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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

Sonic Team

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

November 18, 2008

 

 

 

- Some of the classic Sonic speed comes through

- Accessible to kids

 

 

- The Werehog sections break the flow of the speed

- Combat during the Werehog sections is difficult to control

- Loading, loading, loading

 

 

 

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

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Sonic Unleashed

Score: 5 / 10

 

sonic-unleashed-1.jpg (64354 bytes)          sonic-unleashed-2.jpg (40019 bytes)

 

My brain is somewhat clouded by fond memories of the first two Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog Games.  Fast and creative, Sonic was constantly on the move – speed was everything and the levels themselves became characters.  When Sonic Unleashed shows glimmers of his roots (i.e. speed = fun) using sidescrolling perspective to boot and you’re practically flying through loops, that’s when you’ll have the most fun.

 

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The game suffers though when it comes to the 3rd person racing portions – that feel much like a racing game without a car, which is okay if you didn’t have to suffer through combat while trying to go fast – and Sonic’s “unleashed” persona of the rubber-armed Werehog, which turns an otherwise speedy Sonic into a lumbering nocturnal beast.  (Like the Tank from Left 4 Dead, but with less

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putrefaction.)  During the Werehog sections, rather than button presses for the combat, players are left to wildly wave their arms around to smack bad guys around.  There are specific motions attached to the attacks but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to work with any kind of consistency, which is either the fault of the game or the fault of the Wii controls.  Any way you shake it, the combat is no fun and the insufferable platforming elements with the Werehog are aggravating at the best of times.  You’ll need the inexperience and patience of a 9-year old to make any progress with Sonic Unleashed.  My son hasn’t had any experience with the original Sonic games – except for Sonic Heroes a few years ago – so he doesn’t know any better; he actually likes Sonic Unleashed.  He forgives the constant load times, the haphazard “adventure” elements of exploring environments and talking to people, and the insipid cutscenes.

 

Sonic needs a makeover in the vein of Mega Man 9 or Bionic Commando. If a 16-bit-esque Sonic game appeared on Xbox Live Arcade or PSN, I’d likely be all over it because the glimpses we get of a the Sonic of yore in Sonic Unleashed are very fun.  It’s not enough to redeem the entire game though.

 

- Aaron Simmer

January 25, 2009

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