Sonic Colours has the following: loop de loops, spikes and springs; a level with a giant metallic beef burger towering on the horizon; enemies that look suspiciously similar to the iconic Buzz Bombers; and the ability to transform (quite literally) into an orange rocket. SEGA has also been kind enough to put the required 'U' in the title for us speakers of British English, so they've already managed to earn more brownie points than EA's Medal of Hono(u)r.
The basic idea for Sonic Colours is thus: take all the levels from Sonic Unleashed that people said they liked - the Sonic levels - and make an entire game from it, locking the Werehog levels away in a hermetically-sealed vault, hundreds of feet underground, never to be seen again. This is Sonic by way of the Mega Drive's platforming delights, rather than via nonsensical takes on Arthurian legend or Arabian fables.
This means there's no Shadow, no silly hub environments and absolutely no talking sword with a penchant for endless Wiimote-waggling. While Sonic 4 might be funnelling a more direct extension of Sonic's sprite-based glory days, Colours is equally as indebted to the spirit of the bygone era and just as focused on taking the series back to basics.
What it does mean is inventive stages. Take Sweet Mountain, for instance - a gauche, sugar-dusted construction of metal disguised as candy. Lollipop posts, giant donuts and gingerbread men dot your trail, with sparkling sweets and biscuit borders ferrying you from one confectionery set piece to the next.
It's the kind of thing the witch from Hansel and Gretel might build if she had access to modern day construction equipment (or Sonic Team's art department), and it's also a showcase for one of the hedgehog's new colour abilities - given to him by some magical Wisps that Eggman is probably trying to kidnap and exploit. In this instance it's the yellow drill that allows our hedgehog to burrow through the ground - which just so happens to be made of delicious cake - and to ferret out power-ups and level shortcuts. It only lasts for a limited time though, which means death by cake is a very genuine possibility. That's a pretty good way to go, to be fair.
Sonic runs around a mix of 2.5D and 3D planes, with an emphasis on ramping up the side-scrolling segments from the series' other 3D-ish instalments. Sweet Mountain is one of the game's earlier levels; death-defying leaps and dangerous enemies are nowhere to be found.
That's one of the game's bigger problems. It's all a bit painfully easy. I was scoring S ranks on my first run of each stage, despite spending plenty of my time perforating Sonic's behind on sets of menacing spikes. SEGA is still tuning the difficulty, but at this stage in development it's lacking some necessary bite.