"A decent final fairwell for Sonic"

I hope no one thinks I'm being to harsh when I rate these things, but if you do... well that's too bad, cause these are my own opinions anyway. Let me start off by saying I truly thought this game (Especially when I first started play Knux/Rouge levels) was a huge disappointment. It did get a bit better as time went on, but I truly feel this game isn't nearly as good as it's predecessor.

Gameplay: I'm going to split this up into several factors.

1. Sonic/Shadow levels - 9/10

This is what a Sonic game is all about. SPEED! Like the first line of City Escape says "Rolling Around At the Speed of Sound!" When I played the demo of City Escape, I thought this would be the best Sonic game yet to come. Their new moves, such as the grind, only add to the intensity of their levels. I also love going back to their levels to see if I can get a higher ranking. They're that fun! And it seems that every time you play one of their levels, you find something new. The only thing I don't like about their levels... not so much their levels, but the control. The speed is great, but it's happened countless number of times when I hit a row of rings, and I hit B (while running mind you) and Sonic/Shadow does a summersault instead of the Ring Dash. I HATE that. It slows me down when I'm trying to get an A ranking... but that's really the only bad thing and that's why a 9 and not a 10.

2. Knuckles/Rouge levels - 7.5/10

Like everyone else, I HATED these levels with a passion when I first tried them. Then, I found out the TV monitors gave out hints... but they still didn't help me that much, cause usually I had no idea what they were talking about. "Behind two heads" "Two bins right next to each other" "On a beam with rings" I mean, they didn't help at all... then I tried something new. I just ran through the levels and got a good idea where everything was. Then I restarted and went to the first hint box, and on the first hint I was able to say, "I know where that is" Just like that, they became that much easier. In Death Chamber/Egg Quarters I also notice it's best to get an A ranking, just by running through the level as fast as I can, trying to find the keys. I even found a few keys out of order. It was cool. So bottom line, get to know the levels first, and they'll be much easier, but still frustrating at times when you have a time attack. The 7.5 because the levels ... well they get old after a while, not that much speed, and it's pretty darn hard to get an A, except in DC/EQ.

3. Tails/Eggman Levels - 2/10 18.5

These levels ruin the game and looking at other reviews, I seem to be one of the few people that think that. Imagine e-102 levels having 10 times more enemies, pits, no time attack and being much longer. That's what you get with Tails/Eggman. Many people complain about Rouge/Knux levels being frustrating, these levels are just down right annoying and boring as hell. I can only blow up bad guys so many times. The levels just go on, and on, and on, and each one is the same only with a different scenery. It's stupid to put Tails in a walker, as he doesn't need it. Eggman sure, but just one in a walker is all we need. I find almost no incentive to go back and try for other emblems and rankings. I might just to see, but usually it's if I'm really bored with SA2 or just missed an A ranking but a few seconds. With Sonic/Shadow, you've got the speed, Knux/Rouge, you can explore the levels, but with Eggman/Tails... you stand on a ledge, blow stuff up, move forward, stand, shoot/blow up stuff, go forward. then for a twist, you move forward, and JUMP, then blow up stuff. The only reason the 2 and not a 0 or 1 is because of the occasional times when you can blow up some boxes and explore a new area, and for the fact that they play a bit different. Rings make you stronger and increase your health meter, but don't
necessarily guarantee that if you're hit with rings, you don't die.

4. Final Boss - 10/10

Okay, the two final bosses are so much better than any boss on SA2 and SA1 combined. I loved Final Hazard over Perfect Chaos, and you just can't match that speed anywhere.

5. Story - 8/10

A bit predictable at times, but in the final two fights is something I didn't expect at all

6. Music - 6/10

The music is nothing to write home about. Knux songs are just annoying sometimes, those people really need to learn how to write and sing a rap song. The music isn't nearly as good as SA1, but some songs, such as
Live and Learn (main theme) and the remixed It Doesn't Matter are pretty catchy. Overall though, 6/10.

7. Chao Garden - 9/10

I love the new chao gardens! They're so cute... my evil chao is such a little rascal! Raising dark/hero Chao was a great idea. You can also take your chao to Kindergarten, have them see a doctor and other fun stuff. My only problem with the new chao gardens is, regardless of what the action menu says, I sometimes end up attacking my chao instead of petting/picking them up. And I really wish they'd made it so you could bring your chao from SA1 in. But other than that, they did a nice job with the Chao.

8. Kart Races - 4/10

Just not that big of a deal. It's like Twinkle Circuit from SA1 only with a lot less control. It can be kind of fun sometimes and I enjoy Tails/Rouge levels in the game, but my main problem is even in beginning, no matter who I
am, I always end up in last or second to last place. No matter what happens, they can always go faster than me and always pass me at the last second. It's annoying, and just not a big deal. I've yet to try it in two player mode.

9. Graphics - I refuse to add graphics to my rankings because I don't believe graphics make a good game at all. I've never brought a game for it's graphics, I've only brought games because I wanted to play them and have fun, not gawk at their graphics. All though I will say, the graphics do rock and get the job done well... though it's hard to get use to their new moving styles in the cut scenes.

10. Audio/Voices - I'm also not going to add this, and here's why. If you use the Japanese voices, you can't understand them, but you know they're acting better, but it still would be better to know exactly what they're saying and those English subtitles aren't the same. In English, the voice actors just plain aren't that good. OmoChao is HORRIBLE. And that's an understatement. Usually I just have the Japanese voices on anyway, but I don't think I can give it an honest rating. I'd say 5, but the Japanese voices are above a 5, and English is below a 5 and things like that... it'd get too messy.

11. Replay Value - 7/10

I got 6/10 by averaging what I thought of each character, and added another point because there is an incentive to want to go back and get all As, or earn the emblems because of the secrets that are in the game.

12. OVERALL - 7/10

When I average it all out, that's what I get. It's a good game in some areas, bad in other... really bad in others. I'd suggest renting the game first to see if you like it, then buying it... or completely ignore me and
buy it anyway. Over all I was disappointed in this game. It sure could have been better in some areas, but it was a nice enough game for Sonic to make his final farewell in.

Goodbye Sonic, there will always be special place in my heart just for you. I'll never forget your games, TV shows, or how much I hate your comics. Good luck to you on other systems and may they be as successful as your games on the Dreamcast and other Sega Consoles (Cept Saturn and 32X). And remember all your fans love you and will await your return.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/01/01, Updated 07/01/01

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