Monday, 24 November 2008

Could Sonic Unleashed be the final nail in the hedgehog's coffin?

Columbia Spectator has posted an article questioning whether Sonic's latest game is really the end for him. Kevin Ciok, the author, says that Sonic Unleashed has "emphasised mindless speed over the fun mix of speed, platforming and exploration that the original Sonic games featured" and that Sonic is "stuck in an endless cycle of being awful".

I would actually agree with many of his points. Where has the platforming element of the games gone? You are mostly travelling at break-neck speed, only occasionally jumping and using skill to navigate the level. It is also true that the 3D Sonic games haven't ever been truly good, and are stuck in the same never-ending loop. Only the handheld sidescrollers have actually succeeded in creating the Sonic feel, but Sega still hasn't noticed this. Sonic should stick to the 2D gameplay.

Although I'm being harsh, I think Sonic Unleashed is a step in the right direction for Sonic. If the game didn't feature the awful werehog, was slowed down slightly and had more of a 2D platforming element then it would be perfect. Ciok says that "if Sega were to realise that Sonic was not just about speed, maybe they could get somewhere".

Read the full article here, and also see this interesting article on 2D versus 3D games.

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