Sonic and the Secret Rings

Published by Sega, Developed by Sega

Genres: Action (1 players)

US release date: Feb 20th, 2007 | EU release date: Mar 2nd, 2007

Sonic and the Secret Rings review

Ladies and Gentlemen, Sonic's finally fun again.

Joseph The Squirrel wrote this game review.

Review written by
Joseph The Squirrel

The Sonic series has hit many homes since its '91 debut. Its fast paced action and blurring backgrounds caused many to wow with wonder. Sonic and the Secret Rings is the blue blur's newest adventure, and it's pretty quick on its feet.

Now, I have been a long-time sonic fan. However, that doesn't make me stupid; I know that recent Sonic titles, no matter the console, have pretty much done horribly, from Sonic Heroes to the most recent '06 Sonic the Hedgehog. Here's the good news: Secret Rings is a real nice step in the right direction.

Sonic and the Secret Rings screenshotThe basis and overall theme of the game centers around the Tales of the Arabian Nights. The story has Sonic being sent into the big book of Arabian fairy tales and going around making sure that the evil Erazor Djinn doesn't burn all of the book's pages from existence. With the help of the Genie Sharha, you are out to preserve the book as a page-turner.

Sonic hasn't had a true solo game since his first one. Until now. The entire game is played just as Sonic; no 'faker' Shadow, no robo-Tails, no Indiana Knuckles. That isn't to say you don't see them - sort of. Sonic's friends and others do show up throughout, but they're only playing the parts of the Arabian story counterparts. As such, they don't know who Sonic really is.

The voices played by the cast in the game are pretty bad. Sharha sounds too emotional, Tails sounds like he has laryngitis, and Knuckles sounds like Brock from Pokemon. Sonic sounds passable, but he's not as good as the Sonic from Sonic Adventure 2, who even then was only pretty okay. What's more, when playing through the level, Sonic and Sharha will exchange small dialogue that is really annoying to hear again and again and again, especially when you die and come back only to have them say the line you just suffered through before dying.

Sonic and the Secret Rings screenshotThe controls for the game are really intelligently designed. The Wiimote is held NES style, and you tilt left and right to turn. You constantly move forward unless holding down the 1 button (the brake), and jump using the 2 button. Homing attacks are your main offensive movement initiated with a flick of the Wiimote. The control system isn't entirely foolproof however, as it will take you a WHILE before you get them down; but once you do, you'll be a pro at it.

Little bit of reminiscence here: in Shadow the Hedgehog, which was horrible, there was an ability that allowed you to go intensely fast, or destroy a lot of things after defeating a certain group of enemies. However, the abilities were mostly more of a pain than a help in the game. This is revisited in SA, but luckily, it's pretty good. The Speed Break and Time Break are done by gathering pearls scattered around stages. Speed Break sends you at a giant speed, while Time Break goes all Matrix on you and time slows down so you can have great precision. Both skills are equally useful, and you'll love using them.

There are seven worlds, and each one has great design. The art in this game has great attention to detail and the Arabian theme is present in them all. Each world has various missions to do, each on a certain position in the world. If youire confused, think how in Excite Truck, even though the stages are different, the areas you race are the same. The music in the levels is passable, but not spectacular. There isn't much innovation into the various tunes. When you restart levels after dying, the song starts over and you'll get even more annoyed with it, so much that after you hear "Dino! It's a jungle!?", you'll want to rip your ears out and hide them under your pillow. Unfortunately, there's no ear fairy to make the horrible music go away (unless you count the mute button).

Sonic and the Secret Rings screenshotThe missions are REALLY difficult, they will definitely take you at least four tries per mission to get down. There are a few types that can be performed, like collecting a certain amount of rings or defeating a certain amount of enemies. Different levels of medals can be acquired with different levels of skill, and they unlock special goodies and different party games (more on those in a bit).

The game features a level-up RPG system which grants experience after defeated levels. The points gained allow for skills that can be used to improve attack, speed, and the overall control difficulties you might feel (and there'll be a lot of 'em). There are over 100 skills to get, and you'll want them desperately, some more than others.

The unlockables in the game are usually just little pictures and such, or some party games you can play with friends. The games aren't much fun, but a few are worth playing. Nothing too special.

The game's focus is on speed, and it's well-brought out. While the game isn't the best Sonic title, it's the best console Sonic game within the last four years. It definitely deserves a rental, and possibly a buy for all of the nifty goodies. Speed on Hedgehog.

68%

Gameplay: Gameplay score: 7

Graphics: Graphics score: 8

Sound: Sound score: 5

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 6

User comments

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Master Foot said:

Great review. The PS3 version was rated worse than the Wii version, so that's a good look for Wii.

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Unknown said:

Good review. I've been a long-time sonic fan and I have to admit most 3-D Sonic games suck. Sonic and the Secret Rings isn't the best sonic game, but it's the best 3-D Sonic game.

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Wii's World said:

Yep, quality review!

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Yoshi-1up said:

Perfect review for this game. If you want a game to get your blood pressure up and popping a vein, this is it! Looks beautiful though.

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Gonzo said:

Yup, Master Foot! Now, all the Wii games are better than PS3! Anyway, me and my brother went to Nintendo World in New York a few days ago and we were about to buy this, but my brother didn't want it.

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Unknown said:

I have to disagree with the rating. I have this game it deserves better then a C+, I think it should be an A-. But I still think that was a great review.

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Joseph The Squirel said:

Thanks. 'Preciate it.

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Tonydelap said:

I played it today, Feb 25, and it isn't horrible. I haven't played a Sonic game in many years but overall, pleased.

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Gonzo said:

The game doesn't look that good after the review. Should I get it?

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Elementrat said:

Awesome review but I think the scores were a little harsh.

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Joseph The Squirel said:

The rating system isn't quite perfect here. If you check out the score explanations, the description of C's is pretty accurate for the game. And yes, I definitely recommend AT LEAST a rental.

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Sonic Fan said:

The best Sonic to date!

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Zericon said:

I must say at first play I wasn't too pleased, however it did grow on me pretty fast. Now I can't put it down.

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quartzlcc said:

Uhh. A C+ with all you said? From what you said, at least B+. Then again, most people under-rate stuff. *Shakes head*.

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Joseph The Squirel said:

Zericon, that should be in the review. That's exactly what I felt. The game's good after you get used to it, because the controls BECOME second nature. If you've already played the adventure series or a spin-off, you'll have trouble adjusting no doubt.

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PHiRE said:

Actually I'd say most people overrate things. C+ is not really something to be disappointed with, on a scale of A-F it's still pretty good and sounds about right for the game to me. I'm still certainly looking forward to playing it!

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ARRGGG said:

I like the play, but the story sequences. I hate the stupid talking with bad stills.

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Govinda Rana said:

I find that the games press is full of Nintendo fanatics and even Sega games often receive negative reviews. The video game press has long held Sega to be below the standards of many reviewers and even titles that are later regarded as innovative classics are grudgingly given fair reviews upon initial release. Many cult Sega games were originally panned by critics, only for the same journals to revise such views upon reevaluation. It would appear that the press has a mission to discredit Sega games when they are released so they cannot make a profit, but in retrospectives reveal their true opinions. The whole Sega Saturn era had vitriolic critics destabilize Sega's position, and praise the Playstation, even though today it is generally regarded that Saturn had better software, although perhaps not the best looking 3D titles. I would not trust any games critic because just as there is a class division in most countries, within the video game market there is also similar snobbery and critics generally favor Nintendo. Mario is not only more kiddie-oriented, his games could be brought down on the same critical grounds as Sonic, and it is funny how it is always a foregone conclusion that critics will love a new Zelda games - even the pathetically drooling previews are indicative of their postulated critical response. As for Sonic and the Secret Rings, I hope gamers purchase the game, play it and make up their own mind. In this day and age there is no need for critics, their very existence suggests a sense of superiority and as Nietzsche said, we must recognise the nihilist within us and accept that we are our authority and leave these self obsessed critics to their own fraternity which is as devoid of creativity as it is of honesty. Prejudice guides all subjective commentary, there is no objective criticism, as all criticism is performed by a person, and they judge according to their prejudice and we must not allow them to impose their views on us. Good or bad, choice is always necessary. After all, do all readers here want Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony zealots to debase all other software companies? SNK and Sega are pretty much dead yet their games are often played by dedicated fans but the stinking mainstreamers just want endless titles that appeal to their prejudices.

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Gonzo said:

Wow, Govinda Rana, how long did it take you to write that? That's huge.

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TheKid said:

I think the scores were perfect, it's a slightly above average game, most people's scores for average games are bs. Some intelligent person has to set them straight.

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i need a wiieww said:

C+? I got this game and surely not a C+. Maybe a B+ or even an A-.

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i need a wiieww said:

What the!? I only got 5 of the 7 world rings and at the end it says I had them all and then I completed it?

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smitty said:

This game starts off a little suckish, but after you get past the learning process it kicks butt.

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AlexKidd said:

I think the review is fair but my jaw almost hit the ground when I saw the 'C'.

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Tails said:

The grade for this game is not correct. The ones below are more accurate. The mini games in Party Mode are a lot of fun. The game is extremely fast paced, so you have to keep your eyes open, for some I can see how that would be difficult. I agree AK.

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Gonzo said:

Are the graphics better than most Wii games?

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JosephTheSquirrel said:

For the last time people! The grading system here is weird. I can't put the grade in manually.

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Knuckles da Pwner said:

I love this game, it's really fun! The Sonic the hedgehog for Xbox 360 and PS3 just make people think that it's ok to fall in love with a hedgehog as a human.

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GFHJ said:

I hated this game. I traded it for excite truck (which is better).

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mike cliffe said:

Hi all, some may not agree with me here, but I found this game utterly dry and dull. Maybe I was hoping for a more mario 64 style of game as in exploring etc. But the idea they used could have worked a lot better, I just found the gameplay extremely dull, it felt like you're always playing a bonus stage or something like from sonic 2 on the megadrive with a few enemies chucked in. Also if you need to go back a bit and that awful type oh lets run backwards made me feel the presentation of the game is very low.

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handpuppet said:

I don't know about you, but I liked sonic heroes, shadow the hedghog, sonic riders, and the other recent sonic games. Although it IS nice to see a step into the classic sonic games.

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TruBlu said:

I'd give the game a B.

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Son Ninja said:

Darkspine Sonic in this game looks great, better than Super Sonic. I have to say this game earn my trust for Sonic's future. I just hope Sega doesn't mess up on Sonic Unleash for the Wii. Since Dimps is handling that game for the Wii maybe it'll turn out good. Not sure if the other versions are any good beside the visuals though.

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