Sailing and Speeding: All in a day's work for Sonic!

User Rating: 8.5 | Sonic Rush Adventure DS
GAMEPLAY: 9
GRAPHICS: 9
SOUND: 7
VALUE: 9
TILT: 9

ROUGH SCORE: 8.6
FINAL SCORE: 8.5

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The Good:
- nice-looking characters and very detailed levels
- the fun, never-boring boating minigames
- the exploration element, both out at sea and within each level

The Bad:
- Marine, the most embarassingly unstereotypical, stereotypical Austrailian ever imagined
- only one available gamesave

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A preliminary note: This is my first Sonic game. So consequently, I am not used to blazing through platforming levels at the speed of Sonic.

I will say, though, that while I have yet to master the art of zooming through levels in record-breaking times (or accept that I will never achieve a world record-breaking time), I still very much enjoy the idea and act of going through a level differently each time I play it. It's also cool that in order to get really good times, you have to memorize the levels, inside and out. It's certainly an element of platforming I am not accustomed to, and for this reason, I am more interested in and in love with the game.

As far as the gameplay and graphics are concerned, both aspects of the game are quite solid. The controls react as you want them to, even in the touch screen boating minigames (more on them later), and the diversity of the levels (more on them later, as well) keeps the game intriguing and exciting. Sonic and the gang look great, as do the levels. The backgrounds are actually surprisingly detailed. If it wasn't for the fact that the levels are meant to be blazed through, I'd actually stop at times to check out the scenery.

The music...is nice. Coming into the game, I thought I wasn't going to like it at all, but much of the music was actually pretty cool. The music of each island corresponds well to the levels themselves, helping to create the atmosphere of each island. The only song I really didn't like was the opening screen / title theme.

I absolutely loved the diversity of the levels...and all the action in each, too! Going into the game, I never expected to get cannonballs shot at me while aboard a pirate ship or to snowboard up ramps and halfpipes and slide down huge icicles or get bounced around by mechanical bongos, etc.! It was just crazy. And of course, the moment the level's over, I want to go do it again! I now know why this game's called Sonic Rush Adventure. You get such a rush from racing through the levels.

The boating minigames are awesome. I never got bored of them. The one I liked the least was the submarine game, but overall, it's still a fun minigame. The only thing I didn't like about the minigames in general was the fact there wasn't really a point to the scores you get for completing a run of a boating minigame. It just feels like they should have some purpose. Granted, the Viking Cup allows you to rack up fast times and high scores, but it's on the same courses. It'd actually be more fun if the scores out at sea meant something as well.

And so now that I've beaten the game, it's not like there's nothing left to do. There's TONS to do! I can upgrade my vehicles, complete all the missions (which range from collecting coins or doing a certain number of tricks in a certain level under a time limit to beating bosses under different conditions), play the levels again to get all A or S ranks (personally, I'm really just shooting for A's), do Time Attack over and over and over again, play the Viking Cup (courses for the boating minigames, including the races against Johnny), get the rest of the Emeralds to get the true ending, etc.! It's just endless. And endless fun, at that.

So to close, here's some final remarks:
The game never gets boring because the levels and minigames never get boring. There's tons to do and lots of things to discover. That's what makes it an adventure. I would recommend this game to anyone who loves Sonic, anyone who enjoys platformers, or anyone who is willing to give a Sonic platformer a try. This is a quality Sonic game. Take it from someone who just took the plunge. :)

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