This week you may be under the impression that you only have two options open to you as a gamer. You could pick up a copy of the admittedly excellent Call Of Duty: Black Ops, or you could invest in a Kinect unit and leap about in front of the telly. There are, however, a couple of other games on release this week, and one of them is the new Sonic game, which breaks with a tradition that has lasted for more than a decade by (GASP!) actually being very good!
In the interests of full disclosure, I must confess, I haven’t played Sonic Colours. In this instance I am relying slightly on the the game’s current Metacritic score of 7.9 but mostly on the review proffered by Thongings over at the Daily Telegraph. The reason for this is that Thongings is a die-hard fan of the earliest and (it goes without saying) best games in the Sonic franchise. This means that if a Sonic title happens to be poor as… well… so many of them have been in recent years, Thongings writes a review which ends with Sonic and his friends being frog-marched into a large container, which is picked up by a helicopter with a large magnet attached to it and then dumped somewhere in the North Sea. The fact that Sonic Colours has earned an 8 in his review means that it’s as close to awesome as Sega could make it, without just repackaging the first games of the franchise.
Which is why it’s so perplexing that Sega would choose this week – of all the 52 it had out of the entire year – to release arguably the best Sonic game in the last ten years. Because as far as the world at large is aware, there are no items available at game retail outlets – or anywhere in the entire world, for that matter – other than Kinect and copies of Call Of Duty: Black Ops. The only people who are going to be interested in Sonic Colours are going to be Wii owners who own no other console and who don’t like COD. And even then, it’s touch and go that they’ll even be aware that Sonic Colours is coming out this week. At this rate, the Prime Minister’s visit to China is battling to compete against news that you’ll soon be able to play Kinectimals. What chance does Sonic have?
Sonic is something of a rarity in gaming. He’s an instantly recognisable gaming icon who appeals to both the casual and hard core gamers who has managed to survive over the last decade or so despite a lot of his games being badly received by the critics. It shows he’s got staying power, but will he be able to navigate this week’s mine-field? I certainly hope so. It’d be a pity if Sonic Colours doesn’t do the business it should due to its rubbish release date – not least because Sega have made the effort to spell Colours correctly in the title of the UK release!
Sega cares. Sonic’s good again. Go on, give the old hedgehog a secon… thir…. another chance!