Sonic and the Secret Rings
|Sonic and the Secret Rings|
Sonic and the Secret Rings is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega as part of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The game is the prequel to Sonic and the Black Knight, and the two titles form the Sonic Storybook Series.
Why The Game Exists
Originally, the Wii was supposed to see a port of Sonic the Hedgehog. But when presented with development kits for Nintendo's less powerful Wii console, the team was split in two. Nakamura led one team to finish Sonic the Hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 while producer Yojiro Ogawa led the other half to begin work on what would become Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Wii. In this case, SEGA asked that the game take advantage of the Wii Remote's capabilities.
- The game is completely reliant on motion controls for nearly every action, but they are so unresponsive to the point that they make the game near unplayable at times.
- The camera is locked behind you at all times, even if you're moving backwards. This makes it difficult to see where the enemies and obstacles are, especially ones that you have already passed.
- The gameplay also means you can only move slightly left and slightly right, compounding the inability to fully control Sonic, which leads to some cheap deaths during your first playthrough.
- Plus, the controls feel more like they belong in a racing game than a platformer.
- You need to hold a button to jump even though you never had to do that in any of the previous games. (well, maybe the snowboarding parts from Sonic '06. The Wii version was cancelled, so Sonic and the Secret Rings was made instead, and that explains a lot).
- The boss fights fall prey to basic patterns that make them incredibly easy once memorized. In fact during the first boss fight (the Sand Scorpion), the game even tells you to hit the target on the back of the boss to damage him.
- The controls aren't properly explained in the game. At least one of the tutorials fails to explain anything about a specific action, and the boost mechanic when rail grinding is not even mentioned in any tutorial.
- Mediocre visuals that look barely above a PlayStation 2 game.
- You are required to do lots of separate missions on the same level to gain access to the next level, as the mission you need to complete to get the World Ring is not specified within the game, so to find out you must look up which mission has the World Ring or complete the mission and get the World Ring. This artificially pads out the length of the game, and kills all sense of urgency the story provides with the next point.
- While the story is actually good for the most part, it gets nonsensical when Erazor throws an arrow at Shahra but Sonic blocks his arrow and hits him instead. Erazor then tells Sonic that he will remove the arrow if he gathers the World Rings for him. If he does not do so before the flame goes out, Sonic dies. Why would anyone kill the person that could gather the World Rings?
- Whenever you unlock a new mission, you aren't told what mission you unlocked and you can't skip the messages all at once, meaning they have to be clicked through one by one.
- There is no real way to figure out which mission grants a World Ring, you will have to look up a guide know which mission does so.
- The characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series playing as one of the storybook characters is a nice touch.
- Great voice acting, especially Jason Griffith as Sonic.
- The Mini-Games are really fun to play, and there are even alternate modes for them.
- The music, while not fitting into each world, is amazing, with the best examples being The Palace that was Found and Seven Rings in Hand.
- Some funny moments such as Sonic's "I'm not a rat!" line.
- As mentioned in BQ #8, the story, for the most part, is actually well-written and is filled with heartwarming and emotional moments between Sonic and Shahra.
- The ending where Erazor Djinn was sealed inside of his lamp for all of eternity was considered by some of the Sonic fans as one of Sonic's "badass" moments, and the scene where Sonic wishes for a mountain of handkerchiefs for Shahra to grieve as much as she needs is a show of Sonic's well meaning and caring side.
Sonic and the Secret Rings received mixed - to - positive reviews from critics, and has a Metacritic score of 69. However some people have criticized the game due to how the controls work in the game and the general gameplay itself. After this game and Black Knight's mediocre reception, the "Sonic Storybook Series" was discontinued.
TheRetroReplay was highly critical of the forced motion controls, citing it to be unresponsive to the point of making the game pretty much unplayable. He deems Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) to be a better game than this one because it had better controls. He gave Secret Rings the "Bubsy 3D" rating and declared it the worst Sonic game he had played. Somecallmejohnny expressed similar sentiments, declaring this game to be worse than Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog because of its poor controls.