Sonic the Hedgehog has caught a lot of flak in recent times for having, well, BAD games. Some say it started right when the blue blur made the transition to 3D, but I don't follow that crowd. I enjoyed Sonic Adventure and to a greater extent, Sonic Adventure 2. For me, things started to slip right when Sonic Heroes was released in 2004. BLASPHEMY, I hear some of you saying. I'm sure you enjoyed Sonic Heroes a great deal. For me, I couldn't wrap my head around the triple tag-team game style and the story didn't really make that much sense to me. And from that point on, things got worse and worse for Sonic's storied career, all culminating in the nightmare that was Sonic The Hedgehog aka Sonic '06.
But now I want to focus on where I feel like things started to stabilize more for Sega's mascot. Sonic Colors came at a time when a lot of gaming sites and journalists were screaming two things. "SONIC SHOULD BE REBOOTED!" and "Sonic games must be FAST!". I have to admit, after being burned horribly by Sonic '06 and not really giving two licks about Sonic Unleashed, I had my doubts. You might even say I was skeptical. But I had to admit I was intrigued by the game's setting. And when I saw that various review sites were scoring the game on a more positive scale, my interest in the game grew even more.
So I gave Sonic Colors a chance, and wielding my Gamecube controller on my Wii system, I wanted to see how things went. I was pleasantly surprised. The game didn't just control well, it had a great new platforming system in the form of the Color/Wisp powers. And I grudgingly came to really enjoy whatever phrase Sonic would spout when he would activate said color power. "LASER!" "ROCKET!" and so on.
I was very much enjoying my time with the game, visiting the various planets that served as Dr. Eggman's interstellar amusement park. Then I came to Planet Wisp, an admittedly difficult level, chock full of alien beauty and set to the game's most iconic theme song. Whenever I think of Sonic Colors, I think of this song and this level.
And it seems Sega had a similar thought, because when they released Sonic Generations in 2011, the only level they included from Sonic Colors was Planet Wisp. And I was glad that they did because the Modern Remix is absolutely fantastic!
I enjoy the classic mix of the song as well in Sonic Generations but it just doesn't stand out to me the way the Modern and Original versions of the song do. Both of those versions really emphasize this grand style of adventure that I felt Sonic achieved in his earlier 3D outings and definitely in all of his 2D 16-bit adventures. This song, and the level that played with it, helped to remind me of why I was a Sonic fan in the first place. The total immersion one could feel as this crazy ball of blue energy zipping from one place to another, with danger around every curb. In a way it reminded me of one of my favorite levels from the very first Sonic game in 1991, the Spring Yard Zone. That level, like this one, had an amazing theme song and greatly complimented a level design that was as fast as it was dangerous and challenging. And every time I fell prey to one of the drops or gaps in either of those levels, backed by the music, I wanted to try harder to conquer those challenges and complete the level like the cool pro I knew Sonic to be.
If you can't tell by now, I really enjoyed this level and this song. It makes you yearn for adventure and insane obstacles. In short, it was a great experience all around and it brought Sonic back in my heart and mind as a true icon of gaming.