Sonic and the Black Knight

Publisher: Sega Price: �39.99 Format: Wii Age rating: 12+ TO gamers of a certain age, Sonic the Hedgehog will always be about collecting gold rings and looping-the-loop until dizzy with motion sickness. Bathed in this glow of nostalgia, it s been diffi

Publisher: Sega

Price: �39.99

Format: Wii

Age rating: 12+


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TO gamers of a certain age, Sonic the Hedgehog will always be about collecting gold rings and looping-the-loop until dizzy with motion sickness.

Bathed in this glow of nostalgia, it's been difficult for more recent Sonic games to offer any sort of innovation without being rudely stamped upon by aging fans who demand the spiky blue hedgehog remains true to the fast and furious game play of the early 90s.

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Fortunately, every now and then Sega will try something different. With very little fanfare, Sonic and the Black Knight has been quietly released into the wild, equipping the famous blue blur with a talking sword and sending him back in time to explore Camelot and the legend of King Arthur. It's a fabulous excuse for some medieval hi-jinks, of course, as Sonic comes to the aid of a sorceress in her battle against an evil force that's possessed King Arthur.

Visually, everything looks a treat, with Sonic running into the screen on a set path, able to veer left or right to dodge enemies, avoid obstacles and collect treasure. The nunchuck's analogue stick is used to control Sonic's momentum while his sword is swung into action by waggling the Wii remote.

At times the frantic sword swinging is like a junior version of Devil May Cry, only with looser controls and flashier special effects. Sonic can dispatch his enemies on the run, so the game is as quick as ever, and pulling off an aerial sword attack for the first time is hugely rewarding. You've also got access to a special Soul Surge homing attack which locks onto your nearest enemy and lets you rain down blows with impunity

There are 13 locations to explore in total, ranging from castles and dungeons to forests and caves and there's a pleasing variety of villains to vanquish. Knuckles, Shadow and Tails all make an appearance, either as Knights of the Round Table or other characters, and there's a four-player versus mode for extra longevity.

Endless waggling of the remote can get tiresome, but there's enough here to satisfy younger Sonic fans and maybe a few older ones too.

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