Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic The Hedgehog Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3

Sonic goes next-gen in 2006.

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3Out of 10
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Oh Sonic, what's happened to you?
Oh Sonic, what's happened to you?

Oh Sonic, what's happened to you?

I feel like I've written the same review numerous times since Sonic went 3D. By now we all know that Sonic hasn't had the best of times since he left the 2D plane and started exploring 3D worlds, and the same is sadly true of his next-gen debut. The problem with Sonic the Hedgehog is that we all wanted it to be a new beginning for the series and to finally show that fast 3D platforming could work. What we've ended up with is an interactive list of reasons why 3D sonic games simply don't work, and the poorest 360 game to date.

The game uses a hub system that is frankly dull and totally pointless. These adventure-like sections ask you to complete trivial tasks and talk to people (actual humans), and as you progress you'll open up Action stages, which are essentially the fast, fairly linear levels we've been 'treated' to over the past few years. You get to play as numerous characters from the Sonic series, including Sonic himself, Tails, Shadow, new boy Silver with his telekinetic powers, and a few others. No matter who you play as though, the game feels unfinished and at times completely broken.

Playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox 360 is like stepping back in time to when 3D was new and developers were struggling to find their way. The camera system and character controls are so outdated they make you wonder if the PlayStation, N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and all the rest actually existed. Either I dreamt the fact that we're now in the third generation of 3D consoles or Sonic Team has been living under a rock for over ten years. As a next-generation game Sonic the Hedgehog is laughable, and somewhat of an embarrassment for SEGA.

The list of problems with the game is long, but I'll point out the worst of the bunch. The game's structure is the first offender. The adventure sections are dull in the extreme, and when you get into an Action stage you'll be continuously punished by the game's use of an archaic 'lives' system. While checkpoints let you continue from mid-way through a level, if you lose all your lives it's back to the last save point. Seeing as the game only auto saves at the end of an action level, you'll often have to replay lengthy sections over and over again.

'Sonic and his pals are about the most awkward characters to control in video game history.'

But why is it so easy to die? It's simple really: Sonic and his pals are about the most awkward characters to control in video game history. They're twitchy, meaning one slight movement of the analogue stick could see you careering into a pit of doom; the camera is auto inverted horizontally, so anyone who can't use this system is stuck with it; the camera gets stuck on objects and continuously gives you awful angles on the action; and vehicle stages are a nightmare, and actually make me wonder how the game got out of testing and onto store shelves.

Playing Sonic the Hedgehog can be kindly described as a struggle, but you'll be calling it much worse after a few minutes. Sonic is fast, but after a speed pad sends you flying to your death for the tenth time as it failed to point you in the direction of the bounce pad you needed to hit, you'll be cursing those super-hedgehog legs of his. Some of the levels are so badly designed that it's not even clear where you're meant to be going, and if you're not careful you'll wander off a cliff edge that was being hidden by the useless camera.

Nostalgic moments aren't enough to save the game

Nostalgic moments aren't enough to save the game

Positives are few and far between. On occasion there are glimpses of what could have been, where Sonic is running at speed, bouncing off things, smashing up robots and generally looking pretty cool, but these sections last for seconds in a game that will take hours to complete. There are moments when the next-gen power shines through and the game looks like something approaching what was expected, but, once again, this isn't all that often, and for the most part the visuals suffer from terrible pop-up, slow down and a lack of detail.

Audio is another area that has its moments, but misses more than it hits. The game's soundtrack isn't bad at all, but things come crashing down when you speak to NPCs in the hub sections. Voice acting for each of these NPCs might have been asking a lot, but the animal-like grunts that you're greeted with are terrible. There are a couple of two-player modes if you simply must play more, and a fair selection of Achievements to earn, but they really aren't worth the hassle.

Sonic fans might be able to stomach some of these issues, but they really shouldn't be tolerated. Sonic has been on a slippery slope for years and SEGA has done nothing about it, and this has culminated in what can only be described as a complete disaster. Coming from SEGA it's hard to believe and even harder to understand, as Sonic used to be 'it' as far as gaming icons were concerned. Now he's been dragged through the mud so many times that it's hard to see him ever finding his former glory.

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thematter98's Avatar

thematter98

i played it. it was pure ass. now i don't play it.
Posted 20:33 on 22 April 2010
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jon

EPIC FAIL
Posted 01:52 on 06 March 2009
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Mystery man

Wow, how in the world could you think this is even close to the best damn sonic? I agree that they were too strict with the sonic adventure games, but this is THE WORST SONIC GAME IN THE HISTORY OF SEGA! And coming in a close second is Sonic Heros.

This freaking game kills you for no apparent reason so many times, that you'd think the point of the game is to kill yourself. Everyone is way too slow ,(except in the speed stages, which have no control and are too damn fast) and some of the character movements are downright awful, I mean, just look at shadow from the side when he runs. The freaking upgrades are just stupid, and make you have to do those 10 minute quests, when the actual quest only takes a minute because of the unbearable load time, I mean, just what exactly are they loading? You don't even want to get me started on the whole Elise and sonic thing. I bet that the funnest part of the game was the boss battles, as they were the only exciting parts of the damn game!And they weren't even all that fun!

At least sonic adventures 1 and 2 were actually fun. Sonic the hedgehog 2006 seems more like a hassle and torture method than anything else. The game doesn't even deserve the title entertainment.
Posted 08:18 on 15 June 2008
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hardyfan4life

you guys are too strict with games, this is one of the best sonic games i have ever played. this is not a fair score or reveiw :(. if you haad something that had us vote for what the score should be games wouldhave a much better chance
Posted 13:13 on 04 May 2008
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Why Ask?

Why are you putting down Sega? They have been working with sonic games for 16 years. If Nintendo made this game, would you do the same?
Posted 16:46 on 16 February 2008
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Anonymous

Give the game a break. I have Sonic Heroes on PC and that works fine and in 3d.. How many 2d Sonic games have been released?? Getting a new system such as 3d to work right will take time, effort and hard work to get rid of the problems. Any game that can be walked through in a couple of hours doesn't present much of a challenge. I'd rather play a game that presents a challenge and takes a bit of time to master than one I had played in a matter of a few hours flat.
Posted 00:43 on 11 May 2007
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SubvertCity@ soulfly1983

This game isn't that bad. I'll admit that the voice acting and the adventure parts are simply embarrassing, but when you're playing the action levels, its all forgotten. The game's beautiful and its as fast (and difficult) as the original 2D games. Maybe the next one will improve and there will finally be a Sonic that heralds him into the new age like Mario 64 did for the Italian.
Posted 18:36 on 14 December 2006
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jtorry

No it wouldn't have. If Nintendo had released the exact same game it would have received the exact same score as Sonic was awarded.
Posted 15:55 on 06 December 2006
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thunderkiss2k1@ soulfly1983

I agree with soulfly1983. Of course, if this were a Nintendo game, it would have a much different review and score.
Posted 14:28 on 06 December 2006
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soulfly1983

you people are slating this game because it is 3d well yes fine the first three 3d sonic yes i agree not very good but this one is great it has great graphics and good game play and cool sound most of my mates have this game and they dont like it because its hard but they love every think else about it if you what 2d sonic download it form the net or the nintendo wii this sonic is the new stepping stone for sonic team keep it up
Posted 15:38 on 02 December 2006

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Sonic The Hedgehog
3
Out of 10
Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Glimpses of what could have been
  • Overall lack of polish
  • Save system is dreadful
  • Terrible character control
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/11/2006
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 813
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