Format reviewed: Dreamcast
Developer: Sonic Team
Submitted by: Ryan Davies
It was Sonic's tenth birthday, and the lovely folk at SEGA decided to send him off on a second adventure to celebrate. This adventure was different to the one he'd been on three years previously, in that he didn't have to run around an "adventure field" in between levels. Also, he didn't have to charge up his light dash, and he could grind rails…
But rail-grinding? That seemed suspiciously "down" with the youth and stuff. Branching out? Oh bugger, who's that sulking in the corner? Bloody Shadow, that's who. The emo-tinged mopey little shit who symbolised the untimely downfall of the once-lovable Sonic the Hedgehog. The tell-tale signs were all there – he skated instead of running, he never smiled, he had spiky black hair, and probably had a stud in his tongue too.
Ignoring Shadow though, the rest of the game's good enough, except that you don't have a lot in the way of choices. When someone wants to play a Sonic game, ideally they'd just want to "be" Sonic and zoom through all of the levels really fast and all that, right? Well, not so. Now, you can pick between "Hero" and "Dark" at the beginning, and from then on you play as whoever SEGA tells you to. That means that when you feel like running around the place, instead you might have be Knuckles, or Tails, or Robotnik (!), or Rouge (possible only included so that more furries would play the game).
Hard-faced Knuckles and big-busted Rogue have to run around all over the place looking for Emeralds, and this can take a long time, whilst Tails and Robotnik go through the levels in walking robot death machines, in a clumsy shoot-mupp sort of way. I actually really enjoy these parts, but still, it'd be nice if we weren't forced to do them. At least Big isn't there with his frog-fishing games, although he does make a few cameo appearances.
Not all bad then. The Sonic levels are fantastic, and the special edition version of the game included a sexy little CD featuring ten years worth of Sonic music, and Shadow dies at the end of the game, restoring equilibrium in Sonic's world.
Well, until those wonderful people at SEGA decided to give him his own game. Disturbing the dead and all that, what hath become of you, Sonic Team?