- Title: Sonic the Hedgehog
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Sonic Team
- ESRB: E For Everyone
- Genre: 3-D action, platforming
- Pros: Sonic runs real fast
- Cons: Camera issues; frequent loading; lame story; gameplay is flawed
One of the main problems with Sonic the Hedgehog is that you spend far too much time playing as other characters instead of Sonic. There are actually three different stories, one with Sonic, one with Shadow, and one with a new hedgehog named Silver. You will also occasionally play as Tails and Knuckles. Each one plays differently, so there is quite a bit of variety. Hooking up with these series standbys is sort of interesting at first, but I would much rather be running around very very vast as Sonic than driving around as Shadow or using Silvers telekinetic attacks.
The overall story tells of a princess kidnapped by Dr. Eggman and it is up to Sonic to try and save her. There are also some chaos emeralds thrown in for good measure. The action levels are put together in tried and true Sonic style, but the hub world connecting them all is a dinky little stereotypical-RPG town that you spend way too much time in. I have to ask the question that has been bugging me ever since the first Sonic Adventure: Why does Sonic need such a big cast of characters and a complex storyline? The whole appeal is that he is a blue hedgehog that runs very fast. Isnt that enough?
Sonics levels are put together so that speed is the focus, and they can be pretty fun. You run through loops and go fast, and they actually have a rather nostalgic feel. One aspect that I do not like is that in the really fast sections, you dont actually have control over Sonic. You just point him towards a speed boost pad, and he runs and jumps and does everything for you. That is lame. Shadow and Silver each have different attacks and do different things than Sonic can do in their levels, but their levels are slowly paced and downright boring in comparison.
Some other gameplay flaws affect all of the characters. The levels are filled with water or bottomless pits, and if you fall you die. You only have a limited number of lives, and you cant save mid-mission. And the camera system is also very flawed and you only have limited control over it. I thought these aspects of bad game design died about ten years ago. I guess I was wrong. Sonic Team, go talk to Nintendo or Rare or Insomnicac or Naughy Dog and learn how to make a proper 3D platformer.
Graphics and Sound
The sound is similarly adequate, but not spectacular. The music doesnt really stand out, and the sound effects are typical platformer fare. Dialogue is delivered in typical overenthusiastic anime-style, but it gets the job done.