Review by Hines Ward
"First Game I rented in 10 years... Glad I rented it!"
Let me begin by stating that I am a fan of the Sonic series, hugely. I have managed to play every Sonic franchise game in one way or another, and own every Sonic game that has made it's way statewide. That being said, I'm in college now, so don't have money to just spend, so I decided to head 2 minutes to the video store, and rent for a week for the first time in 10 years. Needless to say, I am glad I rented this heap instead of purchased it.
As a person that has programmed and sold a personally made game or two in the past I know how much programming goes into making a game. Sometimes you wan't to cut corners, however, this is just pathetic. The suggested playing level for the player is "'E' for Everyone", however one quickly realizes that with all the unorganized hustle and bustle going on in each race after about 4 or 5 races, that gameplay level is quickly thrown out the door. There are so many cut corners in terms of what the computer can do, yet you cannot can't that it's hard to believe. Furthermore, on top of the unorganization involved in the racing, the actual execution of using the buttons is pathetic. As easy as they are, they're sloppily thrown togethe r when brought together with the horrid gameplay.
The Storyline is the one thing that might have saved the game if it weren't for the sad fact that it is unbeleivably short, which serves as only more testiment to the lack of effort that Sonic Team put into this game. The cutscenes are interesting, and the story ties together in all the various forms that you can play it in(as do all Sonic games), however, again, the length, or lack thereof, is what subtracts from the score.
When you see the cutscene of animation that opens up the game, you're treated to fitting music, and think you will be treated to such the entire game. You'd be sadly proven wrong. The music is catchy, but with the multiple amount of times you will be playing levels due to the unfair advantages given to the CPU, you will continue to hear the music, and thus hate it. As for the voice acting? Sonic's VA sounds like he just gave up. Jet's VA becomes annoying after a while, and don't get me started on Storm. His VA is either so bad it hurts, or so good that he makes me hate his voice. I don't know.
The one saving feature of this game. Beautiful, beautiful cutscenes. The animation is beautiful, and even though you've seen them you don't feel like skipping over them. Mid-game, the graphics are okay when there aren't 90 million things flowing all over the screen...
The Bottom line: 2/10
If you're going to turn the Sonic series into a racer, do it right. Don't incorporate cheap methods to make a short game longer. Make the game based on skill. Don't throw a million things onto the screen so that you can barely keep track of what is going on. Don't apply crappy programming that shows an obvious lack of devotion on the part of the programmers. The concept was good, the execution was the poorest I have ever seen. It's very sad that I can say a Sonic franchise game is quite possibly the worst game I have ever played. And I've played a lot. I picked a good time to rent a game.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/06
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