Now, I want to start by saying that this is definitely the best 3D Sonic game that has come out in years. I am not saying that this game is perfect. It definitely has its fair share of problems, but considering the hard times Sonic has gone through in the past ten years, I am willing to look past them. Especially since none of them had a major impact on my overall experience of the game. Anyway, I won’t talk too much about the cyberspace levels because they feel pretty much handle the same as previous 3D Sonic titles. What I want to talk about is the big open world we have to explore. Now you are limited to an island per story session, but each island has a lot of ground to cover. It is honestly a lot of fun to move around the area at high speeds and just explore while doing some cool stunts. There is also combat that you can do with enemies, but it can be difficult to pull off at first. However, it does get better once you understand more about how it works. The game is mainly broken up into two parts. The first part has you going around unlocking level portals with gears from defeated enemies so you can collect enough keys to unlock Chaos Emeralds. The second part has you collecting special tokens to talk to characters in the overworld for dialogue that continues the story and nets you the Chaos Emeralds that you are missing. once you have six, you face off a colossal Titan to grab the seventh, turn into Super Sonic and defeat the Titan to move to the next area. Then you rinse and repeat. Pretty simple stuff, but honestly Sonic tends to do a lot better when he doesn’t try to be too clever or overly complicated. Although, to be honest what sticks out about me the most is not the open world, but the character moments.
You see, it all starting when I learned about one of the mechanics returning to this game from previous titles. This game surprisingly has fishing available for you to do. Now before you run off fans of Sonic Adventure, this is an optional thing. You are not required to fish for any reason. Truth be told, there are only two reasons why anyone would fish in this game despite the mechanics not being bad. The first is because it is the easiest way to break the game since progression items are sold for pretty cheap and powerups are sold there as well for even less somehow. The second reason, and my preferred reason, is to get your hands on the Egg Logs. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it is a weird drink people like to harp on about during the holidays here for some reason. Wait, sorry I was thinking about Eggnog. My bad. I won’t take back what I said though. Anyway, the Egg Logs are a series of recordings that you can purchase from Big by trading fishing tokens. This is a minor spoiler, but Eggman causes himself to be trapped in cyberspace and these logs are some of his thoughts regarding the events happening throughout the game. Many of them center around his new artificial intelligence Sage and you can see his progression into a doting father as the recordings progress. This makes for some of the best dialogue in the game. Not only is it entertaining to see Eggman’s thought process, but this actually helps us see him as less of a cartoonish villain and more as a person. This is especially apparent when he talks about his opinions related to Sonic’s friends. I won’t mention specifics, but even Eggman acknowledged that they either had grown a bit from the past, or had a lot of potential to grow. After reading these, I started to look at the game in a new light.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me, when I first played this game was Sonic’s voice. I immediately thought to myself as a joke that Sonic was finally hitting puberty. Thinking back, I think I wasn’t too far off. Now Sonic doesn’t really show any real signs of growth in this story. Aside from a few minor details, he is still the same fast, headstrong, and reckless hero that we all remember. What has seen a change is how he interacts with his friends. Typically, there was a lot more jokes in previous games whenever there was dialogue. Even if there wasn’t it still felt kind of cheesy. Now it finally seems like they are having deeper conversations with each other and are starting to form their own identities. Amy is no longer as obsessive about getting Sonic to notice her and has thankfully calmed her character down considerably. Knuckles is contemplating is their is more than just being the last guardian of the Master Emerald. Tails is finally starting to accept himself as more than just a Sonic fanboy and is considering finally jumping out of Sonic’s shadow. Now, I know there are some people who might not care about these changes. That’s fine, continue enjoying going fast. That is the main point of the game after all. What I am seeing though is there seems to be a change in the direction the series wants to take. I think they have started to understand how to do a more serious storyline without making it seem edgy. I think they are starting to understand to not go too heavy on the jokes. I also think they are finally reflecting on the fact that most of these characters haven’t had significant character development since the Sonic Adventure series. I can only see this as something to look forward to in the future. I can’t guarantee that this new journey will be smooth sailing, but at this point I think they might finally be moving into a new phase of 3D Sonic. I will sum this all up by saying the game is fun, but I won’t be remembering it for the millions of loops I did on rails. Anyway, take care everyone and see you next week.