False Orders Begone
Join Date: May 2006
IGN: Sonic: Secret of the Rings Hands On (no longer new)
Sonic and the Secret Rings Hands-on
We blaze through a Desert Oasis with Sonic's return to form.
January 19, 2007 - Sonic the Hedgehog is one of those franchises that gamers truly love, even while the individual games get consistently slammed in reviews. With the recent 3-D entries in the series, the overwhelming consensus is that Sonic has largely deviated from his 16-bit roots as a smack-talking speed demon. SEGA has added a whole cast of supporting characters to the mix, consequently placing the focus on timed platforming, combat, and exploration rather than on pure, unadulterated speed.
Sonic and the Secret Rings is the first Sonic title developed exclusively for the Wii. With this game, it is obvious that SEGA took all of these complaints about recent Sonic games to heart and devoted itself to creating a game that remained true to Sonic's roots, while at the same time making interesting use of the Wiimote. Sonic and the Secret Rings is set in an Arabian Nights-inspired setting, with Sonic and crew taking part in an epic quest, while tangling with mythical beasts and mysterious enemies. Of course, storyline has never been the strength of a Sonic game, and Sonic and the Secret Rings is absolutely no exception. While the storyline does serve to break up the level progression, it is far from being the focus of the game.
The game's locales are artistically inspired by the Arabian Nights stories
Earlier today, representatives from SEGA came to visit us at our San Francisco offices, and gave us some hands-on play time with what is sure to be one of the Wii's big spring titles. The level that we can talk about right now is Desert Oasis, featured at last year's E3, and little has changed since then -- although that may not be such a bad thing. The game is still controlled by holding the Wiimote in the sideways position, and tilting it left or right, much like in Excite Truck. Sonic is constantly running forward, although you can back up if you get wedged somewhere uncomfortable by simply twisting the Wiimote back towards you. Meanwhile, the 2 button makes Sonic jump. Just like in the E3 demo, there are two types of jumps in the game: a quick jump and a charge jump. Although, unlike in the E3 demo, both of these moves are extremely easy to pull off without interrupting the flow of the game. Once you have sent Sonic careening into the air, you can flick the Wiimote forwards to execute a dash attack against enemies and destructible environmental details. Sonic will automatically home in on any enemies that are in his way, so taking on a large group of adversaries is easier than ever before.
Running around as Sonic on the Wii is a more enjoyable hedgehog-themed experience than we have had in years. The game is blisteringly fast and only gets faster the better you play. The game's environments are surprisingly lively, with lots of action taking place on-screen at the same time. There are also various little environmental gimmicks that make use of the Wiimote such as winged-pots that can be manipulated through flicks of the Wiimote and catapults that can launch Sonic into the air.
While some may worry that this gameplay dynamic of rapidly speeding through levels while avoiding enemies and obstacles might wear thin quickly, it seemed to be entirely the opposite in our experience. As we progressed further into the game, more and more depth became apparent. Levels in the game have multiple branching paths, allowing for some degree of exploration. Furthermore, each of the game's levels features not only the standard "race to the finish line" objective, but also a series of challenges that could be tackled at the player's whim. These challenges award Sonic with something akin to experience points, which can then be used to outfit Sonic with a variety of new skills. We would go into more detail regarding this feature, but that will have to wait for a later date.
One of the biggest challenges befalling pretty much every 3-D Sonic title is the implementation of the in-game camera. It has become commonplace for Sonic titles to have completely broken cameras that often cause frustrating player deaths. Sonic and the Secret Rings cleverly sidesteps this problem by shooting the action from a dynamic camera angle which is not player-controlled, but which almost always does a perfect job of filming the scorchingly fast action. Although, we are usually sticklers for a manual camera, Sonic and the Secret Rings retains a classic Sonic the Hedgehog feel by taking the camera control out of the player's hands.
This game has some seriously gorgeous environments
Besides the hugely fun implementation of the Wiimote control, Sonic and the Secret Rings also feels like a true Wii title from a visual standpoint. Most of the Wii's launch titles failed to wow us graphically, so it is nice to already see games coming out of third-party developers that look like they were actually developed with the Wii hardware in mind. Sonic and the Secret Rings certainly meets this criteria. The game ran at a brisk 30 FPS with nary a drop in framerate to be found. All of the levels are extremely detailed and have a lot of action going on at the same time. There were nice lighting effects throughout the levels which we played, and some slick motion blur every now and again. While the game may not be quite as visually detailed as its Xbox 360 and PS3 cousins, it is definitely pretty, and one of the best-looking Wii titles we have yet laid eyes on.
One feature that has not been discussed before is the game's selection of multiplayer mini-games. The game features "dozens" of mini-games, all of which are controlled through use of the Wiimote and support 1-4 players at the same time. We were not yet given the chance to try out these games, but as soon as we do, we will pass the info on to you. There is a whole lot more that we desperately want to report about the game, but that is going to have to wait for a later date. Head over to our media section to see the first direct-feed footage of the complete first level.
Source is here:
Media Video is Here:
^ disregard that, I suck Cock.