Review by Chaotic_Fusion
"Sonic hits a wall as he runs into Next Gen"
For years and years I have been playing Sonic the Hedgehog. It's always been one of those franchises that I always came back too, even despite some pretty mediocre titles after 1998. There is a limit to how far one can handle mediocrity though, and especially when it falls abysmally below that. That is exactly where this game has taken a once beloved franchise.
Anyone who has ever played Sonic Adventure 1 or 2 knows how this plays. Your goal is to run to the end of the level as fast as you can. This time the way in which you do so is different depending on which of the three main characters you are using, but the basis is the same. Sounds easy right? Well, not quite when the entire game is out to get you.
Horrid camera angles will throw your character wildly off track as you try frantically to spin the view in some way that will work while trying to keep your character alive. The camera will also make wild swinging motions while you're playing the high speed levels, most of the time forcing your player right int his death as you cannot see what is going on and are forced to move in the wrong direction. The camera is also placed in very strange areas sometimes, making it very hard to navigate the terrain.
Collisions are terrible, and there will be times when you will be running along a wall only to be bumped off awkwardly. Other times you will try to attack enemies only to completely fly by them despite seeing your characters attack move being performed right through them. Many times you will be flung off pre-determined tracks, and there are no barriers to keep you in.
Level designs themselves are awkward at best, and in Silver's case frustrating trial and error. there's very little direction most of the time, and where there is, it's hard to follow it. there are multiple routes through the levels, but most of the time you won't take them and instead follow the main one. This is largely because getting to them is a horrible pain and usually requires PERFECT execution of events that are not even under your control. What I'm trying to say is the game will screw you up, and there's almost nothing you can do about it.
Boss battles are boring and require little thought. Most of the time they involve just hitting a boss in the right space. Good luck though. Again, all the other things I've mentioned find their way into the boss battles, making them annoyingly frustrating. Including horrible AI.
And wow, the loading! The game needs loading ALL the time. It even spends ridiculous amounts of time loading little 5 second intro movies for the same area you are already in! Or for town missions it will reload the entire city for only 3 sentences from an NPC and then reload it again to begin the mission, then it will reload again for more small talk, and then finally put you back in the city. Hell, the MOVIES load faster than these areas... areas you are already standing in! Why is the game taking ages to load a couple buildings and rocks? It's completely unacceptable. I'm not joking when I say the original Adventure titles had seemingly more happening in their environments, and they took half the time to load, and didn't need breaks between areas for loading.
This is not Next-Gen. Textures are flat and dull and actually look worse on the PS3 version. There's MASSIVE amounts of pop-up. In fact, the pop-up is so bad that I've had instances where things like laser walls didn't show up until my character was right in-front of them. Shadows flicker in and out all over the place and wreck havoc. Almost all the areas of the game are immense, but filled with absolutely nothing but square buildings, boxes, and maybe one or two people. The levels feel almost barren. The game models look like crap as well, except for the three main characters. The lack of visual quality here is sickening, especially when a title from 1998 looks better. The only saving grace is the fantastic FMV... which unfortunately suffers from stuttering in some movies.
Ridiculous. And they try to cram it down your throat the entire way through. Thank god every scene is skipable. You seriously will not care... unless you like Hedgehog on skinny girl action. And without spoiling the ending, all I'm going to say is this title may as well have not even existed. The only thing this game walks away with is another useless Sonic character for later games plot devices.
I actually have the entire soundtrack to the game. In fact, I had it before I got the game. The music is brilliant this time around. It retains a far more classic Sonic theme. It's a shame that while playing the game there is no proper way to appreciate it.
I could write an essay on all the things this game has done wrong. I simply don't have room to cram them all into this review. I can say I have not played a game this horrible in ages. There are other bad games out there, but at least they have some redeeming factors usually. This game has absolutely none. In fact, there are things in the MANUAL that aren't even in the game. It just goes to show how inexcusable this title is to begin with.
Save your money and buy Bullet Witch or something. Yes, even that game is better than this. Or hey, go get Secret of the Rings. Just stay away from this title at every cost. This game gets a 2/10, simply because you are actually are able to complete the game surprisingly. I figure the fact you can actually finish it (if you like torture) is worth something.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 03/23/07
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