Sonic games seem to be two-a-penny these days (Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood) and Sonic and the Black Knight is Sega’s latest attempt at actually making a good Sonic game in 3D. This time he gets summoned to the world of King Arthur who looks a lot meaner than he ever was in any stories I’ve ever heard. Equipped with a sword that bounces up and down and talks to you, you’re off to defeat Arthur, running into other enemies such as Lancelot who are actually other Sonic characters Shadow, Knuckles and Amy with armour on. Tails also appears in there as a Blacksmith when you’re sorting out your weapons.
When it comes to gameplay it’s a return to running through a level that’s a sort of rollercoaster. It’s almost on rails as you plunge into the screen, letting you move slightly to the left and the right to avoid obstacles and pick up items and fairies of all things.
Of course, having a sword, you also get to swing it by swinging the Wiimote when you encounter enemies. You can also perform rush moves where attacks are stringed together as you lock onto enemies and smash through them one-by-one. Occasionally the running will stop and you’ll have to fight bosses. You either fight them directly using a combination of blocks and sword swings, or have to defeat them using quick time events.
Once again, my problem is the game almost plays itself at the beginning of the game and then becomes almost impossible later on as you have to dodge all sorts of perils coming at you at a ridiculous speed and of course if you’re not holding any rings, you’re dead!
When it comes to presentation, it’s obvious they’ve put some proper care and attention into the visuals. The environments look great, if a little samey, and the opening cut-scene looks fantastic – it’s a pity the story is then explained using story book graphics that jar with the first cut-scene you see but you soon get used to the visual style and accept it.
Sonic fans will probably enjoy this and whilst I wanted to hate it, I actually found this game had some charm that made me forgive some of its uninspired gameplay. Sonic and the Black Knight gets an average 5 out of 10.