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I sometimes wonder if SEGA are deliberately trying to put themselves out of business. Starting the late 90s, their tragically poor marketing of a sequence of hardware developments led to them leaving the games console business forever and they have spent the last then years making their most famous video game franchise look cheap and outdated. Perhaps we're seeing the result of some stealth nintendo infiltration plot from 1993 but Sonic the Hedgehog just isn't faring so well.
Sonic Unleashed is the latest attempt by Sega to create a Sonic game that fits into the modern world. With shiny next-gen graphics and a move towards classic Sonic gameplay, what could go wrong? Everything apparently. Essentially the game follows Sonic as he moves from country to country, trying to fix cracks in the Earth's crust; the twist is that Sonic is now a Werehog and turns into a hairy beast at night time. Don't ask me why, I don't know... What follows is a traipse back and forth between day and night stages styled around different countries.
The game's day stages are its strongest point, essentially mimicking old school Sonic gameplay in a 3D environment. At full speed you have to run, jump and weave over, through and around different obstacles to reach your goal. They're occasionally very awkward, often based on trial and error and lack the branching intricacy of the original games but they're probably the closest Sonic's 3D era will come to the excellent level design of Sonic 2. A game comprising entirely of these courses would probably be enough to kick start a new era for the franchise but Sega's suicidal tendencies have unfortunately taken over.
The game's night stages are murder. Sonic transforms into a big hairy ogre that lumbers through some of the most boring levels I have ever played, fighting hordes of boring monsters in a really dull God of War knock off. It's slow, repetitive, unoriginal and totally at odds with the much more fun day stages. These levels are also spread between the day stages and required the progress through the game, often in the form of long exploration sequences dividing up five minute sessions of fun. It's the kind of boring interludes I can't imagine a child sitting through and it takes a lot of patiences as an adult too.
Between levels players are treating to jaunts around the globe, meeting racial stereotypes and working through what the back of the box laughably refers to as a plot. This isn't much fun either.
Sonic Unleashed's failing is that it tries to meet the desires of the series' critics without ever accepting the mistakes of the past. It offers some solid gameplay, swamped by the most gimmicky gimmick of the series yet. It gets rid of the growing entourage of obnoxious characters we'd picked up over the years but it can't resist adding in a new one that's the worst so far. But to top it all off, it's just not very enjoyable to play for most of the time.
I bought this game for my little brother after seeing the price drop to £20 in a popular high-street gaming store. However it turns out that the price wasn't the only thing to drop - after a few hours playing this game, this game was jaw-droppingly repetitive, shallow and had somehow managed to take away all the fun out of the Sonic series and produce a mediocre game.
The game is split into two parts - one where Sonic is a monster (here the game turns into an adventure fighting game) and one where Sonic is in his original classic form (where you have the traditional fast and furious, fun-filled ring collecting levels). The former is where the game fails miserably, and leaves you wondering whether to split the game itself into two with frustration. (I do not advice this however - Instead I traded in the game in at my local gaming store, a far more useful way to end the life of this shallow product and save yourself a few pounds off something I would actually enjoy playing!).
As I said the game wasn't for me originally, and my brother had more patience with the game and saw some of the advantages. But soon however, the monotonous and repetitive gameplay took its toll and the game hasn't been in our PS3 for months...
The GOOD Points:
It has Sonic in it! - The game has sonic in his loveable speedy, cute form for around half of the game. Until that is, where he turns into a 'monster' and the game withers and wavers into a droopy, limp, lifeless PS3 game. There just isn't enough of the classic Sonic gameplay to keep you satisfied and to even urge you to purchase this game.
Price - the price is likely to be cheap. I got this for £20 when it was brand new. The retailers must have known something I hadn't, expecting low demand with poor pre-review and receptions from gaming community.
The BAD Points:
Sonic Monster mode - you are forced to play at least half of the game as 'Monster' sonic where you have to fight your way through all sorts of villains. The devil however is in the detail. The attack controls consist of three buttons, and the levels have a huge amount of enemies and you find yourself spending half an hour defeating enemies along the same sequence and it gets repetitive fast.
Repetitive gameplay - Sonic Unleashed does not engage you for long and you are soon wrapped into a boring, endless, time-consuming repetitive sequence of button bashing. This quickly makes you forget about completing the game or even moving on to the next level. Changing game ASAP is instead your first instinct - an instinct I suggest you listen to and save your time and energy. Sonic should not be like this - someone should have told the developers and saved them much time, effort and money.
Not enough of the old-school fast platform gaming - Sonic Unleashed has some impressive levels, but these are few and far between. The game should have been focussed on the 'core' of Sonic gaming which is the fast, mazy, fun gameplay collecting rings and dodging enemies. This was the winning formula and unfortunately Sega decided to change this delicate formula and instead produced an awful game.
Glitches and poor graphics for a PS3 title - the graphics are not very impressive, especially considering they should really be top-notch for a next-gen console. Compared to many other titles like Jax and Daxter, Sonic Unleashed falls seriously short. Also your character will often glitch and run through walls, having part of their body morphing into a wall etc. Not good for a legendary brand which holds such a big reputation in gaming circles across generations.
Overall: We seriously regret purchasing this title and would urge anyone to avoid this title and spend their money on something else. This game has a poor storyline, repetitive, monotonous gameplay, poor graphics, glitches and is an overall poor PS3 title. Please save your money and look at newer, high quality PS3 games on the market. 5/10.
Sonic unleashed is the new sonic game what the creators have done with this game it has brought it back to its root as to why I and many fans have fell in love with this series it has those tense truly spectacular zigzag loop to loop levels that Sonic will have to undergoes just like the Sega days.
There are many warthogs' that Sonic will have to battle, The famous boss that we all know Doctor Eggman is back which is great but due to the storyline which is about dark guile and the cursed emerald and the splitting of the planet which just literally bore you out.
The production of this game extremely high caliber, one thing that I done well is the cinematic opening scene of the story in this game it is crisp, clean, stunning, gorgeous and its one of the longest cinematic opening scene in a game.
I really like presentation of the hub world which you can navigate between each region using a virtual planet. The more you progress in the game and get far the virtual comes together and you can also keep track of your progress.
There are many things that you will need to unlock which include hidden art works, music, and movies and gives you more reason to progress more in the movie so you can get the rewards.
One aspect I don't is the introduction of the villages it is too very much 2D, and the characters are very much one dimensional and don't have much to say. In the morning you get to play as sonic but when it hits the evening you change into warthog.
I really like the daytime tasks I found them to be lighting fast and also filled with lots of obstacles, I like how each stage feels unpredictable as you jump from one place to another, the game feels very much intense and also fast when you are sonic running.
I like the shifting perspective that happens seamlessly as you go running in 3D and what happens is the camera will shift back to 2D viewpoint just like the old days.
There are less obstruction and you are more likely to stop to a halt or crash into a wall like the previous edition for this game all that is gone so you came just keep on running all day if you want.
I like how when you complete a level you are not really finished with it as you are given secondary goals to complete the level like for example you have to collect certain amount of rings and also it increases playability for me because I would have stopped but this gives me an incentive to beat my previous and get more rings.
The warthog part of this game I feel is irrelevant as if they just added it on last minute and feels rushed, also it doesn't even feel like you are playing a sonic game and for me I could wait to be sonic again, I felt the warthogs' levels were quite repetitive all you basically do is brawl and its quite slow and at times felt gimmicky.
This is one of the best sonic games and really goes back to what sonic does well and that is running and collect rings, but the add on of playing warthogs' really felt irrelevant and I just didn't like it, the game play is better than ever and most of all it looks fabulous.
In 1991 Sonic Team unveiled their fledgeling creation onto the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in North America, Europe and Japan. It was seen not only as a flagship title for Sega, but was hailed by many as a revolution in platform gaming. The incredible graphics, lush backdrops and superbly animated characters truly made for a jaw-dropping experience. Since then of course Sonic and co have become gaming icons, and have existed in the hearts and minds of the public for many years now, a fact that is sure to please their original creators and is a testament to their creative genius.
It's a few years on now and Sonic himself has been through many changes, most notable is his transition into 3D, which is the cause for much consternation among fans. Sonic Unleashed was released by the original developers Sonic Team in 1998, using their new core technology the "sonic engine". Early leaked screen-shots depicted Sonic in a pseudo-2d world, sparking rumours and hopes that the game had gone back to it's original 2d roots, but with a 3d twist. On release however the community found that the game had been split into two distinct styles of gameplay. In the Daylight mode, you play Sonic who blazes around very 3d levels, reminiscent of the Sonic Adventure trials which originated on the Sega Dreamcast. The camera moves in sweeps, and at times the view looks 2d (you can see where the 2d/3d confusion came from). Although impressive technically, it's just more of the same, along with all the bad usual negatives. Bad controls, which make even the simplest task an ordeal, linear level design, and newly added button sequences, a little like the quick-time events seen in many early games. The new addition here is Werehog mode, a snarling, growling beast which Sonic turns into at night time. Here we see a marked change not only in pace but also in gameplay. The levels are now are based on exploration and combat, with new Werehog-specific moves which help you swing and pound enemies to dust. It's all very well introducing new gameplay elements, and I'm all for that, but here the effect is jarring. Especially as the annoying button combinations which in many cases you must complete will put most players off from the outset, and make it nigh on impossible for younger players to get to grips with.
The plot is fairly standard: Your old nemesis Dr. Eggman is up to no good again, only this time he has split the world into pieces, and it's up to our intrepid, and unfortunately tiresome blue hero to sort the whole mess out. Queue speedy, if repetitive speed sections which give way to Werehog swinging/combat sections, which quite honestly the game could well do without. I'd have been more than satisfied with a 2d rehash of the original, only with modern graphics and 3D characters (whoah, Green Hill Zone!!)
On the whole Unleashed is just another in a long line of disappointments. It seems that some games are made for good old 2d, and since Sonic Team seem to be flogging a dead horse and are clearly not listening to what the gaming community want (a return to 2d) I bear no hope for the future, and can also not recommend this title in any way. I suspect that even the die-hardest of Sonic fans will wonder what's going on, and likewise wonder what the future holds if Sonic Team keep going in this direction?
Okay, yet another Sonic game, they have looked a lot at what Sonic want and do not want in their games and for the future, less of the silly new characters they invent, less boring storylines, well they have taken note at not putting all those other characters in, but Tails isn't playable?!!! No way! And not only that, they make a supposedly frightening scary monster that Sonic changes into which is very slow and scratches enemies to shreds, well it's like they've introduced Blanka from Street Fighter to be like Sonic, it just doesn't work, they have really made a let down of this part of the game.And with this said, i'm not going to say well the NORMAL part of Sonic compensates for a poor part of the game, because it doesn't. Well you have to give Sega some credit that they listed to fans wanting things brought back from the original games, they have in SOME ways, they brought back the side scrolling look to the Sonic game, but for some reason doesn't entirely do justice, the levels and platforms that Sonic run on look great realistic, but not in the look of the levels that he should be in. I dont think that the ring energy bar that makes Sonic go blazingly fast when full and then you press a button to initiate it is good, it eliminate the good use of the speed shoes that worked so well in the old games, and when he does go fast and drifts around corners when using the shoulder buttons on the joypad, it doesnt seem right.The only thing you can really enjoy about this game is playing some Sonic levels, but Were-Sonic levels are just entire rubbish.Tails is in the game but only in movie-scenes, and the new character >:( Chip a flying squirrel type thing just makes you wonder what Sega were thinking including that character, they have made better characters than that.If you are a Sonic fan and have been told that the Sonic levels are like how they used to be years ago, they are'nt, they are a let down, the only good thing is when he goes fast alone, without the corner turns.
A huge step in the right direction for the series; yet flawed as ever. Sonic Unleashed is the first title in the series to use an all-new game engine - appropriately named the Hedgehog Engine - which guides Sonic through lush environments in both 2D and 3D sections seamlessly, and is a vast, vast improvement recent flops Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006.
The game is split into two styles of play, day and night, racing through cities, deserts and jungles at breakneck speeds during the day as Sonic. The night-time levels bring about an all-new Sonic experience, playing as the hedgehog in a cursed 'werehog' form as a result of the events of an impressive opening cutscene. These involve much slower ways of making it to the goal ring, from intricate platforming sections to brawling with enemies.
When playing levels for the first time, daytime Sonic's levels are much shorter than those at night. The main Act 1 levels in each continent will take from 5-10 minutes to complete on a first run, with most 'werehog' Act 1 stages taking upwards of half an hour.
This game's biggest flaw is its frustrating trial and error style gameplay. You can't move for bottomless pits (death) and when travelling at over 300mph - as the game encourages you to do - reaction time isn't exactly ideal. Once you learn the levels though - Sonic's daytime levels especially - the game offers a very enjoyable experience with a lot of replayability, searching for hidden items and medals - the latter a requirement for unlocking later stages. The game is also littered with quick-time-events, where you have to press a certain button sequence, with failure more often than not resulting in death. These are a horrible element which appear to crop up in more and more games these days. While it may not have the best level design, its music score is more than pleasant, suiting the stages they are on perfectly.
While the 'werehog' element is a gimmick merely to extend the game's length, it can be unsurprisingly repetitive, yet is actually challenging and not as bad as you might think.
All-in-all Sonic Unleashed is an enjoyable and challenging title, graphically impressive and with solid controls, and is a huge step up in class from games mentioned earlier.
Sonic must travel across the globe, completing action-packed stages to retrieve the power of the Chaos Emeralds to ultimately save the world... and himself! Sonic's world has been transformed, courtesy of a powerful new game engine that delivers the tight gameplay of a 2D sidescroller in stunning, picturesque 3D environments. Sonic Unleashed takes everything you know and love about Sonic and upgrades it with spectacular scenery, new combat powers, an unexpected storyline, and, of course, blistering speed.