Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic once was the biggest challenger of Nintendo, and reason for many discussions in school. Mario was gay, Sonic was cool. At this moment Sonic is little more than an average game character that gets to appear in even more average games. And this while Sega according to us and so many fans has to do only one thing: make a 2D hi-def successor to the first Sonic game. Luckily we could find some small comfort in Sonic Rush Adventure on the DS.
But we’re not talking about that game today, but instead we’re checking out the new Wii game, Sonic and the Black Knight. A new, legendary, weapon, a far-fetched medieval setting and some new characters need to cluster us to the standard-def screen. The quite goodlooking intro movie and the first, although a bit less good, cut-scenes (including annoying voice and stupid jokes of Sonic) set the tone.
Merlina the Sorceress has called you to help defeating King Arthur who has bought a flying horse that reminds of World of Warcraft and mostly wants to bring chaos in the world. Thanks to the sword Caliburn (uhu) you can now also swing the remote to defeat enemies.
This Caliburn sword can talk and won’t hesitate to bring forth more talentless dialogues. The idea to use the legend of King Arthur may have been original, the way it’s worked out could be a lot better.
The gameplay is at first sight simple and puts our blue hedgehog on rails that let the surroundings pass by fast and linear, with of course the possibility to evade objects or do a jump. Skills to navigate these passages aren’t really necessary, just pushing your thumbstick forward will do if you push sideways now and then. As said you can also use your sword to defeat enemies but this isn’t really fluid or fun. A defense posture is taken with the Z-button by the way. Boss fights are also present but you won’t have to think hard to win these: one time shaking when the icon that calls for that appears.
However, it’s mostly the sword fighting with standard enemies that bothers. The speed suddenly gets drawn out of Sonic, especially if you need to confront multiple after each other. On top of that specific assignments are given rather quickly which bring down the complete flow out of the game to… introduce minigames and some sort of quick-time events. On top of that you’ll all too often not reach objectives because they aren’t clear, which results in replaying entire levels. Luckily they’re quite short and fast while the menus are easy to go through. In other words, if you only expect speed and fun you’ll come home from an empty journey.
The blue hedgehog these days prefers to shout tough sentences that seem to have run away straight out of the year 1984, and the sword looks to be introduced only as an excuse to use the Wii controls. Totally unnecessary, laggy and destructive for what the game does do quite good: the fast running through quite nice environments, and the collecting of rings and all kinds of other goodies.
The enjoyable soundtrack, the possibility for some arena fights with a couple of friends and a bunch of unlockable extras and artwork can’t save this game. Yet another one to quickly forget or at most get through once for those that are immune to repetition and frustration.