Sonic and the Black Knight review

  • Enjoyable 2D sections
  • Dueling with Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze
  • Beautifully animated cutscenes
  • Far too on-rails
  • Unresponsive sword attacks
  • Very short

Like most gamers, our relationship with Sonic has been a troubled one. We love the little tyke, but he keeps on disappointing us. He’ll come back with his little blue tail between his legs and we’ll forgive him, only for him to disappoint us again. We never learn. On the 360 and PS3 at least Sonic Unleashed was a step forward, but the Wii version highlighted how incompatible the remote is with a character that moves quicker than Tokyo’s bullet train. This factor derails Sonic’s latest adventure too, along with our hopes that Sonic and the Black Knight would be a worthy successor to the Secret Rings.

The concessions to player control made in Unleashed are largely ignored and most stages can be completed without much effort at all. Simply push forward, wave the remote several times and that’s your lot.

The result is that you barely feel in control of Sonic, but the thing of which you do have control feels even worse. Sonic’s smart-mouthed talking sword should be what sets this title apart from his other adventures, and it does, but for the wrong reasons. The Wiimote isn’t responsive enough and sword attacks feel sluggish. Trying to grasp a high speed character and an ungainly attack system simultaneously proves frustrating.


The result is a stuttery experience that demands you to marry high speed sections with the constant stop/start nature of its combat. That the combat is as shallow as a hedgehog’s bath doesn’t help either.  Sonic fans are an obsessive lot, and some may find something to enjoy here. The stages become more interesting as the game progresses and there’s always the throwaway multiplayer to get to grips with. But for those still not convinced by Sonic’s icon status, steer well clear.

Mar 6, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 03 2009 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Sega
Developed by: Sonic Team
Franchise: Sonic the Hedgehog
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Fantasy Violence
PEGI Rating:


  • IIIIIACEIIIII - August 16, 2009 1:33 a.m.

    I was just playing this game a few hours ago. I admit that the sword swinging responses are not good at all and that you barely have any control over where Sonic is headed to, but there is something incredibly awesome about this game that everyone is overlooking; the fastest video game character in history is starring in a game where he wields a that not orgasmic?
  • SPIKEtheHEDGEHOG - May 11, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    TrAnmU, you stole the words out of my mouth. Also i might add just because sega is trying new things doesnt mean "OMG HE HAS A SWORD THIS GAME MUST SUCK" nobody is giving sonic a fair chance. I know it is kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel but i think this game looks kinda fun.
  • TrAnMu - May 10, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    You know I think you all are taking this game from the wrong stand poin. If you come at every sonic game thinking heres another sonic game you are looking for the faults in the game. Now If you think, ok heres a new game that happens to be sonic, you will think different. You will look for the high points instead of the low because in reality it is a pretty good game,though a tad short.
  • planet5421 - April 13, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    this is what the devs were thinking: how about we put sonic in a combat game? dur dur dur durrrr
  • somthing42 - March 8, 2009 12:48 a.m.

    And we have been disappointed again
  • c03n3nj0 - March 7, 2009 10:12 p.m.

    I still don't get why they have to add gimmicks to every Sonic game. I mean, Sonic Unleashed would've been awesome without the Werehog parts.
  • GoldenMe - March 7, 2009 9:28 p.m.

    Rant time! *Ahem* Of course this game sucks, because once again Sonic Team has decided to go the gimmick way of adding a sword to the mix, instead of actually giving the fans what they want. I'm a huge Sonic fan, and I'm ashamed that he's being trampled to death by a company that fucking named after him! As I've been saying for the past 3 years now, I either want Sega to trash Sonic Team and take the series themselves, or they can kindly fuck off and go bankrupt. Let someone else (maybe Bioware) do the series some good. My rants done, and I was expecting a worse review, so meh.
  • erreip199 - March 7, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    i guess sonic is like having a stupid pet, its freaking cute and u love it but its still a stupid animal that cant even sit...
  • zeropwn - March 7, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    -sigh- ...D:oh sonic...damn you sonic!!!
  • Diamondis - March 7, 2009 10:11 a.m.

    How about a Sonic in SF IV type style? >.>
  • GaMeRGuY1oh4 - June 11, 2009 4:49 p.m.

    It's not like I don't mind these games, but I mean, COME ON! I don't give a shit if they keep on making games like this, but we still want a real Sonic GAME! This is pissing me off. Sonic's "personality" pisses me off even more! He's a Mary-Sue! (a character that has no flaws and is too... perfect.) Just look at Mario for a second. Sure, he may be a little Mary-Sueish, but since you can't really tell his personality, he's a LOT better! Mario also continues to make great 3d and 2d games. Sonic can't handle 3D games! I mean, the BEST 3D game was all the way back in 2001! Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was fun and could be challenging. Collecting all the emblems was a pain in the ass, but it was worth it. When you beat the game 100%, you feel like you accomplished something and you're rewarded. But when playing these games, there is no point of beating it! One thing that I liked about the older games was the choice about playing someone other than Sonic, or Shadow, or Blaze, or Silver! Those are the mainstream characters but you still have to F*CKING include Tails and Knuckles! But as playable characters. If Sega looked at the past a little, they would be able to solve these problems. I don't care if it's 3D, but you gotta make the camera nice, make levels harder, like the classics, and make the levels FUN. The classic games let you explore the enviroment, and you love using springs, spirals, and whatever. Anyways, on to something else. Gimmicks. Sure, I don't mind the sword or the Werehog, but you gotta make it work. I mean, as said in this review, the sword is very hard to control and use. And I've also seen complaints about how the Wii controller doesn't work with Unleashed. Well, shut the f*ck up and use the Gamecube controller, which is compatible. So, whatever. Sonic does not work with motion controls, end of story. Sonic can be on Wii, but no motion controls. Controls need to be better with Sonnic stuff. I could go on and on, but I wanna stop talking about this.
  • gamerdude77 - March 20, 2009 8:27 p.m.

    @Zarvanis This shitty sequels HAPPEN because of people like you ... ugh Well I have given up on Sonic because sega keeps refusing to give us what we want and I think its on purpose sometimes......
  • supersupersuperguy - March 12, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    Well, I am a HUGE Sonic fan. A lot of you people will hate me, but I LOVED this game. the only drawbacks, I found, were the missions after the final boss were extremely hard, and the game was too short. You say you love Sonic, but do you REALLY? I wouldn't say any reviewer likes the blue hedgehog. But, whatever. You guys deserve to have your own opinion. And I have mine.
  • SuperStingray - March 11, 2009 12:01 a.m.

    Okay, first of all, I can understand calling the "Werehog" or Shadow's guns a "gimmick", but if the sword or "Storybook Series" notation wasn't a giveaway, let me fill you in: This game is a spinoff. In other words, giving Sonic a sword is only a gimmick to the extent that giving Mario a go-kart or making Halo an RTS is a "gimmick." Is the gameplay quality poor? No doubt, but if it was pulled off well, then what difference would it make? Secondly, I think this sort of response (not the review, but these comments) is just very shallow and meaningless. Yes, I'm very disappointed with the direction Sonic's going in as well, but reverting back to 16-bit 2D days isn't going to solve anything. All it will show is that Sonic Team would be giving up on Sonic. It doesn't matter if it's 2D or 3D as long as it works. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the fundamental factors that should go in any mainstream Sonic game: 1. Dynamic - Springs. Tubes. Pits. Loops. Grind rails. I could go on. When you run through a true Sonic level, your world isn't just an obstacle course. It's a playground. In any platforming game, you can jump on enemies and collect items, but Sonic really offers much more than that. I doubt that there are many platformers that are so versatile; I don't see any other game where you ride the San Fransisco-type streets like snowboarding down a mountain, run down a building and get chased by a semi in one five-minute level and still have time for the basic stuff. 2. Freedom - When you have fun with a Sonic game, you should get that feeling that you can do what you want and go where you want because the world's your bitch. This feeling can come in many ways; you could be finding new paths through a level, exploring and finding secrets, breezing through a wide open space, perhaps even playing around in a hub or ideally: all of the above. (The hubs are probably the most controversial, but I think they could work if they're optional, at least more so than in Unleashed.) 3. Unity - As stated before, you should feel like the world's your bitch, but the best part is when the reciprocal can be felt at the same time. Whether you're running through a loop, getting chased by lava, riding through a pipe, or just overall succumbing to the effects of pinball physics, you can feel threatened or controlled by your surroundings while you conquer and move through them. This not only adds more to the thrill, but it gives a sense of attachment to the level rather than an opposition to it. 4. Flow - This is where speed plays its hand, but it's not the only part of it. It's also perhaps where the division in the fanbase has its core. Flow is similar to freedom, but the main difference is that it has more to do with the desires of the player than with what the game offers. Some people may like cutscenes, stories and hubs, but when people just want to move right through the game unhindered by the restraints of complicated adventures (and loading screens), why shouldn't they? Even as a person who enjoys storylines in my games, I still think Sonic is a series where such things should be optional at best to contribute to the feeling of flow that is a necessity to the games (at least the mainstream ones.)
  • NelosAngelos - March 10, 2009 12:17 a.m.

    Sonic, we love you, but we think you're spiraling down the drain. You're walking down a long lonely, painful road with no way to return. Please, let us help you...go back to Sega and start making 2D pixelated games again.
  • RedOutlive10 - March 9, 2009 4:25 a.m.

    SEGA should ask tips from Nintendo, when it comes to translating 2D games into 3D ones, seriously. Look at how Nintendo's main series were always flexible when it comes to 2D-3D transitions, the most notable games are the ones in Legend of Zelda series.
  • Harmon20 - March 8, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    Secret Rings was perhaps the only decent 3-D Sonic game we've ever seen (SA2 was good, but not a real sonic game...). I think that Sonic himself is the reason that these games are so bad. Think about it. They've always had to try and portray his personality ever since he started talking. Shut him up, put him in 2-D and make him run. problem solved.
  • Corsair89 - March 8, 2009 8:21 a.m.

    Oh God, make it STOP! Sega, for the love of God, listen to your fanbase. We know what we want. Follow Capcom's incredible fan service example and please, PLEASE, give us an old school Sonic game. Mega Man 9 paved the way. I guarentee you, it will be like getting a license to print money. *sigh* Why do I even try? Sega never listens.
  • Zarvanis - March 8, 2009 12:51 a.m.

    Sonic is awesome! i don't care how much the game may suck, sonic is an awesome character! I'll play his games till the end!
  • Cyberninja - March 7, 2009 3:24 p.m.

    so sad

Showing 1-20 of 25 comments

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