Review by Killer_Hamster
"The First Enjoyable Sonic Game in Years"
Sonic the Hedgehog Review
Sonic the Hedgehog is back for his 15th anniversary, debuting on the Playstation 3. If you can deal with a few bugs, and some long loading screens, Sonic the Hedgehog will not disappoint.
Gameplay - The levels are long, many of which took me over twenty minutes to complete. There are three main types of gameplay in Sonic the Hedgehog. Action stages are, just as the name says, the levels with enemies and obstacles. Boss battles are similar to all the other 3D Sonic boss battles, except longer. Even the simplest bosses took around five minutes, with some difficult bosses reaching around ten. The town stages are areas between action stages, where you complete miscellaneous tasks, buy upgrades, talk to humans, complete side-missions, and advance to other action stages.
Gameplay varies from character to character, some good, some bad, but fun overall. Sonic has his Sonic Adventure style action levels, which are as fun as ever. Sonic will go through his levels at high speeds. You're probably familiar with that already. Sonic also has a new super-speed part of some levels, which is a great concept, but is poorly executed. In this super-speed mode, players are automatically propelled forward at speeds faster than any 3D Sonic game to date. This is looks nice, but the sensitive controls and the unexpected obstacles make this mode more frustrating than fun.
Shadow plays similar to Sonic, but often requires vehicles to advance to certain parts of the levels. The use of vehicles is required at points, but it rarely lasts the majority of the level. Many times, Shadow will be on his feet, battling bad guys. Shadow also has a new feature, Chaos Boost, which makes him stronger and invincible for short periods of time.
The new hedgehog, Silver plays different from any other character in the Sonic universe. Rather than relying on speed, Silver uses his telekinetic powers to complete his missions. Different can be good, and Silver allows for some fun gameplay. While he does have a couple short range attacks, many times it is easier and safer to attack from a distance. Silver can pick up nearby objects to throw at enemies, including chairs, crates, spikes, and even a shovel! No nearby objects to throw? No problem, just use an enemy's own missile on him. It may sound like it is too easy, but it isn't much easier than Sonic or Shadow's levels.
There are also miscellaneous playable characters in the game, which will be in short levels or short parts of levels. In order to avoid spoilers, I will not say too much about them, just that the diversity will please some but upset others.
Now it's time for the bad news about gameplay, glitches. While the glitches don't make the game unplayable, they can certainly be frustrating. Characters occasionally get stuck for a few seconds, and may lead to getting hit and losing rings, or even worse, death. I played through the game once however, and I wasn't hurt too badly by these glitches, although I am sure others will not be as lucky.
Story - The story isn't too complex, but it's entertaining enough to keep my, and hopefully your, interest. Sonic is once again out to stop the evil Dr. Eggman, who has just captured Princess Elise. Silver has traveled back in time to kill the Iblis Trigger to change the future for the better. Shadow is on a mission to rescue Rogue, but encounters an unknown enemy. It's interesting to see the events unfold from the different perspectives.
Graphics/Sound - The cut scenes are beautiful, and are some of the best I have seen on the Playstation 3. The action stages are impressive as well. The one disappointing area of the graphics department is the town stages. The building look nice, but the townspeople don't look too good. They don't look bad, but they aren't as detailed as I expected. The Sonic the Hedgehog Series is always known for catchy tunes, but Sonic the Hedgehog isn't as memorable as past games' music. It still has some great in game tunes, and character themes (My Destiny, His World, and All Hail Shadow are excellent), but the music doesn't stick out like it normally does.
Please note: I do not have an HDTV at the moment, so the graphics are being judged from component cables on a normal TV.
Play Time/Replayability: The game is very long for a Sonic game, with the basic story lasting over twenty hours for myself. There are many sub-missions to complete in the towns, and hidden silver medals to find in both town and action stages. If you feel you are up to the challenge, you can even attempt to get S-Ranks on all of the courses for additional gold medals. Unfortunately, there are no further missions for each stage like there were in some previous games.
Misc. - It would not be fair to add that the game does feature some terrible load times. Many times, the screen will load for ten seconds, show a cut scene, and then load another ten seconds, then start a level. That isn't too bad, but it can still be frustrating. The loading times become a real problem during side missions, where it takes ten seconds of loading for the person to describe the mission, and then ten seconds of loading to start the mission. After you fail or pass, you wait for another ten seconds of loading, are told you passed/failed, and then it loads for another ten seconds before returning to the town stage. If you did fail, you will have to repeat this process again if you want to pass.
Final Recommendation - Rent or Buy? I found the game to be well worth my sixty dollars, and I have no regrets. The game will not please everyone though. If you are unsure about this game, give it a rent. If you are looking for some new-gen Sonic, buy it.
The game is very solid, and may have gotten an 8 if it weren't for the ridiculous loading lengths and the occasional glitches.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/05/07
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