I recall, Sonic the Hedgehog has been on his last leg
for many a game. He's been as washed up as Crash Bandicoot
- almost to the point of death. But all I can say is
that if Sonic has been dead for the last few months,
he's now been reincarnated as the star he once was in
the new DS game, Sonic Rush.
not easy reviving a sagging career, but the good folks
at SEGA have come to their senses and have realized
they don't really want to go down with their flagship
mascot - it's so hard to get a new one to stick. So
they put everything they had into this new Sonic game
and they have come up with an instant classic. This
game is well done and even though I have played it
for two days straight, there is still more to see
Rush is a fast, frenetic action platformer that blends
old-school, 2D sidescrolling with cutting edge 3D
graphics that the GBA could only dream of rendering.
It's loaded with ramps, jumps, loops, trampolines,
corkscrews, rails to grind and of course rings that
must be collected and protected. Booby-trapped environments
are out to get you with spikes, precarious ledges
and various enemies blocking your path.
has joined forces with a cool queen from another dimension.
Blaze is her name and she's literally giving Sonic
a run for his money. She's just as fast and agile
as Sonic but her levels are part of another dimension.
Both of them are searching for stolen emeralds. They
must race through each level as quickly as possible
and collect plenty of coins in the process. Both characters
are playable and offer a good range of gameplay diversity.
Dr. Eggman is back and this time he's double trouble
as he exists in both universes.
pace of the game is incredibly fast and the developers
have designed the levels to accommodate the dual screen
features. The levels are displayed more vertically
than the traditional horizontal presentation as both
screens are utilized at the same time. The top screen
displays the top of the level and bottom displays
the lower part. Despite the dead space that separates
them you never lose sight of the little critters.
It does get a little confusing when the character
exits to the right of the bottom screen and appears
on the left side of the top screen. The paths are
designed to follow this direction and once you get
used to it does feel pretty natural. The scenery does
scroll which eliminates a lot of confusion.
you're familiar with the whole Sonic bag of tricks
you'll feel right at home. Even the rail grinding
is included. By pressing the D pad and the button
you can perform a series of skateboarding-style tricks
that will fill up your boost meter. Not only will
you increase your pace to warp speed but you will
carry enough momentum to plow right into an enemy
and really mow him down without losing any rings.
This is a great feature that really keeps the excitement
of the game at peak levels for longer durations.
battles are in 3D and only utilize the top portion
of the screen. There is a half-pipe level which is
also in 3D and it's the only significant element that
utilizes the touch feature. The standard button controllers
do a great job at any rate. They are tight and very
responsive. The graphics are bright, colorful and
nicely detailed. Even in the 2D levels you can see
some nice depth and dimension to the backgrounds.
Considering the incredible speed of the game the DS
manages to keep up and you will always have at least
a split second to make a decision.
modes can be played with single or multiple cards.
They are mostly races and also only use the top screen.
The bottom screen shows the progress of the other
players on a map. It's amazing how much more quickly
you can get through a level when you're under pressure.
Practice doesn't hurt either.
Rush is a solid action game that is bound to make
some reviewer's DS game-of-the-year list. It should
definitely make your Christmas list.