Reviews: Sonic Rush Series

A Refreshing Experience/Return to Form

So! The Sonic Rush Series.

Although some didn't like them, the Sonic Rush games were an interesting return to the classic 2-D Sonic games. With varied levels and the different playstyles of Sonic and Blaze, these games are nearly guaranteed to have a Best Level Ever for most.

Although opinion is important on whether you like the style of the classic games, for those that are nostalgic about the Classic era of Sonic, or want to have a Sonic game in the original style that is portable, this is the game for you.

Has More Depth than it appears to

The Rush games, often portrayed as the epitome of "hold right, boost to win" gameplay by many an upset Genesis Sonic fan, might surprise anyone who's looked past trailer footage, especially with the first game. Though I won't deny that the platforming and exploration was toned down, the boost, in some respects, makes the games harder. Sure, you'll plow through any enemy you come across, but you'll also be moving so fast that you'll careen into lower paths and bottomless pits without superhuman reflexes, so these games aren't devoid of challenge.

Not to say that platforming and exploration is completely gone either. There are plenty of difficult jumps to be made and alternate routes to take in every level. Parts of it can even be more difficult than the Genesis games, such as the end of either act of Altitude Limit, where the player must jump through a series of constantly lowering platforms over an instant kill laser. Neither Sonic nor Blaze has a particularly high or quick jump and if you're too slow, you will die, so that will most likely catch newcomers off guard.

There's definitely fun to be had, though. The special stages from the first game in particular are the most fun I've ever had with a special stage in any Sonic game, despite being typical half pipe fare. Many levels contain gimmicks that, while not particularly original, still provide a nice change of pace (with the exception of the first game's "kill X enemies" rooms, which didn't belong at all), as did some of the missions in Rush Adventure. And finding the best path to speedrun a level is still as satisfying as ever; you just don't have to work as hard for your speed now.

The graphics of the games are acceptable, though the second game suffers from the same problems Super Mario Sunshine did in overuse of the "tropical island" theme. There's some interesting variations, but for the most part, you may as well be on Isle Delfino. I adore the soundtrack of the first game. Techno-funk suits Sonic perfectly. The second game is a bit blander, but there are a few noteworthy tracks, such as Big Swell. And in keeping with 2D Sonic tradition, the stories are cute, inoffensive, and an excuse to make you go fast.

I'd recommend the second game to casuals, and the first for those looking for a challenge. They're some of the best handheld Sonic games to date.

Sonic Rush is Modern Sonic at its finest

When I first got Sonic Rush for my DS Lite (the first one, which went kaput) I was thrilled. The game is very fast-paced, and despite what you might think, has some very technical sections. The first game, which is harder, was less story-based and more about "gotta go fast" (I regret nothing!), the special stages were great, and the boost was fun to master (It can be abused, but I've learned when to slow down for efficency). The music... oh the music... it's just... to awesome! My problem is the replayability. Sure, there are time trails, but after I beat the final final boss, I just couldn't feel the thrill anymore.

Now on to Adventure, while introducing one of the more fun characters (Marine the Raccoon), the obligitory sailing could get tedious at times. The story is a little more fleshed out, but you could always skip the cutscenes. The music isn't as great, well except for the first zone and regular boss theme. The game introduces the idea of taking off at the beginning, which takes some practice to get the timing. The bosses were still fun, and the gameplay, while easy, was still addicting. The game had better replayability with over 100 missions (101 to be exact, and the last one is "clear all missions!). Some of these missions, however, got you Sol Emeralds which are required to take on the final final boss. Internet leaderboards are great for competitive types. I would give the games 9/10 and 8/10 respectively. Both are great games and are definitely must haves for any Sonic fan.