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Sonic Rush
"Still wearing those snazzy trainers."

Info:
Format: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Dimps.
Players: 2
Single Cart Link? Yes

There’s no arguing. 2D Sonic games are always better than the 3D ones. No two ways about it. And Sonic Rush is no exception, its bringing Sonic back to his roots; run across the level, at blisteringly fast speeds, jump on a couple of bad guys, then go onto the next level and do it all over again. But, in some ways, Sonic Rush is even better than the original games on the Megadrive. ‘How so?’ you ask? Well, levels are now spread over the two screens of the DS, giving more depth to the levels, more opportunities for secret areas and alternative paths, and although, these opportunities aren’t always capitalised on, it’s a welcome addition to the series. Now I know I said that Sonic Rush was returning to its roots, and, for the most part it is. But there have been several new additions to it.
Firstly, the most obvious, there’s a new character (as if there weren’t enough bloody characters in the Sonic universe already); Blaze the Cat. Now, playing as Blaze gives you essentially the same game as playing with Sonic, except you move slower and can hover making it easier to get across large gaps. There are other petty differences such as playing the levels in a different order to Sonic, and storyline differences, but there’s no real point to having Blaze in the game.
Then you’ve got the new style of bosses. Instead of sticking with the traditional formula, the bosses are actually in a 3D style, and whilst they are pretty easy, they are definitely good fun. One of the new additions that is actually good. Gasp.
There’s also the return of the trick system, building upon the version seen in Sonic Advance 2, with a point combo system, as well as a grade system. There’s also a ‘tension gauge’ which is filled by doing tricks and defeating enemies, and let’s you perform a fast dash, which can also kill enemies, and, as Sonic, enter the special stage (which is similar to the special stages in Sonic the hedgehog 2, where you are running through a half-pipe collecting as many rings as possible). Now, while all these fancy tricks and what-not are nice, they take away from the game formula which make Sonic so much fun.
Now, I won’t spend too much time talking about the storyline, because, quite frankly, it sucks. See, Eggman Nega and Blaze arrive from a parallel dimension; Eggman Nega steals the Chaos Emeralds whilst ‘normal’ Eggman has ended up with the Sol emeralds from Blaze’s universe. Therefore Sonic ends up chasing Eggman Nega, and Blaze is chasing Eggman. There are other elements to the storyline, but they aren’t worth discussing.
As for things to do outside the main game… well, there’s not a lot, really. There’s, as usual with recent Sonics, a Time Trail mode, a multiplayer, which, from what little I’ve played isn’t anything special, and there’s an unlockable sound test mode, so you can listen to all those forgettable tunes again. Woo.
The real missed opportunity is that you can’t play the ‘half pipe’ mini game (that you access as Sonic, to collect the Chaos Emeralds) outside of the main game, as it’s strangely fun and addicting. Not to mention, some of the less-bad music in the game.

Summary

Dual Screen use: 8/10
Excellently used to spread levels over two screens. Unfortunately, due to the blistering pace of Sonic you’ll never be able to truly appreciate how well it’s been used.

Touch Screen Use: 5/10
Um, no. The only time you’ll need to use the touch screen is in the special stages, which you can’t even access outside of the main game.

Graphics: 7/10
They’re nice, yes, but not a patch on the Sonic games of yore. Mainly because the objects have a 3D look (like New Super Mario Bros.) compared to proper sprites.

Sounds: 4/10
The music is forgettable/just plain bad. And Tails will make your ears bleed, and your soul die.

Gameplay: 8/10
Good ol’ traditional Sonic Gameplay, with a few good, and a few not so good additions.

Replay value: 6/10
To be honest, there’s not a lot here. It’s hard to be bothered to complete the game with both characters just once. Time trials and multiplayer add a bit of longevity to the game, but there’s nothing addictive about it.

Overall: 81%
Sonic is back on form, with his best game since the Megadrive days, however, a lacklustre storyline, more new characters, and Tails stop the game from being a classic. Dimps have tried to do too much with this, when it’s quite obvious from the best games in the series that keeping it simple is the only way to go with Sonic.



Author: emkay
This page was uploaded on 25/01/07

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