jnerd's Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii) review

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The best 3-D Sonic game, unfortunatley that isn't sayin much.

Sonic and the Secret Rings is the best 3-D Sonic game ever, which is not saying much for Sonic or the franchise. Sega tried to embrace the Wii’s new technology and the applications where very intuitive, but overall they felt loose and a little rushed. Because of how scattered the cinematics are throughout Secret Rings I couldn’t follow the story, which is probably a good thing because it would have dragged the game down even faster.

Gameplay:
Sonic’s control scheme is very simple, and as previously stated, is executed very well. The use of the motion sensing technology throughout the game is not awkward or over-used like in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, in fact it plays just like Excite Truck. The downfall of this is that the controls where sloppily done and feel rushed. You hold the Wii Remote horizontally then tilt it to the left or right to move Sonic, just like driving in Excite Truck. The major malfunction with the Sonic control scheme is its inability to do precise movements. When you are trying to collect rings, and you need to be accurate, turning is very difficult because it twitches too the far left/right. To move in reverse you tilt the Wii Remote back (( towards yourself)) which is fine, but when you tilt it too far forward it also makes you go backwards which is an inconvenient glitch, something that should have been caught before mass-production. Besides those two flaws the controls are rather smooth, and truly work well with the game mechanics. The whole game consists of running through a course without hitting anything…and occasionally you need to jump or attack an enemy or two. There is a party-mode that supports up to four players, but it is very shallow and forgettable. The entire party-mode is a cheap rip-off of Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. You play a bunch of random mini-games that are overly simple with poor controls. Each time you win you get to open one out of ‘X’ number of chests, after they are all open it’s over, to spice it up even more each chest has either ‘X’ amount of gold or a ghost which makes it soooo much more exciting! Other than that there is not much more to the game, it’s a 3-D Sonic game you shouldn’t have read this expecting too much...

Environment and Graphics:

The fun factor in Sonic is definitely there, it just is not a lasting effect. After beating The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Sonic is the game a lot of people needed to waste time until Super Paper Mario or Super Mario Galaxy comes out. One major game-play downfall is the speed, you can get to a relatively high-speed but even at top-speed it feels slow for a Sonic game. Another negative is the acceleration time, whenever Sonic runs into something he has to starts off really slow and builds momentum, which takes much longer then it should. Once again, if you can overlook these few flaws then you will have an enjoyable time, although even with a positive attitude towards the game or the Sonic series in-general it does start getting repetitive around the third or fourth world...which is about half-way through the game. Speaking of 3-D, the graphics are great, besides some awkward looping animations and a few random camera or frame-rate problems it runs smoothly. The cut-scenes surpass those of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as do the in-game graphics. The animations are fluid and the environments are lush and detailed, it all comes together very well. I would say Sonic has the best Wii graphics to date.

Sound:

The audio is crisp but nothing revolutionary, the same coin sound-effects you have been listening to since the Sega Genesis. There is a new theme-song, which plays way too much, is an edgy punk re-mix of some horrid band. It is ridiculous how many times they loop that throughout the game…can you say “Over used”? The style of the song just doesn’t work with a Sonic game. Nice try though Sega.

Conclusion:
I would say overall Sonic and the Secret Rings is a rent at best. I would consider purchasing it if the price dropped, but for what you get with it is not worth MSRP. Good luck next time Sega.

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