I still have a hard time believing the PS2/Wii version is "superior" to the PS3/360 version of this game. I mean graphics aside, there just too many things missing or nerfed in the PS2/Wii version to make me believe that it's honestly better.
For example, the Ps2 version has the most outragous tutorials. Seriously, they devoted a tutorial to every feature in the game, even jumping. Yes, jumping because pressing the X button to jump is something I've never done before -_-. I appreciate them making the game more accessible but, something is wrong when the game gives me a tutorial on how to perform the Light Speed Dash AFTER I've already done it. What's that about?
I also wanna punch myself for writing a review about this game and not noticing that the story is actually out of order. You can restore the Third continent before the Second continent. That makes no sense and contradicts the plot. This same mix-up happened in Secret Rings if I recall where Sonic could access certain rings before he was supposed to according to the plot. I guess this isn't a big issue but, it shows how rushed this version is compared to the PS3 version.
One thing that truly puzzles me are the hub worlds between both versions. In the PS3 version, you get actually walk around town and interact with the townspeople. Some people have extra missions for Sonic or ask him for favors that involve interacting with othet people and transferring certain items to different people. It was basically like a town hub you'd find in a lot of RPGs and it wasn't mandatory to talk to these people if you really didn't want to. In the PS2 however, there is no main gate so you pretty to go door to door through a text only hub to get "directions" to the Sacred Shrines (or Gais Gates) in order to progess through the game. No exploring. No challenges. Barely any dialogue form the townspeople. The only thing they do is give you occasional items. That's it. No animations. Nothing. Oh, and since Empire City isn't in this version, Brenda, Big Def, Lil' Kate, and Boss are no where to be found. Neither is the Quiz Lady or Wentos for that matter. The Ps2 verison might as well not have a hub world at all seeing how much they half-assed it -_-.
Speaking of missing content, I see little reason why the Tornado sections, shop, interactive hubs, and two whole stages were removed from the game. I mean why? What real reason is there besides maybe sheer laziness? Way to miss the mark Sega. It's gonna take more than "different" level design to justify gimping a game like this. Heaven forbid Sonic Colors on the DS is considered the "superior" version of that game -_-.
I also find it strange the the Ps2 version has more Night stages than Day stages. Each continent had like one Day Stage plus a few Daytime missions like collecting rings or time attack. The Night Stages on the other hand, had like 3 to4 acts. 3 to 4 MANDATORY acts. I don't know what to make of that.
The Werehog in the Ps2 version is ridiculously gimped as well. He has only 2 different 5-hit combos after being fully upgraded, a "special" attack that can be used to do 1 (just 1) different combo. Since I'm comparing the Ps2 and Ps3 version, I'll use that button set as the example. Basically the Were-Hammer (Were-Tornado if in Unleashed mode) is performed by pressing square/circle x4 + triangle. That's it. He can do a few fancy things in Unleashed mode but, nothing he couldn't do better on the Ps3. He can't even charge his attacks. Also Unleashed mode doesn't give Sonic increased speed or invinciblility. Oh, and no infinite combos either. The enemies are easier to kill and there's less of them. Hell, this version doesn't even have the Eggbots in the Night Levels. Wizards don't use spells. Enemies don't block as often. The only "superior" things about the Werehog on the ps2/wii version is that he can seemingly jump higher and deep nightmares kinda attack more frequently but, it really doesn't matter when all you need to do is mash square or circle to destroy them. Also he moves slower and you have to hold R1 to hang onto ledges instead of just pressing circle which isn'ta good thing.
Really though, the Night Stages even the real problem. It's what Dimps did with those Day Stages that I have real problem with. I don't see why these levels have to be so vacant on the Ps2/Wii version. There's barely any enemies or obstacles. I appreciate the lack of pits but, they took everything else out to. Not having anyskydiving sections just doesn't feel justified. Then there's the controls which are supposedly better in the Ps2/Wii version when they're actually a lot worse. For starters, Sonic can no longer do a constant boost. His boost gauge is split into segments that determine how many times he can boost. This wouldn't be all that bad if he could still tap-boost. He can't -_-. Let me explain. In the Ps3/360 version, the player must hold the boost button to have Sonic boost. The second you let go of the boost button, he stops boosting. The Ps2/Wii version doesn't do this. The second you press that boost button, he just flies off which makes boosting a real pain in the @$$. This problem is made worse when trying drift and boost at the same time. Now I understand why there's barely any obstacles (especially pits) in this version. The Ps2/Wii version would be frustrating beyond believe if you actually had to do actual platforming and jump over wide gaps of death. This version just wasn't built for.....well....gameplay. Also, there's a problem with his speed. You can walk by tilting the analog stick in the Ps3 version. On Ps2, I could swear he tries to run at full speed with the slightest tilt of the stick. It's just stupid and makes it harder to play the game with any accuracy.
Not like that matters. This version is insanely easy so S ranks take only the most basic of skills to get. In fact, Sonic has all his Day Stage abilities from the start. Remember when I said I was doing Light Speed Dashes before the game told me how to do them? This is why. You don't have to actually earn those abilities. That really takes away from the whole adventure theme of the game. You can't even upgrade his speed or anything. You don't actually find medals, the game just throws them at you for completing a stage. That's fine and all but, it really takes the sense of accomplishment away that I got from the Ps3 version. The bosses are all gimped too. Really, the Ps2/Wii version of Egg Dragoon is just painful to watch. Imagine how I felt playing it. He's the semi-final boss yet, he's the worst one in the game. Every other line was "You Little!!!....you..little..) You little what? That's what I wanna know.
Really though, on its own, I don't consider the Ps2/Wii version be all that bad. Both versions have their ups and downs regarding glitches, game design, etc. but, it makes no sense to me that Ps3/360 versionis considered to be so bad when the Ps2/Wii version is inferior to it in so many ways beyond the graphics. It's a shorter, easier, and down right uglier version that is pretty much weaker in almost every way compared to its HD counterpart. It's truly mind-boggling.