Review by Cremdogz
"This could've been one of Sonic's best games, if only it wasn't rushed..."
This game was good, but could've been done way better had they given themselves some extra time to perfect the game. This game has been majorly rejected by most who have played it, but this game is relatively good, but glitches are aplenty, and sometimes, controlling the character seems to be a game itself, but overall, this is a good game that people are judging too harshly.
It's a Sonic storyline, it's sorta like Mario, what do you expect? Anyway, it's better than most other Sonic storylines, though that's not saying much. The story takes place in Soleanna, where Princess Elise is being hunted down by Dr Eggman, and Sonic turns up unexpectedly to save the day. Shadow has to rescue a GUN agent who GUN has lost contact with, while Silver arrives from the future, to stop Iblis Trigger, a person who causes great devastation in the time he lives in. You can play with all 3 of these characters and follow their story.
I must say, I was fairly annoyed at there now being 3 hedgehogs. Sonic was good, Shadow was better, but Silver? His voice actor makes him sound like wimp trying too hard. Anyway, the storyline does get better towards the end, and things only start to make sense once you finish the 3 hedgehog's respective storylines. The scenes can be overdramatic at times, but like I said, it's good for a Sonic game.
The music was very well done in this game. The main theme was well thought out. Sonic games rarely fail to produce good music. While some fall flat a bit short, most of the music you'll enjoy, so you may find yourself just listening to the music, time after time.
This game would have gotten a perfect 10, but Soleanna looks like rubbish. The ingame scenes look incredible, and deliver an explosive start to the game. This holds true to all 3 stories. The ordinary scenes, while a little overdramatic, look beautiful. The levels all have a great setting, the game graphically is impressive. But Soleanna... all it is is just grey. That's it, all the buildings are grey. Even for a good looking game, your gonna love getting out of that place.
Very hard to put a score to gameplay, this will vary from person to person.
The core gameplay is good with Sonic and Shadow. Run around, attack enemies, something you'd expect from a Sonic game. Silver is a pain to use, but more on that later. Each of the hedgehogs play on the same levels, but their level style is a bit different. Sonic's gameplay is mostly about speed, get to the end at supersonic speed. Shadow's, is more action orientated, taking out the enemy is usually the priority, and therefore, his homing attacks allow him to do five more attacks before homing on another target again. Silver's is puzzle-based, and boring as. He can't attack enemies directly. WHAT?!! That's right, you must pick up surrounding objects using your psychic abilities and chuck them at the enemy. Tip: The moment you get Silver, finish his story as fast as possible, then continue with the good stories. As you progress through the story, you'll be able to unlock new abilities by buying them.
Along with these characters, you'll be able to use other characters along with them, Rouge, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Blaze and Omega are playable as well, but usually just for small parts of certain stages. The only one you'll want to use however, is Tails. Apart from Tails, all the other characters handle, attack and are just plain crap. The fire emitting from Knuckle's punches are delayed, Rouge's attack are slow and useless, Omega can BARELY attack from the air, Amy CAN'T attack from the air, and Blaze's "Homing attack" style of attack is just plain weird. Tails on the other hand, flies smoothly, and his attacks from the air are accurate and hit for a lot of damage. But why rings? He throws fake ring boxes. The amount of times I've mixed up Fake rings with my own dropped ones is ridiculous. Still, of all the characters, Knuckles is the hardest to use, he is just worthless.
The camera is REVOLTING. Sure, you have control over it, and it won't change view while running unless you ask it to, but in a lot of areas, it will change from one view to another so many times, that you've likely been confused, and missed the platform. This is mainly true in Soleanna, the pillars will change your view so often, that you'll usually start running back in the way you came.
I'm sorry, but Soleanna must have it's own paragraph. The town is lifeless, except for the annoying people walking around. In the town are people you must do tedious tasks for in order to go further into the game, then others you need to do to achieve S ranks. All of them are boring, and have the crap music I complained about earlier.
And since you're reading this review, you likely already know this situation. Loading screens. They are terribly long, and are everywhere, even in the levels. Sonic Adventure had 1 second freeze for loading time, but this has 20 second loading times! And they happen so often, you have no idea the amount of times I kicked myself (mentally) about the Mathematicians Challenge with Shadow. You have to endure about 10 loading screens IF not more to finish the mission. There are five parts, and I messed up the 5th part! So in order to do that mission all over again I must go through the loading screens. For al town missions, you talk to the person, then loading screen, they tell you the mission in 2 line detail (yep 20 seconds for 2 lines), you do the mission (funnily, has a smaller loading time than the text one), another loading screen, the person thanks you, and the final loading screen back in Soleanna. Here's an idea, why not install the town data onto the Ps3 system? You'd barely have loading screens! You do not want to mess these missions up or you'll be brain dead. thankfully, while there are loading screens inside the levels, they aren't much of a hassle, since they are faster than the Soleanna ones.
The worst problem is the glitches. You'll also find lag when there are too many things happening at once, but anyway... Knuckles was already pointed out, the fire from his punches are delayed, the one from his finisher happen after you've taken control again of your character. Rouge and Knuckles are useless on walls, trying jumping off a wall, it's so annoying, since they instantly go back onto the wall. I haven't figured out a trick to getting them off the wall the first time I say so. With the main characters, sometimes you'll homing attack somewhere else instead of where you want to, in Kingdom Valley, those stairs (the ones that don't fall down, not the ones that do) you may find a little area where there isn't floor, and you fall through the stairs to the water, sometimes you take damage from defeating enemies, springs may miss other springs sometimes, so you go flying off in some other direction. You may break out of bounds accidently and be unable to find land (though for speedrunners, this is handy), and rings that you try and pick up (since you dropped them) and you end up knocking them... wait sometimes I can't pick up rings, they just get knocked away. What's worse, is that if an enemy hits those rings, they get blasted to the other side of the level. There are so many death causing glitches in this game, that it's a real shame for such a high standard series.
Enough of the bad, onto the good of the gameplay. The levels are well designed and a lot of fun to play on. There are many hidden areas and shortcuts in all these levels. Sonic isn't as fast as he is in other games (though none are as fast as Sonic and the Secret Rings), but he is still very fast as he loops and speeds through his levels. In some levels, you may enter a phrase where the only way forward is straight, and Sonic runs automatically, like in Sonic and the Secret Rings. These sequences are mind-blowing, and are lot of fun to go through.
Shadow is a bit slower than Sonic, but I preferred his style of game over Sonic's. The boss battles Shadow versus are the best in the game, and for some of the Sonic series as well. Both Sonic and shadow handle very well, and it's hard to go wrong with either of them.
Silver is...well...meh. It may seem cool at first, pick up objects and chucking them at enemies, but you will learn to hate it, as it's tedious and boring. If you like puzzles, his gameplay is full of them.
Don't let all the bad stuff get to you, it's a good game to play, but they just get in the way of making this game a great game.
Varies from person to person again. Some may not bother to finish it due to large amount of hinderances, mainly loading times, but if you don't mind them (or read a book while waiting) You will enjoy finishing this game. There are many unlockables, and many online websites to test your skills on and submit your times and scores.
Personally, I have not tried multiplayer, but if it plays the same as the game, you know what to expect. It was best to put this section up to let people know.
Overall Score: 8/10
Verdict: Rent of Buy? Best to rent it first, try all the characters and see how it goes. It you like what you get, then by all means buy the game, most stores sell this game cheap, I mean real cheap, try $38 Australian dollars. In other countries, you'll likely get it cheaper.
While this game is no Sonic Adventure or Sonic Adventure Battle 2, it is a great game, though hindered due to glitches. I recommend giving this controversial game a go.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/22/08
Game Release: Sonic the Hedgehog (AU, 03/23/07)
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