Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic and the Secret Rings is a platforming 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.
The game was initially a Wii port of Sonic '06, but it was reworked into a different title due to the console's limitations.
- 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 control Sonic, leading to some cheap deaths during the play through.
- 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 what it is supposed to give instructions about how to use, and the boost mechanic when riding on rails 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.....
- The story is nonsensical: 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 example being Seven Rings in Hand.
- 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 control. 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 it's poor controls.