Review by Mr. UnOrigino
Reviewed: 01/10/04 | Updated: 01/13/04
Raining on the heroes' parade...
Honestly, it was probably a bad idea to review this game before I had beaten it. So here is me rewriting it.
And if you don't like this review, go away. I don't need you trying to rally up a mob because I didn't give this ten in everything.
A while ago, Sonic Team announced the making of a new Sonic game, which would return to Sonic's 'roots'. It sounded like a bad idea, and although it didn't end up as a disaster, it wasn't brilliant, either.
In terms of story, it's quite simple. Each team has a different story, which in the end, leads them to Dr. Eggman. And there is the return of an OLD VILLAIN! Don't expect a story on par with a novel when you turn this game on. Four out of ten, because it doesn't seem like there was effort here.
Instead of one character going through an area, you now have a team of three, and you need to use them all to beat 14 stages, which is a decent. Changing the leader of a team is simple, with a simple press of a button doing the work. Apart from the leader changing buttons, the control is similar to earlier games (sadly, this is in the 'oh dear, I rolled off the edge of a platform' sense, as well as the 'old gameplay sense', so whilst players of earlier 3D Sonic games won't have much of a problem getting used to the game, you may start to start throwing stuff at the TV.
Anyway, you have 4 teams, whose game varies in difficulty. Beginners should start with Team Rose, as their levels are shorter, with less enemies. Team Sonic is for high-speed action, whilst Team Dark and Team Chaotix are for more experienced players.
Team Sonic and Team Dark are enjoyable. Team Rose is fine. Team Chaotix is a boring waste of time. Sonic is about high speed, not looking for crabs. Or chips, for that matter.
Special Stages return too, and you have to chase a Chaos Emerald through a long tube. Sadly, the control there is awful on the sides of the tube, and you will more often than not slow down to a crawl. It's a pity, as I loved the Special Stages in Sonic 2 and S3&K.
While playing, you may find a character 'leveling up'. Apart from giving you points, it makes your characters more powerful. Attacks will do more damage, making going through a stage a little easier.
Levels are long, and you may find yourself taking around 10 minutes to beat a level, normally. There are a few different paths through a level, but they are so minor you won't find that it makes a difference to anything.
For 2-player mode, you only start off with one mode of gameplay. You have to unlock other modes. The modes are ok, but the frame rate is lowered here to handle both player's teams.
Unfortunately, the camera angle is still bad. If it messes up, you may find yourself jumping into nothing, or hitting an enemy that you couldn't see; and sometimes, the clipping fails and you may have to start a whole level again as a result of any of these.
I gave the gameplay six out of 10, because it felt like I was playing the Adventure series (a little in the good sense, but probably mostly not in the good sense)
The graphics are good, although the characters seem to suffer from 'Fluorescence Syndrome', although there is an improvement over the Adventure series. Levels are now more detailed (especially Stage 3, with the city below you as you move), but most of the time, you won't see the detail as you are rushing through a level. The characters have improved models, taking from the Adventure series, and I haven't seen the frame rate drop (except in 2-player mode)
I give the graphics eight out of ten because it is an improvement over the older games, which is what should have been happening with the DC ports.
Sound and Music: 7/10
The sound effects now go back to the Megadrive Sonic days. Jumping on mushrooms gives the Mushroom Hill sound effect from Sonic and Knuckles, for example. The voice acting is quite good (I'm not commenting on the English voices, as I don't know what it sounds like). Vocal background music for stages seems to be dead, now. Some of the music is decent, but some is very good, too. Each team (and even a boss) has its own theme song, and it gets quite cheesy. In fact, I found 2 of the themes to be garbage.
I give the sound and music seven out of ten, because it is very good in some places, but the rest is average.
Here's where it falls on its face and drops dead. Although there are the emblems, giving quite a bit a replayability in this game, you may probably find the game boring after you beat it, and if that happens, not even emblems or extra two-player modes can save it.
I give the replayability two out of ten for the little replay factor it has in it.
At the End of It All...: 5/10
4+6+8+7+2 = 27
27/50 = 54%
It's a decent try, a decent game. Sonic Team did try, I suppose. Overall, I'd have to give this game an 5/10. It's average, and this has seemed to be the path of Sonic Team for a while. It's a pity. If you are a fan of Sonic games, then buying this might be a good idea, though I'd support rental first, if you're unsure. If you hate Sonic, then you wouldn't buy this, obviously. If you don't have it already, buy Sonic Adventure 2: Battle instead. It's cheap, and probably worth more money than this game is.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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