Goody day you people, now in recent times I’ve been blogging a lot and I think it’s save to say that I’m addicted. And I’ve also noticed there’s two things I tend blog about a lot and that is reviews and Sonic the Hedgehog. So in the end I decided to smash the two together and do a review on the sequel to Sonic Rush; Sonic Rush Adventure.
So before I get into this review let’s get a bit of background information out of the way. Firstly as you can tell, Sonic Rush Adventure is the 2007 sequel to the original Sonic Rush that came out in 2005. It was developed again by Dimps and Sonic Team, also both Sonic and Blaze return as playable characters in a brand new story and this was the first Sonic game to have online racing head-to-head via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Ah Sonic Rush Adventure, is it another good Sonic game? Indeed it is. Somehow Dimps and Sonic Team had found a way to correct many of the issues of the first game and fine tune the gameplay in this title and while it’s not entirely perfect it is definitely a better game overall. Since I reviewed the first Rush game I’m back to review this one, If you haven’t read my last review you can view it here!
This review will be structured a little differently than the last game and will be separated into sections based on gameplay, presentation and replay value.
In Sonic Rush Adventure you venture through seven different worlds with two acts in each one, upon completing each act you’ll go into a boss encounter. At the end of each act/boss encounter you are given a rank based on you time, rings collected and score achieved while going through the level with S ranks being great and I think the lowest is E rank and let me tell you think now, you’ll have the know the levels inside and out and chain together many trick combos in the air to get those S ranks in later levels. Instead of just simply advancing from level to level in the classic streamlined fashion you now have a base of operations, Windmill Village on Southern Island. When you want to go somewhere you check your Sea Chart, plot out your route using the stylus and after choosing your destination the character travels to one of the seven main islands using one of the four ships, a waterbike, a sailboat, a hovercraft and a submarine. Each have their advantages and disadvantages when traversing to new locations, some can only go short distance while others can only travel underwater and each vehicle has different gameplay traits, some more effective than others.
As you all know gameplay is the most important factor of any game and Sonic Rush Adventure continues to keep the gameplay fast and fun. Running through levels with Sonic and Blaze is still as enjoyable as before. When it comes to Sonic he handles just like he did in Sonic Rush with a few changes and while I mainly use Sonic when playing this game I must note that playing as Blaze the Cat is a lot more fun this time round, it feels as if her movements have been refined and it makes for a better experience in my opinion. The boost bar AKA the Boost Gauge from the first game returns and it is still as fun as every blazing around at high speeds smashing through enemies and the environment too. There has also been a slight change to the way in which the trick system works, this time when you chain combos together along with normal tricks charging your boost bar, you’ll also get a set of numbers that represent how much tricks you do and that will add to your boost bar and overall score at the end of the level. I also like how one of Sonic’s trick animations have been stylized after one similar to Sonic Advance 2 which is one of my favourite Sonic games!
The new levels with their different weather and environments in this game provide new forms of fun, whether it be the shiny depths of Coral Caves or the floating palace of Sky Babylon, it’s lovely and wide in range. Seeing Sonic and Blaze zoom through two different screens still doesn’t get boring and the boss battles are pretty cool. The boss battles are pretty decent, though some of the bosses can become really annoying nad tedious and have some issues with hit detection and while there are most of them all just require a god few jumps on the head, there is some strategy needed for the adversaries nearer the end of the game. Another good thing about this game is that getting Chaos Emeralds in this time around is A LOT easier and A LOT more fun then the before. In Rush Adventure, you’re actually having fun when you’re trying to obtain the emeralds in the races against Johnny the Shark, both Sonic and Blaze have emeralds to collect and for the most part it’s fun but also very frustrating when obtaining the last set.
Now the new traveling system from island to island is fairly interesting the first time round, waterskiing is rather fun the first few times, along with the other water vehicles, but after a while it gets a little annoying especially when you have to get to specific locations or discover hidden islands you’ll start to become frustrated with the fact that this part of the game takes away the main part of the gameplay that you paid for which was the 2D platforming where you’re constantly running from left to right. As I said before this game fixes most of the issues from the previous game with most of the pit holes much more reduced in number and the enemies aren’t placed in random locations anymore… However I must mention that speed, as much as you’ll love to use it, it will turn against if you’re not careful and it’ll become your enemy. Sometimes you’ll be moving too damn fast to the point where you’ll continuously keep dying due to the unforgiving level design, especially if you’re a first time player and when the pit holes show up, my god they’re there and it will cause you endless amounts of pain suffering if you’re not careful.
The game’s graphics though they don’t differ much from its predecessor though that is a bad thing as the visuals are great and as I played this game I noticed that the game does have a sharper picture than before with a much more vivid colourful palette and is better in texture than original game of 2005. Thanks to the new locations we are treated to some fancy visuals that look nice and lend themselves well to the Nintendo DS’s graphical capabilities. Some of these aspects are minor at best, but are noticeable in many ways. There isn’t that much to mention in this department, I mean if you played the first game then expect more of the same except with new locations full of character, unique traits and various branching pathways all at a consistent frame rate with good animation.
In my opinion the music in Sonic Rush Adventure is nowhere as cool as the original, the first game had style, flair and was totally in your face. The charismatic feel of the original game is long gone with this title and in their place are these new, more vocalized, happy-go-lucky songs that don’t even come close the close sounds of Sonic Rush. This game happens to have a largely forgettable soundtrack filled with songs that I guess suit the nature of Sonic games but it doesn’t feel like they as impressive as they should be. However as much as I am not keen on this soundtrack there is a lot to like, some tunes are pretty good like Sky Babylon, Blizzard Peaks, Windmill Village Mode 5 and the some of water sections and final boss fight have their moments of awesomeness.
Running through levels and completing the main game will take a short few hours, but tackling levels for better rankings, collecting the Chaos emeralds and collecting various materials from all of the different islands will keep players busy for a while. And then taking into consideration the Time Trail Mode, Wireless Versus battles and Wi-Fi battles with anyone in the world and uploading of your fastest times onto the online leaderboard will keep the players busy indeed. However for all of these great game modes, some of it does kind of suck. Having revisit the same levels time and time again when collecting materials can become tiresome very quickly and the water travelling sections from island to island will become tedious after the 100th time. Also if you don’t have a means of getting online or have a buddy to go wireless with then your fun with this game will be severely shortened.
In conclusion Sonic Rush Adventure for me lacked a certain spark that made me love this game the way I loved on the first game, but when I got into the game it would become a Sonic game you need in your life. Sure there are some other issues that have followed from Sonic Rush and this game has given us some new gameplay that is awkward and tedious. Also the story is game is horrible, I didn’t bother talking about it because it was that irrelevant plus I wanted to save you from the nightmare that is Marine the Raccoon. My god Marine the Raccoon is one of the most annoying characters in the Sonic universe, when you play the game you’ll see for yourself. I think she may be worse than Chip from Sonic Unleashed. I just hate her, period. gathering materials can become tiresome. But putting the bad points aside this game improves upon the previous version in many ways with the new gameplay elements, the new traveling system implemented and the extended replay value thanks to the collecting of materials and online Wi-Fi. Sonic and Blaze are still play as and this is the game is proof that Sonic is still kicking in the department of 2D platforming. It’s hard to rate this game because although it fixes a lot of the issues of Sonic Rush, it presents us with a number of new issues in the gameplay and replay value department. Sonic Rush Adventure in my opinion also lacks the charm and originality of the first game too so in my mind I think of this game as the other half of Sonic Rush 1 with improved gameplay elements. It is still a great game and not to be missed out on