Tag Archives: sonic

Top Songs from Sonic Unleashed

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!

Eggduck Land

Sonic Unleashed, With Less Emphasis on the Sonic Part

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.

Were-Duck

Apparently They’re Heroes

I recently played and gave up on “Sonic Heroes”.  I beat the four stories but couldn’t get all the Chaos Emeralds.  Here’s a tip.  Get those emeralds while playing through the stories!  It’s no fun having to keep repeating areas to try and get these things later.

            Anyway, I’ve considered getting this game for a long time.  After years of consideration, I finally just got it.  I don’t know what took me so long.  At first, I didn’t like the game so much.  It seemed too hard, and you could die too easily.  I really hate when characters die when it’s not your fault or because you accidentally hit the wrong button.  Like with Sonic, I often pressed one button when I meant to jump, and he’d speed off and fall off the edge and die.  It made me quite annoyed.  But, as I started to learn the controls better and got more practice, the game became a lot easier and a lot more fun.

            In this game, there are four stories, each with a team of three characters that you switch between as you play.  (Team Rose is Amy, Cream, and Big.  Team Sonic is, of course, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles.  Team Chaotix is Espio, Charmy, and Vector.  Team Dark is Shadow, Rouge, and Omega.)

            In every team, one character is a speed character that can go fast and also do a tornado attack that can spin you up poles, flip over enemies, or make enemies lose their shields.  Sonic and Shadow can move fast along a line of rings, and all of them but Amy can triangle jump between two walls that are close together to cross gaps.  And Espio can turn invisible because he’s a chameleon.  A weird looking chameleon, but a chameleon nonetheless.

            The flying characters can, well, fly.  I didn’t realize you hold the button to fly and not just repeatedly press it until the fourth story.  Hmm.  Flying characters can also use thunder shoot to stun and hurt enemies, especially flying ones.  Yay.

            Power characters are strong and good at attacking and breaking metal crates and cages that contain keys.  They are awesome, and they don’t go off the edge as easily as speed characters.  Darn you, speed characters!  My favorite to use is Omega.  He has two machine guns in his arms, which is not at all weird because he’s a robot.

            My favorite team was Team Dark because they’re the coolest, but my favorite story is Team Chaotix because the missions often require you to find things, collect rings, or kill a certain number of enemies, rather than just reach the goal.  It was more interesting.  Team Rose was my least favorite.

            Another thing unique to this game is that in each level, each character can level up three times, which helps them defeat enemies easier, though you lose this when you die and when you start the next level.  It’s still neat, though.  Also, when the bar in the upper right fills up, your team can do an attack that kills all enemies in the area (except bosses).  Team Chaotix’s is the best because they get a lot of rings during this (and every 100 rings equals an extra life).

            Anyway, the game has 14 levels, which you go through with each of the 4 teams, with slight and sometimes less slight changes, yet it doesn’t get boring.  Each story gives you bits of the main story, but I still feel like a lot is missing.  I really wish I had been able to finish the game.  Mainly, Team Sonic and Team Dark are looking for Eggman, Team Chaotix is following the directions of a secret client, and Team Rose is looking for a frog and a chao who were kidnapped, I guess, but I have no idea why anyone would bother doing that.

            Some of the areas were positively dreadful.  Many say the last level, Final Fortress, was awful, but once I got used to it, it wasn’t too bad anymore.  What I hated most was the carts and the giant gator.  Sometimes you ride this cart thing and have to jump over obstacles, and every time you miss, you lose one character until all three are gone, and I’m awful at that, and the cart doesn’t always jump well.  And two stories had this giant gator, and you have to swing along these vines really fast to get away.  While it only took me one try during the second story that had it, it took me a zillion tries to beat it the first time.  Every time the vine reaches the highest part of its swing towards the next vine, you must jump.  If you wait, you will become a gator snack.  As you might imagine, it’s quite stressful.

            Also dreadful is the fact that I’m so bad at getting those Chaos Emeralds.  You have to get a key in a certain level and keep it until the end of the level.  You’ll lose it if you die or get hurt.  Then, you must chase the emerald through this big long area and get these colorful things to fill this bar so you can go faster while avoiding the bombs.  I only got three out of seven, I think.  I just can’t catch up to those darn things.

            Anyway, the music was all right in this game.  My favorite music in the levels was in the scary areas, especially Mystic Mansion.  My top favorite songs are the themes for Team Chaotix and Team Dark.  Didn’t like the other teams’ themes too much.

            Nothing particularly cute to mention, especially considering there were still no mini sheep.  What’s going on?  There were some chao, though.  They’re cute.  There was something that creeped me out, though, inMysticMansion.  Throughout the level, there is this skeleton that sometimes peeks out from behind things, and then it hides when you get close.  The first time you see it, it’s looking at you from behind this wall, but if you get close, it hides, and when you get to the other side of the wall, nothing’s there.  Leave me alone, you sneaky skeleton!

Team Duck

The Duck’s Thoughts on Video Games

Sana requested a post in which I tell you guys about what I like in video games and what’s not my cup of tea.  Sounds fun.  Thanks for the idea!  Here I go!

THE GOOD

            The things I like are pretty obvious.  Of course, a game must be fun, but what makes some games stand out from others is when they have a good story and good characters.  These are pretty important.  That’s why I love games from the Kingdom Hearts and Jak and Daxter series so much.  Good stories, awesome characters.  And lots of fun.  The cut scenes are often as much fun as the game.  They get a very special place in my heart.  Like a nice apartment.  With a view.  Because I can’t fit houses in my heart.  I still, of course, like games that don’t have good plots, or plots at all, such as those from the Mario or Donkey Kong series because they are still fun and creative.  They are just not quite as special to me.  But, still special.  They get a slightly less nice apartment in my heart.

            Good graphics and music are always nice, but not super important.  Good, or at least, not bad dialogue helps, too.  Other things that make me happy are when you have a lot of places to explore, items to collect, new moves to learn, which is why I like Metroid games better than Halo, even though both are awesome.  In Metroid, you get upgraded weapons and moves as you play and can collect things to upgrade your health and missile capacity.  Plus, there are many places to explore.  Unique ideas are fun, too.  In “Okami”, for example, you drew things with a brush, which was neat.

            I also like when you can save often enough, don’t have to redo a lot when you die, and can skip cut scenes.  “Kingdom Hearts”, for example, made you rewatch cut scenes, and it was annoying.  Square Enix must have realized how annoying it was because you get to skip them now.  I also like when games are a challenge, but not ridiculous.  I hate absurdly hard games.

            Specifically, my favorite games are platformers, RPG’s, and other such things with action or exploring or whatever.

THE BAD

            Now for the things I hate.  These are the things that will cause me to sell or not even buy a game.  One is dirtiness.  Some games think that because they’re rated M, they need to have as many bad things as they’re allowed.  When I was looking at new games for the XBox 360, the only games that looked good were rated M, so I checked the back, and they had things I didn’t want.  So I’m not even going to try them.  What’s nice about the Halo series is all they have is violence and a little bit of swearing.  Being rated M, they could have more, but there is no dirty things and minimal swearing.  In fact, “Halo: Reach” doesn’t even have swearing.  I’m proud of you, Bungie.  On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t like super corny games.  I can only handle a small amount of corn.

            I was also kept from getting a game because I heard it had a limited number of saves.  That would be so annoying.  I also hate it in games when you can’t save at all.

            I also hate bad controls, like when the camera won’t obey you or you can’t control it at all, and you often die just because you can’t see where you’re going.  I also hate that “Sonic and the Secret Rings” is only hard because the controls are so bad.  They tried something new, where Sonic is always moving, and you tilt the Wii remote left or right to go left or right, forward to speed up, and back to slow down.  I think you can make Sonic stop, but it’s hard.  I feel like I have very little control over him.  It’s very aggravating.

            This next thing is tolerable or horrible, depending on what game it is.  I don’t like when games have battles start randomly.  Most games, you can see the enemies and choose if you want to fight.  In games like “Final Fantasy X” and “Quest 64”, you never know when a battle may start because you can’t see any enemies.  You’re just walking, and then suddenly you have to fight things and can’t easily get away.  In the former game, though, it’s a good game so it doesn’t bother me as much, but the latter is already not a great game, and this is pretty much the worst part of it.

            Also, like I said, I hate super hard games.  I really hate them.  It’s bad enough that the final bosses of “Vexx” and “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep” are insane, but when a whole game is a chore…  No way.  I also hate having to do stupid things or you can’t move on, such as beating the super annoying “Donkey Kong Arcade” in “Donkey Kong 64” not once, but twice, in order to get a necessary item.  I also hate when you must fight zillions of enemies or when they take super long to kill.  All this fuels the duck’s feathery rage.

            The types of games I dislike are sports, really simple games like pinball or Pacman, and fighting games that aren’t “Super Smash Brothers” and racing games other than “Jak X” or “F-Zero”.

THE UGLY

            And now, the things that simply disappoint me.  For one thing, when things don’t feel complete.  In the 2006 version of “Sonic the Hedgehog”, it was a good game, but they left some things unfinished.  For example, things would fall in the water without a splash.  Such a simple thing to fix.  I felt like they sold the game before they were completely done with it.

            I am also disappointed by bad graphics and bad music, but that’s not a big deal.  I am saddened when games are too short, especially good ones.

            I also don’t like bad dialogue and skimpy outfits.  Too skimpy, and this nears the Bad.  I also don’t like when you get to the end of the game and aren’t allowed to return to previous areas, like in “Okami” and “Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier”.  I don’t mind when it’s a kind of game where there’s nothing to collect, but in these, there is, and I couldn’t go back for what I missed.

            I also don’t like when they think they’re too cool.  I’m talking to you, Sonic.  And the characters in “Jak X”.  I don’t think they were as obnoxious in the previous games….

            Well, there you go.

An Opinionated Duck

Now in Color

I recently beat a very short game, “Sonic Colors”.  It took 7 hours and 6 minutes (and I think 7 seconds).  But, if I hadn’t dilly dallied at times, it would have been even less.  So short.  Anyway, plot-wise, apparently Dr. Eggman built a huge amusement park in space that he says is to make up for all the cruddy things he did in the past.  Luckily, since our hero, Sonic, is not a total moron, he doesn’t fall for it.  Of course, Eggman is indeed up to something quite immoral, including imprisoning a race of aliens called Wisps.  Throughout the game, Sonic uses their color powers to do neat things, like climb up walls, fly, and drill through the ground, which really has no relation to the color, but we’re probably not supposed to question that.

            The game is fun, but kind of silly.  (And seriously, what is Eggman’s obsession with amusement parks?  They’ve been in at least 3 games now.)  But, my biggest complaint besides some very…not great dialogue was that it had one thing that could’ve maybe redeemed the less-than-great plot, and they just…didn’t do it.  I don’t like to spoil things, but it needs discussing.  If you don’t want anything spoiled, skip ahead.  I’ll mark the offending paragraphs clearly for you with traffic cones and police tape.  If I had some.  For now, please accept second best.

SPOILERS START HERE

            Okay, we’re in dangerous territory now.  If you don’t want spoilers, run towards the emergency exits now!  Run, darn you!  If not, you must suffer the consequences of being in such close proximity to this duck’s opinions.  Side effects may and will include brain cell loss and finding out what our large-‘stached villain, Dr. Eggman, is up to this time.

            So we find later on that Eggman created a mind control gun powered by the Wisp aliens.  He uses it on Tails, Sonic’s fox friend (who has somehow been a kid for the last 20 years, but let’s not get into that), but before long, it runs out of power.  All right.  This is not quite what fuels my rage and disappointment.  Even later, near the end, Eggman tries to use it again, on Earth this time, but it doesn’t work.  And that’s all you ever hear of it.  It didn’t even need to be in the game.  They should’ve done more.  Come on, at least have Eggman mind control Tails and force Sonic to fight his best buddy.  Honestly, Sonic Team.  That would have been great.  You guys missed out on a great chance.  It could have made the game so much better.  As King Arthur said to the Black Knight in “The Holy Grail”, “You make me sad.”

SPOILERS END HERE

            We’re safe again.  Now, face the horror that is more of my thoughts and opinions.  Next up, Wisps.  My favorite is the pink one because it allows Sonic to go up walls and along ceilings and kill enemies and break certain blocks.  Delightful.  I also like the nega ones (which I think is short for negative, which are purple, but are not labeled by their color, apparently).  These turn Sonic into some crazy creature that destroys everything in its path and grows larger as it goes.  Scary, but also delightful.  The laser one’s neat, too, because you bounce off of things a bunch really fast.  The blue I didn’t like because of the sound effect when you use it.  But, it can break certain blocks and change blue tokens into blue blocks and vice versa, either creating platforms or unblocking your path.  It’s just that darn sound effect that disturbs me.

            Cuteness-wise, no mini sheep.  The Wisps aren’t my type of cute.  Except the nega ones.  Besides that, I find Dr. Eggman’s saucy little robot, Orbot, quite a delight.  And adorable.  He was in “Sonic Unleashed” originally, and I’m glad they brought him back.  I hope he’s in future games, as well.  (Where, though, are the chao?)

            Now there is something that has confused me for quite a while.  It’s another bit of proof that I may not be completely sane or maybe I just have no life, but here goes a much-needed analysis.  Subject…Dr. Eggman.  For those of you who don’t know, and it’s probably best you don’t, this bizarrely proportioned man is Sonic’s enemy, the equivalent of Bowser to Mario.  He’s apparently a genius with an IQ of 300, and yet he is constantly defeated by Sonic, a fast blue hedgehog.  Does it make sense that a mere hedgehog can destroy an evil super genius’s machines with such ease?  Just because he can ram into Eggman’s robots and ships at high speeds doesn’t warrant them to blow to bits like that.  No matter how fast Sonic is running, I bet if I had a head-on collision with him in my car, he’d turn into a red and blue splat.  Or maybe not.  That hasn’t happened yet.  And sometimes, Eggman’s machines just don’t work without any interference from Sonic at all.  Some genius.

            And what also has bothered me to no end, keeping me up into the wee hours of the morning, the wee ones, is the fact that the Doctor is the only villain with no followers whatsoever.  Or at least, one of the only ones.  All he has are robots, some of which don’t even like him, either.  Why does he even build robots that dislike him and even insult him?  If I was an evil genius, my robots wouldn’t sass me like Orbot does.

            And why does he even call himself Eggman?  I thought that was originally something Sonic called him as an insult.  These questions may never be answered.  I may ponder them forever.  I should email the Sonic Team, but they’d probably be annoyed.

            And my last question, this time just addressing Sonic.  Why does he drown in water, but he can breathe in space?  Same goes for the other characters in the other games.  I am confused.  If anything, you’d think it would be the other way around.

            Last of all, I have to mention that I rather enjoyed Eggman’s comments that you could hear throughout many of the levels.  I couldn’t hear or understand all of them, but the ones I did catch were quite amusing.  Here’s just a few.

1. Please refrain from licking the rides.  That would be disgusting.  (SweetMountain)

2. In no way will roaming bands of robots break into your vehicle.  (Tropical Resort)

3. No one can hear you scream, except the person sitting next to you.  Please be courteous to others.  No one likes a screamer.  (Asteroid Coaster)

4. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle.  (I forgot part)  Keeping your hands and feet inside the vehicle will not keep you from getting hit by asteroids, but our lawyers tell us we have to say that anyway.  (Asteroid Coaster)

5. This ride is not for people under age 12 or over age 13.  It’s not safe for 13-year-olds, either.  (Carnival place, whatever it’s called)

6. Please make sure your safety harness is buckled securely.  Or at least really grip on to something.  (Asteroid Coaster)

That last one is my favorite.

An Average Speed Duck

Egregious Things

I was thinking about things that bother me.  I’m not even in a bad mood or anything.  I was just thinking about them.  Like how things are so hard to open.  With beverages, you need to have a steely death grip on the lid to get them open.  I have received so many injuries doing just this.  I cut my thumb pretty badly once opening a can of Pepsi.  And then there’s the times when it says to pull the tab, and there is no tab.  Or there is, but you can’t pull it.  Or it says “cut here” on a re-closable bag and when you do, it cuts it in a way that the zipper doesn’t work anymore.  And then there are the dreaded packages that are completely encased in plastic and are a weird shape, so even if you start cutting it with scissors, the plastic then makes an insurmountably sharp turn that your scissors have no chance of overcoming.

            I also hate constellations.  Never do they look like what they should.  This blob is a person, this blob is a horse.  Maybe constellations are supposed to look like something after it’s been mangled in a horrible accident several times.  If someone said, hey, that looks like a bear that was flattened by a tank and then blown up, I might just agree.  But, until then, absolutely not.  (Actually, I would then just question if it, indeed, was possible to flatten a bear with a tank.)

            Another thing worthy of my hate are video games where you can’t save.  Oh, the hours I spent replaying and replaying the Super Nintendo’s “JurassicPark” and “Joe and Mac”.  Every time I give up, I must start all over from the beginning the next time I try.  I am fortunate that all the old Sega Genesis games I have are on the XBox 360, which allows you to save them, even when the originals didn’t.  If they hadn’t been so kind, I would have never surpassed World 3 in any of the Sonic games.

            “Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday” for the Super Nintendo.  It deserves a post all of its own.  Maybe it will get one.

            Being sticky.

            I know there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now.  Maybe later.

A Bothered Duck