A few weeks ago, I drew a revised version of my OC, Gretchen the dragon lady, which I originally doodled way back in 2009. Recently, I recreated another character that I first drew in 2009, Rouge the Bat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. (I was in the mood to draw her thanks to my ongoing playthrough of Sonic Adventure 2 over on Virtual Bastion’s Youtube channel….) Continue reading Drawing Rouge 10 Years Later
The music of most “Sonic” games nowadays seems to consist mainly of rock and rap, something I am not particularly fond of, which is why it was a welcome break to play “Sonic Unleashed”, which has a largely different style of music, more like the traditional music of most games, which I prefer. Due to this change in music style, “Sonic Unleashed” has my favorite “Sonic” music, and I have listed the top 10 here.
10. “Chun-Nan: Dragon Road-Night” is a fast song that I think has an interesting sound to it, with a kind of flute-sounding instrument during a lot of it. My favorite part is at 1:55.
9. “Spagonia: Rooftop Run-Night” plays in the narrow alleys of some Rome-like town at night, and I think the song gives the place a mysterious, lonely feel.
8. “Holoska: Cool Edge-Night” is a lovely song that fits well with this lovely location, a place of ice and snow with the ocean far below and the Aurora Borealis above. My favorite part is around 1:13.
7. “Adabat: Jungle Joyride-Night” plays in an island stage at night, and I find this song to be quite lovely, but it also makes me a bit sad. I like the instrument used in much of it, which I think is a cello or something similar. (This song makes me think of “Vexx” a little, especially the music that plays in the Below….)
6. “Shamar: Arid Sands-Day” is a rather fast and fun song that plays in the desert stages during the daytime.
5. “Chun-Nan: Hub-Night” plays in the town in Chun-Nan at night, and it is a slower song that I find to be lovely and soothing. I especially like the part at 0:23.
4. “Shamar: Hub-Day” plays in the desert town in Shamar during the day, and I find it to be a lot of fun to listen to.
3. “Chun-Nan: Dragon Road-Day” is just a good song, but I’m not good at describing it. I just like it. And I like that drum you hear here and there.
2. “Shamar: Arid Sands-Night” is awesome, and I’m not usually into jazzy music. But, this particular song is just great. Take a listen.
1. “Eggman Land-Day” is, obviously, my favorite song, and I think it fits really well with Dr. Eggman’s weird amusement park, factory-ish place. I think the song sounds rather sinister, and I especially like the beginning. Why not listen, my dearies!
After recently selling two positively unpleasant “Sonic” games, “Sonic and the Secret Rings” and “Sonic Colors” (the latter of which seems to be well-liked by everyone on the planet but me), and the fact that I am considering whether or not “Sonic Heroes” and “Shadow the Hedgehog” should be wished away into the cornfield, as well (“Twilight Zone” reference…), I started to wonder if I was losing the affection I used to have for “Sonic” games. Strangely, after playing such bad “Sonic” games to ensure that they were indeed sell-forever worthy, I got in the mood to play “Sonic Unleashed” and was pleased to find that I still found this game quite delightful to play.
This game once again has Eggman causing the world trouble, this time by breaking the planet apart in order to release a creature called Dark Gaia. With the release of Dark Gaia, people begin to act strangely at night, and poor Sonic finds himself turning into a fluffy , but powerful werehog every night (with strangely elastic arms, which I suppose is useful, but also very goofy, making me cringe for a while until I got used to it). The game involves Sonic traveling to different continents of the world trying to restore them, all with the aid of this strange little creature who can’t remember who he is, whom Sonic dubbed as Chip.
So unlike other games of the series, this game involves two forms of gameplay, the regular gameplay we’re used to during the day, with Sonic showing off his mad hedgehog speed, and at night, you play as werehog Sonic, which is much more about platforming and beating up enemies. These much more slow-paced levels seem out of place in a “Sonic” game, which, in the past, always revolved around Sonic’s speed. Sonic’s ability to run through these levels a hundred miles an hour is what sets these games apart from other platformers like “Mario” or “Kirby” (the former of which, for me, seems to revolve around Mario’s terribly slick shoes). And so it seems a bit strange to split the game up between normal “Sonic”-style levels and slow-paced enemy-fighting-fests. To top it off, there are hardly any day stages compared to night ones. Most locations have one day stage and at least three night stages.
As a result, some may say this game failed as a “Sonic” game, as most of the gameplay has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sonic we’re used to. It would be like a “Mario” game where Mario gained extraordinary speed and sped through levels (possibly without his slick shoes, too). I’m not entirely sure why Sonic Team decided to make this game barely like a “Sonic” game at all.
And yet, at the same time, I enjoyed it. It can barely be called a “Sonic” game. In that area, it really did fail. But, as a game, I think they still did a good job. I really enjoyed the game. I like the locations, based on various places throughout the world, like Rome, China, and of course, islands and deserts and ice places like any self-respecting platformer would have. The music was a delight (I don’t like the rock and rap they keep having in “Sonic” games lately, and this one uses more traditional video game music). And then there’s, of course, the gameplay.
First off, the day stages are the most fun. They are the fast-paced levels all “Sonic” fans love, and I find these to be some of the most fun “Sonic” levels I have ever played. Anyone who’s played a “Sonic” game is familiar with such levels, so there’s not much else to say. There’re just great, and they’re quite challenging, too, if you want an S score.
What is different about this game are the night stages, and while they aren’t as good as the day ones (werehog Sonic is so slow compared to regular Sonic), I still had a good time with them, when they weren’t frustrating as heck. These levels involve platforming, as I said, which is the best part of these areas, plus I like the locations. All the while, you should also be on the lookout for secret items (which appear in the day stages, as well, but with the faster pace of those stages, you don’t really spend time looking for them so much, as you usually just happen to run through them before you really even registered they were there). These items get you tips, music, videos, and my favorite, concept art. These stages also make good use of the Wiimote (for the Wii-users like myself), and while I’m getting a little tired of the Wiimote, they manage to make the ways you move the controller more varied, which makes it less tedious, as it’s not simply shaking the Wiimote to attack, but moving it in a circular motion and swinging it and other such things.
What I don’t like is how annoying these levels are. And the fighting. I hate the fighting. Okay, sometimes the platforming could be frustrating. Sometimes there are weird jumps that you fail, and these weird jumps make me mad. But, the fighting is what makes the night stages drag on at times. So many enemies. Wave after wave sometimes. And these dumb bees you gotta chase down because they’re so fast, and you are swinging the controllers around like a moron trying to hit them. And those wizards prove to be pretty nimble, as well. And then you repeatedly get stunned when these enemies off to the side decide to shoot electricity at you. And don’t even get me started on those big enemies with the clubs. Just, come on. I mean, really. Usually, I could handle the fighting, but sometimes it was just… Yuck.
But, really, it is a fun game. Overall, it is. I couldn’t help but be delighted by it, while at the same time baffled at their decision to have so few day stages in comparison to night. Honestly, the night stages were likely a bad idea for a “Sonic” game, even if they were usually fun. But, at least balance it out with regular stages. Or better yet, have the emphasis on the day stages, not the night ones. It is a “Sonic” game, after all, and the game should focus on, well, itself. The night stages were just too much of a departure from what we expect for it to take the main focus of the game. (The final world has one day stage and five night ones. Five!) I’m fine with some changes being made to the gameplay of these games, or at least, I’m fine with variety, if they decide to do some different things again in the future. They just can’t forget that they are making a “Sonic” game.