Sonic and the Secret Rings
Review Nintendo Wii
The latest in a long line of Sonic games Secret Rings manages to regain the pedigree that made Sonic a cult game all those years ago. The famous blue hedgehog gets awoken from his sleep by a genie warning of a nasty character Erazor who is slowly erasing the book 1001 nights from history and if he succeeds will be powerful enough to manifest into the real world. And so the mission starts, Sonic must collect...yes you guessed it, rings from various levels in an attempt to stop the maniacal Erazor from destroying the book and the world.
To help you get a grasp of the controls the game starts with a mini level split into chapters, each chapter explains a facet of the controls and game play. The control is held in steering mode with the 1 and 2 buttons being used for brake and jump, this is one of the only down sides to the game as it feels more like a driving game, I would have liked to have had the option of using the arrow keys to steer. To extend jumps or attack enemies the controller can be thrust forwards which is a little difficult to master the timing of but soon feels a natural way to do things.
Now down to the reason you are reading this in the first place, the game itself. From the start Sonic and the Secret Rings impresses. Fluent fast moving graphics capture the speed of the original and surpass any of the earlier incarnations with its graphical prowess. Visually its a stunning game and maybe shows us a glimpse of what the Wii is capable of. The feeling of scale on the levels is wonderful and sometimes you feel like you want to slow the whole thing down to have a good look around. There is plenty of variety to the levels, for example on some you can't kill enemies others you need to beat a time limit, these help to keep the game fresh and reduce the repetitive element that has thwarted this type of game in the past. Also during the game you can unlock characters and levels for the bonus party games that accompany this title, many of the party games resemble other Wii titles such as Wii Sports and Monkey Ball these can be played by up to 4 people.
Overall this is Sonic for the new millennium and a new console there have been 3D versions of this classic before but nothing that can touch the slickness of this one. If you own a Wii it's definitely worth a punt, but don't buy a Wii just for this title alone.
7 out of 10