“Suffers from some serious bi-polar disorder”
The positivity party may be over.
Quick on the heels of a 6.4 GameTrailers review already widely questioned by fans, we have GamesRadar honing in on wildly fluctuating difficulty as the key factor in its 7 out of 10 score. That would be considered normal under most circumstances of a Sonic game, but in the face of so many high scores, it seems downright mediocre.
The game may have been lucky to achieve that, if closing remarks in the review are any indication. US writer Matthew Keast alludes the game’s replay value with unlockable Wisps are a saving grace:
[….] something unexpected and really cool happens after finishing the game: it becomes more fun. We mentioned before how certain powerups become unlocked and available in previous levels. Well this isn’t just a minor bonus toy to play with once you’ve finished the game. These powerups open areas of levels completely inaccessible before – and some of them are huge. So the game becomes more than a speedy platformer after you complete it – it becomes an exploration adventure. It makes levels that drove us crazy the first time around into playgrounds and archeological digs. It’s a feature that elevates that game significantly above our initial feelings about it (which frankly weren’t very positive).
Much of the review is spent dissecting the game’s leaps and dips in difficulty throughout, something alluded to in previous reviews but never in the depth seen here. In one example, Keast explains the frustration with dodging the crab mini-boss in Aquarium Park:
So, we get to the crab-robot again. Now the Navigator informs us we must press B, which activates Sonic’s dash. All righty! We press B. The robot hits us anyway. Uh, what? Now the Navigator tells us to move from side to side. We do so. Smack. Dead. Four times in a row, dead, and back to the beginning of the level. This happened over and over until we lost count. Turns out we had to hold the B button down for an arbitrary amount of time, even though a single tap of the button caused the prompt to disappear and triggered the next prompt (move side-to-side) which was in fact completely incorrect for the situation at hand. See, the side-to-side prompt is supposed to tell you what to do after successfully completing the dash, but just triggers anyway regardless of what happens. So we did what the game told us to do, and died over and over.
This is what we were talking about when we said sometimes Sonic Colors hates your guts. After the traumatic crab-robot, the game gets in a worse mood and throws the same robot at you again, except this time with no checkpoints so if you die during an even longer chase sequence, you go minutes back to the beginning every time. It’s utterly infuriating.
Compliments were afforded to the game’s visuals and exploration. For reference, GamesRadar awarded Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I a 9 out of 10.
As the floodgates of criticism open, it appears more likely we’ll see the overall average of Colors settle near the high 70s/low 80s percentile. That’s not bad by any means, but it can deflate what still remains a very festive environment in the lead up to Sonic Colors‘s launch. We’ll continue to pass along any noteworthy reviews.