Sega Sonic The Hedgehog
Has Sega finally gotten the formula right with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox 360?
- Okay story
- Romantic tension between Sonic and Elise is really creepy
Back in the day of the Dreamcast, the excuse that the gameplay was just going through growing pains held water, but frankly, Sonic's time has run out. We're holding out hope that the Sixaxis control for the PS3 version will shake some life out of this franchise, but the prospects for this franchise are bleak.
Price$ 119.95 (AUD)
Some have argued that Sonic the Hedgehog never found a proper footing in the third dimension. Whereas his 2-D adventures were fast and fluid, the 3-D games have been marred by cheap deaths, camera problems, and a cavalcade of ancillary characters that no one cares about- I'm looking at you, Big the Cat.
With a new generation of consoles and a focused title, has Sega finally gotten the formula right with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox 360?
Sonic In The City
Perhaps in a direct nod to the Mario series, Sonic the Hedgehog's narrative centres around a kidnapped princess. Princess Elise of Soleanna has been kidnapped by Dr. Eggman (how many times does Sonic have to beat this guy, anyway?) who plans to use her Chaos Emerald and latent special powers to rule the world. The story itself is fine but the presentation is pretty uneven — the CG sequences are beautiful and epic, but the in-game cinematics are awful and basic. A word to those who find inter-species relations gross: the romantic tension between Sonic and Elise is really creepy, in a Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes sort of way.
Speaking of creepy, Sonic still looks atrocious. While the character models are a little smoother, they're still animated awfully and the stages, while expansive, still suffer from the lack of detail. And unlike previous titles in the series, Sonic the Hedgehog takes on more adventure-based elements — the blue guy now spends time in the city of Soleanna, taking side-missions and purchasing new abilities. It's an interesting wrinkle but if there's any game that doesn't need this kind of added padding, it's this one: Sonic's just too darn fast to be restrained by city walls.
Still A Rodent Without A Home
Outside of the city, Sonic suffers from the same old problems. While the stages are brimming with speed and secret pathways, you'll still find that most deaths are the fault of glitches and camera problems and not of your own mistakes. This problem is especially magnified when you play a speed stage, in which you basically aim Sonic down a ramp and occasionally steer him towards rings and away from danger.
With a title highlighting the main character, you'd expect a more Sonic-centred game, but Sonic the Hedgehog still puts you in the shoes of secondary characters far too often. While there is a greater emphasis on speed, you'll still have to take control of some slower characters like Silver and Tails, who now has one of the most frustratingly awful attack-move sets of all time.
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