Sonic Colors was first released in November 2010 by the Sonic Team. It was considered one of the finest installments of the Sonic franchise within that current generation. Ever since Sonic shifted his adventures into the 3D world, things haven’t transferred over all that smoothly. With Sonic Colors, the design was a smart hybrid of 3D racing and 2D platforming. The introduction of the Wisps gave the gameplay a whole new dynamic. Usually, Sonic is a hyperactive, pinball buzzsaw that tears through enemies with some power-ups here and there. However, the Wisps in this installment grant Sonic a slew of new perks like morphing into a laser and transforming into a drill that heightens the action. Sonic still comes with his standard move set from Sonic Unleashed and veterans will be comfortable with the controls with this title.
The story is that Dr. Robotnik captured the mystical alien species known as “The Wisps.” They are forced to be slaves in his interstellar amusement park so he can harness their energy. Robotnik’s ultimate goal is to take this energy and use it to build a giant mind-control laser to conquer Earth. Sonic must traverse through the park and save all The Wisps and put a stop to Dr. Robotnik’s nefarious plans. This park is a conglomerate of planets that are tied together by giant chains. Each planet comes with its own theme and they all introduce a new gameplay mechanic throughout the campaign. There are a total of 5 planets and they’re each broken up into 6 acts. The last act is a boss level that is an epic battle with one of Dr. Robotnik’s titan robots. This adventure has become a fan favorite over the years. Players figured they would never revisit this installment until an announcement of an HD remaster was in the works.
A Colorful Comeback
Early next month will be the release of a remastered version of this game called Sonic Colors: Ultimate. It is essentially the same game, but it offers far more than just a shiny new coat of paint. Yes, this remaster comes with an assortment of upgrades that go above and beyond. For starters, this game will be running on a native 4K resolution at 60 fps. Of course, the Switch version will still run at 30 fps. Sonic Colors was originally a Wii exclusive and its remastered version will be going to other consoles and PC. Even though the controls were intuitive back in 2010, Blind Squirrel Games went to great lengths to update the controls for current gaming platforms. Sega felt that this remaster was justified due to the influx of a new generation of Sonic fans after the release of the Sonic movie in 2020. Other games like Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing also helped break the mold with younger fans. Even though there’s a wealth of Sonic adventures to chose from, Sega acknowledged that Sonic Colors was a step in the right direction for the franchise. So, it seemed natural to bring this to modern gaming platforms.
Sonic Colors: Ultimate will come with new soundtracks and a much more crisp variation of sound effects. Even though Sonic Colors was widely well-received, there were still some noticeable complaints that came with it. One of the biggest gameplay hindrances was the fact that players couldn’t differentiate between pitfalls and safe ledges. Due to the 3D design, it was difficult to tell was the lower segment of the levels had to offer. To rectify this, Blind Squirrel Games implemented a “warning sign” that pops up whenever Sonic is near a deadly pitfall. This helps players avoid annoying deaths just by exploring. Plus, there are also “Tales Icons” that can be collected that are basically used as a safeguard. If a player manages to fall into a pit, Tales will swoop down, catch Sonic and deliver him back to the nearest checkpoint.
Sonic Colors is basically an origin tale about how Sonic found the Wisps. Ever since this installment, the Wisp powers have become a staple with the newer Sonic adventures. The addition of the “Jade Ghost Wisp” in Sonic Colors: Ultimate will give Sonic the ability to reach inaccessible areas. In addition to this, there are now tokens to find that are used as a currency to unlock different customizable items for Sonic. They are scattered throughout the levels and they can also be gifted after level completion. There are even some custom items that are related to the Sonic 2020 movie. Naturally, there are also tons of other cosmetics to unlock throughout the playthrough. The cutscenes are upscaled a little bit, but they look essentially the same.
Unfortunately, the unlocked cosmetics won’t appear during the cut scenes, which is a missed opportunity. On top of all these enhancements, Sonic Colors: Ultimate will also have some new game modes. One, in particular, is the “Rival Race Mode” where Sonic must race against Metal Sonic. Metal Sonic made his debut on Sonic CD and he’s been kind of missing out for some time. It’s good to see him back in action and hopefully be more on the forefront in Sonic’s future outings. Thus, playing this mode will unlock special cosmetics that won’t be found anywhere else in the game. There is also a grading system at the end of each level that rewards players based on their skills. Depending on the grade, players will receive new lives, tokens, and other items that they can collect.
Get Ready to Race!
Players that missed out on the original release of Sonic Colors in 2010 should keep their eye on this. Even though this title had some issues, it looks like it might be on the right track. The addition of a new Wisp and game modes will give this game a new appeal even for seasoned Sonic Colors players. This title marks a threshold of where future installments could go. With the new Sonic movie now in production, is a safe bet that another Sonic adventure will be coming to consoles soon. Sonic Colors: Ultimate will be launching on September 7th for the PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC.the Sonic franchise
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