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Sonic: Unleashed (Xbox 360)
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- Platform: Xbox 360
- PEGI Rating: Ages 7 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Platform: Xbox 360
Sonic: Unleashed (Xbox 360)
Sonic Unleashed is built on a powerful new "Hedgehog Engine", which introduces seamless 3D to classic 2D camera transitions, whilst delivering a rich and expansive world with multiple paths to choose from. Under development for three years, the Hedgehog Engine produces a visually rich next generation look and feel with elements of classic Sonic gameplay mechanics. The Hedgehog engine will help re-define the gameplay experience for Sonic fans and newcomers to the franchise alike.
"By combining rich and vibrant scenery with dynamic viewpoints Sonic Unleashed will provide an immersive 3D experience whilst keeping alive the 2D gameplay elements and fantastic worlds that Sonic fans know and love" commented Gary Knight, European Marketing Director for SEGA Europe. "In addition to this classic Sonic gaming experience, when darkness sets in Sonic Unleashed players will be able to experience a completely new way to play as Sonic making this his most exciting adventure yet!"
Having been broken apart by the evil Dr Eggman, its down to Sonic to put the pieces of the world back together again by retrieving the power of the chaos emeralds. In doing so, Sonic will find himself in a race against time and faced with an unusual situation that will challenge him in ways never before seen. By completing a wide variety of action-packed stages, spanning the seven broken continents of the world, gamers will need to unleash Sonics amazing abilities to save the world, and himself!
The opportunity to engage in Sonic in different ways during the day and night time levels brings a completely original way of playing to the Sonic franchise, in addition to running at high speeds in classic Sonic style, combat fighting will become possible. Super quick Sonics speed skills will be highlighted by four new modes, whilst the all new combat, movement and functional abilities will offer depth and variety to the game. As the sun sets in Sonic Unleashed, a different type of adventure will awaken in Sonics newest quest .
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The game itself follows Sonic & Chip's worldwide adventure to restore the broken fragments of the planet after a devastating attack by Dr Eggman.
Gameplay is split over Sonic's speed levels and Werehog's fighting stages. In addition there's Tail's plane flying levels, several explorable hub worlds filled with secrets/sub plots/and missions ( which are all optional.)
Graphics: - in a word, stunning. The visuals are crisp and vibrant, and move at an incredible speed. The animation is really fluid. The cut-scenes and presention are of really high quality. The art style is really good - your adventure takes you all over the globe, from the frozen icecaps of Holoska to the sunny mediteranean-esque Atopos, the looks and atmosphere are great, (both on standard Tv and HD.)
Audio: Like the graphics - really good. The stage tunes are rather catchy!! The main theme song 'Endless Possibilities' - (sung by Jaret Reddick from Bowling for soup) is a great song + the character voices suit the characters.
Sonic's levels feature all of the best bits of his previous 2d and 3d games combined. Sonic can boost, drift, slide and grind ( and later on learn to light dash, wall jump and stomp.) The stages are relatively large and fun, sonic is lighting fast, there are multpile pathways/secrets = lots of replay value.
Werehog's levels play exactly like 'God of War', which is a good thing. They feature a mix of platforming/fighting and some surprisingly good puzzles.
The fighting system is deep and all aspects can be upgraded with experience points (- to unlock new moves, increase health etc.)
You also have charged, special + unleashed attacks, you can pick up and throw enemies and parts from the scenery, and do finishing moves.
Like God of War - there are a few QTE's in the game - but they are reletively easy, and are often the best bits in the boss fights.
The camera is great and always moves itself into the best position to show you where you need to go.
Hint - for the tricky parts of platforming, keep HOLD of the grab (B) button throughout whilst jumping around - the Werehog will instantly grab hold of any ledge/pole he's facing - like in Tomb Raider, and you'll be able to get around a lot quicker.)
In all I like both the Sonic and Werehog gamestyles a lot. Sonic only has the one main stage per country, Werehog has two levels for the first country - but only one per country thereafter.
Both characters gain experience and can upgrade their abilities.
Both characters have great boss fights, that actually get better and better further into the game (Werehog's final boss being by far my favorite.)
Lifespan: The game itself is fairly lengthy, and has a large amount of secrets - as well as music/artwork/videos/special items to collect.
There are 400 sun and moon medals to collect - I remember another reviewer complaining about having to collect the medals to progress.
On avarage I only found around 50% of them on my 1st playthrough and I was never asked to collect more medals to continue the story, so it's not really a problem - although I can't help but wonder what having all of the medals will unlock.
The hub worlds have many missions ( everything from collecting rings to ghost hunts, even trivia quizzes!) The characters in the hub worlds are surprisingly likeable, and they have fairly decent storylines you can play through - but be warned some of the decisions you make will affect their outcome, so choose wisely.
This game has many secrets and is built to last.
(Hint - if you were to buy + feed Chip with his favorite foods only - I wonder what might happen.....!)
Overall: This is one of the best games I've played in years.
If you're a fan of the Sonic Adventure series or 3d platform games in general, then I would highly recommend it.
If you prefer the 2d retro games only I'd suggest trying a demo/renting it first, or watch the videos on youtube.
Also, ( I own the Wii version too) the x360/ps3 version is better designed, has more levels/content and has better graphics then the Wii version, but it is also more complex and challenging.
If you're buying the game for someone who's young or has difficulty with fast games + lots of buttons - the wii version is alot more simple and straightforward, and might be preferable in that case.
But overall the x360/ps3 version is the better game.
Unlike a lot of other Sonic fans, I personally do not think the quality of games has suffered drastically since the change from 2D environments to 3D. To an extent this one is no different. The game is generally divided into two sections, one in which you play as Sonic the Hedgehog, and the other where you play as Sonic the Werehog (which strikes me as stupid as "were" actually means "man", so it would be more appropriate if it was a hogwolf for example...but anyway...). The Hedgehog levels are as you would expect, full of speed and excitement, well thought out level design, great graphics and lots of fun. In my opinion Sega have really hit the money with this, the transition between 2D and 3D environments work really well and any Sonic fan will feel right at home. However, unfortunately the Werehog levels are not so fun, as far as a standard platform game would go they aren't terrible, but the slow paced smash and grab styling of these sections of the game just don't feel like Sonic should, and thus are totally out of kinder with the rest of the game. Apart from some truly hideous and frustrating camera moments there isn't a massive amount wrong with them...only that they take ages to complete and you will spend the entire time wanting to get back to the next high speed Hedgehog stage. The werehog levels feel like a drastic and poorly thought out attempt by Sega to breathe new life into the sonic series through a bizarre new gimmick, which doesn't really work, and would be better suited to a game like Crash Bandicoot.
All in all the Hedgehog stages are great, and the Werehog stages are not. The game thus is far from perfect, but it would be foolish to completely write it off. If you are a genuine Sonic fan then this is certainly worth a look, but be aware that there are far better titles in the series....
*prays for Sonic Adventure 3*
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