Another year another Sonic game right? Well at least this time it looks like SEGA has finally started to care about both the fans and Sonic... a little. Has this 20th anniversary game proven Sonic should stay or is it another nail in the coffin that the blue blur keeps escaping. Keep reading to find out.
The basic story of the game goes as so. A beast called the Time Eater has torn through time and space, disrupted Sonic's party and has kidnapped all of Sonics annoying friends. Now Sonic and... Sonic have to team up and restore time to each piece of their history and save their friends from the Time Eater. The story isn't too interesting but it does kinda poke fun at Sonic's previous games and unfortunately classic Sonic doesn't talk. Couldn't they get Jaleel White?
The game has two distinct play styles to suit each Sonic. Fans of the Megadrive/Genesis era Sonic will be glad to know that Classic Sonic plays exactly as he does in good old Sonic 2 and for added nostalgia and precision I recommend using the D-pad for that more authentic feel. Classic Sonic also has a dedicated spin dash button so you can keep the flow going better and trust me, as a Sonic veteran from the glory days of Sonic it's useful. Modern Sonic on the other hand plays like the Sonic Unleashed(should of stayed leashed XD) Sonic and has every button mapped for a function. He also handles like a trolley with a flailing cow in the basket but if you've played the 3D Sonics then it's nothing new.
There are 9 stages, each with 2 acts 1 for each Sonic. Each of these stages are recreations of classic and modern Sonic stages and have various paths to the end of the stage and 5 special Red rings to collect to unlock music and artwork. Sounds simple and fun right? Well I hate to piddle on your salad but that's not the end of it. See after completing a stage with both Sonics you unlock challenges for each stage and you need to complete 1 per stage just to get a key to advance to boss and unlock the next era. Now these challenges vary from the simple race to the finish or beat a doppelganger and some that involve Sonics friends and many more. These are a bit tedious and you'll need to complete these to unlock more music and artwork and even skills. So much to unlock ugh....
The skills you can unlock are mainly stuff to either make the game play a little better to you're style or just give you an edge to help through the tougher stages... like that crappy Crisis City stage! What idiots wanted this stage in the game anyway? Ahem.. The skills also require a certain amount of points to equip and you have 100sp and the best ones require high amounts but to cater they've given you 5 skill setup slots to work with so you can make one for a specific Sonic or both or whatever.
Along with the normal stages there are rival battle and boss battles to complete to get to the end of the game. These battles unfortunately focus mainly on modern Sonic and resort to mainly "run until the enemy is open to attack and then attack X amount of times" and it seems both lazy and ripped out of the previous games. It's not a bad thing but there are so few and it would have been nice to have had a boss per stage instead of the way they did it.
The game will last you 8 hours on a normal playthrough but with all the challenges and unlockables, it can last double the time or even longer. The main advantage of doing these challenges is unlocking the music to use in any stage. With the large track list this game has you can play say Green Hill Zone(Sonic The Hedgehog 1991) with the music from Green Forest(Sonic Adventures 2 2001) or maybe Sonic Boom(Sonic CD 1993) while playing through Rooftop Run(Sonic Unleashed 2008) you get the idea. Unfortunately some of the music is remixed and some of them sound crappier then the originals.
The big question... is it a good game? Yes it actually is. It's nice to see another good Sonic game come out from the cesspool Sonic has been in for the last 10 years and it should keep you occupied until Sonic 4 episode 2 comes out. Playing as both Sonics can be fun but depending on which one you grew with will determine your preference and sometimes switching between them can be disorienting but I personally never had that problem. The game has a STRONG focus on modern Sonic so you have been warned. Regardless I highly recommend it for hardcore Sonic fans and especially those with families that have parents who grew with classic Sonic and kids who grew with modern Sonic. Too bad a Wii version wasn't made though. It's a great celebratory game of one of gaming's true mascots.
Yeah decided to make the score colour blue in honor of Sonic and his 20th anniversary celebration.
HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!