Review by GavLuvsGA

Reviewed: 07/06/05

Not the best Sonic game on Gamegear

Introduction

Sonic is my favourite video game character and I'm very fond of his platform games. Sonic Chaos seems promising, with the inclusion of Tails, but to me it just doesn't seem up to the quality of other Sonic games.

Gameplay - 6/10

Unlike the first two of Sonic's platform adventures on Game Gear, you do get to play as Tails, and you get to fly too (which is fun). Gameplay is vastly different for the two characters. Sonic has to grab 100 rings on each level in order to access special stages to get the Chaos Emeralds, and these stages are certainly interesting - featuring widely varied "mazes", and giant rings that are worth ten rings each.

Tails doesn't collect emeralds, so with Tails you just run through the stages. In effect, we have a game where you beat the levels much faster while playing as Tails. Now, that's weird.

The main problem I had with the game was just how clumsy and jerky the characters' movements seemed to be. Added to that, there are a couple of annoying additions. First of all, there are the rocket shoes, which Sonic uses to fly through the air temporarily, but the novelty wears off fast. Then, there is a horrible new move added where Sonic suddenly dashes across the screen when you hold up and press the jump button. I just don't see what use it has, and more often than not it hinders rather than helps - usually when you accidentally perform it and it costs you valuable time in a special stage or sends you zooming off a cliff to your death.

Another problem I had was the level design. For some reason, the programmers love hiding springs everywhere, which in many places seems to hold you up a lot. Apart from that, most of the levels are just too short.

On a more positive note, later levels get more enjoyable, and there are some neat boss battles - including a machine that can kill you in one hit, regardless of how many rings you have. Also, the programmers actually put rings in the boss stages, which is likely to be a relief to any players who have played Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic 2 on Game Gear.

Story - 4/10

Not very original. Dr. Robotnik wants to take over the world AGAIN. Yawn.

Music - 7/10

It's hardly the best music you're ever going to hear in a Sonic game, but it sounds nice and doesn't seem quite as cheap as the music in some of the older games. There is also a very nice remix of the Green Hills Zone theme from Sonic 2 (Game Gear). Generallythe music is very pleasing.

Graphics - 7/10

I'll start with the bad points. Sonic and Tails just look plain weird; I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but their appearance just isn't anything like as good as it is in some of the othe games. The main problem I have seems to be with the way they are animated as they run. But at least it's nothing like as horrible as the graphics in Sonic Blast.

On to the good points - the actual appearance of the levels themselves is very nice, and makes you forget how cheap some of the enemies look, and how Sonic and Tails don't look right at all. I am very fond of the Dr. Robotnik images scattered around one level, called the "Sleeping Egg Zone".

Play Time/Replay Value - 6/10

The bad news is that the game will not take long to beat - especially if you choose Tails. The thing that saves this game is the fact that the Chaos Emeralds can be somewhat challenging to get with Sonic, so you may find yourself giving multiple attempts just to get them all.

Final Verdict

If you have a Nintendo Gamecube, then it is much better value for money to buy yourself Sonic Adventure DX, since this game is unlocked very quickly into the game. As a game on its own, it isn't the best Sonic game to hit the game gear, but it is worth a look.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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