Back in the days when Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis were waging an epic war, each system had its own mascot: a tubby plumber named Mario and a smart-alecky hedgehog named Sonic. Now me, I owned a Sega Genesis and I played every Sonic game Sega released. In fact, I played the bad ones, like spinball and even the title they released for the 32X deal. However, after playing the newest Sonic title, interestingly enough not a Sonic title, as it is actually starring Shadow the hedgehog, I think I can say that Sonic?s glory days are done.
I?m not going to lie here, I?ve actually played just about every Sonic game that?s ever been released, even the ones for Dreamcast and Gamecube in which he made the transition from 2-D to 3-D. For the most part, I?d say there is a large number of superior third person adventures out there, but since the spiky-haired hedgehog has such a hardcore old school factor going for him I still enjoyed these crappy games. With Shadow the hedgehog though, I?m not impressed.
For starters, I played the PS2 version and the graphics were horrific. Maybe this would have improved on the Gamecube version. If you played either of the Sonic Adventures it?s a similar game except Shadow is the only playable character. Basically, the story picks up from Sonic Adventure 2 in which Shadow is trying to figure out what happened to his friend Maria and piece together his memories, which are filled with smoke and mirrors. An alien race invades earth and Sonic and his crew want to stop their path of destruction. Thus, there are two sides, good and evil and it is up to Shadow and you to choose your allegiance. This can be done by simply pressing the D-pad in which case an alien will be your sidekick for bad, and Sonic or one of his friends for good.
Depending on which side you choose, the mission objectives will change and so will the levels that follow. The game actually has a variety of endings, which is a plus as players will want to play through it a couple of times. The problem is, the idea of walking through a level inspecting every nook and cranny just doesn?t fit in with a game that should move at lightning speeds. On top of this, even when you choose your side, enemies of both good and bad forces still shoot at you making the whole choosing either good or evil concept utterly futile.
I also found the controls to be a tad clunky at times. It was rather frustrating when I?d occasionally try to jump on a ledge and of course, fall to my doom on a constant basis. Locking on to enemies is also not as fluid as it used to be, I often found myself jumping in the air several times before finally knocking enemies.
So long story short, this game isn?t that great, however I am a mature gamer and I?m willing to admit that this game is really just for kids. My little brother absolutely loves this game and all the Sonic 3-D adventures that have been on PS2 and Gamecube and he didn?t even grow up in the days when Sonic was in his prime. This doesn?t mean the game is without flaws, and mature gamers definitely enjoy 3-D adventures when they?re well made, alas, Shadow is obviously not for us.
If you want my advice, if you really, and I mean really love Sonic then at the very least check this game out because the FMA?s are beautifully rendered and it?s always a treat to see a hedgehog going super saiyajin on chaos emeralds. But if you?re a mature gamer or just a cold-hearted critic like me then you might find yourself sadly disappointed.