Listening to: Fantasia 2000
Reading: Nothing right now
Playing: Team Fortress 2
Okay, for those who don't know, Sonic Colors on the Wii turned out to be a success. I'll have a review of it sometime. But for now, I'll review Colors' DS counterpart, because I don't think that version's mentioned enough.
So, as we all know, the story of Sonic Colors is like this: Dr. Eggman/Robotnik built an amusement park in space to apologize for his evil deeds in the past. Or so he says. He actually built it to capture little aliens called Wisps and harness their "Hyper Go-on energy" to create a machine. So naturally, Sonic sets out to stop him.
While Sonic Colors on the Wii combines speed and platforming, Sonic Colors on the DS plays more like Sonic Rush 3.
And that's a good thing.
For those who don't know, Sonic had a pair of titles on the DS called Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure. These games put an emphasis on performing tricks, buliding up boosts, and proper usage of said boosts. Knowing when and where to use your boost became an essential part of mastering these games. Sonic Colors DS plays a lot like this, except now you have the same Wisp system you did in the Wii version.
These "Wisps" transform Sonic into various things, like a drill, a rocket and a laser. While the DS version doesn't have as many Wisps as its big brother on the Wii, it has two Wisps exclusive to this version. One of them is Red Burst, which allows Sonic to multi-jump and charge up a screen-clearing attack, and the other is Violet Void, which turns Sonic into a black hole that gets bigger the more it sucks in. The Wisps add something to the Sonic formula without getting in the way of the gameplay.
The game controls work beautifully. However, those who have played the Rush titles, like me, may be confused by the controls at first. In the Rush titles, pressing the B button in midair would make Sonic perform tricks to build up his boost meter. In Colors DS, pressing the B button makes Sonic perform the homing attack used in Sonic 4. But over time, you get used to this and control Sonic masterfully. Other than the new input, Sonic controls like a dream. They also added a LOT of new moves, most of which are taken from the Wii version. They added Sonic's slide and wall jump maneuvers, which definitely help add to the gameplay. And the homing attack is just as much fun to use here as it was in Sonic 4. The levels are designed to make great use of Sonic's new moves and Wisp powers.
Since I mentioned that they took out Sonic's airborne tricks, I feel I should mention how the game works. In the Wii version, only certain enemies would add to Sonic's boost. In Colors, hitting any enemy adds a little to his boost, and any others hit in a row add more. This new system works wonderfully, and it makes a suitable replacement for the trick system in the Rush games.
There are also side missions, which are "introduced" by Sonic's much maligned friends such as Cream, Shadow, and Vector. Basically, they ask you to do them a favor or challenge you. The missions themselves range from grabbing a certain amount of rings to reaching the goal in a certain amount of time. These missions are adequate time-wasters, if you're into that sort of thing, and they also help unlock stuff for the sound test, if you're a completionist.
The graphics look very nice. Everything is appropriately colorful, and the themes for the levels have a lot of variety. Whether you're zooming through Sweet Mountain's candy paradise or blasting through the Japanese themed Aquarium Park, each of the environments are interesting to look at. As for the music, I've heard a lot of mixed reactions from people on this one. Others like it, others hate it. Personally, I actually liked a lot of the tunes. Planet Wisp's theme sounded rather serene, while the Aquarium Park theme sounded appropriately Japanese. While the main theme "Reach for the Stars" isn't very good, the music for the levels sounded a lot better.
Now for what's wrong with the game. Namely, the bosses. They are pushovers. They're already pretty weak when you first fight them, but when you learn their attack patterns, they become a joke. I can beat the first boss in less than half a minute. I'm not joking. Secondly, while the Wisps felt somewhat restrained in the Wii version, they feel even more restrained here. Yes, they add to the gameplay and are fun to use, but most of the time, you're only using them in one spot. The game even throws in signs where you can use them. Colors doesn't allow for a whole lot of experimentation with the Wisp powers, which is disappointing, especially considering how big the levels are.
These things don't change the fact that Sonic Colors DS is a quality game. While the Wii version helps redeem the blue blur on consoles, the DS version continues the proud tradition of quality Sonic games on portables. Whether you're getting it as a companion for the Wii version or as a standalone Sonic game, you're in for a good time with Sonic Colors DS.
Buy: Shell out the cash. You need this game.
Try: Try the game first to see if you like it.
Fry: Burn the game on sight. (or just don't play it)
Rating: Buy. Whether you're a platformer fan or a Sonic fan, Sonic Colors DS is a worthy addition to anyone's DS library.