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Sonic and the Black Knight

Are you sitting comfortably children? Right then, we can begin. Once upon a time there was a hero named Sonic. But he was no ordinary hero, he was a hedgehog. But he was no ordinary hedgehog; he was bright blue with red sneakers and Mickey Mouse gloves. Trust us, he was much cooler than he sounds. Anyway, one day Sonic found himself…

That’s the beauty of Sega’s speedy hero, you could pretty much end the above sentence any way you choose and no-one would bat an eyelid. One of gaming’s most unlikely heroes, Sonic is equally at home in an apocalyptic industrial landscape as he is in a colorful fantasy world. And that’s exactly what Sega’s Wii-exclusive spin-off series of Story Book Adventures is all about. It worked wonders with Sonic and the Secret Rings, a migraine inducingly colorful reimagining of the Arabian Nights stories with an added lick of speed.

Sonic and the Black Knight is the second game in the series, plucking its themes from an equally rich and well loved story by plonking our hero into the court of King Arthur. Yep, Sonic’s been summoned to a reimagined Camelot to do battle with the evil Black Knight. To do so he’ll be using his trademark speed, but the only way to really defeat a medieval ne’er-do-well is with a hefty blade. Thus for the first time in his 17-year-history Sonic will wield a weapon.

Unlike in The Secret Rings, Sonic’s movement is now controlled with the Nunchuk, leaving the remote free for sword-swinging duties. The game plays an awful lot like Sonic Unleashed with a focus on speedily traversing pretty landscapes with a mix of 3D and 2D platforming. The difference is, of course, the sword. Frequently Sonic has to slow down and slash his way through errant knights and obstacles. Better yet the blade can also be used to scale and descend sheer walls with style. There’s also an emphasis on collecting items and impressing townsfolk. Doing this will unlock hidden content and gain Sir Sonic followers. The more followers he gains the more effective a knight he’ll become, which in turn allows him to level up and access new abilities – much as he did in The Secret Rings.

There are issues we’d like to see addressed, mind. For instance, constantly curbing your speed to hack through enemies could make the pace feel a bit stuttery. Why not give Sonic a running attack to keep things moving? Also the old criticism of it being too on-rails applies – though this has been admirably sidestepped in Sonic Unleashed.

Still in its early stages, Sonic and the Black Knight is shaping up to be a thrilling tale of swashbuckling adventure powered by a jet engine. It’s another clever sidestepping of the traditional formula that adds something refreshingly different. Aside from the gorgeous Zelda-like visuals it looks to be fast, varied and, with emphasis on simple mission-based play, rewarding and fun. Following The Secret Rings was always going to be tough, but it looks like Sega might pull it off. With the Arabian Nights and Camelot taken care of, we’re already starting to wonder where the Story Book series will take Sonic next. Sonic in Wonderland, perhaps. Or Sonic and the Beanstalk even. How about Sonic in space? Now there’s a thought…

Nov 25, 2008

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21 comments

  • Xplosive59 - December 8, 2008 4:54 p.m.

    this is across between zelda + shadow the hedgehog and is going to hit bargain bins in less than a week of its release
  • DEATHWISH - December 1, 2008 1:46 a.m.

    ......Actually, Sonic has already been in space in Sonic Adventure 2. =3 lol, anywyas, this game seems to be getting several mixed emotions among fans. Personally, I think handing sonic a sword is the right way to go, since he could cut down enemies without ever needing to slow down. From what I've just read here though, it seems like you'll actually have to stop and fight. (sigh) Whatever, at least the speed looks good from the trailers, but ohh god the new theme song sucks! Geez. It only sounds good in the US trailer, where the singer's voice is replaced with an orchestra. Sweet. n_n
  • zombieddeath - November 26, 2008 4:55 a.m.

    *sigh* another crappy sonic name, make a GREAT sonic game Sonic Team....
  • LIZMASTER138 - November 26, 2008 3:46 a.m.

    im gettin this
  • FancyRat - November 26, 2008 3:15 a.m.

    I love how you've tried to make this sound positive.
  • somthing42 - November 25, 2008 11:30 p.m.

    it would be intresting to see sonic with a sword first
  • pokepoo - December 6, 2008 4:59 p.m.

    it looks better than secret rings no doubt
  • Smash_Bro - December 6, 2008 3:01 a.m.

    Sonic...... + sword..... =fail. Wait a second. Wolves and swords? All Sonic needs now is a tunic, pointy ears and some kind of horse rip-off. A mule, perhaps?
  • wrathful - December 6, 2008 2:26 a.m.

    Looks pretty fun ...
  • Burn - December 6, 2008 1:50 a.m.

    Hellsoldierx15: Because of the declining quality of Sonic games ever since they went 3D. I no longer trust Sonic Team because they continue to disappoint me with every new game. Wait for the reviews, it'll be nothing short of average.
  • hellsoldierx15 - December 4, 2008 3:06 p.m.

    Geez...I can't help but feel bad for the people that make assumptions about the game before it's even released. What ever happened to "don't judge a book by its cover?"
  • white-and-nerdy - December 4, 2008 1:16 a.m.

    Weapons? Oh god. Three words: Shadow. The. Hedgehog.
  • benjitenji - November 26, 2008 1:02 a.m.

    Holy crap, sonic fans rejoice, you can come out of hiding, because for the first time in years, sonic may just have 3 good games in a row. *angels descend and sing choir*
  • GoldenMe - November 26, 2008 12:04 a.m.

    GODAMIT Sonic team! Why would you do this? Just make a hardcore Sonic game with none of extra crap! First werehogs, and now fauking swords! Jeebes, I can't wait for Sonic Unleashed!
  • barrage7667 - January 14, 2009 12:11 a.m.

    heres a great idea...remake an old sonic game with extra levels...MAYB SOMEONE WILL ACTUALLY BUY it, i remember when all u did was run and run and u kno wat, it was fun!!! remake sonic 2 it was the best sonic game and still is stop this shit and do the sonic the ay it was supposed to be done
  • mawkstar12 - December 31, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    im gettin a lil interested in this game. i mean sonic finally wielding a weapon (other than claws) is exciting. i wonder if he can still do homing attacks while stabbing them 2. u know 2 keep the speed goin
  • SUPERSONIC1000 - December 13, 2008 4:41 a.m.

    I never, ever, seen sonic wield a sword.
  • Taxtm - January 3, 2009 12:24 a.m.

    Man, I miss the good old days when we could actually look forward to a Sonic game without there being any doubt that it would be good, and we would be RIGHT. Hope this one breaks the 10 year cycle of crap and is actually good. Who knows, Sonic could make a comeback if they get the right developers behind the wheel. We can only hope though...
  • X3ni92 - December 24, 2008 7:44 p.m.

    I am interested in this...sort of. Sonic Team seems to screw it up, NOT SEGA. Look at Sonic Chronicles, it actually got above average reviews (for the most part) and the Sonic Team had NOTHING to do with it. Just thought I'd point that out.
  • td823934 - December 14, 2008 8:20 p.m.

    Sega! Stop trying to fix Sonic! because everytime you try to fix him, you just screw him over even more! Whty the hell can't we have Sonic X-Treme!?

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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