9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
average at best,
This review is from: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Everything about sonic chronicles hints about it being like the start of a series of books, but if that's the case then Bioware need to pull their socks up next time around. Other reviews have covered the story aspect so I shall cover the gameplay and graphics in more depth. Considering the DS hardware the 3D graphics in the game are pretty well done and for the most part the backgrounds consist of talented artwork as well as even a few cutscenes in the game.
Despite this however the game gives the impression multiple artists worked on the game, in the game menus the characters have more of a modern sonic look while the cutscenes on the other hand hark back to the 2D games more cute look of the characters, not to mention these scenes normally play out more like animated comic books then animations.
The combat does have a little strategy involved but some of it feels poorly thought out. Each character depending on their speed can have multiple attack turns in a round, where the options consist of a melee attack, run, items, defend or POW moves (the games equivalent to magic attacks) you choose the attacks and then wait until that round finishes before you can choose what to do next.
To execute a pow move you also have to touch or drag a series of buttons using the touchscreen (which btw is also the only way to play the game since most of the buttons do nothing) this would be a good game mechanic, if it wasn't for the fact even the smallest mistake can cripple the move to the point it often does nothing; on the flipside however this does make dodging attacks much more interesting then just waiting for the next round, since touching the series of buttons that appear on an enemy attack increases your chances of dodging it.
More annoying then this however is other combat flaws such as way you can restore pp for using pow moves on one characters set of turns, but no character can actually use that new energy until the next round, or how if you take heavy damage on your teams first set of attacks there's nothing you can do in terms of changing your strategy until that round of attacks is over.
Easily the biggest mistake of the game however is the sound, while some may argue that not having the 4kids voice actors is actually a good thing the sounds used in replacement in particular when characters take damage just seem completely random. The game also boasts having remixes of some classic sonic game music in certain areas, but for the most part they sound abysmal and more on par with something off a gameboy pocket, ironically the best music in the whole game is actually when you're fighting, particularly against boss characters.
It has to be said the sonic franchise is in a bit of a mess right now and bioware were brave to take on this project, for veterans gamers especially rpg lovers you will feel short changed because this is certainly no super mario rpg. Your characters only level up to about lv 20, but there is fun to be had here especially for sonic fans. Hopefully if bioware will make a sequel they will learn from the mistakes in this game, but for now I would call this game 'try before you buy' material.