Review by yoshipatrol
"Don't let the Werehog intimidate you"
Sonic Unleashed, the latest Sonic game to be released is much more than amazing. Like the title says don't let the Werehog intimidate you. The Werehog levels are great although you may not be looking for platforming in a Sonic game you should definitely give these levels a shot. Well then on to the review.
Eggman is once again trying to build his Eggman Empire or in this game Eggmanland The opening cutscene shows a huge fleet of battleships who are controlled by Eggman. Sonic comes in though and completely ruins everything after turning into Super Sonic. Eggman, again, begs Sonic for forgivness and promises that he will change, however this is all a trap and he catches Super Sonic in a beam that sucks his energy (and that of the Chaos Emeralds) and turns him into a Werewolf. The beam also shoots out of his ship onto the world which wakes up a creature named Dark Gaia. Eggman plans to harness Dark Gaia's energy for his own uses. Sonic falls back down to the world and has to gain the Planet Tablets to enter a special room in each country's temple. In the special room he can restore the Chaos Emeralds.
Now its not the best story ever but its certainly not bad. At least there is no more of that time traveling stuff that has been going on in a few Sonic games lately. And the story winds up making sense over the course of the game. The only complaint I have about it is the ending, which isn't the greatest ever, I certainly liked Sonic Adventure 2 Battle's a lot more.
Gameplay takes place in two different ways, Daytime and Nighttime. During Daytime stages you will run about as Sonic as most games have him do. However, at Night Sonic turns into the Werehog and the game becomes more of a platformer. As you progress through the game you will earn Sun or Moon medals based on your performance. These can be used to open other doors in the temples to get secret items, (Documents, Videos, Art) secret missions, or extra lives. Some of these levels require thinking though and in most you can switch from the Werehog and Sonic by stepping into a beam of light, but its for a short time only.
The Daytime levels are your classic Sonic levels which have Sonic racing to reach a goal. Now the Daytime levels aren't just running straight they have a bunch of crazy crazy routes you can take to speed up your run. Sonic Unleashed also features a camera that switches between 3-D and 2-D at points. The transition from 3-D to 2-D is barely noticeable. You'll instantly notice the camera change very smoothly and respond well to it, as if it were some kind of natural response. When the camera gives you a 2-D style of play it will bring you back to the Genesis days of Sonic with the springs sending you up on platforms and Sonic running through all kinds of crazy things such as a windmill. During the 3-D mode which will be the standard look to the game, Sonic keeps his signature speed. During the Day levels when Sonic runs you can drift around turns and do a quick side step motion to avoid badniks and keep on running. Also there is something called a Sonic Boost which will be available when Sonic collects enough rings. When Sonic does have enough rings you can activate the Sonic boost by pressing the Y button (Gamecube Controller) and Sonic will burst at a great speed knocking over any enemies in his way. There are plenty of extra missions which will keep you playing these for a while as you try to earn Moon Medals, which require you to run through the stage at a really fast time. The boss battles in the Daytime stages are simple but still fun. The robots all have simple attack patterns and hitting them just requires a Sonic Boost or homing attack. All of these levels are so fun to play because Sonic never has to stop running so you get to play with all that speed that a Sonic game should have.
The Night levels are a bit different from the Daytime levels, actually they are a lot different. In the Night levels you will be transformed into the Werehog, a slower but stronger version of Sonic. When playing the Werehog you will be in more of a platforming situation, you will be swinging, jumping, running, and battling your way through the levels as you try to reach your goal. The Werehog has stretchy arms that help him in things such as combat and climbing. The battling for the Werehog is very simple basically you will first run into an area where baddies will spawn up. After that the area around you will be blocked by an energy gate that will keep you enclosed until the baddies are all gone. Now comes the fun part, now you can bash the heck out of the baddies until the gate goes down. The controls are simple, The L button (Gamecube Controller) will do a left punch and the R button (Gamecube Controller) will do a Right punch, and pressing both at the same time will get you a special move or combo ender. These moves are generally more powerful and more useful then the normal punches. All you do is Alternate between L and R which means there really isn't much diversity, nonetheless it's still very fun. If there is any one flaw that should be pointed out concerning the battle system its Guarding. Guarding is so cheap and makes the bigger baddies and even one of the bosses so easy. The boss battles are fun though. One will have you pushing buttons in a sequence after damaging it a bit to damage it even further while others are played by just beating them up.
As you collect force which look like red glowing orbs, you will level up. Leveling up will provide you with more combos, (though there aren't many) more health, more power, or more Unleashed. Combos will gain you special moves most of which are gained at the very beginning of the game. The only level up that isn't a move for the combos is when you get to use a 5 hit combo instead of the 3 hit combo given at the beginning of the game. Health will make your health bar bigger. Power will give you more attack strength and make enemies easier. Then there is Unleashed, Unleashed is a mode that will make the Werehog a lot stronger and change some of his special moves around. You can use Unleashed when you collect enough of the lue orbs that are lying around places and that you get form enemies. When Unleashed levels up you will gain a bigger bar for your Unleashed. The only downside to the Unleashed mode is that you can't stop it after you started it. This means that if you have a full bar and you kill all the baddies before even half the bar is gone then you just wasted your Unleashed since you can't turn it off.
There are a few downsides to these levels though. For one thing some of the items are just hard to get to as if they never tested it. There is a level where you have to walk on the top of a very thin wall to get an item which is a very frustrating task. The camera is bad in a very few areas too which sucks since you can't move the camera, which could cause an unwanted death. Also they placed some gimmicks in weird places. One of these poles that you swing on had spikes right over it, making it useless. Another didn't have any platforms near it to land on which also resulted in an unwanted death. The latter two occurred on the same level though, which was the final level so they may have purposely done it, and this was the same level where I had the camera in a bad spot too which may also have been purposely done. Completing the level is simply getting to the goal. Doing so will get you a Sun Medal. Overall the Werehog may not be what you expect but is still a nice addition to the game.
The sounds and music in this game are great. Sonic still keeps his same voice and Chip (a new character) is not nearly as annoying as you'd think he'd be, with his voice anyway. The music is simply amazing and the best music a Sonic game has had in a while its also all very catchy. After playing these levels you will probably go online and download at least one piece of music for this game. The Daytime stages are fast paced and energetic while the Nighttime stages are catchy and give a nice mood for the atmosphere. The boss battles are good too however none compare to the greatness of the Final Boss' music.
The graphics for this game are really nice. In fact this is probably the only game that stands a chance against Super Mario Galaxy in terms of graphics for the Wii. This game really brings out the Wii's graphic power. The environments are beautiful and vivid and these are for the stages alone. The cutscenes are even better, in one you can really see the detail in the Werehog's fur. These graphics definitely deserve praise I can't imagine what they would look like on the 360/PS3.
I would highly recommend buying this game however, if you are still a little skeptical about the Werehog then you can always rent it you won't be disappointed. Everything about this game is just amazing even if the Wii version is missing two levels and some cutscenes it is still great.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/04/08
Game Release: Sonic Unleashed (US, 11/18/08)
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