The Blue Blur returns in a flawed adventure that falls before it's HD sibling.
ManaReaper wrote this review on .
The story this time is that Eggman has finally done something somewhat right for once, he tore the planet apart by awakening a beast trapped within it called Dark Gaia. The Chaos Emeralds have lost their power and color and Sonic has been affected as well. Sonic transforms into a "Werehog" that allows him to fight differently during the nights.
Most of Sonic's friends stay home this time, with only Amy and Tails hanging around, as well as a new friend named Chip, who has more to do with the story than the others. Obviously Sonic has to stop Eggman and find a way to put the world back together. It's what you expect from a Sonic game but it's nice that the cast of characters is so small so they don't annoy as easily and it's nice to see Eggman finally do something evil. It's not the best but it's not the worst either.
Gameplay in Sonic Unleashed is separated into Day and Night stages. During the Day, you play as Sonic and during the Night, you play as the Werehog. Both are similar to it's HD sibling, but both have huge differences. During the Sonic stages, you still run from beginning to end in either 3D or 2.5D, but Sonic's boost isn't as effective in this version and Sonic is a little easier to control. During the Werehog stages, combat has been simplified to alternating between the L and R buttons, which means it's even more repetitive. The controls are also a little finicky on the Werehog stages, movement is sensitive and the context sensitive actions are iffy. The biggest thing would have to be the stages, they are all completely different, aside from their themes.
Levels progress differently as well. You navigate through menus, rather than explore an actual town, to talk to people to open levels. Another thing is that there is really only one level per continent, they are just separated into several parts for the Werehog, and you just do various things on the same level for Sonic, which means that there is less variety in stages compared to the HD version. These stages are all chained together as well. A good thing is that you don't need the Sun/Moon Medals to progress, you get them for beating levels with better rankings and are completely optional. The difficulty isn't as harsh as the HD version and it shares the same bosses, though their difficulty is dumbed down on all of them. The most annoying thing about gameplay is the life system, unlike most games where you stockpile all your lives, you only have two lives per stage here. All this adds up to as inferior to the HD version.
The music is fun and fitting for the settings and scenarios. The battle music for the Werehog stages I found stuck in my head, along with the map screen's music. It's an awesomely orchestrated soundtrack with a cool theme song. The voice acting isn't that great on the other hand, with Chip being the worst. Sonic and Eggman's voices are alright and you can change the voices to Japanese if you prefer. Overall, it's a pleasant audio package.
The action stages look great for it's platform. It doesn't look all that different from the HD version except you play the same stages a little too much. It also doesn't help that towns are now menus. The pretty cinematics are still there though. Overall, it's a decent looking game.
In closing, if you have a choice of which version of Sonic Unleashed you can get, choose the HD version, it plays a lot better. The Wii version isn't terrible, but the simplified combat, finicky Werehog controls, lack of stages and menu-based towns add up to an inferior version.