Talk about flogging a dead horse. We all loved the early Sonic incarnations, but recently Sega’s been churning out any old rubbish. And now they’re seemingly back for another good talking to.
With Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Wii, Sega wants us to forget about the chronic disaster that was Sonic on the Xbox 360. At first glance it seems fast and frenetic like the original, so let’s hope this reviewer is up to handling Sonic of old.
Gamers worldwide have been hoping for Sonic to get back to his running and jumping ways for a decade now. And luckily for us, Sega have finally heard our pleas.
Sonic and the Secret Rings is as close to the old MegaDrive version as anything we’ve seen in recent years. That fast forward rushing, jumping to avoid enemies and picking up obscene amount of rings is back and we're glad to see it.
On screen Sonic is consistently trundling forward, almost always at breakneck speed. The only thing you can do is nudge Sonic a few steps left or right along these narrow passageways to avoid the various baddies.
That’s not to say there’s nothing new here to sink your teeth into. As you complete challenges, you’ll gain experience points that you can use to unlock brand new skills.
Not that you’ll need to spend too much time with the brand new set of options, sadly. Running quick and jumping high are pretty much the only abilities Sonic’s ever needed. And that doesn’t change here. Why equip some brand new skill to avoid a few obstacles when you can just hop over them?
Controls wise, things are nice and simple. You hold the Wii remote sideways and tilt it left and right to tweak Sonic’s direction, while the 1 and 2 buttons punt Sonic into the air. And this cut down control method actually works.
This Sonic is anything but simple though. He’s almost too quick and you’ll find yourself all a quiver when you finally put the controller down.
The latter levels can be massively frustrating. You’ll spend a large proportion of your time repeatedly dying as you memorise the lay of the land. Sounds a bit like trying to get back home from a Saturday night out in Manchester to us.
The multiplayer game packs a healthy punch too. Like most Wii titles, it’s just a collection of mini games. There’s nothing hugely new here over the likes of Rayman, but the Sonic factor does play a bit part in keeping you hooked. Who can resist a spiky blue hedgehog after all?
Rings even manages to look pretty spectacular too. Each level is huge and packing some real detail. The less said about the terrible voice acting the better though.
A return to form for the long running - pun most certainly intended - series? You’re damn right it is.