Segareleases ‘Sonic Unleashed’

Alison Young
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January 09, 2009
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Sonic is back with Sega’s Sonic Unleashed, released last month. The game is available for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 and 3; I played the PlayStation 3 version. Powered by the new “Hedgehog Engine,“the game merges the classic 2D Sonic gameplay with 3D visuals.

As with previous Sonic releases, it’s pretty much the same as far as Sonic trying to save the world from Dr. Eggman. You’re on a journey across the globe after Dr. Eggman acquired the Chaos Emeralds and used them to activate a super weapon that split the earth apart. This event physically changed Sonic into a beast. The Sonic beast, called a “werehog,” comes out at night and changes the way he moves and reacts to things, in contrast to the regular Sonic we’ve all come to know and love.

The game levels are split between night and day. The daytime levels look somewhat similar to the original, but a bit spiced up in comparison to the16-bit 2D Sonic.

You’ll see the classic Sonic speed runs in the daytime, and the nighttime Sonic reveals a more beat-‘em-up type of personality. The nighttime werehog allows you to fight the enemies, complete with combo attacks and the ability to perform finishing moves on certain opponents. The battles with the bosses at the end of these levels keep things a bit interesting.

Even with that in mind,I still prefer the day levels, since you play as the regular Sonic and the graphics are fairly nice. For whatever reason, the night levels seemed to load up slightly slower on my PS3.

Actually, I think I could live without the nighttime levels altogether. I wasn’t too thrilled with Sonic the werehog.

Another observation: The game’s music is the same as the classic Sonic along with some additional sound effects thrown in.

The daytime levels are the most similar to the old Sonic with which I’m familiar, and after playing Sonic Unleashed, if I’m going to play Sonic, I still prefer the original Sonic the Hedgehog from the 1990s on the good ol’Sega Genesis.

Unfortunately, there’s no replay value with this game. Since it’s highly unlikely you would want to go through the whole thing again, it might be better to rent it. The total gameplay will probably take you about 10 to 12 hours to complete.

Sonic Unleashed is a one-player game, rated E10 for players age 10 and up. The price ranges from $29.99 to $49.99 (depending on the platform). You can find it at your nearest GameStop (, Best Buy ( or Toys N Joys (

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