Review by The President

Reviewed: 03/13/04

Sonic has never been this bad.

O N-Gage, where Art Thou? You looked once to be a crown jewel in Nokia’s gaming cell phone enterprise. Then you came out with horrible games, and the small, faithful following you had before left in disgust. One of the games that was seriously lacking was the Gameboy Advance port of Sonic Advance, now called Sonic N. Having played Sonic Advance for a little bit, I was expecting a slightly above average platformer with the N-Gage port. However, it seems that everything that could have been changed for worse happened. Sonic N is literally the worst Sonic platforming game ever.

Other than the Adventure games, Sonic games does not really have a plot, other than to be really fast. I guess Eggman is trying to take over Sonic’s World again (I think it is not called Mobius anymore) and Sonic must use his super fast speed and show skating ability to destroy Eggman’s robots (that turn in to little fluffy bunnies and kitties when you kill them), and eventually beat Eggman while he is in a huge Robot.

The Great Run and Jump is what Sonic N is all about. You keep going right, and you keep jumping. Sonic games feature multi-tiered horizontal levels, so there are many ways to finish a level, but they always just involve running right. Frankly, the levels in the game are un-inspired, and there offer nothing not seen in the other GBA or Genesis Sonic games. It’s still pretty good…but now I need to talk about Mr. Ice Skates for Shoes Sonic over there. The control in this game is absolutely horrible. Sonic cannot help but slip and slide over everything. It makes precision jumping almost impossible, and hitting bosses takes much more effort than it should. While the GBA controls were a little loose, the N-Gage controls are terrible.

The N-Gage is supposed to be the most powerful portable in the world. Well, how does this version suffer from graphics worse than the GBA version, and all of the Genesis Sonic games? Because of the N-Gage vertical screen, the game plays in a wide-screen format, so you get a humorously small screen to look at. The Backgrounds really took a hit compared to the Genesis scrolling masterpieces. They are very blurry, and only have a few colors. The best looking thing in the game is Sonic, who is lively animated, and looks more like his new outings on the next-gen systems than the Sonic we once knew to love Chili Dogs.

Sonic games have always featured some of the best rock inspired tunes ever to grace videogames. However, everything that comes out of that one little speaker is disgraceful. Everything feels a bit compressed, like they were not able to put all the music and sound effects they wanted on the little card. A guitar has never sounded this bad.

Really, after playing Sonic N for a pretty good amount of time, I would say that this game made me almost consider not playing any more 2D Sonic games. There are no extras to be seen easily, so all you get is the short single player game. The single player game takes about an hour to beat all twelve levels, and most people would not want to give this game any more time.

Sonic N was not supposed to be good, but great. It turned out to be a stinker along with the rest of the N-Gage’s lineup. Everything about this game feels like it was a rushed port job, though in reality, some planning went in to this. How could something once so good be so bad?

Rating: 3

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