points, which allow him to be able to use more abilities, such as being able to charge his jump, which allows him to get to branching parts of a level and complete more missions. Simplified versions of this system were added to Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight.
This game was originally going to be called Sonic Wildfire, but was then changed to Hyper Sonic, Sonic and the Secret of the Rings, and then to finally Sonic and the Secret Rings when copyright problems prevented them from using the original name. Originally thought to be a mainline installment of the Sonic series, this game was retroactively separated into a new "Storybook Series" with the release of it's sequel, Sonic and the Black Knight, also from the same team.
Although the game was hailed for effectively eliminating the problems that plagued 3D Sonic games for ages, such as bad camera work, by making the game linear, a new set of problems with gameplay were created.
Although the game was designed for Sonic to go running through levels at very high speeds, avoiding obstacles, most of the missions in the game involve heavy backtracking, which Sonic can not do very well in this game. The simplicity of it's control scheme and use of motion controls were very well received, lack of polish with the game engine gave players a lot of frustrating moments trying to do things that were not allowed by the game.
Although many critics blasted the game for it's rushed development, it was generally viewed as a step in the right direction in the franchise, and was much better received than it's HD competitor, both critically and financially, with a 70% score in Gamerankings, and 1.2 million units sold worldwide.
|Disc 1||t||Disc 2||t|
|Seven Rings in Hand||5:10||The Last Palace||2:00|
|The Lost Prologue||1:51||Sandstorm||2:19|
|Let the Speed Mend It||3:42||Power of the Ring||0:49|
|The Wicked Wild||3:37||Judgment||1:32|
|The Palace That Was Found||3:27||Ali Baba & Sinbad Rescued!||3:37|
|How It Started||4:22||Shimmer of Hot Air||1:47|
|High and Broken||4:28||The Legendary Blue Hedgehog||2:35|
|No Way Through||4:07||His Fate||1:43|
|Blue on the Run||3:59||Shimmer of Hot Air "Heartbeat"||2:14|
|The White of Sky||3:07||King of King||2:23|
|Unawakening Thought||4:42||The Promise||0:49|
|It Has Come to This||2:50||Shimmer of Hot Air "Rage"||1:07|
|Worth a Chance||5:29||Miss You||1:31|
|Violin Beginner's Class||0:17|
|Violin Middle Class||0:15|
|Violin Higher's Class||0:13|
|Pull On It!||0:43|
|Worth a Chance (Original Vers.)||5:28|