Sonic the Hedgehog Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher: SEGA  Developer: Sonic Team  Genre: Platformer, Adventure  Players: 1-2

Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: PS3

Is Sonic an enduring character? Or is he one that has fallen from grace? Opinions are mixed on this matter, and whilst we are glad to see the return of the speedy blue hedgehog, others have gladly taken apart his latest adventure and have treated the blue one no better than something that you might find squashed into the sole of your shoe. Surely SEGA’s legendary character is deserving of a little more respect?

Sonic is one of SEGA’s most famous creations, and 15 years later the hedgehog is still speeding around loops, bouncing off springs and collecting rings. Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t a remake as the title may stupidly suggest; instead it’s a brand new game to mark the birthday celebrations of the iconic gaming star.

Graphically, the game is decent, but it doesn’t look they way you’d expect for a Sonic game.

Sonic is never alone these days therefore he’s joined by the returning Shadow the Hedgehog, and Silver, a brand new face, who just so happens to be one of the highlights of the game. You’re never forced to play as any of the trio, as the game is split into three adventures, although other familiar characters such as Tails, Knuckles and Rogue make small playable appearances.

The game itself is everything you would expect from a Sonic game and more. Sonic’s trademark speed still embarrasses any stupidly fast car, and the characters still collect rings to protect themselves from that dreaded one-hit death. Also most of the bugbears that have long been an annoyance for some players since the advent of 3D Sonic games, still remain.

Yes, it still feels like Sonic is often one with gravity and is being helped around the levels by some invisible force, and yes the homing attack can occasionally hinder opposed to helping you, also the loading times are horrendous and the camera isn’t exactly perfect. These stumbling blocks may stop the game from reaching classic status, although the series is always such a grand spectacle and visual treat, that we always thank the mighty one for gifting us with eyesight and bemoaning those unfortunate enough to be blind, with this said it’s not too difficult to let some of the problems slide.

Sonic himself is as one would expect, whilst Shadow can jump in and out of vehicles, but is without the guns from his much maligned solo adventure. Silver is something very different again, as if it wasn’t for his telekinesis he would be completely defenceless against his foes, yes this means that the newest face in the Sonic series is the first that is able to lob objects at his enemies and use the environment to his advantage through other resourceful methods. He’s pretty slow on the run, but his powers and the excellent physics certainly make up for his lack of speed.

One bug-bear of the game, is that it is oh so buggy!

The game also has a decent enough multiplayer mode for two players via split screen. You can work together in co-op mode or face off against your breathing opponent in a race to the finishing line. Sadly the number of selectable characters are severely limited to the trio of lead, which is a shame considering that they have so many faces to call upon when necessary, so it would have made perfect sense for Sonic Team to do so in this mode.

The graphics are certainly gorgeous, and Sonic and company look better than ever and are without the boot polish like shine which made previous games in the series look too…well, shiny. The environments are detailed enough, although if you are playing the game like a Sonic title is supposed to be played it will be doubtful that you will have the time or concentration to notice. What isn’t so gorgeous is the pop-up, which wouldn’t be excusable on the PS2, so it stands to reason that it’s not acceptable on the powerhouse that is the Xbox 360. The framerate also stutters on occasion, but thankfully not enough to cancel out that “Sonic” title.

We would be being a little sentimental of our younger days to announce Sonic’s latest as a classic game, but it’s certainly far from the catastrophe that others seemed to find so much enjoyment in claiming it to be. Yes, we still think Sonic has the legs to continue for many more years, but the blue hedgehog may be running out of breath a little, and no that’s not being disrespectful, we’re just being realistic.