Defend It! The Completionist Defends Sonic Unleashed

Following the disastrous 2006 release of the next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog on Xbox 360 and PS3, early demos and trailers of the next instalment in the main series helped manage to generate a ton of positive press for SEGA and the Blue Blur, as they hinted at a return to the high speed platforming fans and critics have come to know and love over the years. Sonic Unleashed was soon unleashed onto the gaming world, and the end reception the game had received is mixed, split right down the middle – like night and day!

Some argue that Unleashed was another terrible title and just another nail in the coffin to the Sonic series at the time: a game so heavily bogged down and dragged by its feet due to the concept of the Werehog, its boorish gameplay, and the long and tedious night-time stages. Others, on that same note, have praised Sonic the Werehog’s inclusion, saw the combat mechanic as a well developed fold to the fast-paced daytime stages, and believe that Unleashed has been unfairly treated because of it being a well polished experience and, ultimately, a well thought out and finished game – something its predecessor surely wasn’t.

Now, Jirard Khalil takes the stand in a brand new instalment of Defend It!, a show where he defends some of the gaming community’s most hated games, and tackles that same beast of a game for us today. Featuring Dodger, Jesse Cox, and Andrew from The SuperScope News Show, The Completionist defends Sonic Unleashed – watch the trial in full below!

Do you ultimately agree with The Completionist’s stance on Unleashed? Or do you feel that the side of gaming community against the Werehog still holds a solid case? Sound off below!

Published by

VizardJeffhog

Unparalleled Canadian greatness! Jeffrey is a writer for TSS and Gamnesia, a pianist obsessed with video game music, and a recent university graduate majoring in Communications. Loves all things Sonic and Nintendo to a fault.

32 Comments

      1. Colours was a chore compared to Unleashed’s daytime levels. Way less fun. I wouldn’t even compare the two as an overall experience, even with the parallels in gameplay mechanics.

  1. Unleashed has always been by far my favourite Sonic games. I only wished they would make a sequel. (insert hate comments here)

      1. I find Unleashed to be fantastic, Colors to be wonderful, Generations a blast, and Lost World and good as Colors. Lost World is basically the Unleashed of the Parkour gameplay meaning it is an experimental game to see what the fans like about their ideas and they will revamp those ideas in future titles. Whatever the Lost World spiritual successor may be, it will be a lot better and the game after that will be even better. So I may just like Lost World a lot just because I see the potential in it and I eagerly await the next attempt at the formula, but that’s mainly the reason why I like Unleashed a lot. I still see what was the potential in Unleashed being shown in Colors and Generations which just makes me appreciate the work put into the game a lot more.

  2. I personally, don’t know how to feel about unleashed. I’ve only ever been able to play the Wii version, and I actually enjoy the warehog and his many different ways to wreck stuff up. It contains the main Sonic crew… except knuckles but maybe he was guarding the master emerald for once. My problem may actually be with the day stages in all honesty, but I enjoy them regardless. I just don’t know. Maybe I should get to beating the game first.

  3. Jirard is my new hero. Sonic Unleashed is the most concentrated and simplified form of the Adventure formula everyone talks about. Think about it, what’s the difference between Day and Night stages and something like Sonic Stages and Tails Stages in SA2? Heck they even gave us an extended hub world like the first Adventure game. But no one thinks about Unleashed like that, they see Sonic and Slow Sonic, not Speed Stage and Puzzle/Fighting Stage. I also stick to my guns about the Werehog being a Ristar tribute but that’s just me.

  4. FINALLY! After so much bashing because it’s popular to bash anything Sonic (*cough*GameGrumps*cough*), it’s so nice to see someone defend a game and NOT be seen as below mental intelligence in the process. Makes a change of pace, as you will. Good on Jirad.

  5. Unleashed is better than any 3D Sonic game that was released before it and paved the way for the series to improve tremendously with Colors and Generations, it’s arguably the most important post-Genesis Sonic game.

  6. FINALLY I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT THE WEREHOG WAS FREAKIN AWESOME BTW still waiting on that sequel Iizuka

      1. What’s Yakuza got to do with it? People don’t like the werehog because they find the gameplay boring and repetitive and they think the entire concept’s not like Sonic (when he already had several game-changing transformations by that time).

  7. I LOVED Sonic Unleashed. The environments were beautiful, the daytime levels were incredible and the opening was the best Sonic…..ANYTHING that I’ve ever seen.

    While, the Werehog levels went on for far…FAR too long, the gameplay itself wasn’t that bad! It’s basically a brawler with different combos and puzzle solving. It’s major sin is going on for 20-30 minute levels after finishing a daytime Sonic level in only 5 minutes or so.

    By far the biggest crime was the medal collecting. If you don’t grab enough, you can’t get to the next level which sucks hugely if you have a brand new daytime level to go to and you have to go back to a nighttime level to collect more sun medals since most night levels had mostly sun medals and most daytime levels had mostly moon medals.

    Still, up until Generations came out, this was my favorite of the 3-D Sonic games. Even more than Adventure 1 and 2 which haven’t held up well over time.

  8. What really kills me about Unleashed is that it could have been a much better game with some simple story adjustments and less padding. Remove like half the Werehog stages (or reduce their length by half) and get rid of the awful medal collection entirely and despite having a much leaner game you have one that’s way more engaging. Then let Knuckles play the night stages and you have a tighter story with opportunities for some interesting parallels between Angel Island and the broken, floating continents or the temples and the Master Emerald shrine, not to mention a much more appropriate casting. I mean really, the Werehog was a stupid idea for a character and there’s no defending it.

    On the other hand had Sega taken some inspiration from contemporary 3D beat-em-ups like Okami, God Hand, and Devil May Cry and added a bit more depth to the combat this could have even been a great game. Making the night stages actually fun rather than simply inoffensive would have been a much more herculean task than removing redundant content and having less incompetent writers, but that would have also probably worked.

    Overall not a bad game, but a game that actively hampers you from playing the parts that you want. Sonic Unleashed is a terrible entree followed by a delicious but not filling dessert.

    1. Sega doesn’t need to look at other 3D beat-em-ups, they’ve already made one. It’s called Yakuza.

  9. I love Sonic Unleashed, but my biggest problem is the obviously flawed level design. Having respawning extra lives immediately after a checkpoint means teh developers knew you were going to die a lot. So fix the friggin’ level! It’s cheap BS and it occurs more in this game than any other I can think of.

  10. I loved the daytime levels. It was do much fun to speed around past the speed of sound. The night time levels were ok. They were designed well bit not the most repeatable. We could have done without the length of Eggmanland. Don’t remind me about it.

  11. I do really like Unleashed as a whole, I just find the werehog stages a bit boring, repetitive and buggy (especially the ledge and pole grabbing) and can’t stand the Wii/PS2 version. The PS3/360 version’s by far the best and easily one of the best modern games despite the werehog half, I don’t get the hate towards the game as a whole but I completely understand the hate towards the werehog stages. Well, story-wise, the werehog thing bugs me too how he’s instantly completely under control, Archie did it far better but I still can’t stop watching that opening cutscene!

  12. Brainscratchcomms is uploading their commentary on this game.

    I think they bring up the problems and non problems (Can’t think today.) better then this.

    So, that’s just my two cents.

  13. unleashed is an amazing game, though i admit the day levels went too fast and there wasn’t enough of them, the DLC you could download online provided more than enough. though werehog gets a lot of hate, i personaly love him and the design it was cute and badass and really the combat system wasn’t as boring as people made it out to be you could at least combine combos instead of say sonic boom ROL where it’s just spam one button to attack.

    like he says on the vid, it had lots of effort it was completed and they did a great job with it, sure they could of done so much more with it, but at the end of the day i’m just happy with it for what it is, as it’s still fun to play to this day and an amazing game, it’s waay better than anything we have got in the last 3-4 years thats for sure, i think a lot of the fans who complain tend to not realise how good some games are in the series untill say worse ones come out in the future, then it hits them just how wrong they where.

    These days nothing in the gaming world will ever hit anyone as hard as say old games like megaman mario and when sonic first came out will. people don’t realise that you will never get back your childhood game, unless it’s say a remastered version of an old game came out, even then there is so much room for dissapointment, no new sonic game will ever be able to build on that in the same manner. if they just made it “a hedgehog that goes fast” then we are aware without that attitude sonic had or some elements of characteristics in the levels and the way sonic portrays himself, it would be so dull boring and lifeless, and wouldn’t intice anyone into playing it.

    There was always more to sonic then just “going fast” the internet doesn’t seem to realise this xD

  14. I remember how the online community reacted when the game first came out. Alot of people backed then hated it. I even avoided playing the game around that time because of it. I eventually tried the game out for myself and I was surprised how much I liked it. It’s a pretty underrated game, I like the visuals, music, story, and the gameplay( Yes, I didn’t mind the werehog. I just didn’t like how the levels were designed for it.) I’m happy the game is getting some respect as the years go by, it really didn’t deserve that harsh backlash.

  15. I hate to say it, but I still follow the conventional wisdom. I mean, the Werehog could have been okay in my eyes if it wasn’t as drawn-out and tedious. To be honest, if Unleashed found a way to be nothing but Sonic stages, it would’ve blown Colors out of the water. It’s not like the Werehog was that important to the story. Most of it centered around Chip and Dark Gaia.

  16. The last great Sonic game in my opinion, I wish they had made more games like this instead of locking it all into the “just speed, no story, sonic only” formula. I might be hated for it, but after this game, it all just went downhill fast. Sonic 4 was dull and felt like a seen that played it before, colors had cringe worthy story and acting along with annoying gameplay, generations was too short, to much of the same and with even worse acting then colors. Can’t comment on Lost World as I haven’t played it.

    And just to get it over with, yes, they tried something similar with ROL but wow did they fubar that one. Trust me, I played that one.

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