Along the way you'll be cracking open capsules that contain imprisoned Wisps. Rescuing these will fill up a charge meter, which you can use to boost through various sections of the stage. Grabbing special coloured Wisps will enable you to use a special power-up, and the meter also controls how long you will be able to use such powers when you engage them.
So far, three Wisp powers have been announced. The Yellow Drill can be used to tunnel right through platforms, and can help Sonic locate alternate routes through a stage or collect more bonuses. The Cyan Laser makes the blue blur shoot across a set path, dictated by angling the Wii Remote left and right. The laser can be used to zap through various objects automatically, including reflective diamonds that can connect Sonic to a new area of the game world.
The latest Wisp power to be revealed is the Orange Rocket, and this was showcased on a brand new planet, which featured a coastline under fresh attack by Eggman's robotic construction crew. It brings back themes of Seaside Hill in Sonic Heroes
, only without the chequered scenery and with a dockyard's worth of metal wrapped around the landscape. Using the Rocket Wisp, Sonic can fire himself upwards at incredible speed, which can ? you guessed it ? open up some new pathways for the hedgehog to zip through.
Iizuka ran through this new stage with me twice ? once by completing a stage using the Cyan Laser to cross a chasm filled with moving floating platforms, and another by actually crossing this precarious segment without using the move, saving the Cyan Wisp for a later segment where he could backtrack and Laser through various diamond objects to reach a new higher area.
It's a perfect example of the multiple routes that can be discovered if you're willing to look for them ? the benefits of doing so include improving your speed run (although that particular example probably wasn't a good one, considering the alternate path was actually longer than the standard path) and finding hidden items, like red emblems that are dotted about each stage. There's no word on what these do yet, but we imagine it helps in some way with your score.
The presentation outside of the levels are very nice, and are reminiscent of both classic Sonic
titles and Super Mario Galaxy 2
? the former at the Stage Clear screen, where Sonic can jump around a static screen and hit his score to earn bonus multipliers, and the latter in the World Map, where you can select a world chained to Planet Wisp against a celestial backdrop.
It seems almost cliché to say this, but it seems as if Sonic Team, with Sonic Colours
, is finally able to take what it has learned from the misfires of past years and put them behind it. It's shaping up to be the evolution of 3D Sonic
games that Unleashed
attempted to be, but ultimately fell short. The game is hitting Wii and DS later this year ? we'll keep a beady eye on Colours
to see if it matches expectations.