Can you imagine the idea of Sonic being on a Nintendo console during the 1990's? That would be true mass hysteria. Now Sonic is available on many console platforms such as Nintendo, Xbox, and Playstation. Now here's Sonic's first Nintendo DS game. It's absolutely worth playing, but it sort of reminded me of Ocarina of Time. Let me explain. If you don't know, Ocarina of Time isn't my favorite game of all time. The main reason why is because I was so frustated figuring out how to solve many of the game's puzzles. Looking back now, I realize that there was lots of charm such as the open world, the unique characters, and the oddly charming cinematics. Even though I still won't plat that game again for a while, I now recommend you give it a shot to see how you feel. Just don't be discouraged if you get stuck from time to time. I bring this up because Sonic Rush isn't that easy. Why is that? You'll see in this review. PRESENTATION: The story is an odd for Sonic. One thing to mention is that this game featured Blaze the Cat for the first time. With that said, Sonic is on another quest to stop Dr. Eggman from taking over. On his adventure, he's suddenly bombarded by Blaze the Cat, a princess from another dimension who guards the Sol Emerals (not the CHAOS Emeralds because Sonic's the one who collects them), who flees from Sonic instantly after obtaining a Sol Emerald. Soon Sonic and Tails the Fox team up to figure out what's happening. Meanwhile, Blaze is trying to find all the Sol Emerald when she's discovered by Cream the Rabbit, who becomes Blaze's accomplice in the game. Sonic and Blaze roam the same stages to the Chaos Emeralds and the Sol Emeralds respectively. Soon they meet up with each other and discover that there are two Dr. Eggmans working together. One is the same Dr. Eggman we all know, and the second one is Dr. Eggman Nega, who is from Blaze's dimension. Thier hijinks has caused a rift in the two universes and Sonic and Blaze have to stop them. It's a different story for a Sonic game to have. One thing that made the story stand out was the new character, Blaze. She's a princess, but she's shy, very stubborn when being offered help, and afraid of heights (quite odd when you think about it considering when you play the game). Her life long duty to protect the Sol Emeralds has caused her to become socially troubled. She's still determined and a a force to be reckoned with due to her fire powers. She can be a bit hard to swallow for people who have been like her and others hard to take seriously at times, but Blaze has character. Sonic is the rad, supportive one who helps Blaze with her anti-social problems. Everyone else does the job. The game is quite nice to look at. The backgrounds are well modeled and detailed, the levels have lots of nice designs, and the character designs are well made and use the Nintendo DS's capability as well as it could. The sound is well done for the most part. While the sound effects at times sound a bit muffled and Tail's plus Cream's voices don't sound right, the music is addictive to listen to. If you've listened to the music in Jet Set Radio Future, it's a lot like that, and has the super hip appeal as well. Plus Dr. Eggman's voice fits the character perfectly. Overall, the story works with a strong new character, nice graphics, and a sick soundtrack. GAMEPLAY: Sonic Rush is like many other games. Multiple paths to get to the end of the level, 100 rings earns an extra life, jump while spinning to defeat an enemy, all that good stuff. One thing that's new is the ability to boost. All you do is push the Y button to go instantly fast. It's quicker than the spin dash. Be careful since the boost has a meter that diminshes when used. To refill the meter, you defeat enemies or perform tricks while grinding or in the air from a springboard. One thing to mention is that you play as Sonic and Blaze. Unlike the older games where you go to the next stage right after finishing the stage you were in, you plat one stage at a time. You play the exact same stages, but stage layout varies depending on the character you play. Each character also has a special ability. Sonic can home attack a nearby enemy and Blaze can hover for a short time. You press A or B to jump, press Y to boost as mentioned before, and press the R trigger button to activate the character's special ability. The controls are good overall. It's just that jumping from platform to platform can feel "floaty" at times.The major issue I had was that one stage in particular (Blaze Stage 4/Sonic Stage 1) had instances where you, if weren't careful, were taken to a path that made the stage almost unwinnable, and the only way to beat the stage was to lose a life and start over. Now pretend you were like me who played a stage as Sonic and then one as Blaze so you weren't too ahead of a character's progression over the other. This would then be the SECOND stage you would play where you encounter this stage that had the almost unwinnable path. And if you had no more lives and you reached the almost unwinnable path, it's game over. That's one thing that sort of frustrated me on my first playthrough. There are many times where you can mess up and instantly lose a life. As such, you lose many lives and get plenty of game overs. And on your first playthrough, if you're on the second act of a stage but get a game over, you have to start over from the first act of the stage, which gets a bit stressful. Eventually you'll overcome this issue and feel like a master and zoom through the levels super fast, which is when the game gets really fun. One more issue I had was that in two stages, there were times you were on a moving platform fighting off enemies or gliding while avoiding enemies. The problem is that these sections, while intersting, are too slow compared to the rest of the game and don't feel that necessary to the stages. Despite these issues, the new boost mechanic is still fun, it's super rewarding when you go super fast, and the controls won't slow you down. CONCLUSION: There are rewards for beating the game such as a time mode, which only gives you one life to beat a level as quickly as possible. One thing I was a bit bummed was that there was only one save file since there are cutscenes with Sonic's friends that offer funny dialogue that are only played once, unless you delete your whole save file. There's an easy mode you can select but I don't see much difference in the game when selected. There's a multiplayer mode, but I couldn't try it since I only have one Nintendo DS. I was satisfied with Sonic Rush. At first I was struggling with many game overs, but then I eventually got better and enjoyed breezing through levels I already completed. It's a game that got better the more I played it. I recommend this to kids as, despite the difficulty, they'll be suckered in with the rewarding speedy gameplay that makes it worthwhile to play when on the car or at a relatives'/friends' house. And if you enjoyed the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis, this is another Sonic game that succeeds in figuring out what made those games a blast and turns it into a handheld delight.
yes: I recommend this product