Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sonic Unleashed (PS2)

I'm not going to reward this game with a proper rundown, rather I'm going to recite to you a related experience involving 20 minutes of agony and fustration spent with this game.

By a whim, I put Sonic Unleashed in my Gamefly Q, unaware the terror of which I had bedeviled myself. This morning it came to me and after work I felt a much needed break from the usual fare of Bioshock and Rock Band 2 Sessions were in order.

I popped the game in and was greeted to a drool screen slightly foreboding for a Sonic game. The scorched earth set ablaze by what seemed to be a thunderbolt is striking imagery. Sadly, imagery is what Sonic games deal in, rather content to put gameplay on a back burner to tell there instupid tale.

After an arduous amount of prompts, I seem to have found my game. A cutscene plays out with a clarity and beauty I've not seen on a PS2 title since God of War. A flattering comparison however much a disservice is does to the excellent God of War franchise being uttered in the same sentence as a game from Sega.

However well done this cutscene may be, is rife with inexcusably dumb dialog and a classic Sonic trope: plot induced amnesia! Trying to make a hit character? Force him into every aspect of gameplay by way of amnesia! For five minutes I furiously checked my controller to see if it was properly hooked up and that no button or combination thereof could render me into some actual gameplay.

After checking threw my stuffs and filling my taxes, the game felt need to give me control of events so some truth to its game-hood would be applied. Now finally, some action! Whats this? My mission is to get to the end of the street? Okay....I'm growing impatient on top of being concerned at how little challenge I'm presented. 3-2-1- GO....STOP! The little pink creature--known to me as The Little Pink Shit for reasons discernible later-- we were introduced to in the cut scene who apparently doesn't even know his own name now fells need to tell ME how to PLAY THE GAME!

I didn't request a tutorial! Well hopefully this will be quick I guess it's kind of useful I havent played a Sonic game since the abysmal Sonic Heroes (also rented, thank god!). So this tutorial which constantly interrupts any sort of flow and experimentation with prompts doled liberally by Little Pink Shit moves at a glacial pace. Still worse is after each task (most taking less than 3 seconds) it rewards me with a trinket of some sort and saves the game, together taking up about 3 fold the time it took to complete the task. Repeat these tasks about 5 times and what in actuality was perhaps 10 minutes now fells like 30.

Now, after a small conversation with the Little Pink Shit, I'm surprised to find myself in an actual level! The graphics and gameplay both smooth and provide simple fun. For about 2 minutes of gameplay, I've had not heard from The Little Pink Shit and am liking where this is going. Perhaps I've finally gotten into the game?

No, for sadly after this 2 minutes, I am rewarded yet ANOTHER cut scene. Yes, unable to skip I'm treated to a small plotline which could have been executed easier in a fraction of the time in numerous less cumbersome methods. I'm quickly losing patience.

Then, the point was to tell me I need to find someone this Little Pink Shit knows. Now, I can't do this by going threw a cool level or doing something interesting. I have to pilot threw towns and find them ala menu screens and RPGisms.

I find someone who doesn't know my enemy the Pink Lil Shit but has another mission. Okay, I'm given into what looks like gameplay again. My patience now paper thin, I resolve one more peep from The Little Pink Shit will result in me turning of the game. The level starts, 3-2-1, GO--STOP! THE LITTLE PINK FUCKING SHIT HAS MORE TO TELL ME!!!!!!!!!

And that folks, was the worst 20 minutes I ever spent on a game.

To Sega:

Mario Won. Quit making games.

With regards, TLBC.

Now, I'm sending this game back tomorrow. I'll go back to Bioshock or find a freshly painted wall to watch dry with both being a far better waste of my time than this awful thing masquerading as a game.