Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
on 21 October 2008
I've been playing Sonic games since he spun his way onto the Mega Drive, and although I've always loved the Spiky Blue One, his recent outings into 3D have left a lot to be desired. Too many characters have been introduced, the voice-overs on the games are 'Wow dude! Radical!' awful, and most of all, they've stripped away what made Sonic work best: sheer fun.
It's odd, then, that Sonic finds a return to form with Sonic Chronicles...an RPG! How can this be? Sonic games are about speed and thrills; RPGs are slow, strategic things.
But, amazingly, it works. Developed by the acclaimed BioWare, you always were going to be in good hands, but just how good the final product is is stunning. Gone are the corny voices. You talk on behalf of Sonic. You tell him what to say to others. In other words, you can make him as kind or smarmy as you like.
There's a real story going for it, too. Set 'years later', Sonic returns from a round-the-world vacation after defeating Eggman (apparently permanently) to find everyone's getting along just fine without him. All the other characters you've grown to hate have actually grown up: Tails is smart; Amy has a boyfriend; even Big the Cat seems to have gained a few IQ points. BioWare have taken the swollen Sonic roster and really fleshed them out, given them depth and personality, and interacting with them is a real joy. Sometimes, the best moments of the game is simply talking, just seeing how Tails or Amy respond to what you say.
There's no escaping this is an RPG, though. It may be reasonably light, sitting somewhere between Pokemon and Final Fantasy, but it is all about levelling up, turn-based battles and a smattering of item management. So why is this game a return to form for Sonic? Because it's pure, unabashed fun. It doesn't try to be cool, rad or 'down wid the kidz'. The game delivers on excitement of progressing, finding a new ally, defeating a tough enemy - just like Sonic used to. I savoured every second I was in this game's company; it was such a delight to play (and even just look at - there's no doubting this is one of the finest looking games on the DS).
A few tiny flaws would be that battles are slightly too frequent (though this is a common RPG flaw), and the pre-rendered worlds, gorgeous as they are, are sometimes a bit quirky to navigate as it's had to judge the depth and height of things.
But these are minor complaints. This game comes hugely recommended for Sonic fans who pine for a proper game, and it's also serves as a good introduction into the genre of the RPG. But really, I could recommend this to anyone and everyone. Just envision how good this game could be: yes, it's THAT good. Go get it.