One of my biggest surprises at E3 2010 was Sonic Colors on Wii, and I’m not even kidding. I’ve always been a fan of Sonic games, but the most recent titles have been nothing to rave about, and I was expecting the same from Sonic Colors. Oh, was I wrong.

Behind closed doors in the Sega meeting room at E3, I got to see a great demo of Sonic Colors, presented by Takashi Izuka, producer of the game. Izuka showed us two zones, Tropical Resort and Sweet Mountain. Both are amusement parks that have been collected by Sonic’s nemesis, Dr. Eggman. For some odd reason, Eggman is collecting a bunch of different worlds to create the universe’s most diverse amusement park. Populating the parks are an alien race known as Wisps, various colored creatures that give Sonic special powers. With the powers of the Wisps, Sonic must attempt to free each world.

The two levels combined the 3D gameplay of some recent Sonic titles with the 2D gameplay of the classic Sonic games. So essentially the game is half 3D and half 2D, and some levels will focus more on one than the other. The game goes back to it’s roots and focuses on plenty of high-speed running, ring collecting, and taking out enemies with a quickness. I saw how two of the wisps, cyan and yellow, added to the gameplay. The cyan Wisp allows Sonic to use a laser, which is great for blazing through enemies foes and creating lighting quick shortcuts. Yellow Wisp grants Sonic the ability to drill through the ground, allowing him to reach hidden areas, secret items and even more shortcuts.

As Sonic gains new powers through different colored wisps later in the game, you can then come back to previous zones and take on new areas of the level. This gives the game some replay value and adds to a great amount of exploration. The powers can even be strung together for added bonuses. Even though I only got to see two new powers, it gave me enough of an idea on how they mix up the classic Sonic gameplay.

With what I saw and played of Sonic Colors, I gotta say Sonic maybe be back on top of his game. The two levels that I saw in Sonic Colors were fast-paced and intense, but still with great design, a wonderful formula for a Sonic game. The game played smooth, was extremely fun and easy to pick up and play. The combination of classic Sonic gameplay and new elements, such as the Wisp powers, really is a great way for Sega to get Sonic back in limelight. Sonic fans be prepared to rejoice when Sonic Colors hits the Wii and DS late this year.