There has been an influx of Sonic the Hedgehog-infused games throughout the past few years, but barely any of them have come close to recapturing the magic that first made me and a whole host of gamers fall in love with the spiky blue hedgehog and his friends.
Now with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice available for Nintendo 3DS, I went into the game expecting another strange take on the world of Sonic. So, it was a beautiful surprise to discover that here was a game that not only took the original years of arcade Sonic, but built on them in clever and exciting ways, implementing the 'Fire & Ice' elements perfectly to ensure action is at an all-time high.
With just a tap of a button, you can switch between your automatically-used fire and ice abilities, either burning away solid platforms to get to an otherwise impossible place to reach, or freezing and then skating across water to get a few steps closer to the end of any one level. At times, you have to be incredibly quick if you don't want to go head-first into a pit of spikes or smash straight into a wall - and you do feel as if it's pretty impossible to keep up when you're speeding so fast through a level - but it's all in good fun and provides a learning curve and new way to play for seasoned veterans.
Not only confined to playing as Sonic, but also his friends including Tails and Amy as you play through the game, you'll learn how to progress through levels and access secret areas depending on who you're using and how well you can utilise their unique skills. Really though, the items that are collected through these means are only really beneficial for those who like to complete a game entirely - otherwise you can run through the game and its story without worrying too much about picking up every single little thing you can see.
Though most of the levels in the areas Sonic and the gang visit are similar, there are those that act as mini games, and will test the player in a variety of different ways. A personal favourite is where the player controls Sonic in a running game, where he's forced to dodge obstacles and use his fire and ice abilities to progress through to the end of the level, all whilst trying to go as fast as possible.
If you're nostalgic for the days where you could spin-dash through mega loops and collect rings in the classic way, all whilst taking down Dr. Robotnik and his army of goons and mechanical fiends, then this is the closest you're going to get with a modern-day game.
It's a hugely enjoyable ride and one I'll be revisiting in the future to get that hit of Sonic goodness I've been craving for some time.
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is available now for Nintendo 3DS.