We’ve had a look at how the main three characters will play in a general sense, but you will get to enjoy the presence of many more Sonic stars. Each hedgehog will have two ‘Amigos’ helping them out throughout the stages and within cutscenes, and they all play pretty differently.
Sonic will be followed around by Tails as per usual, and Knuckles. The two tailed fox can do his signature flying move, as he’s no longer strapped in a mech, yay! His attack involves chucking item box bombs at enemies, and a sniper style mode is available by holding down the X Button. Knuckles on the other hand can glide as always, and has his Heat Knuckle move. You will usually call on these guys whenever Sonic needs help finding a switch, because apparently the blue blur’s thick like that.
Shadow is partnered with Team Dark favourites Rouge and Omega, and just like the Team Sonic crew Shad’s extra pairs of hands retain many of their signature moves from Sonic Heroes. Omega has a lock-on feature that attack nearby enemies, while he also has a beefy Omega Launcher as a midair attack – lobbing bombs in the face of Iblis for maximum pain. Rouge glides like always, and like Tails has a bomb move – it’s similar to that used in Sonic Battle, really. Play is switched to Rouge to find items – Kingdom Valley has you looking for three keys, in the only throwback to the SA2 days. Omega comes into force as backup for Shadow, so you’ll be using him in moments involving a lot of firepower. He’s also a bit of a dab hand when helping Shadow out in a boss battle.
Finally, Silver has Blaze and Amy Rose tagging along. In a rather interesting addition to the ‘canon’ game series, Blaze makes her first entrance to the console platform, so we get to understand a bit about her background and why she’s in the future with Shadow instead of that other dimension like in Sonic Rush. Blaze is about the best Amigo character to work with, as all of her Sonic Rush moves have translated well into 3D. She has an attack move which sees her launching at her opponents, but as a midair attack it works similar to Sonic’s homing attack. Amy finds Silver, and – yes, AGAIN – mistakes him for Sonic. Which is how she gets involved in all this mess. Amy has her trusty hammer, but she can only use it on a standstill and aside from a double jump, doesn’t really have much in the way of defence. At all.
Achievables also come back in Sonic the Hedgehog with a vengeance. Medals are awarded for completing levels, achieving special conditions in Soleanna and earning ‘S’ ranks in Action Stages. There’s a total of 5 Gold Medals per Action Stage, two for completing them in normal and hard, two for ‘S’ ranks and one for collecting silver medals within the stage. Sonic the Hedgehog aims to be a challenge for the hardened fan, if only to clear the Achievements list on your 360 and begin boasting.