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North America Details

Publisher: Sega
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Genre: Role-Playing
Players: Single Player, 2 Player Simultaneous
ESRB: Everyone


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Game Review


Shulk
Mar 09 2012 08:53 AM
Over the years I’ve grown to love playing Sonic games, but my passion has always been RPGs. When it came to Sonic, I would use it as a buffer game in between those jam packed hours of playing games that used way too much of my thinking capacity. Sonic was that burst of speed I needed, like a miracle drug, to give me added energy just to go back to the games I loved. Now for the first time ever my two passions are fused into one. Can I really have my cake and eat it too!?

Reading over a few of the professional reviews, I must say I’m quite disappointed at some of the comments made toward this game. Surely it’s not the kind of RPG that can stand up to a Final Fantasy game, but that wasn’t the intention behind the game in the first place. For someone that is looking into playing Sonic Chronicles with high expectations, such as a game of the year RPG; please lower those expectations or you’ll find yourself greatly disappointed and casting this game aside as one never to be seen again.

When it comes to creating RPGs, BioWare has had its success, yet there are a lot of checks and balances that have gone missing in Dark Brotherhood. Taking us back into some familiar zones such as Green Hill, Sonic meets up with a memorable cast of characters. Their quest once again revolves around retrieving the Chaos Emeralds, a tired played out plot but with a new twist. After a long needed vacation, Sonic and Tails jump back into action to save Knuckles from captivity. Splitting the story into two acts, you’ll be taken through the world of Sonic first before being sent into a new dimension in order to stop a new threat to Sonic's own world. Through a series of tiresome fetch quests you’ll progress the story with some back and forth traveling.

Sonic Chronicles is an all-touch game, hence you won't need to make use of a single button in your games duration. BioWare did a really nice job with this configuration so I must commend them for that. Anyone who has played the game Elite Beat Agents can now picture in their minds just what the battles will be like. There are around 75 different combination's used with either dragging your stylus to follow a dotted path, tapping as the circles close in on the center bulls eye as targets appear on the screen, or tapping repeatedly in the same spot to defuse a move. While this tactic has been used before, it has not been used in such a way when it comes to RPGs.

Furthermore, this is used as a way to defend yourself in battle. Playing as many RPGs as I have, never before have I seen a turn based style that offered so much involvement on the gamers part. Since we know that Sonic games have never been about a deep storyline, the battle system in Dark Brotherhood is one of the game's shining spots. This does not mean however, that it’s with out fault. One annoying aspect is the fact that in order to make the game more challenging some enemies seem to have huge advantages over the player. Opposing forces are at times able to take large amounts of HP from you, regenerate after each round, or come back to life if not all the enemies are defeated in the current round. At times this seems to really draw out the battle, but this is where strategic planning comes into effect. Adding into the mix of battle is the ability to flee in a mini cat and mouse chase game where either you chase the enemy or they chase you.

Some key features of the game would be the easy to access menu that is found at the bottom left hand corner. With a simple tap you can assign your characters accessories to up attack, defense or give another added bonus. Along with that is the ability to assign Chao to each character, which also gives a boost. Lacking though is the background story of what these Chaos are or where they came from. Basically if you aren’t familiar with the Sonic games at times you’ll have no idea why characters act the way they do or why certain things are the way they are. BioWare is also known for creating games that give the player a chance to choose their own dialog. With this game however, what you choose to say has no effect on the out come of the story. In short, Dark Brotherhood is a linear RPG with nothing more then a fetch quest story line to get from start to finish.

Even with some of these draw backs, one thing fans have to look forward to are some of the old sound tracks found in the classic games. Such as when you’re in the Green Hill Zone or traveling about in the plane; moments like these bring to mind times when I played these games as a child. Not only that, but even in battle when you have the classic cartoon "boing" noise, I couldn’t help but chuckle. Sound though isn’t devoid of its flaws either, at times music will cut short leaving you in a few silent moments. This takes away from the over all flow of the game, especially when it’s a consistent track that could have been fixed.

Leading now into the visual appeal of the game, which I would have to say is by far the best aspect over all. Graphically speaking this game is a gem. Even though the battle combination sequences get old fast, there is no denying that the visual effects on these moves are outstanding. When I first saw images of the game I noticed a lot of white pixelated edges. These however, were cleared up in the final product. Each stage is colorful and full of detail, along with that the chapter imagery is well crafted. As much as I did like the chapter art, which would appear each time you started up the game or saved, it did get annoying. Saving the game would bring you back to the chapter image, which for me broke up the feel of continuous play. Over all the entire layout, interface, and general look and feel of the game is strong, but it is an extremely basic core RPG design.

Sonic Chronicles isn’t a bad game at all, but it’s not a great game either. There are a lot of things that could have been improved on, but as a starter RPG this game is really good. I didn’t set any expectations for this game when I got it and so I can with out a doubt give it a much better score then any of the lead reviewing magazines or forums. One thing it could have improved on was the means to get money. Using rings as the currency is very fitting, but it was so limited for the fact you could only get so many rings on each stage and after that you were at a loss. Reason for wanting more is because it becomes very handy, if you die in a battle you’re given another chance for a small amount of rings. Not just used for battle either, but you can buy hints if needed to solve puzzles through out the game. It’s a good thing items are easy to come by. As an RPG fan I wouldn’t recommend the game, but as a Sonic fan I sure would!

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1 Comments

nice review :)