Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sonic and the Secret Rings

Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Feb. 20, 2007
System: Wii
Official web site

In a nutshell: Sonic runs forward and dodges things.

0:01 What's with the heavy metal flames everywhere? I thought this was Sonic, not Kiss: Pinball Party. Also: the first level is called Paragraph One? Really?
0:02 Genie: "You are the blue hedgehog" Duh! Also: Sonic has never read Aladdin. Or seen the movie. Or, y'know, lived on this planet?
0:03 The bad guy is named Erazor Djinn. Oh... like Eraser Djinn. HA! I get it.
0:04 The story is still chattering on. I stopped caring about 30 seconds ago. I like the art style though.
0:05 "Now rub the ring." Dirty! Sonic wishes for handkerchiefs. What the hell?
0:06 On a flying carpet, Sonic says "Now this is first class." Um, no, not really.
0:07 The first level takes 24 seconds. After five minutes of cut scenes. I hope the game-to-story ratio gets better.
0:09 Pushing the remote forward for the jump dash has a nice feel to it.
0:11 I don't like having to hold down the jump button before I jump. It throws off my rhythm and slows things down way too much.
0:14 For a guy known for running fast, Sonic sure takes a while to get up to speed. Like more than other Sonic games even.
0:17 I never understood why Sonic could grind on rails. When did he become an extreme skateboarder?
0:18 "Talk about a close shave" Oh, Sonic. You ham.
0:20 The bad guy is going on about nonexistent rings. Sonic is sacrificing his body for a genie who basically kidnapped him. "I shall collect the life of king Sharhyar" Dum dee doo.
0:25 In the middle of my first real, non-tutorial level. The controls are pretty responsive, but large sections make me feel like I'm being pulled along rather than really in control of things.
0:27 Finished the level. Got a bronze medal... not sure why. Unlocked all sorts of missions and skill points and what not. It's a regular unlock-fest.
0:29 It's Dr. Eggman. AKA Dr. Robotnik. But he thinks he's King Shahryar. Then a pterodactyl comes and takes him. "Guess it's time for a little action." Thank god.
0:31 The info. message for the next level: "Don't Get Defeated." Thanks, game!
0:32 After a six-minute level, a one-minute level seems... short. And what the hell's with the background music. "So many things need a push or pull to begin." Wow. Deep.
0:34 The camera keeps changing perspective slightly, making things tough to control.
0:39 Falling in the water and drowning leads to a reset from just before jump. Breaking a pot, though, leads to "mission failed." Wha?
0:43 The speed is constantly going from blazing to stalled when you have to stop and jump/attack. Very disconcerting.
0:45 I hate to say it, but this game could use a time limit. I know your completion time affects your grade, but without a countdown it's too tempting just to take things slow.
0:50 It's fun throwing the controller forward to attack, but it requires practically zero skill. Get the lock on and then ATTACK!
0:51 Level design seems extremely basic an repetitive so far. Show me something interesting!
0:53 I got an item that increases my acceleration, but really it seems just as slow as ever.
0:55 Tails is Ali Baba. Sonic saves him. OK!
0:57 A section where Sonic is chased by three triceratops shows promise, but frequent, random perspective changes ruin everything.
1:01 Neat little section with a T-Rex that you have to lure around to destroy boulders. I take back what I said about the level design.
1:03 The level ends with an extended section where I barely have to touch the remote. Is this a game or a movie?

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No
Why? Interesting concept, but the execution is way too loose. I barely feel like I'm controlling things most of the time.

This review is based on a retail copy provided by Nintendo.


Anonymous said...

Completely agree. That game was the worst I've ever played. I didn't even finish it. I stopped and sold it on eBay.

Richie said...

Hm. Not a bad review. Maybe this will become one of the better websites?

Anonymous said...

Great concept for a game review site! With 90 percent of the games I play, I'm done or seen enough after one hour. I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer, but I like checking out every game I can in search of the magic game that captivates my imagination.

I'd like see new reviews of old games as well--Gamecube, Dreamcast, N64, etc. because a lot of those still hold up.

- Mark in S.F.

Mr.Luben said...

Nice review...

Defently bookmarking this web page...

Dante Kleinberg said...

I really hated this game at first. I didn't understand why I had to go through a level without hitting any vases. Well, okay, I still don't, but getting a list of the shortest route through the game (skipping the unnecessary sidequests) from GameFAQs helped.

Still, I haven't decided if I'll slog through to the end or return it to the rental place.

Digging the blog! I can see myself wasting 5-10 minutes every work day on here...

Jamie_VR said...

Haha, great idea for a game review blog (although tbh I don't spend much more than an hour an a review game if it's particularly duff!).

Why do Sonic games seem like they were scripted by 8 year olds?

Anonymous said...

I love this site's concept. Added to favorites.

It basically matches my attention span for games.

dru said...

The thing about Sonic is that he gets faster the more you play. He gains upgrades that you can apply to the ring that he wears. For example some upgrades allow you to spend less time charging a jump, some add a fire element to your jumps and others just plain make you accelerate more. Whether that's a triumph of design(showing that the game has depth beyond just jumping and dodging) or a failure (because you have to play more to see the fruits of your efforts and maybe. sonic just should have been that fast to begin with) is something that I'm still unsure of even though I've owned the game since it came out. I guess that for the purposes of this site, it's a failure.
I thought the game was okay overall and definitely better than Shadow or the PS3/360 Sonic, but not quite as good as Rush on DS.

Raton-Laveur said...

"I never understood why Sonic could grind on rails. When did he become an extreme skateboarder?"

That was in Sonic Adventure 2. The game had a sponsorship with Soap Shoes, and Sonic had his very own pair (even features on the soapshoes website, the URL being featured on billboards in the game). Since then, Sonic can grind on rails.

Alma said...

I really like your site. I played this game with in my fiance's system and I got really dizzy! I've always been a wuz when it came to Sonic, and the worst thing is that I like Sonic!! Have you tried Resident Evil 4, for the Wii?