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Sonic Colors back to reviews
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Like a controllable rollercoaster ride with many alternate paths
Sega keeps trying new things with Sonic, and they've been criticized for a lot of it. Heavily overemphasizing speed at the expense of platforming, having on-rails sections, turning Sonic into a werewolf, or having his friends play a major role, are all things they've tried in the past to mixed degrees of success.

But the ideas they tried here work. Sonic Colors is actually one of the most fun Sonic games I'd played in a long time. It tries a lot of gameplay ideas that just work.

The level design is very much "go forward from beginning to end", but with a surprising amount of variety in just how you do that. There are sections where you have complete 3D freedom over your movement, sections that are 2D side-scrolling areas, sections where you run forward automatically and instead have to sidestep quickly, grinding sections, automated vehicles you can ride and even jump on, sections that require the use of your homing jump to get through quickly, sections where you fall through the air and aim your landing as seen from an overhead perspective, sections where you're chased and have to avoid an enemy's attacks, and more. It's like a controllable rollercoaster ride.

The gameplay just keeps changing many times within a single level, and it all flows smoothly. There's no glitches, no misfiring springboards that send you to your death or scripts that break.

But what adds a lot more depth to this game is one thing modern Sonic games have forgotten: alternate routes. There's a lot of them in the levels, giving them a feel much like the old Genesis Sonic games, albeit with more focus on speed. Exploration is encouraged, particularly with some of the powers you can earn such as the drill (go underground) and spikes (climb walls and ceiling) powers.

Plus the game has another feature that I really appreciate: a sort of "endurance run" mode that goes through all the levels straight in order, with no breaks inbetween. Very old-school.

This is a Sonic game that combines some of the different types of action the series has tried all into one game, taking the best aspects of several Sonic games and avoiding the pitfalls, while turning it into one big action fest. I don't think all Sonic games should be like this one, but this was one experiment that worked.
What's with this obsession with imitating the 2D games? Mario's 3D games were completely different from its 2D games, yet they were still successful.
comment #10890 eveil 18th Oct 11
They were, and I enjoyed them. I think the idea is that the 2D games had certain play mechanics that people liked, but converting to 3D often means changing a lot. While 3D games with new play mechanics can be very good in their own right, there are people who'd like to see elements of the 2D games as well because there were certain things they enjoyed about them.

For example, the 2D Sonic games had tons of alternate routes and a lot of hidden areas. The 3D games lost that with their "keep going forward" camera. This game, even with its auto camera, brings alternate routes and hidden areas back in a big way.
comment #10909 BonsaiForest 19th Oct 11
Non-linearity can be enjoyable in a videogame. That's why I'm a Metroid fan.
comment #10911 GildedATM 19th Oct 11
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