|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SEGA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 18, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Few franchises have achieved icon status like Sonic. Sure, there's the Mario franchise and the Zelda series, but Sonic has achieved a global image that recalls the two things that have made the series such a staple in the gaming world: rings and speed. Don't get me wrong; I am not trying to trivialize the Sonic franchise. But you can't help but notice that the formula is quite simplistic.
But did I say it wasn't fun? Nope. If there is one thing that Sonic is, it's pretty freakin' fun. And I am happy to report that Sonic Rush Adventure is pure Sonic fun-by-the-gallon!
Now one thing that the Sonic franchise has never been famous for is its story. Most times, there's a mostly forgettable plot with Dr. Eggman or Dr. Robotnik. This game is in the same vein, but instead of an initial dastardly plot, Sonic and Tails find themselves on a deserted island. But, as is often the case, something isn't right on this island. So Sonic and Tales join forces with a crazy local (with an outrageous accent) to get to the heart of the problem. And, I'll give you a hint, it involves pirates!
But the good news is that after you get through the modest amount of scrolling dialogue, you'll actually get to play. And, like the majority of the other Sonic games in existence, Sonic Rush Adventure is a sidescroller that you could just run though (quite literally) or you could take your time and explore. There are quite a few foes, plenty of rings, and some pretty intricate level designs that utilize both of the DS' screens for a larger area to run around in and explore. And in further Sonic fashion, much of the game will rely on you being able to hit the right buttons at the right time to grab on to an object, let go of something, or avoid a dubious bad guy. Once you finish a level, you'll get a letter-based ranking. This ranking will determine what special items you get. But don't worry if you don't get A-rank the first time, you can always revisit a level and try again.
Once you get through a few levels, you'll find out that Tails has built a ship and you can actually travel small distances to the islands that surround the one you've found yourself marooned on. The ship aspect of the game is actually pretty cool and involves you using the touch screen feature of your DS. You tap Sonic to go, drag the stylus to steer, and tap quickly for special moves. It plays sort of like a minigame, and is a nice diversion in between levels.
Even though the story mode is fun, it's not all there is to this game. There's also a few online modes that make it possible to link up and play someone from your friends list or someone completely random. The first mode is battle mode. There are two ways to play in this mode; you can either play for who can get the most rings or who can get through a given stage fastest. And though these two modes are pretty simplistic, I have to say that I found myself pretty addicted to the competition. The other online mode is a time trial mode. There's not that much to this mode; you just run through a given level and post your scores to the worldwide leader board. Not too terribly fun unless you're really good at Sonic and want to get that much-coveted number one slot.
Graphically, this game looks like pure vintage Sonic. Some might knock this game for not having the best graphics on the DS, but I for one appreciate the vintage look of the game. Considering Sonic's nature as a side scroller, and this game actively channels that, I really don't think a graphical update would even be necessary. The graphics are clean, and that's all I really ask for in a title like this one.
However, the sound department was something that I felt could have benefited from a little more attention. There's a whole bunch of scrolling text in this game, and I really wouldn't have minded some voicework. However, the music was generally good and was variable throughout the different levels, so I guess it all balances out pretty evenly
Overall, I thought this game was an excellent representation of a series that has a sacred place in the heart of many a gamer. I, for one, was glad to play this game and experience the vintage gameplay that made the original Sonic games popular all those years ago. And with the new online modes, the experience was heightened that much more.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer