With 2 playable characters in the game there’s plenty of variation in the levels, seeing as both of them have different strengths and abilities. Sonic is obviously faster than Blaze, and the homing attack makes a triumphant return; Blaze however is stronger (probably because she’s a girl) and can hover for a short time, ontop of this she can shoot fire from her fingertips. Tails and Cream also appear in the game, but thankfully only in the cut scenes between stages; they also act as cheerleaders during boss battles, proving further that the sexual orientation of Tails is questionable at best. Knuckles, Amy Rose, and Cream’s mother Vanilla the Rabbit also appear in cut scenes and for small speaking roles.
The course of the game changes depending on whether you use Sonic or Blaze more, this is a nice touch to the game and offers a reason to play through a second time. Even though the 7 zones are the same, you play through them in different orders. As the characters stories progress they meet each other several times and unite in the final zone that comes after the 7th.
Sonic games have always been known for their catchy aloof music, and Rush continues the trend. The fast electronic tracks suit the game perfectly, and make you want to go faster and faster. Unfortunately there is nothing particularly memorable in the soundtrack, but you’ll enjoy it as you play and that’s good enough for most of us.
Sonic Rush also features a multiplayer mode, Sonic and newcomer Blaze have to race each other to the end of the level. The game states that Sonic is faster so I always thought this matchup was kind of unfair. The multiplayer is okay, it’s not good enough to warrant a play more than once or twice, and it’s really just a needless addition to a great single player game. Multiplayer has never been the draw in Sonic games anyway, so these modes serve as sugar on top.
This isn’t to say that the game is perfect. Sure Sonic is fast, but too fast maybe? A lot of the time it’s difficult to tell what the hell is going on, especially with the boost button; before you know it you’re at the end of the level without even realising. The dual screen feature can be very distracting during some of the more hectic and detailed levels and you’ll need to concentrate hard on what you’re doing to hold it together.
The main faults with the game is the difficulty and the length. While the old-school Sonics could be very unforgiving, you can fly through this with only a few slight problems. The boss battles are frighteningly easy as well, but this is common practice in Sonic games. This leads me to the length of the game: sure with 2 characters you can play twice, but that will still only occupy you for 3 days at most. Rush is disappointingly short, and may leave you feeling cheated by the end of it, but what little game is given really struts its stuff.
Sonic Rush is a 2-Dimensional breath of fresh air in the mess of 3D Sonic titles we now receive. The solid gameplay and graphics make it a wonderful game to play, and the new features keep it brisk and new. Sonic seems to be renewing his legacy on the DS, owned by the company he once rivaled so strongly. The shortness of the title will disappoint, but like other Sonic games, you’ll always go back to it.
Rush is definitely a DS game to get, especially if you’re a fan of retro Sonic, as the 2D gameplay plays wonderfully on the handheld. The Hedgehog takes to dual screens like a pig to mud, and I hope that we’ll see more Sonic games like this in the near future.
Stunning backdrops and contrasting 3D characters leave the eyes in a state of wonder.
Sonic has never been faster, with the Dual Screens just adding the chaos!
Sonic music not quite at its best, but still very good.
A short game, extended only slightly by the 2 characters and feeble multiplayer.
It seems that Sonic has made a triumphant return, but only on the DS.
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