TSS REVIEW: Sonic and the Black Knight

TSS REVIEW: Sonic and the Black Knight

One of the first things you can do in Sonic and the Black Knight is view a slide show gallery of artwork, created by blue blur fans around the world. Almost all of them recount classic moments in the franchise’s history within Sonic CD, Sonic and Knuckles and Sonic Adventure 2 among others. It’s a bittersweet irony really, given that the new-age Sonic Team – a studio that’s opening their hearts and willing to do good like an eager puppy – are willing to embrace fan input where it’s positive, yet block out complaints about rushed developments, poor gameplay mechanics and passionless level design and counter with more of the same.

Sonic and the Black Knight is another case of missed opportunity for the Japanese team. While Sonic and the Secret Rings was by no means perfect, it provided a solid base of gameplay that was instantly accessible and focused on nothing but Sonic’s abilities (or lack thereof at the start of the game, as we sadly reminded ourselves). Rather than ‘do a Sonic 2’ and simply improve on the things that ticked players off, we have a sword-swinging mechanic that ultimately proves more troublesome than its worth. Between this, Beijing and the Werehog, it almost seems like Sonic doesn’t want to be a platforming game anymore.

Premise

Of course, t’is but a scratch spinoff, right? So surely some alternative action has to transpire, otherwise we’d just get a stale franchise. Or at least that’s what ‘they’ reckon, ignoring the train wrecks that Banjo-Kazooie and Crash Bandicoot have become – while elements such as storyline and play concepts are subject to deviation from the norm, it’s truly the implementation of such ideas that determine whether the ‘spinoff’ argument really works. Also as asinine an explanation is that this game is for ‘younger players’, as if Sonic wasn’t already for kids or something.

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Be it for toddlers, adults or ducks, as far as Sonic the Hedgehog in a medieval land goes, it works quite well. Following on from Sonic and the Secret Rings’ “Storybook Series”, Black Knight sees the blue blur summoned into the land of King Arthur to stop the now-twisted monarchy from terrorising its people. At least that’s what Sonic assumes, given that the sorceress Merlina never actually explains anything until the hedgehog starts busting heads open. For all he knew, Merlina could have been guilty of not paying for that copy of Heat magazine from the corner shop.

The story is just as wacky as its predecessor, but it becomes extremely dull after finding the trusty sword, Caliburn. After beating down the Knights of the Round Table (Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze) and then kicking evil King Arthur about a bit, you are treated to an infinitely more compelling plot once the first credits reel finishes. It’s just strange that Sonic Team chose to split the game into two parts – it’s hardly Che is it?

It’s a pretty good premise and not too far fetched from the kind of campy action you’d expect Sega’s mascot to participate in these days. Plus, it’s always good to see English heritage getting some hang time. Where the hell is Eggman though!?

JUDGEMENT: Thumbs Up
FAVOURITE SCENE: Sonic rallying the spirits of the Knights of the Round Table during the second chapter.

Presentation

sbk-review3The game looks lovely though. Anyone that would criticise Sonic and the Black Knight for being too ‘grey’ clearly needs to understand the setting. We’re not going to be expecting chequered hills and purple skies in rainy old England, just as we’re unlikely to see anything but the colour yellow in Secret Rings. The graphics are top Wii fare, showing once again that Sega can really make use of Nintendo’s hardware.

Cutscenes are wonderfully done, yet again taking a leaf out of SatSR’s book but making it more like an animatic instead of a comic book. There are some good trade-offs between Sonic and Caliburn, and the characters really shine throughout the dialogue. Seeing Sonic take down Knuckles and state in a zen-like fashion “Isn’t there more to life than serving a King?” is just a great use of the hedgehog’s approach to life and situations, and the final cutscenes leading up to the last boss battle throws up some pretty cool morals too.

You’ll really enjoy the story as it picks up during the second half, it’s just a shame it’s over so quickly. The locales get far more interesting too as Camelot turns into a more flourescent, twisted version of itself. Lava caverns, dusty towns and fields rich with tall green grass all help maintain the ‘Sonic’ signature even in this foreign land.

JUDGEMENT: Thumbs Up
FAVOURITE BIT:
The storybook style cutscenes.

Sound

For the first time in what seems like forever, the sound department in a Sonic game is truly a mixed bag. It’s difficult whether you’ll love it or hate it. With Sonic and the Secret Rings, it was easy to love Runblebee and it’s terrible (c)rap-bopping. It gave the game character. There’s nothing of the sort in Black Knight, despite top names like Jun Senoue, Richard Jacques and Tommy Tallarico filling the bill – even classic Sonic game luminary Howard Drossin. The result is what happens when you have too many musical cooks.

Crush 40’s title track, Knight of the Wind, isn’t a very compelling song to get you pumped for the game, and is borderline boring. The amount of different versions of the song will irritate you too. The continuing threat of Senoue and Gioeli’s band slowly losing their touch is thankfully halted when you hear ‘Live Life’, truly a great song and easily their best since ‘What I’m Made Of’. Sadly – or wonderfully, given it has a greater impact – the song is relegated to the second credits reel.

There are some tracks that have that awesome recognisable guitar ‘twang’ from Sonic Adventure 2. Other stage songs are pretty ‘Shadow the Hedgehog’ in quality with their overly heavy riffs from yesteryear that have aged quite badly. ‘Through The Fire’ is really nothing on ‘The Palace That Was Found’, and the moment I realised Sonic attracted Evanescence wannabes is the moment I switched off.

Now, we have always had a strict ‘who cares about the voice acting’ policy on TSS, because frankly there has never been a noticeable difference in the way Ryan Drummond and Jason Griffith do business. Unfortunately we have to bring this up today as on this occasion the voice acting is really poor. The 4Kids actors all seemed to be having an off day on this project, as Jason’s Shadow sounds more life a gruff 60 year old man, and Sonic’s cheesy lines grate much more than usual. The delivery on some cutscenes is almost House of the Dead-worthy – Merlina’s role was the only convincing one. Overall, your enjoyment of the sound production is dependant on whether you’ll enjoy the game itself or not.

JUDGEMENT: Thumbs Down (just)
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Molten Mine, Live Life, Deep Woods.

Gameplay

Enjoying Sonic and the Black Knight is a real big ask. Played with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo, movement is made with the Control Stick, the A Button jumps and waggling performs an attack. Whichever way you swing the Remote results in the exact same attack pattern though, essentially replacing a button press with arm cramp. You don’t know what move you’re actually going to do, which throws pre-meditated assaults out of the window. Sometimes swinging the Remote will send Sonic spinning forward, other times it will just pull him to a dead stop, whirling Calibur around like a crazed baboon.

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This doesn’t help matters when attacking enemies is tiresome and cheap. One or two bad guys is fine – a swing of the wrist will fix them. It’s the legions of five or six at a time that will make you curse to the moon, particularly if you’re trying to attain a practically impossible five-star rating (based on ‘Chivalry’, attacks and total score). You can’t avoid them if you’re trying to get a good score (and you can’t move past the giant enemies anyway), so your only option is to waggle.

It’s here that you get assaulted by enemy attacks you never see coming – enemy attacks that really shouldn’t have hit you in the first place, because you’re swinging Caliburn as if its stuck to your hand at this point. You can shield with the Z Button, but that won’t deflect every onslaught, and when most grunts jump in the air – indicating an attack any second – pressing the button hardly gets your guard up in time, making the feature pointless. There’s no indicator of what could break your shield either, it all just seems like the game’s making it up as it goes along. This goes for bosses too – perhaps even more so, and beating Percival, Galahad and Lancelot is a case of pure luck as they constantly win confusing waggle QTEs and do a million combos before you even understand what’s going on.

Attacking in itself is also extremely inaccurate – besides not being able to actually hit enemies when you swing (resulting in frustrated flails that nearly tear your arm off), the game seems to be on a constant two-second lag. Playing through the tutorial stages shows it off the most – swing at a target as you near it and it takes seconds to actually launch an attack, making you miss and have it spin mockingly at your ineptitude. You either swear and carry on, or clumsily plod backwards and swing again. And miss as you spin forward rather than do a standing attack.

Because you’re not constantly moving forward, you assume you have full control of Sonic. Not the case. The control is still as clunky as Secret Rings (which was actually acceptable given the fact that it actually was on-rails), but Black Knight succeeds in providing a false sense of freedom, and moving left and right is even more annoying as a result. What is most aggravating is backtracking – it might be easier to do this time around, but what would have actually worked would have been full 360-degree control. It really breaks the flow when you have to trot backwards and forwards like a nervous cow.

sbk-review2Most of the levels and missions have been cut down in length severely though, and that’s a good thing as it was a pain to go through so much in SatSR’s stages. Black Knight makes for a game played in bite-sized chunks, and that’s how best this game is played. When you complete missions, you’re given a star rating and a number of ‘Followers’ based on how flawless your flailing was. Identification points allow you to discover items, which you can use to forge new weapons for additional characters via the Blacksmith (Tails). Unfortunately, playing as either Shadow, Knuckles or Blaze is no more fun than as Sonic – in fact, it’s about ten times worse (although Knuckles can glide, which is pretty cool).

For all its woes though, there are some nice things about playing through a stage in Sonic and the Black Knight. Some wonderful set-pieces take you across grassy plains, massive wooden people-carts and dragon dens. You can use Caliburn to slide down or climb walls with ease, and there’s a good deal of freedom in that maneouvre. Different styles of fighting allow you to attack with more speed or power. You also get a Soul Surge attack, which is mapped to the B trigger – activate it, and a target appears, allowing Sonic to home in on multiple enemies and slash them down, one by one. This concept is about the best way to tackle enemies in the game – a shame that it’s limited to a gauge that you have to fill up.

There are additional missions, but they’re all dull skirmishes that either sees you giving money to NPCs (forcing you to stop and take part in QTEs), completing stages by only swinging your sword ten times (which, given the horrible inaccuracies of the controls is pretty much an impossible task) and avoiding NPCs which pop up five feet in front of you. I know the Wii isn’t as powerful as its rival consoles but the ridiculous draw distance for characters that were difficult enough to avoid in the first place is like a kick in the nuts.

JUDGEMENT: Thumbs Down
FAVOURITE PART: Dashing through the green plains of Great Megalith.

Longevity

It takes a total of two hours to fully complete the Adventure Mode. Both chapters. As mentioned before, the levels are much shorter which is great, but someone forgot to mention to Sonic Team that if you’re effectively halving the time taken to complete levels from Sonic and the Secret Rings, you should probably have double the missions to make up for that.

To be fair, there are a lot of additional missions via the online rankings mode, including time trials that won’t appear on the Adventure map. Play through these, and your score is uploaded to the leaderboards for all to see. Strangely, there’s no way of checking the rankings until you clear the mission, which is a bit of an oddity. Treasures and other items you identify can be viewed on a special screen, showing you what you’ve revealed already, and completing some of the stupidly-hard missions will unlock bonus content in the Gallery. Seeing voiceover actors introduce themselves is nice and all, but in general it hardly seems worth it.

What IS worth it though, is the unlocking of ‘Legacy Stages’, which are Black Knight levels that feature elements from past Sonic games. The result is a mixture of Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic and the Secret Rings, and this mode is about the only thing worth playing for – why the whole game couldn’t have been done like this beggars belief, but there you go. It’s a shining gem in the centre of a dull rock though, and even the most hardcore will be hard pushed to reach this far.

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You’ll never want to touch the multiplayer mode either, as it’s one of the most tedious and awkward things I’ve ever played. Instead of a board game-cum-minigame party ala Secret Rings, in Black Knight you’re treated to four-on-four deathmatches and other such modes in generic square playing fields. Every character seems to have had their legs broken, and the win mechanic is pretty much ‘whoever waggles first’.

Overall, you’ll be hard pushed to come back to Black Knight once you’ve nobbled the story. And even while you’re playing it you’ll feel no sense of actually playing a Sonic game. The experience is tiring and frustrating one moment, empty and soulless the next. This is the first time I’ve played a Sonic game and not felt any kind of depth or satisfaction. Even Sonic 06 felt like a full package, as bad as that game was. Sonic and the Black Knight seems like a demo disk, devoid of any real gameplay gratification at all. Older Sonic fans are likely to feel the same way, while ‘younger kids’ – this game’s target audience – are more prone to break their controllers by throwing them at a wall.

JUDGEMENT: Thumbs Down
FAVOURITE TIME-WASTER: Watching the awesome fan artwork slideshows in the Gallery mode.

FINAL WORDS

YOU’LL LOVE
+ The graphics and the setpieces within the levels.
+ Using Soul Surge to beat down a metric tonne of enemies.
+ Some of the cutscenes – even if the voice acting is remarkably poor.
+ The bite-sized stages.
+ The Legacy Stages – you will actually curse Sega for cockteasing you with this.

YOU’LL HATE
– Flailing your arm and getting severe cramp.
– Inaccurate and unresponsive attacking/defending.
– How short the Adventure Mode is.
– Deciding whether it’s actually worth 100%-ing the game.
– The tacked-on Party Mode.

Published by

Dreadknux

Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.

34 Comments

  1. Did I ever hate those QTEs during boss battles. I was able to win one against Blaze (Percival), yet I have no clue how I did it. Supposedly you’re supposed to shake the Wii mote (which no mater what direction I shook it, forward, side to side, against the wall, it never registered).

    The only thing I enjoyed about this was the story (and character personalities), but other than that your review pretty much summarizes the game up.

    One thing to note though, after getting tired of hearnig certian in game music tracks, I just equipped the medals that play either Knuckles and Shadow (or the newly created Blaze) main themes.

    Good review though.

  2. Once I actually properly figured out how to do it, I really started to enjoy the swordplay in the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure that out until after the first set of credits, so I beat the majority of the game just shaking the remote like a madman instead.

    Personally, though, I’m extremely glad this wasn’t just an improvement over Secret Rings. That game’s controls were unresponsive to the point of making the game unplayable. Trying to use the Homing Attack to cross bottomless pits lead to the largest amount of cheap deaths I’ve ever had in a Sonic game – I haven’t come across a single cheap death in Black Knight. I’m also still playing it after beating the story, which is something I can’t say for Secret Rings, which I haven’t touched since it’s release week.

    It’s a short game, but I have few complaints. I agree about the voice acting, though honestly I thought Dan Green was great this time around. The choice for multiplayer characters is stupid, though. We have Lancelot, Gawain and Percival, so why do we need Shadow, Knuckles and Blaze, too? I would’ve much rather they gave us some more characters as Knights of the Round Table. Espio or Vector would’ve been great.

  3. A tip on the good way to attack enemies. I’ve basically figured the best way, apart from Soul Surge(which is all the more awesome once you get good at Perfect Hits, cause you just keep slashing, and slashing, and…), is to just jump and swing right before you meet them. With Sonic(and Lancelot, though his is slower) you just do this horizontal spin move that basically just slashes everyone. Works even better when they’re in a line, which most enemies seem to do.

    But yeah, I enjoyed the game, and I mostly agree with the review. And the Legacy stages are awesome, except one of them isn’t giving me the stupid World Ring!

  4. I’ll agree with the majority of this review… some of it’s a bit harsh but most of it’s true. But I’ll have to severely disagree with you on the sound… Black Knight had a lot of great tunes and the voice acting was very good (this is about the first time since 4Kids took over the voices that Tails actually sounded like a little boy rather than a girl).

    And I do think you were a little harsh on the gameplay… all Legacy stages would’ve been tremendously boring, and while the swordplay has issues, it isn’t because of unresponsiveness. Instead, it was actually a conscious design choice (for whatever reason…). When you swing the ‘mote Sonic starts his swing animation spot on… it’s just that the actual swing doesn’t start until he gets done winding up. Basically whoever designed that hates us.

    And yeah, the boss battles were terrible. The QTW (Quick Time Waggling) was probably the most poorly designed aspect of the entire game. Especially with the Round Table. It’s slightly less terrible with King Arthur. Slightly.

    My biggest disappointment of the game was that, despite the fact that they designed knight versions of Silver and Jet, they didn’t bother adding them to the story. I mean, why NOT? It would have added some length to the story if they had added three extra knights after the first half. It just would’ve been good. My second disappointment was that, because of the crappy swordplay, Shadow, Knuckles, and Blaze weren’t very fun to play as at all. If only they hadn’t had the dumb windup… T_T

  5. Rebuttal to the Legacy stages praise:

    Watched two of them on Youtube. So, for Tetsu Katano or whoever was responsible for coming up with these, their idea of playing the series’ “legacy” is scattering rings, spikes, and springs around in dull short bursts, with the only other opposition being the defenseless versions of Egg Flappers from Heroes. Which can only be hit by way of the Worst Homing Attack Ever™.

    Yeah…that’s all the moving footage i’ll be happy seeing of this garbage for the rest of my days.

    Also: Sonic’s health ain’t looking too hot, he should do something about that nasty chronic twitch he’s developed when running.

  6. Although I liked the game, I can see why some of the thumbs-down areas would be irritating or boring for some, so I can agree with the review there. However, as far as sound, I have to disagree entirely. Knight of the Wind DID get me pumped. That’s more of a matter of opinion than fact, don’t you think? Live Life (as you did say) was very good. I quite enjoyed the level music, as well, and (gasp) the voice acting. I thought it was done quite well. In fact, I am genuinely SURPRISED that Sound didn’t get a thumbs-up.

  7. Why are they starting to complain about the VA’s NOW when they were a LOT worse in earlier games? Try comparing Griffith’s performance in Riders to this one. In Riders, he was pretty much just reading the script without any energy. But here, he’s done his best job yet.

    I miss Drummond as well, but at this point, Griffith’s actually done more games than he has, and has come on in leaps and bounds since his debut.

    So just remember that when you say that he sucks. He may have done once, but he doesn’t now.

  8. I would probably give the game a 6 or 7 out of 10. I have to say that I enjoyed it, especially after things got interesting after the first half, but it just didn’t feel like a Sonic game. I have to say that I enjoyed Secret Rings a lot more. I bought Secret Rings about a year after it came out. I didn’t like it much, so didn’t really play it much, but I picked it up again a year later and found out that I REALLY liked it. I wasn’t bothered by the missions in the game and the on-rails system. I was really bothered by the fact that the Black Knight was very short and didn’t have many missions. To me it doesn’t seem like a worth sequel to Secret Rings. The swordplay was extremely frustrating, especially the fact that your swings are delayed. To me it seems like a bad Legend of Zelda knock-off. The boss battles were either easy, or extremely frustrating, especially during the last King Arthur battle, and the “Lancelot Returns” fight. The game tells you to swing the remote, yet you do and still get beat. What’s the deal? The soundtrack was also pretty weak, and the theme song is a disgrace to tracks like “Live and Learn”, “Open Your Heart”, and “Sonic Heroes”. I thought that Secret Rings had an excellent soundtrack, especially “Seven Rings in Hand”. I played the multiplayer once, and it was a total waste of time. I liked the fact that the stages played music from past Sonic games, but it was an overall waste. Secret Rings had an awesome party mode that never really got boring. I don’t hate the game, but it isn’t that good either. I agree with most of your review, but I actually thought that the voice acting was kind of good, and I don’t like the short stages. The biggest disappointment for me was that the game was so short.

  9. I have to say, IN MY OPINION, that Black Knight was okay.

    I’ve got to disagree that the combat in the game was quite good, I didn’t see much of a lag with the swing of the ‘mote and the actual attack, not even a wind up. The QTW didn’t seem to be resposive enough when fighting the Knights of the Round Table, and the defending Z button doesn’t seem to do much for the game. For those who got cramps with swinging the ‘mote, why not just flick it, it does the same thing? Another thing, it is extremely hard to notice and I have no idea how, but for sword movements (like lounges), how you swing the ‘mote seems to matter. The sword, at times, does slow you down. The Legacy levels are pretty cool, but their real short, the homing attack is unresponsive at times, it’s easy, and the World Ring is not always guaranteed. Item identifiecation is okay, but some of the collecting of the items is annoying considering that the item you’re looking for may not always appear. The weapon crafting system is okay, other than the item collecting. I think Soul Surge is just something fancy at times, though it is useful at others. Finally, the most disappointing part about the game play is how easy the final boss is, with its only real challenge is getting five stars on it.

    I think the story was very lacking and short, and seems to be part of the game that Sega just crapped out, at the last minute, to put into the game disk because their pet monkeys told them to do so (Sonic being King Arthur 0.o). On top of that, as interesting as the Knights of the Table and Caliburn are, I think they could’ve been much more developed with a lot more dialog between all of the characters and not the repeatitive rants Caliburn gives Sonic (though Knave the Hedgehog was funny). Sonic being named Knight of the Wind was cool, cliche, and obvious. Cutscenes were beautifully done compaired to Secret Rings. Surpisingly, Robotnik is missing in action, and Big only appears as a cameo, as a mask (makes me want to go fishing with froggy). Though one positive, story wise, is how kick ass Excalibur-Sonic is (you know, that Sonic with the gold armor).

    Too me, the music wasn’t too memorable at the slightest. During some of the cutscenes, I was shouting joy when I heard Shadow’s and Knuckles’s orginal vocal themes (instramental) playing when they were challenging Sonic, and how a like they were to the actual characters (Shadow=Ego, Knuckles=Protecting Treasure). Knight of the Wind could’ve been better, but I liked it. I also appriciated that Sega did give us the medals to change the levels music, though I couldn’t stand hear any of the medal’s songs over and over again. Seeing a lot of Sonic’s old music was refreshing, especially that celtic remix of “It Doesn’t Matter” during the fan art slide shows. Speaking of celtic, the game’s in level music didn’t seem to have that at all. Also speaking of fan art, it’s kinda scary to have the Tails Doll in another video game (in the USA fan art none-the-less).

    Overall, simarlirly Unleashed, it’s decent as a gamer, and slightly disappointing as a Sonic fan. Slightly for seeing all of the old Sonic stuff through out the game, some old game elements, and the cast of characters, and for replacing everything for fairies (WTF), short story, horrible music, and SOME clunky game play.

  10. Heh, I called the random attack from a wiggle of the wiimote ages ago.. saw it coming a mile away.

    Great review, I haven’t played it which is a first for me, I’m usually the nut case running around and phoning 10 different stores on release day to see if they got the new Sonic.

    Right now $50 is a bit too much, I didn’t enjoy the repetativeness (pick a stage, listen to the same song, select what powers you want to use, finish the mission, pick a stag…) or much of the action in SatSR and everyone is saying it’s already better than BK.

    I’ll eventually get it, but not right now

  11. I will say this. Sonic and the Black Knight is a terrible experience if you suck at the game. If you can’t understand the concept of the perfect hit, the homing attack, individual character strength’s and weaknesses, and actually make use of the RPG elements in the game and play a lot, you will not find the game that enjoyable.

    But that’s the thing…the game is easy to get through, hard to get good at. Also, remember those RPG elements for each style and character weapons? Those actually effect the game and how well you do.

    Personally, I have to say that this game reflects Sonic roots more closely than any other recent Sonic game. Levels that require memorization, combat and time based point system, and while it lacked in puzzles (because the first generation Sonic games actually had puzzles in them that required you to stop and think) it makes up in other aspects.

    My thoughts of course…

  12. I’m supposed to get the game for free because my art’s in it….but Sega still hasn’t sent me the fucking thing. Now, not only are the games failing, but so is their customer service. Morons.

  13. i agree expect for the voice acting which was better than all of the old appearences of 4kids and the sound is great for me also, but i already play unleashed again. it is far more better than this one if you ask me.
    sahh and the best attack in the game is doing the homing attack and then waggle it kills all enemies in no time.

  14. Banjo-Kazooie isn’t a bad series, its doing great right now. Unless you’re talking about Banjo-Pilot, in which sure that game definitely was bad, but not horrible. Nuts and Bolts wasn’t horrible either, a bunch ofthe fans felt ripped off, but alot of these fans didn’t actually PLAY the game, which is incredibly addicting.

  15. “Stan”: You tried emailing or dropping a comment on the blog actually asking where it is? I’m assuming you’re an SOA person as I can’t recall an SOE winner called Stan… I was under the impression they were all sent out so it could’ve been lost in the post or something. Chase it.

  16. I’ve heard of plenty reasons why this should not be played and it’s really starting to get on my nerves how SEGA are just letting Sonic die a painful, painful death. I’ve loved Sonic since Sonic 2 and now, the latest games are just a pathetic joke.

    Unleashed was not brilliant, but it had SO much promise that SEGA didn’t push for. SEGA HAVE to sort out their Sonic games before it’s more than just Sonic Yoda that needs to shut their doors. They need to put in more effort into making the games through, better voice acting, better gameplay, more responsive controls in the Wii, less side missions and more… SONIC!!

  17. A guy on TSSZ summed up this whole review and i agree 100%:

    Sonication on March 18th, 2009 3.10 pm

    I am not exactly with Svend, 3thmthm.

    Plus, it is one thing to not like what any video company is currently going with one of their video game character, but in this case, I am sure that many sites who find out about the existence of the Sonic Stadium one day and look into it will laugh at guys like Svend , especially through such immaturity from Svend himself and his followers/friends.

    I am not not saying that Svend and his fellow Sonic fans are 100% immature, but it would seem that that head macho of the Sonic Stadium and those who admire him just want a more retroized Sonic game because of how much they hate the most recent Sonic titles.

    But in any case, not every Sonic game has to be made to please any Sonic fan. I can well accept Svend’s opinion, but that does not change how immature you are in accepting others opinions. Not only do you think that an old school styled Sonic game will help save the franchise, but even when the situation is not about the Sonic game, your best method, and only method in trying to debate to others about Sonic games in general are not so good.

    When you and others of similar behavior are responding to someone who you don’t agree with; especially like you just did in response to Crysore’s post, 3thmthm; your only skill in showing disagreement, especially when you do not like about what that person, you either tell them that they are an idiot (how mature), get all butthurt about what someone said about someone in this Sonic community (Svend, in this case), or be flame, rude, disrespectful or just plain unaccepting and immature. In fact, in the case of your defending Svend, Crysore said something that you really could have ignored instead of showing butthurtedness and being really defensive. There is also no excuse for calling Crysore an idiot, because that makes you look no better, what so ever!

    I can accept how guys like Svend feels about this game, but by now, I do not see how guys who make fan games, hacks or runs his own news site has come to be the most respected in the community. Seriously, how can they be so special about that? You may they are special and deserve that respect…

    But with such wishful thinking of Sega making an all retro, 2D Sonic game or something along those lines, you are so deeply obsessed in wanting such a game, that when other fans show disagree, you act butthurt about what they think should be done with the series (that you don’t want to happen) that you don’t eve elaborate on why you disagree and make yourself look more foolish and immature by using your flaming methods in terms of disagreement.

    Just because The Sonic Stadium is a big part of this community, does not mean that everyone would think the same way the people at TSS do about current Sonic games. Plus, for the most part, the Sonic Community makes up a portion of all other communities on the net. If you care to look into those communities to find out their opinion about current Sonic games instead of assuming that all of them share the same opinion with those in the Sonic Community, you’d be surprised to see how many people love the modern 3D Sonic games more than they like the classic games.

    Plus, why does Svend want this no drama 09 to happen? He is part of the same kind of Sonic fans who whine about what Sega is currently doing with Sonic! Most of those old school Sonic fans (including Svend) are so deep in their opinion (which can still be respected by one another) have shown how you can contribute to such drama. Plus, with such immaturity and harsh attitudes among you guys; especially since you make a big part of this Sonic “community” will not make no drama 09 as possible to achieve as you think. Sure, even new school fans who love the 3D games more than the 2D ones may add to the drama along with the old school fans, but since this is proposed by a guy who seems no different from the old school fans who admire, follow and respect him; No Drama 09, in my eyes, is nothing more than a laugh!

    I will calmly respect Svend’s opinion, but remember: as long as people in the Sonic community (not just Svend) can’t open up to accept (not just Sega adding new things in recent Sonic games) others’ opinion and not be more mature than calling those “others” idiots, this so called Sonic Community will be laughable not just within the gaming community, but to those outside the same community (and you’ll be laughed at more then you’d expect). And with more Sonic fans around who don’t think that the classics are that great, you’d make them look just as bad; even if they are not so immature as you think.

    This may not happen soon, but keep these attitudes up, and it will most likely happen!

  18. @Krischaos: Respectfully, you and Sonication are the kind of people that will happily eat anything Sega will throw at you. Getting wound up over a simple review is exactly the kind of thing that ‘No Drama 09’ should be removing from our community – see, the problem isn’t me here, it’s you. 😉 You are causing the drama.

    I don’t want a retro-ized Sonic game at all. I simply want a good one. And it’s “immature” to assume that I’m a ‘retrofag’ or anything else. I’m a Sonic fan. Not a Sonic fanboy. There’s a difference. Thanks.

    @Everyone else: Thanks for your opinions, keep them coming! We really want to hear what you think about this game! 🙂 Doesn’t matter if you disagree with the review or not, I love hearing your personal thoughts.

  19. I found the game quite disappointing in terms of game play, as it has been said before with constant arm waggling and un-responsive controls, I actually prefer Secret Rings which I disliked also.

    The story although shorts was ok and I loved the fact they had a proper CGI intro as opposed to the drawn ones like in SatSR and i also thought that the cut scenes were much more nicely done with more animation as opposed to the still images in SatSR.

    The voice acting I feel is getting better with each game, although it’s still cheesy but i suppose that it is based solely for children. However no music other than the main theme really stick in my mind, but it was great to hear remixes of previous songs in the game =D

    The graphics themselves again were great, they really show off what the Wii is capable of, and I hope that if they were too bring out more games on the Wii, they continue to amaze us.

    I can imagine the next story book game would be set in Ancient Greece with the characters taking on the roles from myths.

  20. hopefuly I will be able to buy the game on the weeked, it sounds good to me. Younger fans rule!!!!!

  21. Sonic Overlord UK: Who said they’re letting him die!? Honestly, some people blow things WAY out of proportion.

  22. @Svend:
    Buddy, i got no problem with you and your opinion, i just felt the need to throw a bit of devil’s advocate your way, thats all.
    I may not have agreed with some of the wording of Sonication’s critique(butthurt lol) but he does raise a fair few points. I’ve been a fan of this site since i was back in secondary school, (i’m now 23 lol) and i did agree with the whole No drama 09 thing but its not gonna be a reality if you get rid of the freedom to disagree and understand another person’s opinion.
    The fact you turn around and say to me I “happily eat anything Sega will throw at me” makes it sound like i’m a mindless idiot or product of big brother generation because i had a far different experience with the game then you. I dont find that respectful at all.
    I just finished the game 10mins ago and i had alot more fun with the game as whole than with the day stages in Unleashed.
    I did enjoy your review but you do talk alot like these people you claim want a retroized Sonic, i’m not saying you are but every review since 06 has been like this. I completely understand its your opinion and it is mature to not actually do a score but instead way the pros and cons.
    I dont know if you read all of what he was saying but he never once calls you anything, your thoughts?
    (i’ve always wanted to debate this with you personally funnily enough lol)

  23. @Krischaos: Ah, don’t worry then mate, no hard feelings. 🙂 I’m cool with devil’s advocate – I do it all the time! Sorry for assuming as much. Sonication makes it sound like I’m just some guy who hates on everything Sonic. Really, my reviews of Sonic Chronicles and Sonic and the Secret Rings destroy his assumptions that I’m some retro fanboy. 😛

    The reason every other game since 06 hasn’t been received well by me is simply because I think they fall short of the mark; not because I have some sort of vendetta. I do admit that last year there were times on the blog/news pieces where I was pining for a bit of a return to classic Sonic design – I’m past that now. Call it a phase. 😉

    I did read all of what Sonication said – he doesn’t outright call me names of anything, which I appreciate, but he does seem to want to try and belittle The Sonic Stadium and its status in the community. I don’t think I’m just ‘some guy with a news site’ – I’m a professional game journalist outside of this site for one thing, and I created Summer of Sonic for a second. 🙂 I won’t begrudge Sonication for disagreeing with my review – that’s absolutely fine and I encourage people who think their own opinions to voice them here – but I don’t really appreciate how he infers that I’m some blowhard that doesn’t accept other people’s opinion. Far from it. Nor do I auto-hate every new Sonic game. That’s not true either.

    I think if you tore away all the ‘stereotypes’ about TSS, you’ll realise that we’re just a bunch of Sonic fans that enjoy playing some games, and don’t enjoy playing others. We don’t write articles ‘telling you what to think’, we write articles to encourage you to think for yourself, and spark debate. That’s all we’ve ever done. Whether we succeed or not is another matter entirely.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

    EDIT: Also, I’m quite confused at what you said here, Krischaos:
    “The whole No drama 09 thing but its not gonna be a reality if you get rid of the freedom to disagree and understand another person’s opinion.”

    The thing is… I never have removed anyone’s freedom to disagree. Ever. Someone’s been lying to you.

  24. Yeah the review is pretty dead on in my opinion. I’ve played through the game, and have been tortured by the legacy stages temptations during a single rental. Completely agree that the gameplay should’ve been more based on them, but it still wouldn’t have made a good Sonic game.
    The 2 second lag is pure hell in it’s own right, however the game truly feels incredibly slow. Acceleration time is awful, and movement from left to right is plain awful (however I have found that Shadow’s side to side movement can be decent with a certain sword). Also I got a little sick of constant Sa2 references. SOOOO many quotes from Sonic, Shadow and Knuckles can be found in Sa2. Music and such can also be recognizable from Sa1 and 2, however not so much. The odd quote being thrown in would’ve been alright, but I felt the game was just overkill with them. Making it as familliar to Sa2 isn’t going to make the game as good as Sa2.
    It’s a shame though, with the additional characters, and the single style of gameplay, SatBK could’ve been good if only the swordplay wasn’t so flawed. Or better yet, if the swordplay didn’t exist at all. We didn’t see Sonic using any Arabian weaponary in Satsr, so why did he have to have a sword in Bk?

  25. see this is why respect you so much man, cheers for the feedback. 😉
    Summer of Sonic every year proves we can make it work

  26. Welp, now that the bad is gone past us, we could use some good news!
    Bring on the Sonic Rush 3 announcement ^^

  27. i am through with the game after less than 10 hours….
    i am not talking about the story i am talking about the missions!!!!
    after thinking of all i must now say also that thge music is not that good like i thought in the 1st place. but VA is still okay for me.
    again remember the best attck is doing a homing attack and than waggle i killed 12 enemies in a row.
    ahh and there is also a sonic medal, with it you hear what im made of.
    oh have all world rings also you get (surprise) a new version of 7 rings in hand.
    the legacy lv. alone would have been boring imean only one type of enemy and NO shortcut.
    and finally: EGGMAN WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!
    lets just easily wait for sonic rush 3 probbably coming out end of this year (=

  28. “We have a strict ‘no voice acting complaints’ policy, but I don’t like the voice acting in this game so it doesn’t count”… Nice.

    “The train wrecks that Crash Bandicoot and Banjo-Kazooie are in”? Are you KIDDING me? They’re in a FAR better shape than Sonic has been in a decade, and their creativity has paid off in review scores, fan reception and sales. I don’t think you even played those games.

  29. You see, my main problem here with the gameplay is that this is on-rails… This worked for Secret Rings, but the engine should not be rehashed (or at least, I think so.)

    It kinda’ breaks up the feeling that you’re actually playing the game, and a more 3D-esque Prince of Persia-ish gameplay style would’ve worked a heck lot better. You got exploration, fun complex battles, and well…. Not so hair ripping missions. Have you tried the “Defeat As Many Enemies As You Can” missions? Freaking pitiful…. I thought they said the missions were going to be easier…. (Well, it’s no Dinosaur egg…. Why the heck would they have dinos in Secret Rings anyway?)

    I’m not understanding your hate on the music here, though….. It was pretty authentic and “Through the Fire” is a great song. I also can’t help but sing “With Me” (You know… the final boss song?) But you know what….. Music is opinion based really…..

    Despite the flaws, this game is pretty decent though. It may not be Sonic Unleashed, but hey…. It’s something…. right?
    Oh, and Sonic ’06? I understand that Black Knight wasn’t what we were expecting (get rid of that on-rails crap, already!!!!) but to be called lower than ’06?

  30. My review:

    Presentation: Thumbs up! Looks beautiful! 🙂

    Sound: The menu music makes me question Sonic’s gender, but I actuall love “Knight of the Wind” I think its top-notch! 🙂 Thumbs up! Some of the other songs are good 2.

    Gameplay:
    – Ctrl. Ctick: Comparing it to Unleashed, It’s nice and smooth when your running along (I found Unleashed twitchy – took me forever to pass some of the harder ring-collection maps), but when you have to do something “off” it’s pretty bad (the camera angles make it even worse).

    – Sward: I was reall expecting the remote movements to actually determin how you swing the sword in game.

    Rate: nuetral

    Longevity: Failure. The game (in whole) really needs to be longer and plus you are constantly battling bosses which is stupid.

    FINAL WORDS:

    LOVE:
    MUSIC
    CUTSCENES
    CTRL STICK IS OKAY

    HATE:
    GODDAMN I WANT TO PLAY AS TAILS! LOL. Sega dosn’t let him kick as much ass as he should.
    MENU MUSIC
    CTRL STICK IS OKAY
    IDENTIFICTION

    THERES NO RINGS!?!!? WHAT THE F*CK!!?!?

    The game is worth renting let’s put it that way.

  31. BIG HINT WITH BOSS QTE’S: Shake the Wiimote once and only once when the icon appears!

    You nailed pretty much everything, just two things that turned me off:

    WHY THE CRAP DID SILVER NOT GET IN THE ADVENTURE MODE!?!? He would’ve been awesome…

    I hate, hate, HATE the cutscene after you beat Percival. (I’m a big Silvaze fan, and Sonaze can go die in a hole)

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