The planet is in chaos after Dr. Eggman cracks the world into pieces and scatters the chao emeralds to different continents. Sonic the Hedgehog gets caught up in the blast that hurls and crashes him to the planet surface. An unusual side effect occurs and turns Sonic into a werehog that gives him powerful strength during the twilight hours. He runs into a little character that cannot seem to remember who he is. Sonic wants to help him and figure out how to put the earth back together.
Sonic Unleashed is broken down into two parts: action stages and casual adventuring. In the adventuring portion of the game, Sonic the Hedgehog and his companion (who he calls Chip) walk around a town area. They search for clues about Chip’s background and finding the missing chaos emeralds. Some conversation is helpful, but the rest seems to be meaningless dialog.
Eventually they will run into an area where Sonic can go into action stages which are set in day or night settings. In the daytime scenarios, Sonic needs to travel through areas to collect rings and bonus items. A boost ability is available that can temporarily increase his speed further and allow him to get across wide open areas and defeat enemies. They are mostly robotic individuals who can attack Sonic and cause him to lose rings. Sonic can also crawl under small tight areas using the B button on your Xbox 360 controller.
In contrast, the night sections transform Sonic into a werehog that moves at a tediously slow pace. Instead of zipping through areas, he travels at a leisurely pace and battles enemies with simple combo moves.
If you get stuck during play, “Chip” offers helpful tips that can be located at question mark icons. If Sonic encounters an area that requires a specific action, the required button needed is displayed.
Playing the action stages is not always easy. Grabbing rings can sometimes be a challenge as Sonic can be difficult to control during running. Fortunately, the game offers a new left to right move that Sonic can do while in motion. To use it, players just need to press the left/right buttons on their Xbox 360 controller.
Graphics and Sound
The layout of Sonic Unleashed is brightly colored. In daytime scenes, Sonic moves lightning fast through loops, towns, mountains and watery terrain.This is difficult to control and may cause gamers some frustration. Motion is in third person no matter which direction you go. Occasionally areas can be blocked by barriers which can prevent you from going too far in the wrong direction. As for the night action stages, gamers may find the slow pace to be a bit boring and tedious.
Sound quality is what you would expect for a Sonic the Hedgehog game. The familiar ring gathering (and losing) effects are all there in the Xbox 360 version. Voice dialog is limited to small remarks given by “Chip” when Sonic does something wrong (like try to leave an area that needs to be explored). All remaining conversation is limited to text bubble comments that can be a bit tedious (but can be clicked through quickly by pressing the A button).
Buy or Pass?
While visually this title is colorful and bright, gameplay can be tedious and difficult. Sonic is difficult to control when trying to capture rings. When he turns into the werehog, game play becomes painfully slow. If you are a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog, you may be disappointed with this title. Curious about this Xbox 360 game? Try Sonic Unleashed out as a rental and don’t buy it.