jkefka: (Yatzhee Bother This Nonsense)
[personal profile] jkefka
The more I play Sonic Unleashed the more it just boggles me. They have something wonderful, truly wonderful here, and they went well out of their way to bury it under crap.

I was massacring my way through the next werehog level in order to advance the plot and it was just a goddamn punishment. It was long, it was stupid, it was buggy, there were some absolutely bullshit jumping puzzles, or rather perfectly reasonable jumping puzzles ruined by bullshit grab mechanics, followed by a gimmick boss that you had to kill three. fucking. times. With quicktime events. It was a good thing I got all the QTEs right on the first pass or I would probably have thrown my controller in disgust.

Despite fouling up jumping puzzles, taking time to find the little medallions hidden in each level that are REQUIRED to advance the plot, and generally feeling like I half-assed my way through the entire thing I got an A. I don't even know.

I decided to keep poking around after that torture in hopes of finding a new Sonic level to cleanse my palette with. If not I could replay some of the old ones and try to improve my score, but really I had played each of them at least five times and, while I certainly had room to improve, I couldn't really until I'd advanced the plot and sonic a little further. In searching I discovered I had opened a new high-speed stage, and with great relief started it.

This stage is the best 3D Sonic level I have ever played, and I have played all the 3D Sonic games. EDIT: Except, I realize "Sonic the Hedgehog" on the PS3 etc. I don't count "Sonic and the Secret Rings" and all that bullshit. And I haven't gotten Sonic Colors yet. But otherwise yeah.

Let me put that in even broader terms: This stage stands among my favorite Sonic levels of all time.

It's huge. Vast. You start off at high speed and you stay there. There are bounces, bumpers, carefully placed "fuck you" enemies, actually fun rail-grinding sequences, pretty fantastic (and beautiful) set-pieces, higher-speed paths that require absolute focus to get, and more than a few instances where I would have said "that was AWESOME" if I wasn't busy dodging laser beams at a hundred miles per hour. It has something I didn't realize how much I'd missed, a jumping puzzle that was not homing-attack based, didn't rely on any of your bullshit superpowers, none of that. You. Moving platforms. A > B and certain death below.

Get going.

It's 100% pure Sonic goodness. First run was seven minutes. Second run was 5:50. I look forward to cutting that down even more.

Levels like this keep me going. I just wish I didn't have to put up with the werehog bullshit in between.
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jkefka

January 2011

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