Sunday, 11 September 2016

F%&@ this game, F%&@ this game, F%&@ this game, F%&@ this game, F%&@ this game

Decided to change the order, Sky Reign is Wednesday.

Ugh... this game. This abomination. This atrocity. This disgrace. What better way to celebrate the 15th anniversary of a franchise then to almost single handily kill it? Granted, it wasn't alone, Genesis and Secret Rings helped. This game, is infamous in how bad, how broken, how glitchy it is. This game, above all others, is the reason the franchise has the reputation it does. This was one of the first games I got for my 360, due to a sale EB was doing, and that my only other option was a 16-bit collection where the games I'd want to play, I already had for the DS. I should note, I have not played the newest contender to this throne, I don't have the game, but in the spirit of No Man's Sky's release, let’s go back, to 2006, to a game that no longer had the protection of the time. When DLC was starting to become a thing, but not patches, to a game that had the franchise creator leave the company. If you thought Assassins Creed Unity and No Man's Sky was bad, well, I envy you, because dear, naive reader, you haven't seen anything yet. Welcome, to "SONIC the Hedgehog", or to go by its more common name, Sonic '06.

I hope you're in the mood for reading, because I've got a lot to say about this game, even before going into my opinions on it, my critique. Would this beat Age of Extinction in terms of size? Surprisingly no.

For the next, probably several paragraphs, I'm going to try to explain the plot of the story in as simple of a way as possible. Why am I saying this? You'll see. Side note, this was meant as a reboot so for the sake of your sanity, forget the previous 15 years of the franchise exists in terms of narrative. If you want to skip, look for the bold words

Before the events that start the game, Shadow the Hedgehog, now working for a military organization called G.U.N, has been sent on a mission to rescue Rouge the Bat, who herself was ordered to recover an item called the Sceptre of Darkness. This in itself isn't actually the start of the story both in game and narrative, you'll see why soon. The rendezvous point is in a place known as Kingdom Valley, but before they can make it to the pickup point, they fall into a trap by Doctor Eggman, causing the Sceptre to break, and freeing the entity inside known as Mephiles the Dark. I'm going to go back to character designs later, just keep those two in the back of your head. Mephiles has a deep hatred of Shadow, for Shadow was originally the one to seal him in the Sceptre, and as a result, teleports the two of them to the future. Yes people, this is a time travel focused plot.

In the future, in another campaign (see why this is going to be convoluted yet?), we're introduced to another new character to the franchise, Pothead the Porcupine... I mean Silver the Hedgehog. In this future, a creature of hellfire called Iblis has brought about the apocalypse, and Silver, with the aid of Blaze the Cat (I'll get back to it) are trying to stop it, and failing because it constantly revives itself. Seeing an opportunity, Mephiles tells Silver how Iblis, known as the Flames of Disaster, was released, and who was the one responsible by... showing him some pictures in the purple Chaos Emerald and going "it was that guy". Who was the one responsible? Sonic the Hedgehog. With this knowledge, Silver and Blaze travel back in time to kill Sonic.

Now to the actual start of the dam game, back in the present, the city of Soleana is celebrating a festival to honour Solaris, a festival which comes off as one of those "please don't kill us" festivals. During the ceremony, Dr Eggman rains a missiles and robots down to crash the festival from the Egg Carrier, and tries to kidnap both Princess Elise, the ruler of Soleana, bearer of a Chaos Emerald, and the bane of the entire Sonic fan base... one of them. Sonic (Yeah remember him?) tries to rescue Elise, but loses her to Eggman just after she throws him the blue Chaos Emerald. After trying to catch the Egg Carrier on foot, and failing. Sonic and Tails rescue Elise from Dusty Desert, get attacked by Silver, Elise gets kidnapped and someone saves Sonic, in this case, Amy, who has been tagging along with Silver to try and find Sonic, not knowing that Silver was looking to kill him. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles then travel to White Acropolis, While Silver finds Blaze after she went through Wave Ocean, and then travel to White Acropolis too. Eggman then sends Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to the Future, where they meet with Shadow and Rouge.

This is getting ridiculous: Sonic and Shadow make it back to their own timeline, where Sonic continues to rescue Elise, Shadow convinces Silver who the real enemy is by going back in time to an event that caused all of this to start happening. Silver then teams up with Sonic to try and save Elise, while Shadow tries to stop Mephiles, Sonic then rescues Elise, Silver seals Iblis, but Blaze sacrifices herself to do it, and Shadow continues trying to stop Mephiles. Now to the last story. Mephiles kills Sonic. Yes, you saw that right. To revive him, Elise has Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Rouge, E-123 Omega, Amy and Silver retrieve the 7 chaos emeralds, so that she may revive him with a kiss (again, f$*! this game). Sonic then shares his Super form with Shadow and Silver, and the three of them team up to defeat the combined form of Iblis and Mephiles, Iblis being freed in the present when Elise cries, Solaris. Once all is over, Elise reluctantly blows out the flame that is Solaris, rewriting the entire timeline so that this game, never happened.


Wow this plot is a mess, genuinely a complete mess. I can't even remember what happens in it half the time because of it. What makes it worse is that nothing about it is memorable, if you can figure out when events are happening. The game tries to take itself so f%^!(!g seriously that I rarely laugh, and when I do laugh, it’s because the game doesn't want me too. No joke, the only thing I genuinely remember is a moment when Shadow uses Chaos control to kick Silver in the back of the head. Anything else I remember, I remember because of how wrong it is in context, all of them being connected to Elise. Elise has got to be one of the worst characters I've seen in a game, any game. She gets kidnapped more times than Princess Peach does, at least she's only once a game, more wooden then Link in Ocarina of Time, who is himself a plank of wood. Always monotone, never developing as a character, when she's not infuriating, she's boring. I've seen more emotion coming out of people who have depression. Even the "Everything must die" guy from Hatred is more of an interesting character then Elise. What makes it worse, is that everyone else in the game is barely better. The main characters are dull, the villains are cheesy as hell, a generic monster, or completely redundant, and the NPC's are laughably awful, as they wave their hands like they just don't care. Throw in the fact that they speak in a language more barren then Hylian, and you've got laughably bad NPC's that are there basically for completely useless side quests

Oh boy... the gameplay. Getting the general part out of the way, this is based on the Sonic Adventure gameplay style. In this context though, that means slow levels, because this doesn't replicate the speed, barren, empty, lifeless hub worlds... yes I know the npc's, I think calling them life in this concept does a disservice to far better hub worlds. In level, we have 12 gameplay styles. Getting that over bloated feeling yet? Let's run down the list.

Sonic behaves as he did in the Adventure games, just far slower for most of the levels... at least until you get to sections where he remembers he's SONIC the F&!$)!! HEDGEHOG, and speeds up. Problem, the only time Sonic is fun to use more often than not is when he's not dealing with a gimmick! Elise's shield thing is the only exception, as the other two are a broken Snowboard where it is entirely possible to snowboard uphill because it’s almost impossible to do a 180 and the speed is set regardless of slope. But by far the worst of it is the Mach speed sections. First I should note, you can't jump on enemies like you could in almost every other Sonic game even to date. So, for the Mach speed sections, let's take away your ability to attack, take away your ability to f@!%(!% stop, ramp up collision so running alongside a wall and touching pebbles makes you lose all your rings, and make levels that can throw so much crap at you that you will want to break your controller. I'm looking at you Crisis City, you're Mach speed section is probably the reason why enough fans have Stockholm syndrome for your level and wanted it back in Generations. Who thought it was a good idea to have that, and put you on a straight bit of road full of boxes, cars, item boxes which I've had the game glitch out and treat them as hitting something making me lose all my rings, concrete sewage pipes, a fire tornado that throws cars and rubble at you, all on a highway where if you so much as jump at the wrong angle then you will die! Die to many times, and you will have to restart the level, which includes one of those awful snowboarding sections where the acts of turning and jumping make catching every legendary Pokémon with standard poke balls, in Pokémon Go, look like the easiest thing in the world to do. Oh, and I would like to say here and now, most people think of Sonic's gameplay to be the best in the game.

Tails: Like Sonic, Tails had a bad case of concussion between the Adventure games and 06, because now he can't do any physical attacks at all. He can still "fly", but his flight is so hard to control that unless you're going in a straight line, which is thankfully often, then you'll have issues. To attack, Tails now uses Dummy Ring Bombs, which are not only almost impossible to be precise with unless you go to a first person camera, which leaves you open to being attacked and if you're hit with anything harder than a Vulcan cannon, you will be knocked out of first person mode, making it completely useless. You can also tap the attack button to throw it at random, or tap it in the air to drop it like a bomb. Oh I should say, enough of the rings can lag the game, and any at all makes it a pain to figure out which rings are rings and which are fakes, as rings are still your health.

Knuckles: First, going to say this now, I don't even know if Knuckles can attack. I genuinely don't. Knuckles works by gliding, like he did in the Adventure games, only problem is that there is a common glitch where he can be stuck on the wall, and cannot physically be removed from it. Jump as much as you want, you aren’t leaving that wall unless you're lucky. The reason I don't know if he can attack, is because I never attacked with him, I didn't care, I was too busy getting him off the walls.

Shadow: Same as Sonic, but with more button mashing, useless powers, and vehicles which are either dull, or in the case of the hovercraft, bulls@!) to use because of how easy it is to get hit with an instant death thing from the scenery, that causes you to lose the hovercraft, and die. There's also the glider, which you may as well put the controller down because you can clear all parts its used for without touching it.

Rouge: Take Tails and Knuckle's gameplay, mash them together, faults and all.

E-123 Omega: My favourite to use in the entire game. Moves about as fast as the speed characters do, or at least feels like it, can shoot enemies from a distance with auto lock weapons, and if you mash the A button long and hard enough, you can bypass entire chunks of level thanks to infinite hover. Shame you barely use him, it’s like the developers didn't want you to have fun in this game.

Blaze: Oh don't worry, I'll get back to Silver. Blaze is again like Sonic, minus the Mach speed sections, and can double jump. I think she has an attack, again I don't know, I avoid combat like the plague especially in Silver's campaign

Amy: Feels one of the slowest characters in the game. Can turn invisible for some time, can jump high, and has a hammer swing so gimped that it may as well not be there at all.

Silver: Oh boy... Silver, is all physics based. You lift things with psychokinesis, that you use to attack, unlock paths, ect, with it all being built around the physics engine. Problem, the engine is so laughably bad that when you want to do something precise with it, like, I don't know, THE BILLIARD BALL PUZZLE OF DUSTY DESERT, it makes the game unplayable. This is the level I stopped at. I can't play further; I don't want to play further. I tried breaking the game, because if it wasn't obvious enough, this game is so laughably bad in terms of programing that the glitches are everywhere, so much so that the act of pushing a ball down a corridor becomes almost impossible. I've spent hours trying to do the puzzle legit, I've tried to break the game to let me through the door, but nothing.

The only thing I can defend about this game is the music, it is a good soundtrack overall, a lot of it iPod worthy for me. Visually, the game is pretty average overall. The game looks ok for an early last gen game, but as a Sonic game, there’s no charm. The Sonic character look good, but lip sync is laughably bad, goes along side audio design glitches like forgetting to edit out a bad take of a line. The hub worlds look bland in comparison to games like Sonic Adventure, almost every human is forgettable in looks, but not animation, with the only two being paler than white Elise, and Dr Eggman who looks ugly in this game. Eggman does not work realistic, unless that realistic is still cartoony in the case of Sonic Boom. But even with that everything else is just awful, and what really pisses me off is that the game is still going for a decent price. $23 on the 360, $32 on the PS3 at EB games at time of writing. The 360 one even somehow has a 3-star rating overall? "Speed Redefined: Utilizing next-gen technologies, light bloom, and environmental motion-blur effects, Sonic’s breakneck speed and dazzling world come to life." And in the case of some of the reviews: "Sonic 06 isn't actually a bad game. It is actually very fun. The graphics are quite good at some points. The story is actually good, and you get used to the characters" What the hell are you smoking and where can I get some? Seriously, f@!) this game, f@!) anyone who thinks it’s good because they're either drunk, high, or lying. This game isn't good, and this is the only time I will not accept "everyone has a different opinion" because you're lying to yourself if you think this is good. The only redeemable thing about this overall is that it was rock bottom, the games got better, but games like Boom made it worse again, so apparently there is lower than Rock Bottom. No I'm not reviewing that any time soon, I am not paying $80 for that game, store owners would be lucky if I was willing to pay more than 20. Happy 25th Sonic, hope Fire and Ice turns out better than this abomination a game, this disgrace did. See you on Wednesday for Sky Reign, and Next Sunday for four hopefully better games, Pokémon Generation 5.

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