Smooth as butter
Sonic Colors, understandably so, rubbed up some of the limitations of the Wii hardware. What this meant is that the game ran at only 30 frames per-second (fps) — not really the end of the world, but 60fps is obviously a much more preferable option, should it have been possible. A game running at 60fps looks a lot smoother and feels much more responsive, while 30fps is generally considered to be the bare acceptable minimum a game can support.
By now, you should probably be familiar with the Wii Emulator, Dolphin. Assuming you have powerful enough hardware, Dolphin will let you run Nintendo Gamecube and Wii games on your PC, often with enhanced visual effects. With one caveat: the game’s framerate is often untouched. That’s largely because, for a game like Sonic Colors, it is intentionally programmed to run at 30fps. Altering the game’s framerate would cause havoc within the game’s internal logic, usually making it unplayable.
But things are changing. A new trend sweeping through the Dolphin community is finding ways to “fix” 30fps games to run at the much smoother 60fps. It seemingly started with a video posted on the official Dolphin Youtube channel, featuring Super Mario Sunshine running at an enhanced 60fps.
Note: To see this video in 60fps, the “720p60” or “1080p60” quality option must be selected. If these options are not present, your browser is not supported.
But this was different. Super Mario Sunshine was originally intended to run at 60fps, but was retooled to run at the slower 30fps at some point during development. Could it be that this hack was merely restoring the game’s original uncapped framerate? Could 60fps hacks be applied to other games?
As it turns out, yes, as evidenced by this video of Sonic Colors running at 60fps.
Again: Select the “720p60” option. If you don’t have it, you can’t actually see the game in 60fps.
The trick comes in the form of two Action Replay codes posted on the Dolphin forums that unlock the game’s framerate and allow it to be played in 60fps. Obviously, these codes are only intended to be used with Dolphin, so for those of you out there thinking you can achieve 60fps on a real Wii console… proceed at your own risk, I guess.
Sega has said in the past that there are no plans to release an updated “HD” version of Sonic Colors, so for those of you out there hoping for a slightly-enhanced version of the game, this Dolphin hack might be just what you’re looking for, assuming you’ve got beefy enough PC to handle it.
Update: The official Dolphin Emulator channel has also posted their own video of Sonic Colors running at 60fps, this time playing through Starlight Carnival.