Although the Classic Controller is an option, the controls for a remote and nunchuk feel best, with the nunchuk's analog stick used for movement and the remote used for jumping and making speed boosts. Motion control is limited to shaking the remote to activate wisp powers. The scheme makes for movement control that is fluid and intuitive, though imperfect; it's a little too easy for momentum to carry you off the edge of a narrow platform, for instance, and some of the less common platforming devices are on the finicky side. The former, combined with the liberal use of instant death drops in most levels, can make for some frustrating holdups, particularly where a checkpoint hasn't been sensibly deployed nearby. At its best, though, Sonic Colours has you sprinting, spinning, and dodging death as blissfully fast as a Sonic game should, with boost strips, bounce pads, and the retractable grapplelike homing attack flinging you around the level at high speed.
Even speedy heroes make time for a leisurely strut.
The inclusion of familiar, classic Sonic sound effects is welcome, and the music provides jazzy, high-energy backing to complement the speed and sparkle of the themed zones. The variety and creativity of those zones are only really let down by the sameness of the boss fights at the end of each. Two-person cooperative play is included as an extra zone, Game Land, presented as an arcade cabinet titled Eggman's Sonic Simulator. It's a bonus addition rather than a key feature and never as much fun as the game proper. By comparison, the levels are plain ugly, and the co-op system is merely passable. It's too easy to bounce off of each other's heads, producing a stun effect, and there's no checkpoint respawn--once one player has expended his or her few lives, the other is left to soldier on alone. If the gulf between player-skill levels is vast, there's at least an assist mode, temporarily transforming one of the pair into a hovering ball at the other's side, perhaps to let the latter navigate a tricky section.
You might finish all the levels (there are seven for each of the six main zones) in about 10 hours, but you're encouraged to improve your score and rank in each by collecting more rings, stars, and wisps, as well as improving your time and seeking out the alternative routes through the mostly linear levels. Even without the incentive of an improved score on the online leaderboards, though, it's worth revisiting zones in Sonic Colours just to admire the dazzling scenery at top speed. This is a Sonic game with verve and imagination, and Wii owners shouldn't miss an opportunity to play with Sonic at his best.