X06: Sonic the Hedgehog Updated Hands-On

We get another glimpse of Sonic's upcoming next-gen adventure on the Xbox 360.

by

BARCELONA, Spain--One of the games on display tonight at Microsoft's post-press-briefing event at X06 is Sonic the Hedgehog. The new entry in the series marks Sonic's next-gen debut and promises an original adventure for the veteran mascot. Our previous looks at the game have offered us brief glimpses at what Sonic Team is promising will be a rich new experience that focuses on Sonic and Silver, a new hedgehog with psychic powers. The demo once again trotted out Sonic and Silver, and it also added Shadow to the mix.

Characters have their own unique play mechanics to give them distinct handling, which were shown to good effect as you ran all three characters through the same level. Your goal was to simply make it through an enemy-infested set of ruins, which required you to get creative with the three characters. When playing as Sonic, the emphasis is on his speed and the ensuing cool moves it makes possible. The veteran hedgehog has all his key moves and makes short work of the foes in his stylish way. Sonic's homing attack and trademark speed are in full effect. Despite Shadow originally appearing to be Sonic's equal in abilities, the ebon hedgehog now has his own unique abilities that are quite different than his debut. Besides skating at high speeds, the hedgehog has special attacks to deal with mechanoids and a powerful special attack that's powered by chaos energy. Newcomer Silver offers a complete change of pace from the speedy hogs by harnessing the power of his mind and using psychokinesis to knock around enemies and warp the environment around him.

The game's control aims to be accessible and does so fairly well, though we've noticed some challenges in the experience. On the plus side, the game's control is intuitively laid out and generally responsive. Of the rough spots, the game's camera can be a handful while in the heat of battle. You can move it around as you play, but the movement isn't as smooth or speedy as we'd hoped. The other noticeable issue is the hedgehog handling in the game. Given everyone's unique handling, the cast can be unwieldy at times, which can be a problem when navigating the various obstacles that you'll encounter, often while moving at high speeds or jumping.

The visuals in the game were looking sharp and continue to improve every time we see them. The trio of hedgehogs looks good and they all move well, with each featuring distinctive animation that lend personality. Sonic powers through levels, Shadow skates, and Silver has a saunter. The same holds true for their abilities, each of which have unique special effects. The environments were spacious, disjointed, MC Escher-esque collections of playable areas that were in keeping with the style of the previous games, but they have been expanded to take advantage of what the 360 can do.

Based on what we played, Sonic the Hedgehog is shaping up to be a unique entry in the series. We haven't seen the playable roster of characters in a Sonic game so active in a good long while. We appreciate the game's attempt to be different than the previous entries in the series, and we're curious to see how these pieces mesh in the final game. To date, we've only seen these action sequences and haven't been able to check out the town levels yet. If all goes according to plan, Sonic the Hedgehog will live up to its potential of reinvigorating the classic franchise for a new set of consoles. Look for more on Sonic the Hedgehog in the months leading up to its November launch.

Discussion

38 comments
xspboy06x
xspboy06x

They do that with all the games they don't like. But, then again, everything looks promising. Almost everything. How it turns out is what matters.

fon1988
fon1988

Funny how it seems like GameSpot likes this game right now but then if you read their review they basically make this news story seem like it never happened.

whiplash
whiplash

I don't think any of the 3D sonics were as tight as the 2d versions. I would love to see an enhanced 2d sequel, just like New Super Mario Bros. (Another series that belongs in 2d).

NND1
NND1

This will definitly be a part of my X360 collection

DJDarkViper
DJDarkViper

Loved the demo, loving the site, loving the pictures and media, and loving the visual style and all aesthetics's appeals. I also like the music, even though its not by Crush40 but by Zebrahead and others. I have my copy fully preordered as of 4 weeks ago, and i cannot wait till the 14th when this beast is released from its cage.

redphaser
redphaser

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

redphaser
redphaser

here's a list of my beef's with the demo version Please note that I'm am mostly a fan of the original Sonic Adventure for the DC (SA2 was good, but just not up to par with the first one IMHO) 1. Control, Control, Control! Where's the Control!?! Most people have already complained about this and I have to agree 100% 2. Speed... I honestly felt like I was only going at 1/4 speed compared to the old DC versions. 3. Attacks... Homing attack is still here (thank god), but what's the use of that sliding attack? (which looks... gay Also, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SPIN ATTACK?!? It was bad enough in SA2 when they slowed it down, but this is ridiculous. Back in the original SA, the spin attack could propel you forward at breakneck speeds... That's one thing I desperately hope they bring back. 4. Does anyone else here feel that the way Sonic holds his hands out to his side while running is a little... (if not a lot) off? The way his fingers are spread out just makes it seem weird. Any other thoughts?

eawil2000
eawil2000

I really hope that the control gets worked out on this one. I've played most of the Sonic games, and I will say that this is the first one that I actually died on the first level (I assume the demo is the first level). Horrific controls as it stands. I'm definately waiting for the review before I buy this one.

Edgemaster666
Edgemaster666

Somic Adventure 1 and 2 on the good ole' Dreamcast were legendary, I had em both. I might buy this new one on 360, looks promising, and I've always liked the Sonic series.

The_MrB
The_MrB

I've lost all faith in Sega.

grave_rob
grave_rob

sonic was rad when i was in elementary & owned a genesis. guess it's just one of those games that doesn't hold any appeal now that i'm an adult (in the eyes of the law that is)... strange how mario & duke nukem are still a blast....I agree with everyone else: put some classic sonic on xbl arcade & leave it at that.

Icekxg
Icekxg

Man, the demo sucked. Graphics weren't bad, but it just didn't seem like you were going fast. I had a higher sense of speed on the DC. The controls are horrible, camera is awkward, and it's generally not fun. I prefer the good old 16-bit version of Sonic, and the Sonic Adventures on the Dreamcast...the stuff that's been coming out the Xbox and thereafter have been nothing but trash.

NND1
NND1

What's with all the negativity???? This is the best looking sonic to date.... Hopefully Sonic Team can work out the control issues.. If you want to play the old ones download the emu and the roms.....

Duminakan89
Duminakan89

why dont they just work on giving us the original Sonic titles for XLA...

_Sam_
_Sam_

I never really got into the games

jd14
jd14

i hate all the sonic series

fkholmes
fkholmes

Ahhh good old sonic ruined by crsppy controls.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

ahh their gonna mess it up....you cant get sonic better than in his 2 d glory on the genesis....sonic 2 and 3 on genesis were the best sonic games..hands down...i dont know,,,call me oldskool..

zappa2001
zappa2001

The controls were horrible in the demo, and as far as somebody else's suggestion that since Sonic Adventure 2 the games have had that bad of controls you are misinformed. That doesn't mean that sales slipped during and after SA2, but the controls were much more stable. Sega has a lot of work to do to make this game playable. I think it was a mistake if this was a very early build of the game because these horrible first impressions are available to the status quo who hardly ever demo's. Let's be honest, nerds demo and understand first builds and most others don't. This demo is probably (if Sega actually has improved controls) going to be the thing that keeps people away from buying it!

bigmouthkid
bigmouthkid

I hope that sega doesn't mess this game up.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

run sonic run...if there was only a character name lola.

Link5863
Link5863

I seriously hope sonic team doesn't botch this....... I miss the quality from the Genesis Sonic Titles soo much......

pyrophsyco3417
pyrophsyco3417

It would be nice if they only focused on sonic so it would feel like an old sonic the hedgehog genesis game

blazinpuertoroc
blazinpuertoroc

demo was kinda meh..wasnt alot of fast running..controls were horrible...hope the full game is way better

SuperSonicx2005
SuperSonicx2005

The Sonic The Hedgehog demo is Awesome but their was no rumble feature in it that sinks the demo gets 10.0 a perfect score the game gets 10.0 also 5 stars I can't wait to play the game online against other players I hope that you can be on teams

Poltergeist13
Poltergeist13

Yeah the game was a little rough, but hopefully Sonic Team will get the edges worked out in time for launch. Awesome graphics. Here's hoping Sonic returns to fine form.

PunkerXBlaze
PunkerXBlaze

"The demo was so rough and had such bad control it scared this long time Sonic fan- I cannot imagine a sega Sonic game ever being that bad- I hope it was some kind of mistake- but I wonder." What the hell, have you not been playing any sonic games since SA2? They've ALL sucked since then.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

Why, oh, why, oh WHY are they including Shadow? Just let him die, already.

doddeath1982
doddeath1982

othters might think it will be difficult to play because of controlling problem and frustrate levels, I know cause I feel the same, but I won'tj udge it by playing demo, I assume , not hope, this game will good game to play

fisticuffs
fisticuffs

The demo was so rough and had such bad control it scared this long time Sonic fan- I cannot imagine a sega Sonic game ever being that bad- I hope it was some kind of mistake- but I wonder.

janucheese
janucheese

it's funny how many think that the downloadable demo was a recent one. the one GS played is more polished than the one you guys played. it was confirmed by those who played both. but as to why SEGA gave us an early, glitchy demo instead of the TGS one is beyond me.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

See... when they talk about it like this.. it sounds so grand... but after that demo... I just... don't know what to think anymore... I guess I really will have to wait till it comes out to see... and while that doesn't SEEM like such a bad thing. Major sonic fans can remember back to SA2's release... did you wait to see if it was good? did you cautiously rent it first? Or did you get the hottest copy off the release desk you could, the second you could, without question, hesitation, or debate? ... I know the SECOND I got that cash (2 days after the release) I was down at target snaggine me the only copy left in town. Same with SA1... There was no question that it was gonna be a good game... I planned to buy it, and a dreamcast, wihhout thought... though the first time I got my hands on SA1 was at a media play... where I stood on my feet for 6 hours straight playing the game... only reason I left is they asked me to leave... jerks... I said it in my previous comment, and I will say it again... Sonic = Fun This Demo = NOT fun...

adijan
adijan

The game wont match to the original, the original sonic was much better,

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

i dont think this game will measure up to the original

Hydrolix
Hydrolix

Can't we just have the original on XBL?