hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Sonic Colors

Review: Sonic Colors DS

2:00 PM on 11.14.2010 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

While Sonic the Hedgehog has become quite famous for a string of terrible games over the past ten years, that's only really true in terms of home console output. Hyperbole states that we haven't had a good Sonic game since Sonic Adventure, which really betrays how much we gamers ignore the handheld market. 

With many thanks to developer Dimps, Sonic's portable games have often been decent. Sonic Advance and the Sonic Rush games have often ranged from decent to superb, which makes one wonder why Dimps is the "B" team and the inferior Sonic Team is the "A" team. 

Sonic Colors in the DS does little to answer that burning question, but it damn well ensures that it gets asked once again. 

Sonic Colors (DS)
Developer: Dimps
Publisher: Sega
Release date: November 16, 2010
MSRP: $39.99

Sonic Colors on the DS shares the same basic premise and gimmickry of its Wii counterpart, but that's where the similarity ends. Sonic Colors is a straight 2D platformer, bearing far more resemblance to Sonic Rush than anything to be found in Sonic Team's latest console offering, with some notable improvements to the Rush formula, to boot. 

The "press right to win" dynamic of Rush has been toned down, with a slightly slower Sonic and levels designed to put the focus on exploration as opposed to simply running. In fact, the levels have nearly all been put together rather excellently, especially the implementation of the Wisps. These Wisps are cute, marketable little aliens that Eggman has trapped in an intergalactic theme park, and they give Sonic various special powers when captured. 

Sonic Colors can be completed without having to make use of most of the Wisps, but the game is a lot more fun, and you can score a lot more points (needed, because the game's post-level grading system is damn strict!), if you use them. An added incentive is that using them can be quite fun, too. The levels built around the Yellow Wisp's drill power are especially cool, and many of the gimmicks and routes in each stage treat the Wisps as a far more integrated part of the game, unlike the Wii version where they appear tossed in as a throwaway gimmick. 

Dimps has also done a remarkable job of curbing the frustration that usually accompanies recent Sonic games, the ones that operate at such a speed that the only "challenge" in the game comes from trial-and-error pitfall deaths. While Colors can be a rather tough DS game, and there are some cartridge-snapping moments, most of the challenge comes from tricky platforming and making use of all Sonic's abilities at the right time, not from lacking the clairvoyance to know when the next split-second jump is about to ambush you. 

A few of Sonic's console abilities are ported over to this game, with mixed results. The homing attack returns, but it's one of the most successful iterations of the ability yet. Homing attacks always hit their mark, and there's no lag or risk of causing an accidental death by daring the follow the game's directions. The power to jump from wall to wall is also quite satisfying, albeit a little sluggish, but pressing the R button to slide through narrow gaps could have done with being scrapped. It barely works properly and it seems gaps have always been placed during speedier sections, which only serve to break the flow of the game. 

Colors DS also sports its own variation of bosses, which also vary in degrees of quality. They're all damn challenging, and many of them are quite clever. Just a few feel as if Dimps tried too hard, with a couple of fights that expect you to die several times before you know what the Hell is going on. Fans of bosses that don't take it lying down ought to be satisfied. 

The main levels of Sonic Colors are pretty great, but the game's various sub-missions are dreadful. Not only do they feature cameo appearances from terrible characters like Silver the Hedgehog and Cream the Rabbit, most of the missions are fairly inane (capture thirty Wisps within an absurdly strict time limit) and are merely rehashes of previous stages. Fortunately, these can be ignored for the duration of the game. 

The game's Special Stages, however, are well worth checking out. Making use of the touch screen, these levels hark back to Sonic 2's classic bonus stages, as you drag Sonic around a tubular track in order to collect colored orbs. It's fairly easy, but that doesn't stop it being fun, and it also features some fantastic background music. I found myself selecting these stages just for how they look and sound more than their gameplay. 

If that's not enough, there are also Time Attack levels and even multiplayer stages in which two players can link up and race. While these extras aren't a huge selling point, they're a neat, inoffensive feature for those who really get into the game and want a little more. 

While it could have done with scrapping its pointless narrative and extras entirely, and there are a few later stages that could have done with tightening up, Sonic Colors is yet another great handheld Sonic experience. By taking many of Sonic Rush's style but making various strong improvements, it's easy to argue that Colors DS, not Colors Wii or even Sonic the Hedgehog 4, is the real return to form for our spiky blue friend. Its presentation is superb, most of the stages are structure incredibly well, and there's enough replay value to be found, as you can go back to previous stages with unlocked Wisps to open new paths. Even without the gimmick, however, many of the stages are just worth playing again for the fun of it. 

Sonic Colors DS is the best Sonic game released this year. Easily. 




THE VERDICT

8.5

Sonic Colors - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So I can plug any headphones I want into my PS4 controller. If said headphones have a mic, will it work in chat?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Sonic Colors


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -