Originally released in 2010, Sonic Colours on the Nintendo Wii and DS was touted as one of the best Sonic games in the series, thanks to its colourful presentation, gameplay and variety. Now, in 2021, at Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th Anniversary, Blind Squirrel Games has remastered the game with a host of improvements in the form of Sonic Colours: Ultimate. Is it worth revisiting this classic from the series?
The story in Sonic Colours: Ultimate is a familiar one. Dr. Eggman has a nefarious plot and Sonic and Tails set out to put an end to it. The evil doctor opens up an amusement park with promises of changing his ways, however, Sonic and Tails find it a little suspicious and decide to investigate. Shortly after arriving, they meet an alien named Yacker, who explains to them that Dr. Eggman is hunting down and enslaving an alien species known as Wisps with plans to harness their power to create a mind-control laser. It’s up to you to stop them, plain and simple. The story feels quite typical for what you’d expect from a Sonic game but it’s still quite an enjoyable romp, not to mention that Sonic is as cheeky as ever that shines through in quite an entertaining way.
Sonic Colours: Ultimate will see you visiting six different worlds, including the amusement park where the game starts. Each world is comprised of seven levels to play through, with the final one being a boss fight with Dr. Eggman’s creations. Each world has a different theme and this extends to the boss of that world as well. For example, the levels in the amusement park are filled with bright lights and theme park rides, whereas Sweet Mountain’s aesthetic includes candy canes, doughnuts and chocolate. There’s a decent variety on show.
The gameplay in Sonic Colours: Ultimate is mainly about platforming. Sure, there’s some light combat involved but it’s more about platforming and maintaining your speed while dealing with enemies. Thankfully, the control system is pretty simple, only really using a handful of buttons. Plus, it’s not like older games where you have a certain amount of lives before you have returned to the start of a level. Sonic’s jump can be a little iffy sometimes though.
Since Sonic the Hedgehog is involved and he’s known for his speed, it’s a given that the core gameplay will include this. The gameplay takes place from a third-person perspective but often transitions quite seamlessly to a side-scroller view depending on how the level changes. This does take some getting used to, but not for very long. It’s not long before you’re zooming across level; jumping over and sliding under obstacles. The speed is quite exhilarating too!
Sonic Colours: Ultimate makes use of the Wisps from the story as more than just a plot device, but they actually add an additional layer to the gameplay. There are eight different types and each one has a particular ability. For example, the Cyan Wisp allows you to zap between cyan diamonds in an area while the Yellow Wisp allows you to drill through soft ground and certain cubes. These can be found throughout a level and can be activated at the push of a button. Not all Wisps are unlocked from the start though, so collecting everything within a given level isn’t possible the first time around. Wisps are unlocked by playing through the story and once a new one is unlocked, it’s possible to go back to a previous level to dust off anything you may have missed. It encourages replayability and extends the playtime; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as the game isn’t particularly long, clocking in at about five to six hours.
There are also some new extras that have been included with this new package, namely a Jade Ghost Wisp, which was introduced in Team Sonic Racing, a Rival Rush mode that sees players racing against Metal Sonic and a host of cosmetic customisation options, including some from the 2020 film.
Visually, Sonic Colours: Ultimate looks fantastic. All the levels have been remastered quite nicely and the character models look incredibly polished. It also doesn’t hurt that the frame rate runs smoothly without any signs of slowing down at all. The one thing that did pose a bit of a problem is that the cutscenes have not received the remaster treatment. Unfortunately, they look rather dated and quite grainy, which broke the immersion a little bit when finishing a level and transitioning into a cutscene. The audio also stands out pretty well thanks to a newly recorded catchy soundtrack and great voice acting. Sonic’s constant joking might be a little off-putting for some players but I found it to be just the right amount.
Sonic Colours: Ultimate is great. Despite the fact that the original game is more than a decade old, the gameplay holds up pretty well. The controls are pretty easy to grasp, even if jumping can be a little iffy at times. The addition of Wisps adds an extra layer to the gameplay and the gradual unlocking of them encourages replayability. It also looks and sounds fantastic during gameplay, however, the dated cutscenes may be a tad off-putting. If you played Sonic Colours when it was initially released or if you’re a newcomer, Sonic Colours: Ultimate is the best way to enjoy one of the best games in the series.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Wii, Xbox One, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows
Developers: Blind Squirrel Entertainment, Sonic Team, Dimps
Purchase your prefered format from the official website https://colors.sonicthehedgehog.com/
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