The spiky blue hero sprints his way to inadequacy
Once upon a time the arrival of a brand new Sonic title was heralded with the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for the appearance of the latest Bond film. But a few intrepid steps into other gaming genres has since muddied the waters, and for almost a decade any game appearing with Sonic in the title has been met with little in the way of expectations.
Unleashed, were sorry to report, does little to change that. The game starts well, a side-on view harking back to the speedy mammals glory days, and aside from a few tricky control issues, things feel closer to the heady days of the Sega Mega Drive than they have in a good long while.
Things take a turn for the worse once you get stuck into the meat, though. A night/day feature introduces the Werehog: a long-armed, slow-paced, brawling-obsessed alter ego that Sonic transforms into once the sun drops below the skyline. The Werehog is the complete antithesis of Sonics usual guise, lumbering about as you pound the buttons in order to bash away the various enemies standing in the way. These levels, unfortunately, make up a large portion of the game, making the few true Sonic levels an all too scare occurrence.
Tedious role-playing elements introduce some truly horrific dialogue, leaving one third of a decent title, dragged down by elements that feel both unwanted and unnecessary.