Friday, September 19, 2008

Sonic the Hedgehog (360) Review

All righty. Here we have the second of two of my worst-rated games. To be fair, I've played a lot of bad games, but that was all before I started the reviewing gig to combine two things I love doing-- playing games and writing. While Sonic the Hedgehog fares better than Ninjabread Man, it's not necessarily something to break out the champagne bottle and wine glasses. Well, except if you want to get drunk enough to forget wasting your time on either game. You know a game is pitiful when all the official screens are touched up to ridiculous levels. Neither Sonic nor Ninja look at all like what you see in the pictures in the reviews. Shameless! At least it's somewhat close in other games!

I believe this was one of my first five reviews-- there's not even a recap or SuperPhillip Says. I'm too embarrassed to read it myself, but here it is anyway, friends, with some better pictures than the original review.


Sonic Rushed, New Generation, same old problems.

Coming from someone who played and A-ranked every 3-D Sonic from Sonic Adventure 2 to Shadow the Hedgehog, I've come to accept Sonic's transition from his roots to what we now see before us in 2006. Sonic Adventure was the blue blur's first step into total 3-D gaming. That was 1998. This is 2006. I expect more from Sonic Team than the same horrible camera, myriad glitches, and deviation from Sonic that both Sonic Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog supply. This goes especially since this Sonic game was supposed to go back to his roots. I did not die because the automated jump sequence I was participating in decided to send me careening to death in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, so, Sonic Team, please tell me how this game returns his roots. Which roots exactly? Because it seems to me as if Sonic Team decided to go back to its Sonic Adventure rulebook. Sonic Team got this game out on the 360 first for a reason, and it shows that they weren't quite finished with their work.

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This is the part where I'd fall off the platform magically.

The camera is something that all 3-D Sonic games have a difficult time getting a grasp of. Most of the time the speed of the characters is too swift for the camera to adequately follow. Other times the camera locks while you're moving, so you don't even have a clue as to where you're running to (usually to pain). Another way the camera can mess with the gamer is to flip sides without warning. Sonic may be running one way only to have the camera flip. This usually happens when I'm holding the control stick forward to run, and then I'm forced to alter the direction of the control stick just to meet the happy-go-lucky camera.

Another staple in 3-D Sonic games but becomes prevalent in StH are glitches. Glitches when you homing attack, glitches when you pressed the button to homing attack and nothing happens, glitches when you aim your homing attack at one enemy yet get another to totally throw off your groove.

It'd help if I could see where I was grinding to.

This installment of the Sonic series once again deviates from the title's focus to include episodes with the always brooding Shadow the Hedgehog and nasally and annoying newcomer Silver the Hedgehog. Apparently the twenty characters Sonic Team pulled from their collective butts to put into Sonic games wasn't enough, so they added this psychic hedgehog into the fray. Shadow's levels are similar to Sonic's except that include vehicles in them. Why a speedy hedgehog would need vehicles is beyond me, but we're dealing with Sonic Team so anything is fair game with them involved. Silver's level are more puzzle oriented as he uses his telekinetic powers to move boxes, make platforms, and stop missiles to fling them at enemies. Truly I'd prefer a focus to actually be on the person the game was made after, but Silver is an intuitive addition to the series.

A beef I have with game is one that I had with Sonic Adventure-- the over-world. Sonic is meant to be a fast-paced game. However, the tedious, uninspired world maps filled with boring side missions (which not only take fifteen seconds to load a mission, but it also takes fifteen seconds just to load the freaking mission request!!) that don't add anything to experience besides ennui.

Two positives that I will compliment are 1) the fantastic soundtrack-- a series staple-- is both pumping, riveting, and memorable, and 2) the story. Some will like it and some will hate it, but that truly goes for anything in this world.

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Waiter, there's emo in my hedgehog!

Overall, I think even the Sonic faithful will be disappointed with this game. I don't believe I'd even recommend it to the greatest Sonic fan. However, I'm sure there will be many who blindly take Sonic Team's rushed project and love it. I'm not one of those people. This game is worse than all previous 3-D Sonics because it has horrible control, a chaotic camera, cheap deaths, and annoying load times that detract from any enjoyment I would have had while playing this game. Do not buy this game unless you have a collection going on, or you're messed up in the head. Someone has to show Sonic Team that this debacle of a game, this shoddy effort on a game-- isn't going to fly anymore. The blue blur deserves better.

Overall: 2.5/10

1 comment:

Val said...

I was expecting this game to be good. Or at least given a 5. :( What you said about the camera acting up is something I remember from SAB2. I got used to the annoyance after some time though.. The only thing that I think I couldn't get used to were the load times. Any game that takes too long to load I deem worthless and dismiss it's place in my game cupboard. Of course exceptions like the Sims, Civilization, and perhaps SSBB I don't mind so much. They are worth the wait. Why didn't you have the "SuperPhillip Says" at the end of the review?