|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sonic Team||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls are also disappointing. They involve a lot of controller-shaking, but they don't offer the best results. Oftentimes you'll be running at full speed while dispatching enemies left and right, but if you try to use the Z button in order to protect yourself from upcoming enemies, Sonic might stop completely, which breaks the flow. Luckily, the ability to target-attack by holding the B button (as long as you've saved up some Soul Surge juice) often makes up for it. You can even jump and then use the Soul Surge to finish up the enemy with a quick flick of the Wii Remote (while holding B).
Sonic can also climb walls or slide down them, grind on ropes, rails, and edges, and even ride wagons when the opportunity comes. It seems like fun things to do, but it mostly feels as if the game's holding your hand all the time, so there's no sense of challenge. Also, the boss battles are ridiculous. Your moves are very limited and the controls are inconsistent, which makes you feel powerless. Most of these fights are short enough that you end up winning anyways, but they're no fun.
Without a doubt, the visuals are the best part of the game. Sonic and the Black Knight looks sharp, and the level design is beautiful. The medieval theme is very appealing and full of details, which you can really appreciate if you stop and take a look. The bright, 3D cutscenes are great, and I also enjoyed the 2D, hand drawn-style cutscenes. My only complaint in this department is the repetition of foes and villagers throughout the levels, which is something that shouldn't happen in today's video games. Basically, the enemies are knights and spiders, and they're all fought the same way.
The voiceover work is typical of Sonic games. Most voices will sound familiar, and they're fine for a Sonic game. However, they don't really stand out. I think it'd be nice to add a touch of fantasy into the recipe, since it's a game based on a storybook. The soundtrack is equally characteristic of Sonic games (repetitive J-Pop), and it doesn't do a whole lot for the game. This doesn't mean it's not alright, but it's just missing a spark of originality. Perhaps I'm just too used to hearing similar musical themes in every Sonic game.
In conclusion, this is just another so-so Sonic title. It has a decent Story mode and great visuals, plus it includes a Battle mode to compete against your friends. No online play is a downside, but overall, the game is really not that bad. It can be fun for a couple hours, but I guess that probably doesn't justify the $50 expense unless you're a Sonic fan. There's a lot more that could have been done with Sonic and a sword, but then again, the Sonic Team insists in using the same fast-paced formula, so there we have it. I would just go for a rental, and if you're ready for more, you can always take the plunge later.
CCC Site Director