Super Sonic Speed: ~SONIC the Hedgehog~

image

Now you maybe asking, "What is this Super Sonic Speed thing?", and I have the answer for you.

Super Sonic Speed is going to be a bunch of retrospective reviews by myself, as I go through the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, from present day to its humble beginnings, and discuss the ups and downs and trends of our little blue friend with an attitude.

I hope you enjoy our little escapade through Sonic's history, and creation.


image

~SONIC the Hedgehog~

(also known as Sonic '06 or Sonic Next-Gen)

Released: Holiday Season 2006
Available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3

Having released some good titles during the Xbox/Gamecube/PS2 era, it was now finally Sonic's 15th anniversary as a franchise and it was time to make it next-gen. It was hyped up, it was gaining recognition for all the changes it was trying to make, and apon release.....it was universally panned and pulled from shelves, other progress with any ports were canned. But was it really as bad as they say? Let's find out!

Story

In this new addition to the franchise, Sonic....wait..what?!

Our story begins in the port city of Soleanna. The princess of the city, Elise, is helping to conduct the ceremony of the Festival of the Sun, until it is rudely interupted as Dr. Eggman and his robot minions enter the scene, asking the princess for something know as the "Flames of Disaster". Not soon after, who would arrive but the hero to this tale, Sonic the Hedgehog, quickly shows up and ends her dilemma, and carries her off as Eggman follows suit. What is so special about this Princess Elise, and what exactly are these "Flames of Disaster" Eggman is after, and will Sonic be able to stop them?

I have to say this to, Sonic Team came pretty close to being epic with this, very close, but they still fell short. They had pretty much everything there for a new epic Sonic title, it almost felt like a Sonic Adventure 3, but its main flaws were, since they were new to the next-gen technology, the ingame cutscenes that they created ended up feeling extremely stiff or jittery when you can tell they were trying for something more serious. And like many other people and reviewers have mentioned, another flaw is the Sonic/Elise relationship. While ok for the most part, it led to some surprising and...cring-worthy scenes later on, leaving you feeling a bit awkward. So close..yet so far, Sonic Team.

Gameplay

Sonic runs through valleys and fields, to show off his new next-gen capabilities

This game shares an uncanny resemblance to Sonic Adventure, from it's multiple character stories, to it's overworld hub world, to even some of the levels. You play as 3 different character through your journey throughout Soleanna; Sonic the Hedgehog, our favorite blue hedgehog who goes through levels at super sonic speeds; Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic's friend and rival, who cuts his way through levels with his Chaos powers; and a new addition to the cast, Silver the Hedgehog, a being from the future who possess psychokinesis.

Sonic's stages mainly consist of most of his classics. There are loops, enemies to homing attack, rails to grind, and straightaways to run fast, but for some reason, the game can't seem to catch up with Sonic's speed. Some of his stages are hindered by some frustrating controls for due to the new physics engine added with the game, you will be launched flying off in the wrong direction from a jump. He also has his added Mach Speed sections, where he will speed and cause even additional frustration as these parts are mostly long, lack checkpoints, and even the slightest touch of the environment will cause Sonic to lose his rings.

Shadow's stages, while similar to Sonic's, bare some differences. Throughout his story, you will attack enemies a lot more with Shadow's new combo attacks and Chaos powers, which allow him to power-up and warp around DBZ style to all of his enemies while he fights. Also, replacing Sonic's Mach Speed areas, Shadow has his vehicle sections like he had in his own game. While they kind of control awkwardly, sometimes they aren't needed for the section, and if they are, they perform their task well enough.

Silver the Hedgehog also uses his Psychokinetic powers to show of the game's new physics engine

Silver's stages require him to use his Psychokinetic powers to utilize the world around him to help him get to the end. He can pick up boxes, spikes, and other enemies and toss them around, he can grab enemy attacks and send them back at them, or he can use his objects to help him float around. He also has his own specific events which are displayed by a glowing neon circle, which will allow him to preform large Psychokinetic feats, such as lifting up broken objects to form a bridge or to raise platforms and open large doors.

You will also encounter other characters from the Sonic franchise (Amy, Tails, Rouge, etc.) who will help the respected heroes along the way through their stories, while also helping them collect rings and items in missions which are scattered around Soleanna. So while the gameplay isn't that bad in this game, some things will just add to frustration or tediousness of it all, such as Sonic's Mach Speed stages, the physics engine going crazy, or the reoccurring and frequent loading screens.

Sound & Music

Like all Sonic games, the sound and music stand out above all else. The sounds are all there like they should be (ie. ring chimes, rockets flying around, boost pad bursts), and the music is also pretty damn good to boot, with some pretty good theme tracks for all the different stages. Each character's theme is also well made, with excellent vocals, and extra care was put into the final boss's track, which comes off as incredibly tense and epic. In a game plagued with problems, sound and music isn't one of them.

Synopsis

While not as incredibly bad as people have let on, it was still pretty mediocre and is still probably the worst Sonic game out of the lot. It could have done a lot better but suffered from a problem I like to call Kotor2-isis; the game was released too early because they were trying to have a holiday release and because of that, a lot of bugs were still left within the game and many parts were rushed or left unfinished. So pick it up if you want (if you can find it still), but overall it is a skip, and Sonic's 15th anniversary was plagued with a sour note.


This concludes the retrospective review of SONIC the Hedgehog in my Super Sonic Speed series. I hope you enjoyed it. =]

Up next is Shadow the Hedgehog(released in 2005), and is the first game in the feature to a main character other than Sonic. Let's see how that turns out!

I finished playing this for the first time a couple days ago. Ugh. Just...UGH. I'd say I agree with most everything you said, only I think this is the only recent Sonic game that really does deserve the hatred it gets. I'll even defend Shadow the Hedgehog to an extent, but this game can die in a ditch for all I care. Regardless, this was well written. Thanks for sharing it ^_^

(I also wrote a review for it myself just last night. I'll post it in these forums at some point)

Durxom:

[center]

~SONIC the Hedgehog~

(also known as Sonic '06 or Sonic Next-Gen)

Also known as Please God Make It Stop.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked