Reviews: Sonic Unleashed

Unleashed... Badly.

Unleashed is a Love It Or Hate It game. I've played both versions, and I'll provide opinion on both - the Wii version is better. No, seriously. Though, it's not by that much. Overall, it's a fairly mediocre game at best. It's not terrible, but not good either.

Versions: HD = 360/PS 3, SD = Wii/PS2.

Let's start with the worst bit - the Werehog.

HD: Copies Godof War down to the letter... Without porting over what makes that game fun. Uninteresting platforming and set-pieces, and the combat is a button-masher. It's more effective to avoid the Action Commands. Even the Titans are pushovers. The levels are also way too damn long, taking up to 30 minutes at a time.

SD: While the combat is simplified somewhat here, it's actually kinda interesting, gives you a challenge, and the levels are short bursts, it's easy to complete them before the medal time, most of the time you'll finish levels in five minutes. Still kinda meh, though.

Now, the daytime levels...

HD: It's really not as good as people say. The beginning levels aren't too bad, but soon enough, the game stops pretending not to hate your guts. Fake Difficulty up the wazoo, whether it be killer QTEs of the worst kind (randomised and too many buttons with an unfair time limit), obstacles you can't possibly avoid the first time without a lot of luck... And it does not help that the game actively punishes you for going fast. Unfortunately, it also encourages going fast all the time. And the designers know how unfair their design is, but the only thing they do is throw in extra lives in easily accessible locations before unfair sections. No other designer in his right mind would do that. The medals do not help - really, collect-a-thon in a game that discourages exploration? Not fun, period.

SD: This version focuses on the drift rather than the quick-step (which is used only a few times in the entire game if memory serves me right)... And is much better for it. This version avoids the fake difficulty, gives you FAIR QTEs (two buttons, waggle, fair time limit), and, basically, doesn't punish you for going fast so much, and can actually be fun.

Other things:

Graphics: Scenery Porn, both versions. Enough said.

Music: Excellent as well.

Medals: HD medal collecting = horrible. SD = optional and done well.


HD - 5

SD - 7

An underrated gem

Sonic Unleashed back in 2008, was set to the revival of the series, with the Day Stages being leak, people rave declaring it to be the best Sonic game. However once the Werehog came, critic unfairly bash the game and cited it to being horrible and another stinker to the franchise, over exaggerated it flaw, and in some case making up said flaw too ether make the game look awful, which made people jump on the band wagon, and for those that didn't jump on the bandwagon, they hate it entirely for the Werehog, simply because it different and it doesn't represent Sonic.(And yet the Sonic Adventures game are popular for some reason.)It seems I'm one the few out there that love the game for what it is and I'll explain why.

First of the Day Stages: The Day Stage features, Sonic using from the Sonic Rush Series a Sonic Boost which allow Sonic to go crazy fast. The gameplay is clearly speed focus, as it test your on reaction (Dodging projectile with the quick steps, Quick Time Events). It pretty much required to be used the fast gameplay otherwise expect to die, and make lot of mistake, mainly in the later levels.If you learned to master these you'll feel acheive.What truly fascinating about the Day Stages is it may very well be the fastest Sonic game out there, Sonic finally lives up to his name as the fastest thing alive, when you blast trough these stages dodging everything, sharp reactions you'll stop and think, wow did I really just do that?

Next up the night stages: Sonic goes beast, yet is still the lovable hero we all know.In these stages this balance out the speed gameplay where here you beats the ever-living mess out of your enemies, as well as perform platforming and solve puzzles.The main charm here is you kick ass and look cool kicking said ass and racked up also combos.The Werehog becomes more fun to play when you level up his skills as they become more and more cool as you successfully attempt them. There also finisher know as Critical Attack where this is how you finish up your enemies and there also awesome to pull off.

The Scenery s beautiful, what really something about this game is all the location beside Eggmanland are based off real locations of the world, and the game show it beauty, you also explore the the hub world and chat to the colurful villager.

Definitely flawed, but I'm glad I gave this game a second chance

When I first played Sonic Unleashed, I was quick to give up on it after getting annoyed by how long the werewolf levels are compared to the more fun hedgehog levels. But after watching someone do a Lets Play of the game on You Tube and thinking it looked like fun, I decided to get back into it, and I'm glad I did.

Yes, you spend a lot more time as a werewolf than as a hedgehog, and so one's enjoyment of this game will hinge on how much they like/dislike the werewolf segments. I came to actually enjoy - not prefer, but still enjoy - those segments with their mix of fighting and slower-paced platforming, as well as their catchy music. And though it can get old quickly, I even like the big band jazz fight music.

Known in Japan as Sonic World Adventure, this game is basically a continuation of the Sonic Adventure series, going back to the "overworld" style of the first one, allowing you to roam around various towns/cities around the world and talk to people. The switching characters mechanic of the Adventure games has been replaced with Sonic himself transforming, changing gameplay styles along with him. It's an unusual way of doing the "multiple gameplay styles" concept the series is known for, but it works well enough. Still, when people say they want to only play as Sonic himself, this is obviously not what they meant.

There are sadly some really stupid design decisions in this game that really annoy me. For one, an overuse of Quick Time Events. You will find many moments where you launch off a ramp and you must push the correct buttons quickly, or you will die. Boss fights have these added to them as well. The thing is, besides the reflexes required, I've lost lives due to my muscle memory being based on the SNES rather than X360 controller.

Another dumb decision: in addition to the werewolf levels being a lot longer, as in over 20 minutes each for the most part, the game's final level took me over 50 minutes to beat on my second attempt (my first one ended in a game over after half an hour). How much spare time did Sega think players would have?

Bad decisions aside, though, I still enjoy this game overall and I'm glad I revisited it to completion. Plus, with 8 hedgehog and 8 werewolf stages, 1 enormous stage that mixes both, and many mini-stages, there's a lot of content.

It's Another Swing and a Miss

Sonic is back for another round on the home console and once again only serves up another disappointment. After the Obvious Beta Sonic 2006 and the disappointing and clunky launch title Sonic and the Secret Rings Unleashed tries to be good but just isn't. In 2008 Sonic Team still cannot seem to grasp the idea that a Sonic Game does not need to be overly complicated or that amazingly different you just need speed a decent storyline anda completed game.

Unleashed certainly behaves and functions a lot better than 06 and gives the player more options than "Secret Rings" but once again the game gets down to trying to be something that's not. On the one hand you have the very enjoyable and very fun Day Time Stages that are going at mach speed with smooth and easy controls. Then you have the long incredibly tedious nighttime stages where Sonic turns into a Werewolf or in this case a Werehog. The day time stages function like classic Sonic games moving from point A to Point B but the nighttime stages function like a beat-em-up hack-and-slash RPG.

Sonic Team we get you like RP Gs and you have Pantasy Star for that. Sonic on the other hand you can't ever seem to make up your minds if you want it to be and Adventure Series or an RPG. The RPG elements included in the night stage as I said rely on a hack and slash element ripped straight out of "Kingdom Hearts", with the only thing missing is Sonic with a Keyblade.

This kind of halfassed attempt failed in "Sonic 06" and it fails here. Unleashed also sees the continuation of Hub Worlds where you have to talk and explore and do all sorts of time consuming tasks that just aren't any fun, still it's amazing they didn't go the route of Sonic 06 and make you play pointless minigames.

Well once again the story is as dumb as ever with this cheap gimmick of Sonic being a Werewolf Hedgehog and that's really all I know as I gave up playing half way through, because playing the slow time bulky hedgehog and beating up got tired really fast.

"Unleashed" is another disappointing attempt by Sonic Team who can't keep to a relatively simple concept, SPEED. It's not as haphazard "Sonic 06" or as hard to work as "Secret Rings" But the game is only fun for it's Day Time Speed Action Stages, this game is another swing and a miss that warrants a disappointing D+
  • miru
  • 24th Dec 10
  • 3

Some good, some you have to try for yourself.

This game is a step up from 06 and even heroes, to an extent.

The daytime is breathtaking, although not nearly as fun as heroes. The night, however, play it yourself. On Wii version, the NPC's don't move. But on HD they do. Sadly, no Vector anywhere, despite the fact he predates Tails. The best part is when Chip dies being a Take That to the many recent one shot characters such as Shara, Calibun, etc.

Wii Version

First of all, I would like to thank Toshiyuki Nagahara, Dimps, and all the people under them for not half-assing a Wii Version, unlike n-Space, who ruined Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for me.

Second, I like this game. It's not the high-end, super-shiny 360 version that everybody's talking about, but I like it. The only time that I felt like I was getting the Poor Mans Substitute was in the final battle. Admittedly, many of the levels are gone or downgraded, but what they kept was good. Unlike MUA 2, I've never played the 360 version of this, so any comparisons to it will be based off of online reviews. Just telling you in advance.

The Daytime portions are the best part of the game, as you've probably heard. They're not mindblowingly fast and exciting, but they're still fast enough to get you pumped. Also, the difficulty is present, but you're not going to spend too long trying to beat a level. My main complaint here is the lack of sufficient change between levels. There are few elements that are really unique to each level. The tracks are more than sufficiently themed to the environment, and they do throw in some new stuff like sleds and swinging vines, but it just doesn't seem like enough.

As for the Night levels, it's a mixed bag. The actual fighting, while fun at first, is really repetitive. There are about 15 different enemies in the entire game, and you aren't going to see major variations in them. Also, the bosses' difficulty seems to vary randomly. The first one was medium, the second one was difficult, and the third and final ones were way too easy. The platforming, on the other hand, is decent. If someone wanted to put Sonic into a pure platformer, I don't think they would get much better than this (not that this is anywhere close to perfect). While it's still very repetitive, it's the part of the game that matures the most in the course of it. Also, the difficulty's at reasonable levels in general.

Just as a note, the part where you roam through town looking for tokens was downgraded to five selections from a menu per new place. Also, us Wii owners don't have to comb every nook and cranny for tokens to get every new level. All the main story levels come free. Just so you know.

All in all, if you own a Wii and have a few days to burn, get Super Mario Galaxy 2. If they're all out, get Sonic Unleashed.

Sonic Unleashed

Sonic Unleashed, released in November 2008, is the tenth "main title" of the Sonic The Hedgehog games.

The plot of this game is basically that Sonic must find the Chaos Emeralds to restore the planet, stop Robotnik (Eggman) from taking over said planet and rid himself of his lycanthropy after an early bout with Eggman. An elaboration on how Sonic wound up in this mess can be found here. At any rate, unlike Shadow The Hedgehog and Sonic The Hedgehog 2006, the story's pretty lighthearted (akin to the classic titles) without being too campy with it.

The main gameplay is split more-or-less evenly between Sonic The Hedgehog and his new Werehog forms. The Hedgehog gameplay take place in the daytime, while at night, you control the Werehog.

The Hedgehog gameplay is akin to the Sonic gameplays of the other 3D Sonic games; simply get to the goal as fast as possible while dodging and destroying everything in your path. Unlike the other titles, the gameplay and level design are more geared towards speed, granting Sonic the ability to use the Speed Boost from the Sonic Rush games.

The Werehog gameplay, strictly speaking, is like a God Of War Lite, of sorts. It's a Beat Em Up / Platform Game hybrid where you must get to the goal while fighting your way through foes and solve puzzles. The combat system is pretty decent as far as beat-'em-ups go, with up to 40 combos at your disposal.

New to Sonic Unleashed, is the addition to Quick Time Events. In the Hedgehog levels, the button prompts are limited to special ramps and jump pads. In the early stages, they're pretty easy to solve; failure only barring you from an alternate and easier path. In the final stages (Jungle Joyride and Eggmanland), however, failure will most likely lead to your death. In the Werehog stages, the button prompts mainly serve as Critical Attack enablers, not unlike the ones from God Of War.

Overall, everything about Sonic Unleashed is a huge improvement over the recent 3D Sonic games, especially after Sonic The Hedgehog 2006. The plot generally doesn't take itself seriously, there are no game-breaking glitches and the gameplay's actually pretty solid. I recommend you at least give it a rent.

Endless Possibility

The Sonic series has been very long suffering of poor controls, horrible stories, and a fanbase that has no idea what they want. Unleashed finally changes that.

This game finally reminds us that Sonic actually is "the fastest thing alive" during the incredibly beautiful daytime stages. Though hair-pullingly difficult at times, you'll never get tired of them.

On to the night stages and the controversial "werehog" gameplay. Unlike what just about everyone in the fanbase spouts: change is NOT bad. The battle system is well made and genuinely entertaining. The main fault, however, is that the stages are implemented are both linear and long for such simple gameplay. Despite this flaw and the contrast, the gameplay does have its charm.

As for the storyline, SEGA appears to have learned it's lesson. It's simple, cheery, and molded around the characters. Rather than force the entire cast into a Final-Fantasy-inspired mess, they simply allow the characters to flow naturally. The improvement even shows in terms of voice acting. Even the side characters are charming in their new Pixar-esque designs.

Overall, this game is a badly needed step in the right direction and has strong standing in it's own right. While not perfect, it is a strong game in it's own right. Very much undeserving the the mindless hatred it tends to receive from fans and (some) critics. Try it as soon as possible.


8.5 out of 10