|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sega||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Released: Nov 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Preview by Vaughn||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Vaughn Smith
Officially unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) in fall 2005, Sonic will race to the next consoles just in time for his 15th anniversary. Entitled Sonic The Hedgehog in homage of the 15th anniversary, creator Yuji Naka and Sonic Team are looking to reinvent the hog without losing sight of what him a fan favorite since the early 90's. Unlike direct competitior Mario, who made the transition to 3D look effortless, Sonic's foray into the third dimension has been a bumpy ride. Sonic The Hedgehog for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is (hopefully) going to change that.
Utilitizing the Havoc physics engine, Sonic Team is looking to make this the most realistic Sonic game ever created. With the Havoc engine at work, you'll see objects, enemies, surroundings and even Sonic himself react to the surroundings with far greater attention paid to gravity. Items which are heavier will require more effort to move, enemies can be knocked into each other, areas that Sonic lands on will react to his weight etc. And the speed....lest we forget the speed. We're told that this Sonic will be the fastest Sonic the gaming world has seen since the Genesis days.
And it doesn't end there. The original philosophy of the project was "What if Sonic had to interact with humans?" and thus this concept became the foundation to which the direction of the new game was based upon. Sonic and co. will therefore find themselves in areas inhabited by humans and gamers can expect to experience the size differences between a blue hedgehog compared to a person, car and skyscraper for example. While walking around the world Sonic will be able to interact with humans in RPG-lite fashion and talk with them, finding out important info along the way.
The new game will take place in the world of Soleanna where a Princess Elise holds a powerful secret. You'll never guess who wants to take advantage of that mysterious secret.... Eggman! Yeah, okay so that was a given. If you guessed "Eggman" before reading "Eggman" consider yourself the King of the Obvious. What you may not be expecting is a grey-colored hedgehog with supernatural powers that also plays into the overall picture... Okay, so maybe you were ALSO expecting that. I mean, how many doppleganger hedgehogs has this series seen in the last few years? Metal Sonic, Shadow... it wasn't that big of a stretch to see that maybe there just be another one. Why keep a good plot device down?
The level structure will attempt to capture the essence of the old 2D games which often yielded numerous pathways. Sonic Team has suggested the fastest path to the goal won't become obvious until you've played the level a few times through. In keeping with the sense of realism, levels will also feature a day and night cycle, and gamers can expect to find some surprises when playing through the same level at varying time periods.
Stay tuned for more as we're expecting a lot more delicious hedgehog sized morsels to be revealed at E3 06.
CCC Site Director