A return to the glory days for everyone's favourite blue Road Kill.
WarioWare wrote this review on .
Sonic Rush is a true momento of how Sonic games should be made. Where Sonic hasn't made a graceful transition to 3D as Mario has on home console, this game truly proves that Sonic, in all honesty, should never be put into true 3D in the first place. The plot involves Sonic, and a brand new character on the scene, Blaze the Cat, teaming up to collect the Sol Emeralds and save the world from the notorious Dr. Eggman, as well as a brand new (if you could call it that, I suppose) adversary from an alternate dimension.
Rather than have themselves implement touch screen functionality which would take away from the gameplay, Dimps have gone and made the levels span both screens vertically - this adds a unique twist on platform games. One moment you'll be flying through a loop-de-loop, then entering a corkscrew that takes you down all the way onto the bottom screen, where the action continues. This is a fantastic idea, and works extremely well, even if it doesn't take advantage of the DS' other features. For those looking for a little touch screen action, the Special Stages are controlled entirely using the stylus, and bring back nostalgic memories of the classic Special Stages from Sonic 2.
Graphics are fantastic; full of vivid, bold and detailed environments across your typical Sonic-esque landscapes, with lush green Forests, the Greek style water levels, and the neon lit Vegas style Casino zone. The action is of a seriously frantic pace, and the game suffers from very little slowdown. What sets this game apart from other 2D platformers however is that the character models of Sonic and Blaze are entirely 3D, which allows some great use of the DS' 3D effects. On one level for example you'll find your character hang onto a crane, which will spin them around - you'll see them get flung toward the screen and back again before they fly off onto the next platform. It's a wonderful effect. The boss fights are also fought on a 2D plane, but the use of different camera angles, and the fact the arenas are fully 3D gives them a unique flavour.
The soundtrack for the game is fantastic, with many of the tracks featured seeming like they came right out of Jet Set Radio. There is also a little voice work in there, but most of the story is told through simple on-screen text. Like Shadow, the voices are done by the cast of Sonic X, which is very much hit and miss, depending on how much you enjoyed the voice work from the series, or the original games.
Gameplay is taking people back to what made the Sonic games so good in the first place. Pure speed. There is now the inclusion of a "Tension Bar" which acts as a speed boost which can be used at any time. The bar is charged by doing stunts off ramps and springs and while grinding, as well as defeating enemies. The beauty of it is that it means there is no more waiting to get back to full speed to get up steep ramps, or when you are hit by enemies, for example. However, the problem with this is that sometimes there are some nasty pitfalls you may end up succoming to simply cos you were going too fast to notice them - however this is a small niggle if you can remember where these pitfalls are.
Sadly there is very little difference between the way Sonic and Blaze play as characters, so to get the true ending you essentially have to play through the game twice. A Sonic and Knuckles style format where they take different paths through the levels would have been much better suited to the game's format. Also, was there any need to introduce ANOTHER new Sonic character? Aren't there like 2,568,607 of them already?
The game serves as a perfect example of Sonic's old school roots, and is well worth picking up. The game will provide a healthy challenge to the casual gamer, and is a fun and refreshing experience from start to finish. Once the initial game has been completed, you have Time Attack and Wireless multiplayer to keep you coming back, however it's not going to compare with anything such as Mario Kart. Both Sonic fans and non Sonic fans looking for a platforming experience for their DS this Christmas look no further than this. You won't be disappointed.