Gamespot’s Mark Walton has posted up a preview of his recent hands-on time with Sonic Colours‘ Planet Wisp stage. The preview is very positive, so much so that he claims the game “is a marked departure” for Sonic, due to the lack of gimmicks which many in the press have rated the Sonic series down for in the past.
Sonic Colors is a marked departure for the little hedgehog that could; you don’t turn into a werehog or wield a giant sword. In fact, there is a distinct lack of gimmickry about the game, which instead offers a purer 3D experience not seen since the likes of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. There are tons of fast loops to roll through and springs to leap from, as well as new wisp power-ups that have been tuned to fit in with Sonic’s breakneck speed.
Walton reveals that Planet Wisp is in-fact the opening stage of the game and as seen in gameplay videos at Gamesom, looks very familiar to the opening stages of older Sonic titles.
Our hands-on focused on the opening stage, named Planet Whisp. Like the opening stage of earlier Sonic games, it featured familiar visuals, with lush green plants, waterfalls, and simple badniks.
Walton informs that players will need to use the B button on the Wii Remote to get around turns and that doing so will not only make you drift, but gain a speed boost too.
To make our way around the huge banked curves, we had to hold down the B button, which gave us a burst of speed in the corners and made Sonic’s famous red sneakers glow bright yellow.
Walton then goes on to explain the three Wisps that he got to try out, namely the Rocket, Lazer and Hover Wisps that we know all too well by know. This is the first time we’ve heard of the Lazer and Hover Wisps presence in Planet Wisp, so it seems SEGA have been updating the stages to incorporate more stage exploration with the games variety of Wisp power-ups, which can only be a good thing.
In Walton’s final thoughts, he seems very impressed with the games Wisp power-ups and how they build on Sonic’s gameplay when compared to past gameplay styles like Sonic Unleashed‘s Werehog. The visuals also get the thumbs-up from Walton.
What stood out the most from our time with Sonic Colors was how much the power-ups have been integrated into the lightning-fast platforming that has become a hallmark of the series. Unlike the mindless werehog combat of Unleashed, the wisps serve to enhance the core gameplay experience and not drastically change the pace. The visuals in Colors also look good, and Sega has put a large amount of detail into the backgrounds, with the lush foliage-filled Planet Whisp looking particularly impressive.
For the full preview, head over to Gamespot.