System: Wii (also on: PS3, 360)
Developer: Sonic Team
Genre: Platforming / Beat ’em up
Remember back in gaming’s golden age when Sonic was still relevant to gaming? Don’t you wish that Sega would just put Sonic back the way he’s supposed to be without all the fancy 3D and annoying extra characters? Well if so, this game is only half for you. Half? Yeah, half of the game is a great callback to the classic Sonic games of the past and half is an atrociously slow, unbearably bad beat ’em up. I’ll explain in the review.
With Sonic Unleashed, there are two games in one package. One game is a fast, intense, visually pleasing platformer which is reminiscent of the classic Sega Genesis Sonic games that made childhood such an enjoyable part of life. On the other side you’ve got a slow, stupid, extremely ugly and boring brawler with pathetic waggle combat controls that feel clunky and broken and almost ruin the fun of the other, superior game. But usually when you have 2 games in 1 you can choose which game you want to play. Not so with Unleashed.
Unleashed’s levels are split into two different sections, day and night. You’ll play a day level, enjoy it, and at the end of that level you’ll be treated to a night level or two, which are never fun. If you could just skip passed all of the pathetic Night levels in the game, Sonic Unleashed would be a grand experience that anyone could enjoy. However, thanks to Sonic Team’s inability to make a product that old Sonic fans can enjoy — one with speed, tight controls, and only the essential characters — we are repeatedly treated to the disappointing games that have caused Sonic’s name to fade in the eyes of the hardcore.
However, that’s enough ranting about this nonsense. Let’s review this game!
The story behind Sonic Unleashed is pretty bad. The game starts out with a very, very impressive CG bit which features the Blue Blaze himself fighting against the notorious Eggman A.K.A. Dr. Robotnic on his giant, evil sky ship. It ends with Sonic being blasted into the ground by a huge laser which, for some mysterious reason, causes Sonic to turn into a werehog. I told you it was bad.
From there you meet a cute little amnesic animal of some kind who quickly becomes your only friend during the first section of the game. The main method of interaction with citizens of the city you trek to trying to regain your new friend’s, now nicknamed Chip, memory is a static HUD with different objectives laid out on it. This, besides the motion controls, is the biggest different between the Wii and PS3/360 version of the game. In the HD consoles you get a fully rendered 3D city to explore which, believe it or not, makes playing the game far more frustrating than having a simple static display.
The gameplay in the day levels is a lot like Sonic Adventure, fast and fun. The graphics are bright, colorful and clean, truly easy on the eyes. The music and audio is average, nothing will blow your mind but it all fits comfortably with the rest of the game.
Night is, as I’m sure you already know, where everything goes straight to hell. Graphics are ugly, gameplay is clunky and slow, stupid at best, and the music is so atrocious a paralyzed baby would get up and run away if he heard it.
Night levels consist exclusively of walking around, slowly, looking for groups of enemies to fight by swinging your arms around like an idiot to activate the unresponsive waggle controls.
I don’t know what else to say about Sonic Unleashed. The potential is there, in the daylight levels, to be a grand experience that hardcore Sonic veterans could really get behind, but the night levels seem like they were made by a retarded blind dog with 3 legs. And that’s about how well it plays, too.
- Day levels
- Night Levels
Overall: 4.5/10 (Horrible night levels ruin what could’ve been a good game)
Gameplay: 5.0/10 (Day=good, Night=bad)
Story: 4.5/10 (Stupid werehog concept)
Graphics: 5.0/10 (Day=good, Night=bad)
Audio: 4.5/10 (Horrible Jazz in night levels makes you want to puke)
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10 (If you can stand the night levels, the day levels will give you a good time. You won’t be able to stand the night levels. Trust me)