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IGN: Sonic & The Black Knight Hands-On

Sonic & The Black Knight, the latest hedgehog game from SEGA and developer Sonic Team (Japan), is the next in the franchise's storybook theme, the first of which was the Arabian-style Sonic and the Secret Rings. This time director Tetsu Katano (lead programmer, Sonic Adventure games and Sonic Heroes) takes the blue blazer into the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, where he gains a magical sword and must work his way through a series of areas, both saving villagers and collecting rings, so that he might finally do battle with the king himself, who has become corrupted with power.

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Xander-RKoS3153d ago

Essentially if you drown out all the "I hate moving the controller", this turns out to be a pretty positive preview.

I wonder how much negative connotations you can pull out of this article though:

"We've spent a few hours with Black Knight so far and the game seems to share more in common with Sonic Unleashed than it does with its storybook-themed predecessor, Secret Rings."

Oh no, does it repeatedly make you choose between fast moving platforming or slow beat em up platforming? In which you get one Sonic stage and 3-5 sword fighting stages where Sonic doesn't run at all?

"This is primarily true because you control the hedgehog as you do in Unleashed, utilizing the nunchuk's analog stick to strafe him left and right as he soars through on-track environments"

Oh...you mean they just replaced tilting the Wii mote like they did in Secret Rings and mapped it to the analogue stick....whew, I was worried there for a minute.

"This straightforward, linear design allows the developer to keep Sonic mostly glued to a set path so that it can predict actions and supply players with a more cinematic presentation"

Straightforward? Linear? Them words we don't take too kindly to anymore. (It was also like that in Secret Rings....so how does Black Knight share more with Unleashed than Secret Rings again?)

"As always, the developer has shied away from a purely traditional Sonic game and introduced a new gimmick "

Because Sonic Team has made a "traditional" Sonic game after the Dreamcast...when? (That is if you count SA1 and SA2 as traditional)And of course, IGN's trademark word associated with the Wii "gimmick". Couldn't be "mechanic", or "gameplay element". Listen IGN, the Storybook series is more or less a spin-off series, they are allowed to add new gameplay "mechanics" without being bashed in the face with things like "gimmick". In reality, sure, the words are pretty interchangable, we could say that the fact Sonic was fast in the original Sonic games was a gimmick, but it's just fun seeing how negative the writer feels towards this game (whether intentional or maybe he did subconsciously).

"Honestly, we're still hopeful that Sonic Team will consider enabling the option (very least) to tone down the waggle in regular combat. Mapping jump to A button and all attacks to gestures is overkill. We'd much prefer that jump be mapped to the still-unused C button and regular attacks to A button, or vice versa, cutting down on the excessive amount of shaking going on during battles. "

Right, because what's the point of making a Wii game if you aren't going to use the motion based controls? Hey, at least No More Heroes had a pretty good reason for mapping attack to A, which was to make it easier to make low and high attacks to add a bit more depth to the game. But I think most Wii owners (who like playing it) are already use to the idea of make quick shakes(shakes, motions, really anything aside from saying "waggle" all the the time)as a totally separate command. Besides, Sonic team mapped everything to pretty much one button in '06...and we all remember that game.

"Although speed junkies will find plenty of zippy action in Black Knight, Sonic Team has also included elements clearly designed to slow the action down."

Uh oh, is this the dreaded "werehog" feature that they didn't tell us about? Is this what makes this game more like Unleashed than Secret Rings?

"For example, obstacles that pop up in a flash, like spikes and crates, slamming the hedgehog to a dead stop in his tracks. And certain challenges require that Sonic slow down and interact with villagers in mid-level, rescuing them or giving them coins, before he can be on his way again."

Oh, you mean something that they've had in almost every Sonic game (especially the 3-D ones). They "slow" him down...they make it sound like this is new to a Sonic games?

"There are 247 items possible -- we have about 40 so far -- and at any time you can click over to the treasury, select an item and choose to trade it with a friend over WiiConnect24 (and yes, friend codes are required)."

Oh, for those of you expecting that it was Sonic Team that found the way around friend codes, guess you were wrong. But IGN just had to make sure that you didn't get any of the wrong ideas and think that maybe friend codes weren't going to be used for a Sonic game on the Wii. It's a good thing too, cause I was already writing down funny Sonic related "gamertags" that would've been used. Looks like I don't have to now.

"And speed junkies will probably be pleased with some of the high-octane scenarios we've seen so far. Indeed, the game's biggest issue is once more tethered to the unrefined gimmick that Sonic Team has utilized as the backbone for the project. If the developer can quickly present some control alternatives before Black Knight ships, the end product may still impress. But all the loose waggling that comprises the present package is just as frustrating as interesting. "

This is my favorite part of the preview. Just because it's so funny.

"Speed-junkies"...w hich loosely translates to Sonic fans. But they aren't Sonic fans anymore, they are "speed-junkies". There is also that word again "gimmick". Any other game, it may have been "unrefined mechanic" but not here, not on a Wii game. "Control alternatives" also loosely translates to "360 controller".

Well, I'm not saying that no part of their preview is true. I haven't played the game yet, so it is really the only thing I have to base of my decision of buying or not. I was just reading it and noticed that they used mainly words with negative connotations in the gaming community when a much more positive vocabulary could have been used.

(If I don't find the controls frustrating for this game, does this mean I'm a better Wii gamer than the guy who wrote this? Just curious, because I still believe that the IGN Wii writer(s) don't know how to hold a Wii remote properly)