The Let's Play Archive

Sonic and the Black Knight

by pokecapn

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Original Thread: Arthurian Legend's Requiem: Sonic and the Black Knight



Released on March 3, 2009, this is the second game in the Sonic Storybook series, the fourth Sonic game on the Wii, and the seventh game on the Wii to feature his likeness. Set in the middle of bizarro Arthurian legend, this game "takes advantage" of the Wii's accelerometers and pits Sonic in a swordfighting shake-fest against the evil minions of the mysterious Black Knight.

Sonic and the Black Knight is a video game locked in a constant battle between two archetypes, that of the amazing game, and that of the abysmal game.

Let's tally up everything that's right: We have stupendously high production values; both the in-game cutscenes and menus look really nice and are highly polished. The graphics are vivid and detailed. It's probably in the top 5 good looking Wii games, behind Galaxy, Conduit, Prime 3, and Brawl.

The story starts off light-hearted, takes itself too seriously, and finishes off light-hearted again, so it's easy to make fun of and just as easy to enjoy. The soundtrack is a fantastic collaboration between the 3 Sonic Sound Team greats (Jun Senoue, Howard Drossin, and Richard Jacques), backed by Crush 40 buttrock theme music.

There's a huge appeal to nostalgia, featuring unlockable tracks from past Sonic games and the winners of a global fanart submission contest. They even got the whole multiple characters thing right, because you can play through the same levels with different abilities (some levels are Sonic-only).

Here's what's wrong: everything else. Re-using the Secret Rings engine did not work in Sonic Team's favor, as switching Sonic's control to the analog stick instead of half-automated, half-tilt exposes nearly all of the flaws of said engine. Using the remote for swordfighting is a good idea on paper, but then the game throws dozens of enemies at you, and there never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to what move you'll specifically use, or whether you'll continue or end your combo attack.

The difficulty starts off trivial and then abruptly becomes Sonic Hard at the halfway point. I don't know what the fuck they were thinking with the sword duels, you'll see what I mean by that.

The post-game content completely blows, as you'll strangle yourself with the controller before you'll finish that level with only 10 sword swipes to unlock 3 more missions just like it. The things they added to extend game length (collectibles, equips, leveling up due to followers) make almost no sense. I still have no idea what the criteria for 5-starring a level are.

Oh, and Eggman? He doesn't even get to be in the multiplayer. This game considers him to be less important than Silver and Jet the goddamned lisping Hawk.

That said, all the goods do an excellent job of masking those bads when you first play through the game. And when you play something this brainless when you're stuck at a difficulty wall in Sonic Unleashed trying to do hot dog missions, this game seems a lot more enjoyable than it really is.

So, everyone, appoint your fellow Knights of the Rectangular Console (I chose Sir Kung-Fu Jesus, Sir medibot, Sir kiwi, Sir MyNameIsKaz, and Sir Condit, all freshly ordained as Knights Bos Tardus), and Let's Play Sonic and the Black Knight!

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