Review by Speeddemon35

"A game that unleashes the old and new Sonic within himself!"

At long last, Sonic has come out at us with his next big adventure, and I have to say that SEGA did an incredible job this time! Sonic Unleashed is a wonderful game that is nearly flawless and gives something for old and new fans alike, with good old fashioned Sonic speed in many cases, and some amazing new concepts!

Plot: The game revolves mostly around Sonic and his new friend, Chip. It starts out with Sonic once again facing off against his old nemesis, Dr. Eggman. The battle starts off in Sonic favor, but when Eggman grabs him in his new mech, Sonic is forced to use the Chaos Emeralds that he has on hand. He transforms into Super Sonic, destroys Eggmans mech, fleet, and weapons, forcing Eggman to flee into a space station he created. Sonic follows, and when he catches him, Eggman pleads with him to show mercy. Sonic taunts him for a short second, but that is all Eggman needs to spring a trap he made for Super Sonic. He drains the power of the emeralds, making Sonic lose his Super form, and then uses the energy for a new beam weapon equipped in his space station, which then BREAKS the planet earth into seperate pieces. Inside of the planet, a creature of a dark nature seems to awaken, and Sonic is somehow in the midst of this, transformed into a more hairy, beastly, and powerful looking form known as the Were-hog. Eggman then sends Sonic (and by accident the emeralds) plummeting towards earth, and Sonic lands in the middle of a grassy plain. When he wakes up, he finds a little creature unconcious and wakes him up. At first, the creature is scared and refers to Sonic as a monster guy, causing Sonic to notice new his form for the first time, but when Sonic introduces himself, the creature realizes he is not a scary person. Unfortunately, when Sonic asks who the creature is, the

creature replies that he has no memory of his name, only that something fell from the sky and that everthing after that went blank. From this, Sonic figures that he fell on him, and says he will help the creature get his memory back. The creature travels with Sonic to the first town, where Sonic (now himself again in the daylight) decides to call him Chip, due to his fascination with chocolate. Thus, the two adventure together to not only restore Chips memory, but to also fix the planet, and return Sonic to normal, as he still turns into the were-hog at night. All in all, the story is fantastic, with many twists and turns along the way. There's also some pretty funny moments in the middle of it all as well! Probably at least worth a 9.

Graphics: The levels are mind-blowing, and the CG-cutscenes are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The characters themselves are very well done too, although the humans have gone from looking "real-like" in the previous games, to a more cartoon based style. But once you get a look at the HUGE environments and enemies, you are very likely to forget all about how the humans look. Plus, the special effects are well done as well. 9 out of 10.

Gameplay: There are basically two styles of gameplay you switch through in levels. In the daytime, you are Sonic in his normal speedy self, zipping your way to the end of the level, smashing baddies and using devices along the way to get through with style. These levels are played out like normal Sonic stages, with the rings and actions having the same effect as they did in previous games. The rings serve to fill up and increase a "boost-gauge" which you can use to move at a very fast pace and smash through enemies. You also occasionally have to use actions such as sliding, grinding, and the homing attack to move onwards and even discover seperate branching pathways that can lead to secrets or help you get to the end of the stage faster. Sonic also has some new moves such as the sonic drift, which is used to turn tight corners while maintaing your speed, and the quick step which is used to dodge to the left and right quickly to navigate areas with walls in front of you every few steps, or dodge an enemy or their fire. There are many routes to take, and many different areas to discover along the way. There are also plenty of Eggman robots to beat up. At nighttime however, the gameplay completely shifts to a combat based platforming style. You are Sonic the were-hog at night, and turned from a speedy zipper into a pure elastic tank of sorts. In the nighttime stages, you are still going for the goal, but along the way, you will have to bash up new enemies, solve puzzles, and use the were-hogs strechible arms to fight, swing, climb, and move your way through the stage. The combat is very addicting. You will make use of Sonics new powers and fighting techniques to punch, smash, claw, and throw enemies. You can also guard and dodge attacks from them as well. The controls make a LOT more use out of the Wii remote and nunchuck if you use them than in the daytime levels. You swing the wii remote to punch with Sonics right arm, and the nunchuck for the left. You can chain different punches together for combos, and even use then both for a powerful finishing attack. While you defeat enemies, you also gain experience points to level up the were-hogs power and learn new moves and combos. The rings also serve a different purpose. The were-hog has two bars of energy now. One is for his life energy, which is replenished through obtaining rings, and an "unleashed" gauge, which is filled by defeating enemies and opening item boxes with blue orbs in them. The unleashed gauge can be used to activate unleashed mode, which powers up Sonic, increasing his strength and defense, and change his finishing moves to be more effective. There are also some elements that stay the same for both night and day. The ranking system is back, and you are judged on a basis from C to S ranking. For the day stages, all that matters is how fast you get to the goal. For the night stages, you have to get to the goal fast, beat up enemies and collect their "dark force" (exp), and collect as many rings as possible. There are also boss stages, and movies, artwork, documents, and music to obtain in stages as well in the form of boxes. There is PLENTY of stuff to do, even after you beat the game. A total 10 points.
Music: Amazing. All the music for each stage and cutscenes fit the game perfectly, and the orchestra for this game and the main themes are VERY well done! The best track of Sonic I've seen thus far. A well deserved 10 points.

Final Verdict: This is one of the best Sonic games I've played thus far! While it is not perfect, it brings out the old Sonic, while still giving PLENTY of new stuff to do for people looking for such a thing. This game may be able to be completed easily for pro players, but it is guaranteed to give them plenty of other things to do when they are done. My final suggestion? Go and buy this game now, wether you are a Sonic fan or not.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/26/08

Game Release: Sonic Unleashed (US, 11/18/08)

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