Review: Sonic Unleashed

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Review: Sonic Unleashed

Russ Pitts wonders why we even bother playing the Sonic games anymore.

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I say sonic team should just do one game where story or five year old acting talents don't exist and just focus on running and killing baddies in lush colourful environments. After expecting this to be good, and playing it, I do have to agree it did insult my intelligence.

Awesome review of a bad game, nice job Russ. Not that I'd actually throw my money off the cliff on games like these but...

Sonic Team should spend some time hanging out with Capcom. With Bionic Commando: Rearmed, the "re-mix" of Street Fighter II, and the upcoming Street Fighter IV they seem to have gotten the hang of restoring classics to their former glory recently.

Take the classic side-scrolling Sonic games. Put them in a 3D engine. Re-master the audio. Add achievements, save points, and the other conveniences of today's games. Release. Bonus Points: online co-op using Tails or Knuckles (any other characters should be deleted).

What? They are still making Sonic games? Oh sorry, I have been in a pain-staking state of self-denial for ten years. In my lonely little world of Sonic denial, void of all hope, Sonic actually died along with tails while fighting Robotic in Sonic 2. My world may be filled with way too many little half robot/half bunny rabbits, but at least it doesn't include a "werehog."

Nice review Russ.

I've never been a big fan of Sonic myself, I found the original sonic games lacking in... something.

Still I'm giving serious though to picking up Sonic Chronicles...

good review you have very good points there and i do still play sonic games on my old GBA every now and then and from the latest, once i had the bad luck to see sonic and Mario at the Olympics and that was pain to my eyes and to my hearth :(

PedroSteckecilo:
I've never been a big fan of Sonic myself, I found the original sonic games lacking in... something.

Still I'm giving serious though to picking up Sonic Chronicles...

I have to admit...Sonic Chronicles was a lot of fun. It isn't really a sonic game though, regardless of the hero :). I guess they chose the franchise to map it in because of the killer story line! I mean, Chaos Emeralds???? That there is Shakespeare my friends.

I actually do not agree with this review, although the warehog sections are tedious and detract from the action the speed sections keep me so absorbed that I don't even notice the passage of time. yes some of the characters are irritating though every game has them (special mention: commander Miranda Keys nearly ruining the entire Halo franchise- even halo 1). I really don't mind the adventure bits, although I can see why they irritate everyone so much. Same goes for the cinematic sections.
I'm not saying it's a great game just that I think the review is jumping on the old 'sonic is crap' band wagon.
P.S. Sonic and the Secret rings sucked balls, there was NOTHING good about it.

When are video game producers going to learn? Cut scenes and cinematics are fine, but they have to be used appropriately. If this is anything like the old Sonic games (fast ring-collecting platform action), then their target audience isn't about to sit through 30 minutes of cinematics before they get to play their game.

Games like Sonic were great because you could make a lot of fast-paced progress in a short amount of time, then come back and play it again later. It would be like going to watch a porno, but having to sit through 30 minutes of car and cellphone commercials -- you'd lose any excitement for the material before the show even started.

Action games are all about speed and adrenaline. Either give that to your customer or don't bother making an action game.

This must be a truly crushing blow to Russ after he worked so hard to BECOME Sonic on last weeks Escapist show.

PedroSteckecilo:
This must be a truly crushing blow to Russ after he worked so hard to BECOME Sonic on last weeks Escapist show.

You have no idea.

Sad Ash is sad, i was really looking forward to Sonic Unleashed but i do agree with most reviewers. Its a brillaint game lost in a sea of rubbish and poorly implemented ideas.

COME ON SONIC TEAM! MAKE SOMETHING EPIC!

"Wait...so you were in the Sonic Team when they made Sonic Unleashed?"
"No, man, I swear! Look, I really need this job."

A sort of improved remake of sonic 3 + sonic&knuckles
that's how "the one" could be like.

I guess anyone who hasn't started gaming with the first sonic games can't really understand... but that's understandable.

Russ Pitts:

PedroSteckecilo:
This must be a truly crushing blow to Russ after he worked so hard to BECOME Sonic on last weeks Escapist show.

You have no idea.

Okay...

Now I'm picturing Russ in the rain, clutching an opened and finished copy of Sonic Unleased, falling to his knees screaming "WHY!WHYYYYYYY!" at the heavens.

... I have a twisted mind.

EDIT: Also, what was Kanashe's problem, that is a really inappropriate way to react to anything, especially a videogame review.

PedroSteckecilo:

Russ Pitts:

PedroSteckecilo:
This must be a truly crushing blow to Russ after he worked so hard to BECOME Sonic on last weeks Escapist show.

You have no idea.

Okay...

Now I'm picturing Russ in the rain, clutching an opened and finished copy of Sonic Unleased, falling to his knees screaming "WHY!WHYYYYYYY!" at the heavens.

... I have a twisted mind.

No, that's pretty much how it went, really.

I like that you had a second perspective on this.

Looks like a kid's game to me. They'd get pretty damn excited about roleplaying Sonic the Hedgehog in what looks like a pretty graphically impressive world, and often aren't adequately burned out to notice bad gameplay when they see it.

Okay, I downloaded the demo of this game off of Xbox LIVE and thoroughly enjoyed it. But after reading a myriad of reviews it seems that I enjoy it simply because it's a single day-time level that cut all the cinematics and werehog sections.

So, am I to believe that just downloading the demo and playing it a few times is the way to truly appreciate Sonic Unleashed? Or is that just a cheap gamer's dream?

I will say one thing. you played the first real level in the game. here is the amount of levels:

Day (21)
-Apotos, Mazuri, Spagonia, Chun-nan, and Adabat have three acts
-Holoska, Shamar, and Empire City only have two acts

Night (12)
-Apotos, Mazuri, Chun-nan, and Adabat have two acts
-Spagonia, Holoska, Shamar, and Empire City only have the one

And a lot of those are optional, so you can easily break even or better playing sonic to werehog. And the cutscenes are a little kiddish, but not in the way that Sonic Heroes was (which was cheesy). And the opening cinematic is gorgeous. Also, there aren't very many (can't think of any at all) xbox 360 games that look this good. And there is no glitches except for the kind you have to hunt for. Hubs will only be played for a total of about five minutes if you talk to no one and just rush through them (does not count the special area for entering the stages, but you have full speed and power in them). Basically, if you love the demo level, you will most likely love this game. Hell, you spend more of the duration of the game playing as cobalt blue sonic than in any other 3D sonic game except for Secret rings (never played).

I honestly disagree with about 95% of your review. The only parts I can agree with are the voice acting (which can be changed to japanese if you hate it that much) and the towns, which are small and don't really provide much outside of a couple of short side missions.

I don't understand how you found the RPG elements are confusing though. You get exp from defeating enemies and can place it in two different stats for Sonic and five for the Werehog. Simple!

The Werehog bits were not that bad. They are long (on the first go, anyway) and the combat is a bit too repetitive (you can often get by on random X,Y combinations). But the platforming aspects of the levels are exceptional. Anytime I died it felt like my fault, unlike Sonic 2006.

The daytime levels are a lot of fun. Outside of one level having some annoying frame rate issues, they run at a smooth clip. They focus on speed which is Sonic's bread and butter and as you level up and earn new abilities, new paths and shortcuts become available. The only times I had trouble with the controls is when Sonic starts moving from a dead stop, he accelerates way too fast.

I've played the game to completion, and often had trouble choosing between it and Fallout 3.

It honestly sounds like you had a chip on your shoulder writing this review. It sounded like you were ready to just hate it before the game even started. I rarely defend a game but after seeing so many reviews like this (and IGN and Gamespot) I just had to say something.

Remove Werehog, remove falling to your death and replace it with Mario Kart (YOU FELL OFF THE TRACK LOL HERE YOU GO SONIC), remove the lives system and just replace it with 2D running. I loved the 2D running parts at the start of the game but then they became a lot of falling off cliff parts and it took away from it. I want to go fast but the game makes me go slow. The werehog parts were even worse once you get to going from killing guys to balancing on poles and stuff.

You should never ever be penalized for going TOO FAST. Only too slow. In fact the whole game should have something chasing me trying to eat my flesh or that volcano wall from Braid.

That or just go Megaman 9 and make what worked since the retro feel will be enough to pass it by the majority.

SirSchmoopy:
Remove Werehog, remove falling to your death and replace it with Mario Kart (YOU FELL OFF THE TRACK LOL HERE YOU GO SONIC), remove the lives system and just replace it with 2D running.

I like the lives system, it punishes you for sucking and teaches you casual pansies a lesson. >:P

SirSchmoopy:
You should never ever be penalized for going TOO FAST. Only too slow. In fact the whole game should have something chasing me trying to eat my flesh or that volcano wall from Braid.

Yes, that'd be cool. Kind of like that boss in Stardust speedway with metal sonic.

SirSchmoopy:
That or just go Megaman 9 and make what worked since the retro feel will be enough to pass it by the majority.

Meh, that's the easy and stupid way. One of the reasons why I hate nintendo is there is NO innovation and NO change. Hell, Mario's plot can be written in a sentence. 3D-2.5D IMO is the best way to go. Just make him slightly (SLIGHTLY) slower, make the boost less invincible, make the enemies more diverse and less stupid, make it just sonic, and the Critics will...Just find any little thing they can to bash it because his fans are a bunch of whiny punks and the media loves to hate on Sonic. You all know it's true.

The live system doesn't PUNISH casuals, it wastes time. If you die you already lose time to make someone restart a level because they die too much is litteraly pointless and frustrating.

Sonic IS a casual game btw in every sense of the word.

Well damn, Yahtzee threw down the gauntlet this morning and Russ answered with a video supplement that built up to a marvelous crescendo of a conclusion in the last 30 seconds and managed to take the Best Use of Bile crown away.

Bravo! Bravo! Encore! (which is more than I could say about the game.)

That voice acting at the end for Sonic the abomination was horrid. Sounds like a five year old trying to sound like a monster.

A great review Russ. Smashing a game that fully deserves such action. I knew you did not like the game from your comments on the Escapist Show and you certainly put across you opinion here. Look forward to more.

Well aside from the story the wii version isn't as bad it seems. Completely different levels and game design as well. Hmm makes me want to sit down and try to review the wii version. Well for now off to wrap presents.

Can we stop pretending that Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure don't exist?

I am wondering whether or not to buy the Classic Sonic Collection for my PS2.

HOWEVER.

That opening cinematic looks looks like concentrated Sonicy Win

smallharmlesskitten:
I am wondering whether or not to buy the Classic Sonic Collection for my PS2.

HOWEVER.

That opening cinematic looks looks like concentrated Sonicy Win

Yes, you could absolutely hate this game and you cannot deny how beautiful that pre rendered juiciness was. Oh, and for the complaint of him being too fast, TRY RUNNING WITHOUT BOOSTING! He's plenty comprehensible at that speed. (Played the demo trying not to do the perfection speed run goodness that I programed myself into is harder than I thought...)
EDIT:By the standards I have made with that level, I did quite awful, and I got an A Rank...

It's made for kids. And I think that's where it fails.

Granted, Sonic games have always been for kids - the first few installments definitely weren't aiming to reach an older audience of any kind.

It's just that...since the late 1990's, I guess game devs have forgotten how to make a good game that appeals to kids and is bearable to others.

Super Racer Z:
3D-2.5D IMO is the best way to go. Just make him slightly (SLIGHTLY) slower, make the boost less invincible, make the enemies more diverse and less stupid, make it just sonic, and the Critics will...Just find any little thing they can to bash it because his fans are a bunch of whiny punks and the media loves to hate on Sonic. You all know it's true.

Actually, most of the critics I've read (aside from Russ) have praised the daytime segments and said that Unleashed has some of the best fast-paced Sonic gameplay that has ever been seen in 3D. That said, the scores were still low and the alot of the reasoning that I read was because of game-lengthening padding.

I have a feeling if 2006's Sonic used the 2.5D/3D approach and was actually polished it would have been inarguably great. Just like what Unleashed could have been had it not included the hub world or the werehog segments. Having never played the game myself, I can't vouche either way, but it seems like those two elements are universal complaints at this point.

Aside from all of this, for better or worse, you do have to admit that Sonic Team is being awefully random in their gameplay gimmicks.

Thanks for the review!
I wasn't far away from buying this game,because I really really liked the demo. Yeah it was trial and error basically,but that didn't bother me that much ,because sonic was ... well... sonic! He was fast,he was "cool",he was like he should be. But in the demo,they don't show any "Werehog" parts ,which made me believe that its just 1/8 of the game,a little short part...But now I know otherwise.
Again,thank you for saving me $60!

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