[The following review was provided by site member and main power source for the server GerbilSoft.]
Mario and Sonic are back at the Olympic Winter games, this time hosted in Sochi, Russia. Like the previous three installments, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is a mini-game collection based on Olympic events and various levels from the Mario and Sonic universes. How well does it compare to the previous outings?
God, where do I even begin?
Sonic Lost World for the 3DS is the latest in a recent trend of handheld Sonic games – while there was a long string of completely original Sonic titles, from many of the Game Gear titles all the way to the Advance and Rush series, the last couple have instead been downscaled versions of their console counterparts: Colors, Generations, and now Lost World. Why this is the case, I don’t know, because it will invariably result in comparing these games to their consistently better big brothers, and in every case they fall short, including this one. Which is tremendously worrisome, considering the Wii U version of the game didn’t exactly set a high bar to begin with.
Another year, another re-release of Sonic The Hedgehog. Ho-hum. No, you won’t find much different here if you’ve played this game at some point in the last 22 years, and it definitely isn’t a revolution like “Team Stealth-Tax”‘s Sonic 1 Mobile update on iOS and Android . Instead, let’s focus on what’s a little more interesting in this project: M2’s “GigaDrive” system running this bad boy. How does it handle Sonic 1 on your 3DS?
I won’t bore you with the usual spiel about Sonic’s state in the past and present. Leave that to any other website trying to pad the word count. Let’s get right into the heart of it: Sonic Lost World is a half-baked game. At its best, it brings a fresh element of fun to the series through the new Parkour System that lets Sonic zip around landmarks, triangle jump up walls, and even cancel his now-signature homing attack to kick enemies around. But the experience tends to get bogged down by odd level design choices or a finicky mechanics.
But is the game still salvageable and worth putting into your blossoming Wii U library?
Now with 100% less screamer.
The developers at Sumo Digital have tuned up their old car, shoved a jalapeno up the tailpipe, changed the belts, look, whatever generic trope you want to indicate for the existence of Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed. You know, that Sonic and Sega racing game? They made another one of those.
Without a doubt, it’s a better game than the predecessor. It’s more of everything: more vehicles, more characters, better physics, more track variety, and so on. It also does what it can to give character/item based racers the competitive edge that the genre has difficulty in reaching. On the other hand, the game has mishaps and hiccups that occur more often than it should which can cause the game to be a frustrating experience, especially in some of the game’s more heated situations.
(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains unmarked spoilers. The game is over a decade old and well-known amongst our readers, so we deemed it unnecessary to refrain from spoilers. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ve been warned.)
In a franchise like Sonic that has been on such a rollercoaster of quality for the past twenty years, Sonic Adventure 2 somehow sticks out in the franchise as possibly the most polarizing game in the series. To one part of the fanbase, it’s the pinnacle of Sonic. Because it was the first major Sonic title on a Nintendo platform, many people cite SA2 as their introduction to the franchise. And yet to others, the game symbolizes the start of everything that nearly killed the franchise forever. So as I review Sega’s recent digital rerelease of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I feel it’s necessary to frame the game in context.
Outside of the broader fanbase context, I – like many others – have my own personal relationship with SA2. I was but a wee child when it first came out for the Dreamcast in 2001, and I spent a frightening number of hours engrossed in the game. It wasn’t my first exposure to the series; that title goes to Sonic 2 on the Genesis, whose predecessor and sequels received a similarly obsessive amount of my attention. In fact, the sole reason I asked for a Dreamcast for Christmas in 2000 was so that I could play the original Adventure. So, being the fanatic little child I was, Sonic Adventure 2 earned a special, fuzzy, nostalgiatastic place in my heart. The question, then, is: eleven years later, can it keep it?