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All but one of the Sonic Games on the Show Floor

Four Sonic titles are available to demo or preview at E3 this year, and I was able to play three and take a glimpse at one more.

Editor's Note: This was written after Sonic Colors Wii impressions, but due to technical issues, the Sonic Colors Wii impressions will be up afterward at some time.

First up was Sonic 4: Episode One. Unfortunately, I played Sonic 4 after I played Sonic Colors on the Wii, which honestly meants my Sonic standards had just been raised. In truth, Sonic 4 very much felt like an extension of the original Sonic games, albeit the level design and artwork direction are much less compelling than I recall the earlier titles to be. I played the Wii version, which had the same stages as the Xbox and PS3 ones did, but unfortunately, the resolution and color-blending on it was inferior by far to the two other consoles. In truth, and it may be due to the setting, but I felt like I was playing to reach the end of the demo, and not to explore the game, and I think that can say a lot about my opinion of Sonic 4.

Sonic Colors DS takes the same concept found in the Wii game, but implements it with a little more of Sonic Rush's style on the Nintendo DS. It's being co-authored by Sonic Team and Dimps, and as such, is influenced heavily by their past work. In prior titles, I found wide chasms to occur far too often, and I thought the necessity of tricks was needless and tedious. It seems as though Sonic Colors DS may have eliminated these problems, at least in the few stages I played. There weren't any chasms to be seen, and Sonic didn't seem to do tricks. Instead, new Wisps are brought into the game, allowing Sonic to do more special attacks. I didn't have enough time to figure out the mechanics of the special attack on the show floor, but it seemed to involve catching on fire and jumping, something that, when combined, could be a lot of fun. The verdict is still out on Sonic Colors DS, but I definitely can see potential that could take it to either end of the quality spectrum.

Last, and most certainly least is Sonic Free Riders. In what could be a terrible decision, Sega didn't allow attendees to spend time playing the game. Instead, I had to throw my gaze at a glass house and watch a professional model/actor play or pretend to play the game. Whether it was scripted or not is hard to say, but at least he made it look like it could be fun. My money's on scripted, but I could easily be wrong, since I've had no experience with Kinect yet to know if it'd pick up his movements. Either way, I'm disappointed with the lack of close-up experience Sega allowed, and I can't weigh in on either side as to quality. It's a title that we'll have to take a closer look when its release draws near.



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