Review | Sonic Colours DS
An even better Sonic, really…
Format: DS| Genre: Platformer | Publisher: Sega | Developer: Sega | Release date: 12/11/2010 | Price: £29.99
Jennifer Allen dashes around the portable world of SONIC COLOURS DS.
THE MANY comments about how Sonic Colours is a return to form have been done really. They were done to death with Sonic 4 too. The thing is though, Sonic Colours (at least for the DS) really is a return to form for the lovable blue hedgehog, even more so than Sonic 4. It just can’t be said enough. Sonic Colours combines the best elements of Sonic Rush and the original Sonic games making for a fantastic portable experience.
Crucially it can be summed up simply – you liked Sonic, right? Before he turned 3D and all it went a bit wrong? Then this is the game for you. Sonic Rush was a fantastic title but this somehow feels better, tighter and more in key with the speed stereotype that we’ve come to expect from the series. You can rush through the stages at the speed of a running hedgehog without worrying about cheap deaths. There are a few perilous falls but when you do go over the edge, you know it’s your own fault. While Sonic 4 felt unfair sometimes, Sonic Colours doesn’t in the slightest. That’s not to say that rushing through each level is essential. With the addition of new power ups throughout each zone, it’s worth your while to take your time sometimes and to explore. Sonic Colours practically encourages this via the ability to go back to previous stages whereby you can use newly acquired power ups to access different routes. The power ups come in the form of Wisps. Each colour grants Sonic a new power. These powers range from the ability to jump further to being able to drill through soft ground. There’s also the DS exclusive Wisp, the Void Wisp which enables you to float and suck up enemies. While it is impressive sounding, I was less than impressed with the controls here. Regardless of this faltering moment, Sonic Colours is terrific fun to play.
It’s perhaps a trifle too short comprising of 6 main zones with three acts in each, including one boss battle per zone, but the addition of side missions helps a treat. The side missions themselves are also nowhere near as easy as the main game, adding a harsh edge for those after a challenge. Boss battles are fairly traditional in their approach. Each boss follows a relatively set pattern which requires timing and skill in order to defeat. They each require the use of the Wisp that you’ll have acquired through the rest of the zone also. The bosses, much like the rest of the game, never feel difficult to defeat though and it’s doubtful you’ll struggle much at their hands. Special stages feel distinctly like a throwback to Sonic 2 – no bad thing at all. Using the DS stylus, you control Sonic as he runs around a half pipe arena collecting orbs. Collect enough of the right orbs and you win a chaos emerald, just like Sonic 2’s special stage. It’s good fun and the stylus controls work well, never feeling obtrusive. The rest of the game controls via the face buttons and d-pad which is much better than throwing in stylus controls for the sake of it.
There’s a versus racing mode bundled in, and a time trial mode too, offering what Sonic’s always been best at. Sonic Colours’ great strength lies in the main game though. It really is, simply put, excellent fun. It’s the ever predictable line again – a return to form for the series. It’s a fantastic combination of 2D gameplay with 3D elements that never infringe too much on the action. Roll on a sequel please.