>> >> >> >> NOW LOADING...
Okay, with that obligatory joke out of the way, I suppose I should explain what this game that I'm about to liveblog is all about.
Sonic the Hedgehog (referred to as Sonic 2006 or Sonic 06 to distinguish it from the original) was released in 2006 (naturally) for the XBox 360, and erly the next year for the PS3. It was intended to bring Sonic into the next generation while reinvigorating the aging franchise.
Of course, it didn't exactly work out that way.
As is well documented on the Internet, Sonic '06 as released is a blatantly unfinished mess with missing features, bad graphics, an ill-conceived plot made even worse by terrible execution, and more bugs than the Amazon rainforest. Critics and fans alike almost universally panned the game, and Let's Play videos mocking it have practically become a genre.
Best known out of all the game's flaws, of course, is the loading. Sonic '06 spends a lot of time loading, thanks largely to an extremely inefficient loading algorithm that, among other things, loads boss introductions, boss battles, and the subsequent boss death cutscenes separately. It needs to be seen to be believed, really.
Anyway, the game provides three different stories to go through, each of which stars a different hedgehog:
- Sonic: He runs fast! He jumps! He homing attacks! He does the Lightspeed Dash! Sonic basically plays like he does in most 3D Sonic games up to this point. He can also gain upgrades that give him various special abilities, which are made more useful due to a glitch that I won't bring up again until it's relevant. Sonic's story basically has him rescuing the princess multiple times. Seriously.
- Shadow: Shadow's a bit slower than Sonic, but he can still run at a decent speed. His abilities are similar to Sonic's, but he has more of a focus on combat. Shadow's homing attack leads into a string of melee attacks, and he can also fire Chaos Spears that stun enemies. The main selling point for his gameplay is that he can drive various vehicles. Shadow spends his story actually fighting the real villain of the game.
- Silver: Silver's the new kid on the block. He moves slowly compared to Sonic and Shadow, but then again he isn't really about speed. Silver's gameplay instead focuses on his telekinesis, a power added to demonstrate that the game has a (poorly implemented) physics engine. Silver can pick up various objects and throw them at his enemies to damage them (he can also pick up stunned enemies for an instant kill). He also has the ability to fly briefly, and he can focus his telekinesis at certain points in each level. Silver's story pits him against Sonic due to his extreme gullibility, though of course he realizes that he's been an idiot later on.
I'm going to be playing through the three stories in the order I listed them in, because there really isn't much reason to mix it up.
Oh, and one more thing: I'm playing the PS3 version of the game, which has a few bugs that the 360 version doesn't have.
I'll let you know when the game completely destroys my sanity.