Sonic has had a long, complicated history since his introduction as a "Mario-killer" all those years ago. It's become clear that Mario had far more staying power and this is very evident by the hedgehog's latest adventure, Sonic and the Black Knight. If this concept confuses you, you're not alone. Sonic gets transported to the land of King Arthur, wields a talking sword and has to fight the knights of the round table who bear an uncanny resemblance to his old pals. He battles armor-clad minions who look like the monsters from his old world and collects fairies to accumulate rings. Okay... This is all basically extraneous, because it's meant to put Sonic back in his roundhouse of super-fast rollercoaster gameplay. It just doesn't do the trick though. You see, all that sword swinging, guarding and treasure collecting slows the game down. When Sonic gets slow, the controls show their flaws as he is unable to turn around, hates to strafe and has trouble swinging that big sword in his hands. You get graded for each level, but the grade you receive seems arbitrary. No details are given on why you received three stars instead of four, so improving your score is a guessing game at best. You also get followers based on your performance, but how many seems random and your rewards for collecting them are small. This is a short, shallow, confusing title with occasion glimmers of Sonic's greatness peaking through. It seems that Sega is incapable of delivering a game where Sonic is allowed to just be Sonic. There's always a talking sword or werehog or chao breeding facility that gets in his way. And that's a shame, because when Sonic does his thing, it's a thing of beauty. He just doesn't do it here.