Sonic & the Secret Rings is the first Sonic game to be released for the Nintendo Wii. Announced during E3 2006, under the name Sonic Wild Fire, it was meant to replace a planned port of Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) to the Wii. This is also the first 3D Sonic game to have Sonic as the only playable character. When the game was released, it came to mixed to positive reviews, becoming the most positively received Sonic game since Sonic Heroes. SaTSR was the first game in a planned trilogy, The Storybook Series. The sequel to this game, and the second entry in the Storybook series is Sonic & the Black Knight.
The plot is that Sonic is sleeping in a house, bumps his hand on a ring while trying to reach his clock. A genie named Shahra, The Genie of The Ring. jumps out of one of the books of the Arabian Nights, and into Sonic's room. She tells Sonic that an evil genie named "Erazor Djinn" is erasing the pages of the Arabian Nights, and absorbing it's power. A "Legendary Blue Hedgehog" is needed to destroy Erazor, and stop him, as mentioned in the book itself. She gives Sonic a ring, which he can rub and ask for a wish from Shahra for any time, forming a contract between them. Sonic agrees to help Shahra, and then a new adventure begins.
The game has two modes. Adventure Mode (single player), and a Party Mode (multiplayer). Adventure Mode involves the single-player experience through the main story mode of the game. Along with the main story mode, it is mandatory to do missions for each level to progress through the game. (screw the pirate storm missions) This makes the story mode about 10-15 hours to complete, lots more if you want to unlock and complete everything. The Party Mode consists of several party-related minigames that you can play with up to 4 players.
The game was made to take advantage of the Wii's motion control capabilities. Due to this, the control scheme is very different from those in most Sonic game. Instead of having manual control of Sonic, he moves for you, and the game is on-rails. The basic controls Wii Remote left or right to move him, pull it back to make him slow down/go backwards, and the 2 Button to Jump. Shame there is no GameCube controller, or heck, even Nunchuk support for the single player mode.
Though controls are an obvious issue, especially if you are playing the game for the first time, you will get used to them sooner or later. There are seven levels in this game. here they are listed:
Lost Prolouge (tutorial level)
Each level in the game greatly differs from each other, and are very creative. Even though it is noted most of the level names give themselves away. The game itself is influenced by Arabian culture, and it shows everywhere in the game. The game (IMO) has one of the best, heck, even THE best soundtrack in the series. Each song/piece of music is still in the rock genre, but has an Arabian spin to it. The music both excels in vocal tracks, and background music, and I put on Secret Rings just to listen to it's music. And it is literally music to your ears. The cutscenes in the game are painted to resemble that of an Arabian storybook, even showing more of it's Arabian influence. This game probably has some of the best looking stages in Sonic history. Such as Levitated Ruins & Night Palace. Not to mention this game has a FANTASTICAL art direction. And it helps it stand out from other Sonic games. I mean, look at this:
d'aww my god this is some of the best art i've ever seen
As progressing through the story, you earn EXP based on your experience in a level. EXP unlocks different abilities (or skills as they are called) for Sonic to use, such as improving his control, increasing his speed, etc. like in an RPG. (Crest of Wind is best skill) A Soul Gauge is used in this game for two functions. Speed Break & Time Break. Speed Break is used to let you go off in blazing amount of speed until the gauge runs out. (Sorta like a Sonic Boost) Time Break stops time in order for you to evade obstacles, or making quick evasions until the gauge runs out.
This game is seen by some as glimmering light during the dark ages of Sonic. Others see it as one of the worst 3D Sonic games. Aside from issues with the awkward control scheme, and the forced missions, this game succeeded in my book.
What are your thoughts and opinions on Sonic & The Secret Rings? What did you like/dislike about it? What could it have done better? What were your experiences with it?
Edited by Felix, 12 July 2012 - 03:03 PM.