A Double Liveblog of Sonic Unleashed
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The Introduction: I could think of a witty title here, but I won't.
- Part 1: Then...
- Part 1.5: Let's Get This Show on the Road
- Part 2: It's All Greek to Me
- Part 3: Creature of the Night
- Part 4: The First of Many
- Part 5: I Better Get Frequent-Flier Miles for This
- Part 6: Oh Hey, We're Actually Doing Something
- Part 7: 2-4 Split
- Part 8: Hedgehogs On Ice
- Part 9: Spagonian Escapades
- Part 10: Let's Not Go to China
- Part 11 (Gaia Gate Interlude): Prelude to Puzzlement
- Part 12: Big Trouble in Little Chun-nan
- Part 13: Utterly Forked
- Part 14: Re-Oriented
- Part 15: Progress Report
- Part 16: Back to Business
- Part 17: Insert Obligatory 'Deviled Egg' Pun Here
- Part 18: The Long, Icy Road
- Part 19: Back with— Well, Not Much of a Vengeance
- Part 1: Windmill Isle Act 1 (Day)
- Part 2: Windmill Isle Act 2 (Day); Windmill Isle Act 1 (Night)
Part 1: Then...CONSOLE: Activated. CONTROLLER: Charged. DISC: Inserted. ALL SYSTEMS READY. LAUNCH IN 3...
1... Upon booting up the game, we're met by the basic SEGA logo, followed by the Sonic Team logo. Why does everyone seem to hate Sonic Team? At least they try to make good games. Now, the first difference you'll notice between the SD (Wii/PS2) and HD (360/PS3) versions; the opening cutscene here is played before the main menu, while in the HD version, it plays upon starting a new file. Music: "Cutscene - Opening"; composed by Takahito Eguchi, performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. (First half here, second half here) This song is basically what you can expect for the rest of the soundtrack— sheer, unquestionable awesome. As for the cutscene itself? Amazing. The animation in this game is nearly Pixar-quality, and this is the scene that best exemplifies it. We start off with a massive fleet of spaceships (must... not... reference... Star Wars...), under the control of everyone's favorite villain,
"Dr. Eggman: S-Sonic! I-I'm sorry! R-really! L-look, go easy on me! [He seems to stutter a lot, doesn't he?] I'll turn over a new leaf, I swear! Just give me a chance!"
Good ol' Sonic, Genre Blind as he is, responds with some witty banter—
"Sonic: Well, this is new. Showing remorse, Eggman? If you played nice, I wouldn't have to break all your toys."
OH HEY LOOK IT'S A TRAP WHO SAW THIS COMING. As Sonic has his energy drained, he cries out in pain. (by the way, that infamous Narm face? When I first saw that, it creeped the fuck outta me.) As it turns out, this was Eggman's plan all along. He uses the Chaos Emeralds to power a massive laser, which he then fires at the planet. (Insert obligatory Shoop-da-whoop reference here.) Bada-bing, bada-boom. The world slowly cracks apart, and OH HEY, there's a huge Eldritch Abomination sealed beneath us. Sleep well tonight, folks! Sonic gains a larger, more beastly appearance, which everyone will bitch about for some reason. Eggman mocks him about it ("That's a good look for you— festive!") and dumps Sonic (and the Chaos Emeralds) out of the airlock. As the
Part 1.5: Let's Get This Show on the RoadMusic: "Windmill Isle - Day"; composed by Tomoya Ohtani. I rather like most of the day music, and this is no exception. So, on to the tutorial level. Basic stuff— jumping, drifting, boosting, and goddammit I already know this stuff. Now that that's finished, let's go to an actual level.
Day Stage 1 - Windmill Isle
Actually, Windmill Isle is a rather strange case, as there are two full acts— every other day stage only features one. Well, this is pretty simple as long as you have the hang of the controls. My first time through, it took a little while to learn the ropes, but over time, I mastered it. So I just blaze through and OH HEY there's an item there. Crap. I'll have to pick it up later. The rest of the stage was pretty uneventful, but I managed to score a nice S Rank.
- RESULT: S Rank; three Moon Medals.
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Movie 1, Document 3.
Cutscene time! Heh, Sonic can juggle. Some chit-chat, but then the little flying thing is suddenly drawn by the irresistible force of
Part 2: It's All Greek to MeI know; the pun is horrible. Alright, where did we leave off last time? Oh, that's right, we were just introduced to this game's equivalent of a hub— which is, essentially, a menu screen. You have various locations ("Bell Square", "Flower Street", etc.) What happens when you choose one? Well, let's start off at the "Windmill Coast Street". We meet... an old guy. He greets us, tells us a couple of things, and then we leave. That's pretty much these hub worlds in a nutshell. The HD version of the game is a completely different story, but we're stuck with this for now. We talk to some random dudes, and then go back to the old guy, who has some other crap to say. Mentions something about a 'shrine'. As it turns out, there's a "Sacred Shrine" on the far edge of town, and— oh, Chip found a stone with a sun on it. Good for him? Anyway, we enter the shrine and holy crap— Music: "Gaia Gate"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. I love this song; it's probably my favorite rendition of the main theme. Sadly, it's a Wasted Song in the HD version. Welcome to the Gaia Gate, exclusive to the SD version. Most worlds have their own temple, and each one of them is absolutely beautiful. The Apotos gate features a large bell, and some various statues. It also happens to be the only shrine that's properly lit. (By the way, I'm typing this up as I go along. Sonic is currently asleep on the temple floor.) There's a room to the side, with various pedestals. Those will come into play later. Also in the temple are various smaller doors, which—
"Chip: Looks like this door won't open yet, Sonic! We need 33 total Sun Medals and 26 total Moon Medals. Come on, Sonic, let's go find more!" ... ...Shit. After admiring the scenery for a little while, we notice that one of the doors (the one with a sun on it— must be a coincidence) happens to be glowing. Which means, we can open it. Why do they light up? Beats me. It trails off into a long hallway. Where does it lead?
Day Stage 1 - Windmill Isle (cont.)
- "Go for the goal ring!"
- RESULT: A Rank; two Moon Medals
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 4 & 32, Documents 17 & 20.
- "Collect rings at top speed!"
- ITEMS OBTAINED: A tablet piece. We'll find out what it does later.
Music: "Cutscene - The First Night"; composed by Takahito Eguchi. Another cutscene! The sun is setting on Apotos, but Chip is still amnesiac. The moment the sun passes the horizon, Sonic transforms back into the beastly thing we saw earlier. By the way, I find this line hilarious:
"Sonic: I just need to be careful who sees me like this."
Indeed you do, fluffy. The moment you're spotted, the Fan Dumb will be on you within seconds. But enough about that; back to the scene. We see the ice cream stand again, and it seems that Dan Green has AAAAAAAAAANGST. In his Wangsting, he knocks a cone of ice cream off of his cart. In a fantastic display of super-human reflexes, Were-Sonic decides to... stretch his arm over 10 feet and grab it. Yeah. He's also notably flippant about it, and just decides that "Hey, this could be useful. Somehow." Oh well; back to the hub. Music: "Apotos - Night"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. Quite relaxing. Just talking to the same people as earlier. One guy actually gave me a record (Soundtrack 33). How nice of him. Another dude had a tablet with a moon on it, and he mentioned that a "yellow fox" gave it to him. Oh, gee, I wonder who that sounds like? I suppose we'll find out next time.
Part 3: Creature of the NightWell, time to head back to the Gaia Gate. Strangely enough, Sonic reverts back to his normal form here, regardless of the time of day. This is Hand Waved somewhere, but I won't bother explaining it. Since we have our Moon Tablet, we can open the door and enter our first night level— Music: "Windmill Isle - Night"; composed by Fumie Kumatani. Quite nice. But first: more tutorials! Isn't that fantastic? Jumping, climbing, etc. Music: "Werehog Battle Theme"; composed by Kenichi Tokoi. You'll be hearing this one a lot. It's also here that we're introduced to combat— at the moment, Sonic's only got a basic three-hit combo (R-L-R or L-R-L), and the Were-Hammer (L+R). Later on, he'll learn some more tricks, but not nearly as much as in the HD version. Although technically, you'll see more here, since Komodin will be going for a Low Level Run and won't level up his Combat skill. In this game, levelling up is only for the Werehog, and it's automatic— any Dark Gaia Force (red orbs; your EXP for the game) collected during a level will accumulate, unlocking upgrades at various intervals. We also meet our basic enemy here: the Nightmare. To recap: goddammit I already know this stuff! Moving on!
Night Stage 1 - Windmill Isle
- Act 1 - Moonlit Town
- RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals.
- UPGRADES: Learned the "Were-Claw" (Dash+Attack).
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Movie 2, Illustration 23.
- Act 2 - Moonsoaked Alleys
- RESULT: A Rank; two Sun Medals.
- UPGRADES: Combo Level Up (longer combos; now I can do L-R-L-R-L or R-L-R-L-R).
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 30, 64, & 66, Movie 3
- Act 3 - Hill Beneath Starry Skies
- RESULT: S Rank; three Sun Medals.
- UPGRADES: Learned the "Were-Wallop" (two or three-hit combo, then L+R).
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustrations 26, 65, & 67; and another tablet fragment.
Time for some cutscenes! Music: "Cutscene - Tails in Trouble!"; by Takahito Eguchi. Well, our favorite fox has gotten himself into a slight jam. A notable difference between the two versions; this scene plays before the night level in the HD version, and you actually fight the enemies at the end. In the SD version, the giant enemy (the Titan) won't be appearing for a few more levels. '''Music: "Cutscene - To Spagonia!"; by Takahito Eguchi. Actually quite lovely, if you get a chance to hear it. We now cut to here, where Were-Sonic has dispatched the foes and Tails comes out for some friendly exposition. He mentions some dude named Professor Pickle, over at the university in our next destination: Spagonia. Music: "The World Adventure - World Map"; by Tomoya Ohtani. We leave off at the World Map. See ya next time!
Part 4: The First of Many...detours, that is. Before we head off to
- ITEMS OBTAINED: Illustration 57.
- "Were-Claw"— This is a pretty decent move, as it can stun enemies. Stunned enemies can then be picked up and thrown around.
- "Were-Wallop"— I suppose this one is good for combos, but I don't (intentionally) use it much.
- Unleashed mode— this makes your basic moves more powerful, and changes some of your special moves. Learn to love it.
- Bigger combos— The fifth hit in a combo varies— R+L+R+L+R ends with a one-two punch, while L+R+L+R+L finishes with a wide slash. Mix and match at your leisure.
Okay, fine, let's actually go to Spagonia. Music: "Spagonia - Day"; by Kenichi Tokoi. This hub music just gets better and better, doesn't it? The first few people know nothing about this "Professor Pickle" chap, so we go to a back alley and run into a young man, who appears to be the Prof's assistant. This would be a good time to mention that this is one of, if not the only NPC who doesn't have a name. Seriously, what's this guy called? Anyway, he tells us that he doesn't know where the professor is, either; instead, he leads us to the Pickle Lab to explain more. Music: "Dr. Pickle's Laboratory"; not sure who composed it. I dislike this song, for a reason that will become apparent later. OH HEY, it's a cutscene. So the assistant (voiced by Jason Griffith) explains that the professor has, in fact, been kidnapped.
"...and a whole pack of robots!"
So, Tails figures out that Dr. Eggman took the prof and his research, and is holding him in Mazuri. Wait, what? We have to leave already? We just got here! ... ...Fine. I guess next time, we're going to Mazuri.
Part 5: I Better Get Frequent-Flier Miles for ThisThis episode has been brought to you by three tracks exclusive to the HD version: "Tornado - To Spagonia" & "Savannah Citadel - Night", both composed by Fumie Kumatani; "Savannah Citadel - Day", composed by Tomoya Ohtani.
Music: "Mazuri - Night"; by Fumie Kumatani. Rather peaceful. It's the middle of the night, and there's nary a soul around. Gee, maybe it's because everyone's asleep? But hey, we found some sort of mysterious hole... Music: "Cutscene - Same as Ever"; by Takahito Eguchi OH HEY it's the Professor. Wow, that was eas— wait. I think I know why Eggman locked the prof up: in order to seal the almighty power of DAN GREEN. Anyway, we bust Professor Green out, and bring back some documents with us. By the way, I love this little exchange: Chip: *pulls chocolate out of Hammerspace* Want some chocolate, Professor? Pickle: Why, don't mind if I do! *takes bar* Sonic and Tails (in background): *look at each other and shrug* Music: "Cutscene - Gaia Manuscripts"; by Takahito Eguchi. I hate this song. It's a massive screw-up! There's a rather ambient little tune in the background; I have no problem with that. However, even in the frikkin' OST, it also has THIS layered on top of it! It doesn't match the mood, the tempo, nothing! But I've rambled long enough. Hoo boy. Lots of exposition here. Gaia Manuscripts, ancient stuff, Dark Gaia, Chaos Emeralds, Gaia Temples, fixing the planet, blah blah blah. Did I mention we're already back in Spagonia? What, does the voice of Dan Green give Pickle the ability to teleport? In that case, what about the Ice Cream Man? But I digress. So, we now have a way to repair the planet— restoring the Chaos Emeralds (which, in case
Part 6: Oh Hey, We're Actually Doing SomethingSo, after going back and forth, we're right back where we started last time— heading off to Mazuri. Music: "Mazuri - Day"; by Fumie Kumatani. Another cutscene, already? Geez. Music: "Cutscene - Eggman Again"; by Takahito Eguchi. (I kinda like this cutscene. The people are animated really well, and they throw in a nice bit of humor to it.) So, the Doc has all of the villagers cornered, with a line of robots... raising their arms up all scary-like. Or something. Anyway, Eggman's looking for information regarding the Mazuran (Mazurian? Mazurite?) Temple of Gaia. One of the young villagers seems to disagree, so he... chucks a rock at Eggman. Instant Slapstick! Music: "Cutscene - Sonic Appears"; by Takahito Eguchi. Just when the doctor is about to sic his robots on the villagers, Sonic appears. There's some not-so-friendly banter, and Eggman Exits Stage Left. Oh well; back to the hub. Well, the villagers are useless once again, except for the village elder: he takes those two tablet fragments we collected back in Apotos, and fuses them to make a Planet Tablet. (An NPC who actually does something? I'm shocked.) Well, with that finished, we can now access the Mazuri Gaia Gate. To be frank, I'm actually not sure what this particular gate is supposed to resemble— I just know that it still looks pretty. It's relatively dark (except for some torches here and there), so Sonic reverts to his Werehog form. Seriously, temple guys, get some proper lighting installed. There's a room with a bunch of pedestals, nearly identical to the one in Apotos. However, one of the pedestals is glowing— I wonder where that one will take me, considering I've only been to one other temple. Anyway, since we have our Planet Tablet (which has a star on it for some reason), we can access the only level door in Mazuri, and guess what? Music: "Cutscene - The Egg Beetle"; by Takahito Eguchi. Yep, it's time for a boss! This is the only daytime boss that has a cutscene beforehand, since it's the first one.
Music: ''Boss Battle - Day"; by Hideaki Kobayashi. Technically, you also hear this against the Interceptor, but I forgot to mention it. Boss 1 - Egg Beetle The Egg Beetle is a mech with a set of giant pincers, with a slot for the Egg-O-Matic. All of the Day bosses are fought while running, akin to Sonic Advance 2. In the first segment, he drops Weighted Companion Cubes at you, while the second is a 2D area where you have to dodge missiles. There's really no trick to beating him— just collect rings and boost that sucker to death. And for that, we get a single moon medal. Whoop de do.
Music: "Cutscene - Temple Activated!"; by Takahito Eguchi. (A quick note— the scene preceding this is the only time in the HD version where the Gaia Gate music is played. Kind of a shame, really.) We finally find the first Gaia Temple, and head inside. There's a long hallway, with a pedestal at the end.
- Place Emerald in Pedestal.
This is gonna be awesome! I can't wait for Eggmanland!
[++UMMMMM....] I think you're going to hit me for saying that.
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