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2 years, 8 months ago
Channeleven posted a review of Shrek: Extra Large

“They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Insanity is some neck-bearded pedo-stached talking about a Shrek game, hoping to get it right but will probably make it a tradition to talk about it over and over again.

I have issues.

Fir” read more

2 years, 8 months ago

“Sonic games tend to appeal to people in different ways. There're the good games like the Genesis lineups, that helped lay the foundation of the series, there're the Sonic Adventure games, the Sonic Advance, Sonic Rush games, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed that help to expand the Sonic universe wit” read more

2 years, 9 months ago
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2 years, 9 months ago


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Shrek: Extra Large review

Posted : 2 years, 8 months ago on 1 February 2019 03:10 (A review of Shrek: Extra Large)

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Insanity is some neck-bearded pedo-stached talking about a Shrek game, hoping to get it right but will probably make it a tradition to talk about it over and over again.
I have issues.

First time I talked about it, it was back before I got the gist of properly reviewing stuff. Second time, I did it better and I could've left it off there. However, ever since I got back into writing reviews, I've noticed something. When it comes to talking about video games, I'm honestly at my best there. I find myself going into the essential facets there more than a TV show or movie, where I give the bare minimum. Maybe this could be the last time I talk about this game.

The few times I talked about this game, I mainly focused on the GameCube version. I kinda feel disappointed because I feel I was more dismissive than I should've been. So, third time's the charm.

History

Shrek came out about eight months after the movie for the XBOX. Given that it's a license, there're two candidates who would've sunk their teeth into it, THQ and Activision, the latter especially, the more money they could get the better, but no, none of them got it, well the latter got it a few years later, but until then, the publisher choice still surprises me.

The game, and most other Shrek games prior to those for the second installment, was handled by TDK Mediactive, a company on a far lower tier than Activision on their licensed front. You may think I'm being harsh, but let me put this into perspective. TDK is essentially a scavenger, going after properties that no other publisher cared for. To be fair, a lot of their games aren't horrible, at best they're forgettable or are more tolerable than later installments.

For example, they did a game based on Casper: The Friendly Ghost that's surprisingly better than other Casper games (and ironically a higher point for its developer who worked on another TDK game later on down the road- Aquaman, they did Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis), though overall it's nothing to write home about. They also did Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade, by the same studio that did Payday and the Chronicles of Riddick games.

Yeah, I can't call TDK the worst publisher, especially nowadays. At least they didn't live long enough to succumb to the unholy on-disc DLC or loot box craze.

Onto the developer. During the logo crawl, you see the logo for DICE. Wait a minute, DICE? Battlefront DICE? EA testicle DICE? At first glance this is just DICE before they found what they were good at, but no, this is not the DICE you're thinking of. The DICE behind this game is actually a new identity for a Canadian game developer, Sandbox Studios. Sandbox primarily worked on licensed games and were acquired by DICE in 2001. They continued to produce licensed games under the DICE moniker until 2006. So if you're looking for more shit to fling at DICE, don't go to their licensed games, because you'd literally be poking a dead horse.

Now referring back to the eight month after tidbit, wait, that would mean that this game was released in November of 2001, and if it was released on the XBOX... Yep, Shrek was actually a launch title for the XBOX when it came out that year. I don't see the merit in releasing a licensed game as a launch title but to each their own. The game came and went, didn't get any glowing praise, but that certainly didn't hamper the publisher who made Shrek games that were somehow worse than this one. DICE Canada got the memo to back off from Shrek, and the latest I've heard from them was their work on a Land Before Time game for the PlayStation, which got released in 2002 fyi. They also did a Game Boy Advance port of a Barbie game for the PC, and trust me, just take the acknowledgment of its existence, that's all I'm willing to give to it.

Plot

Before I begin, I'd like to note that this doesn't follow the plot of the movie. At all. It's said to just be a continuation from the movie with Shrek trying to seal his hero status to the fairly tale inhabitants.

Princess Fiona is kidnapped by an evil wizard, Merlin. We don't see this occur, for better or worse, and instead everything is revealed by the Magic Mirror, who sadly is the most entertaining character in the game. The only thing preventing Shrek from taking Merlin head on is the latter enveloping the land around his domain in dark fog. The only way to clear it is by doing a number of good deeds, or as you'll soon find out, do numerous objectives until the next area is revealed and continue until you get to Merlin's palace.

Gameplay

Shrek is a 3D explorative game. Of your abilities you could run, jump, punch wall jump grab and throw, belch and fart, and yes, the last two are true. The mechanic behind this is weird, and it only gets more awkward by another version I'm going to bring up soon. I give the game points for giving Shrek abilities that fit the character... what you expect me to claim that these are bad? It would be bad if you were forced to recognize the control layout yourself, but they do give you a tutorial, a mandatory one but a tutorial nonetheless. There's also a flame power up for the belch option, just need a chili pepper to get it going for a short amount of time.

Once you're shown the ropes, you could explore the rest of the game, one world at a time though. In each world you're given six deeds to accomplish, though two of them are verbatim and exist to provide a little extra challenge, or as I'd like to call it, padding. These deeds can only be completed one at a time; once one is completed, the other shall begin.

The land where the maternal goose resides.

You start out in Mother Goose Land. Among your good deeds here are returning sheep to a coral, while contending with a Scottish wolf who's using them for soccer practice. Basically just keep the wolf out of the picture long enough to get all five sheep into the coral. If you get the wolf out of the coral and into the village, the guards will beat the wolf up. The next good deed is a half-assed redo of the previous one, where you have to get the great gander's children, who're sentient eggs, into his nest while avoiding Humpty Dumpty, who has become highly bitter over the years. Hey guy, if I had my name ran in the mud for appearing in Aladdin and the Adventure of All Time I'd be hating life too.
The next one is even more simple. All you have to do is fart on a cow. Seriously. But here's the catch. The cow only shows up at night, so you gotta punch the clock in the village, while contending with a 40 second time limit. You have to do the clock punching business in the final deed here, where you have to awaken the guards. There're three of them, and two are right near one another.

Please apply what I say about the next two missions for the other levels, because they pop up in those too.

Verbatim mission number one: You'll find numerous fairies flying around the level. Catch them to progress but bear in mind, these guys won't stay still, and you will have a hard time keeping up and catching them. Just keep their pattern in mind and once you find out what direction they'll go, catch them and repeat that five more times.

Verbatim mission number two: Six golden easter eggs are scattered across the level, often in spots that are tricky to reach. Nothing a little common sense and experience can't cure. This should've been before the fairy mission, in spite of the egg placement I could at least know that I could get the egg once I reach it. Only other thing I could say about this is that I have some insight on Magic Mirror's child raising etiquette.

The Crypt that happens to be creepy.

To start, you have to fart on witches and punch them. A scandal would arise from this had it been released anytime during 2015, either that or it'd cost Shrek his entire YouTube channel. Next, you have to clear bats out of the crypt, i.e. find and touch the areas the bats are resting. The next challenge, to be fair, is actually a challenge. You need to gather skeletons, one at a time mind you, and bring them to a single area. You like that? Because you have to do a similar thing one mission later, where you have to round up baby spiders, and fair warning to arachnophobiacs, there's a big ass spider hidden in the corner, that's where you need to go to bring the babies back.

I'd like to take this time to bring up one aspect of the enemy mechanic in this game. You can't kill anyone in this game. At best you could knock them unconscious but they'd wake right back up a few seconds later. First up, you must have very little faith in your target audience if you intend to cover up enemy deaths. Second, given that there're levels where you have to carry over enemies to a certain area, you're going to go through some serious frustration. Taking the waking up after a few seconds tidbit into account, if you're carrying an enemy when they wake up, they'll hurt you. Remember, you have to bring enemies to a certain area, usually one that requires platforming, and you could potentially lose the guy after they wake up.

Recreational area that's part of the confectionary industry.

Admittedly, things pick up challenge wise at this point. To start, you have to punch five factory whistles, while contending with guards who try to turn them back on. Given the amount present, yeah, that's gonna be a challenge, and challenge is a good thing. They switch things up a bit, but ironically take a few steps back to do so. Next is a fighting challenge. All you gotta do is knock your opponent out of the ring three times without stepping out of the ring yourself. Only hinderance besides your opponent fighting back is a tiny doppelgรคnger who could make or break your experience.

The next mission is a reprise of the first, where you need to kill the power on a factory machine so a factory foreman could rescue an employee who fell into it, but you gotta prevent the workers from starting it again. I don't know if it's because of ignorance, or the fact that these workers hate that other worker to the point they're willing to have him mutilated to death. This should constitute for a bulk of the good deeds here, a life is on the line. Finally, if you play this level, you're bound to have encountered one of these...


Esch.
We go from saving someone's life to endangering four others. What's the damage here? Oh nothing, just tossing them into cement tubes, and given the implicative tone of the foreman, I doubt he just wants to teach them a lesson, as in a sensible lesson. But I dunno, maybe he's doing them a favor, they got faces not even their nearsighted grandmothers would pay a mercy compliment to.

This ain't the Prince Charming you're thinking of, and it's not his castle either.

First up, farting and blowing those farts up near the jesters to launch them into the air, all for the amusement of a king who's secretly taking in the gas aspect. Next you have to, quite literally, kick Prince Charming's ass all the way upstairs to his wife. I'd call her a bitch, but I have standards. After that, you have to catch weed rats and burn them, either with a chili pepper power up or by taking them to a nearby torch. Finally, you get to do some law breaking, where you free prisoners and kick them out of a nearby window, near as in right in the area you free the prisoners. What have they done? Maybe it's for the best we don't know.

That ain't molasses in those sewers.

Basically a continuation of an earlier level, namely due to the return of our ugly friend in that image above. The missions are ironically more straightforward, too bad the area itself is so hard to go through it won't even matter. The area is full of platforms, and you have to do a lot of hiking to get anywhere.

To start, you have to shut off the valves. Some of which are right over the end of a platform, so you have to hit it in just the right area, otherwise you'll simply fall and have to go right back up to try again. Next you have to find and melt various ice cream guards. Only difficulty here is trying to find a chili pepper and use it before it wears off. Next you have to round up engineers and bring them to their station. On one hand, these guys won't hurt you if you carry them. On the other hand, if you pick them up once, they'll run from you, and given how most of the area is high up and crowded, this'll be much harder than it looks.

Interestingly, it closes off on a boss battle, or something that masquerades as one. The boss of the hour, the Ice Queen, can be defeated by self-ignited explosions, just get the chili pepper, fart, blow up the fart and repeat that two more times after and you win.

This week on FFANN, a misogynistic racist green man attacks a poor woman who did absolutely nothing whatsoever. Also Donald Trump.

Castle where a mythical giant lizard who's red resides.

To start, you need to ignite five fires. These are around a giant castle, where numerous nights are waiting to pelt arrows (arrows with suction cups I might add). But hey there's good news, if you fart and their arrows hit you, it could ignite the gas and light the fire. Up next, you have to lure three baby dragons into kiddie pools to stop them from breathing fire. You need to get a knight to lure them to the pools, and fortunately, they don't hurt you. Oh, and these dragons are apparently part canine.

Remember the kiddie pool I mentioned? That plays into this next mission. You need to go to the bottom of a dried up moat and retrieve the fishes that're down below. Instinctively, fishes slide out of your hands, and the developers definitely got that down. This is mostly just annoying. At this point, we learn that the dancing cow from Mother Goose Land has developed a fart fetish, because she's back for another round. This time you get to venture into the castle on the other side, but no challenge is too great for one who really wants to fart on someone to fulfill a good deed.

Merlin's Dark Tower Fortress of Pure Evil (seriously)

It's just a matter of making it to the end... to fight the boss. To do so, you have to locate a walking barrel of TNT and hope a flaming arrow hits it when you have it near a locked door. The final fight revolves around finding Merlin, who switches places every now and again, and beat the crap out of him. I'm sorta glad that this boss fight is so straight-forward. Why? Your reward is a still image.

Graphics

I'd be firm, but when you take into account that this was among the first titles for a new console, along with the fact that the capabilities of this system haven't been fully disclosed to developers, along with the fact that this company's work is rooted with PlayStation and PC games... I can't complain about too much here, I don't even have that much to complain about. The models are iffy, they're just a few hairs above something you find in a late era PlayStation game. I will say Shrek looks better than Jimmy Neutron in the GameCube/PS2 version of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and I love you enough to not show you what he looks like there. Apparently the newer characters were designed by Spawn created Todd MacFarlane. Either Todd's been kicking back in the creativity department or DICE Canada had someone working for them with that name.

I think they poured more time and resources into the overall design. The backgrounds are well detailed, they're Shrek-Reminiscent I guess, but hey, they did stick in my head. But that's nothing compared to this. Ever heard of deferred shading? Basically it's a process that helps produce shadows in video games. Apparently this was one of the first games to make use of the process. Given that the XBOX was leagues ahead of the PS2 and GameCube in terms of graphical specs, it's not only plausible that this was one of the first to use the process, but in a way, this makes the game a worthy launch title, because it demonstrates what the system is capable of. Not bad for an licensed game developer, from Canada, and not Vancouver but Ontario.

Music

It's a cardinal rule of most bad video games, the music is the best thing about it. Here, while it's moderately memorable at best, it does fit the levels quite nicely.

Race Mode

You could switch between the story mode and this mode. In race mode, you have to complete the objectives in each world within a set time limit. I failed to bring this up when talking about the level mechanics, but once you beat a stage you're booted back to the map. Thanks to that, the race mode is fairly sensible. What's your reward for doing this? You get money you could use to pay for cheats.

The XBOX version has the highest amounts of cheats. These amount to visual alterations which display the various layers, huh get it, of the graphics, as well as insight to how the game did deferred shading. Some of these are a money sink, namely one where everything turns 90% dark, almost as if they predicted the grittier appearance of the GameCube version. They also have slow and fast cheats, which exist solely for comedic purposes, as well as infinite gas and flame, an automatic gas cheat if you wanna channel your inner frat boy humor, low gravity, super strength, and invincibility, of course. There's seemingly a trap cheat, $ for Merlin. Best to save that one for last for a completionist run.

Guess that covers it...

...

...

...

...

Oh that's right, Shrek Extra Large.

While Shrek wasn't a major critical success, I take it it sold fairly well because less than a year later it received a GameCube port. I don't mean a straight up port by the way, it's an expansion, with two additional levels, cutscenes and a retelling of the main story. How much better is this game? It actually scored worse reviews than the XBOX version, except for GameInformer who gave it one point higher than they did with the XBOX version. Okay, let's see what the damage is.

The Sting

The original intro is docked for a storybook motif. It's okay, but not as exciting as the XBOX version. It is more in tone with the movie, but we've established that it goes for an entirely different premise altogether.

The New Levels, and the jam in between.

To sell on the Extra Large aspect, we have two new levels. Both also include the Evil Fairy and Easter Egg tidbits. One notable aspect is that you could complete any of the good deeds in whatever order you choose, and your progress is saved so you don't have to worry about not getting every egg and fairy before you complete the major missions first.

There're also cutscenes scattered throughout the levels. I should've called this notable, but they're just filler, these appear at the beginning and end of every level, I'm fine with that, but there're ones that appear in the middle of every level, adding little that you wouldn't find out just by paying attention to what occurs in the level, or referring to the assignment description in the menu. There're also cutscenes that occur when you activate a bridge in one level, fall off a mountain and walk back up (as in fading to the last few seconds of the walk), once you see these, you'd be hankering for the XBOX version. Somehow the cutscenes make the game look even worse, like they were just demos tacked on out of laziness, things to note are the lack of music, long pauses and the fact that Shrek doesn't even talk. These try to make an overarching plot, namely putting a focus on the bitter dynamic between the Ice Queen and Merlin, where one betrayed the other, but it's just so jumbled and uninteresting I don't feel the desire to describe it.

They've changed the aspects of existing levels as well. For the minor ones, Red Dragon's Castle and Prince Charming's Castle are renamed to the Blue Dragon's Castle and The Crown Prince's Castle. May I ask for the latter, why? This was well a time before Shrek 2. You could say it's for copyright reasons, so that's why they included a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in one of their added levels.

Anyhow, the structure behind each mission in Extra Large is mostly the same, just described differently. Though some have been altered, such as where you need to bring the skeletons because the original area is where you retrieve the magic armor. No skin off its tit, that makes the game a bit less difficult. In the Molasses Sewers, there's a time limit on one of the missions, the valve mission, which believe it or not makes sense. The limits themselves are generous and more time is given to you after every valve you hit, and if you lose, you just get booted back to your latest checkpoint.

There's also the stuff you find, namely a dragon flame after the Blue Dragon stage, which proves to be helpful when trying to break down the locked doors. One more thing that I should've brought up before the missions come around when you get to a certain point, and sometimes they need to be done in a certain order to get everything open. This is straightforward, but would you think to get hit by an enemy to start one of the missions? As for the verbatim missions, they're mostly optional, you just need to beat four of the six, but if you decide to sack up and do the others, you're rewarded with extra health.

Not to mention, they've really downgraded the loading screens. They went from a custom loading bug to just showing a picture of the level.

The Forest that happens to be Enchanted.

It's a hodgepodge of fairy tale characters, move over MCU, you've got another unironic crossover to contend with. Little Red Ridinghood, Hansel and Gretel, the Merry Men might have some connection. The fair abundance of random fairy tale characters made sense in Mother Goose Land, here, this is just a glorified forrest. Seems the big bad wolf had the right idea to stay out of there.

Wanna know something sad? This game technically only has two missions. Half of them revolve around finding a basket for Red, which is locked behind a vault door, then there's the matter of finding the candy at the end. The only other mission involves guiding Hansel and Gretel to the other side of a river to get to a gingerbread house, but even then that gets you an onion that could give you a grander boom for the door mission.

Overall, this just feels like a mission that they intended to leave out, but to capitalize on how Extra Large the GameCube version would be, threw it in because they wanted it out of their hair as soon as possible.

A Mountain that seems to be Lonely

Like the previous stage, it's more or less linear, with each objective leading to the accomplishment of a grander one. First, you need to find a four leaf clover for a leprechaun, then you need to free a mine cart from a block of ice, then you need to ride gusts of wind to get to a lone platform to retrieve a pot of gold, which you have to fight a team of garden gnomes that are harassing a condor's babies to get it back after the condor takes it.

Differences in existing levels.

Not sure why, but a lot of the already existing levels in this game had their premises changed. For one, the generator mission in Sweetsville has been switched, no longer is it about keeping the machine off for enough time to save a worker's life, but it's to turn it on and keep it on while the workers try to shut it off. Maybe this is a cover story they made up because they tried to kill the guy in the machinery. In Prince Charming's castle, they got rid of the weed rat mission and instead used one dedicated to locking up the prison guard. This could've been a lie made up by the prisoners for sympathy. Plus, after the crypt, which has a swapped level where you need to bring the spiders to the mother who now rests inside the crypt, you could retrieve magic armor. Also, after the red dragon level you get a dragon fire power-up which helps plenty in the final zone.

New Abilities

Before I forget, I'd like to point out that due to the GameCube controller having less buttons than the XBOX controller, the fart and belch abilities have been mapped to the same button. You have to hold down the R button slightly to fart, and hold down the button to breathe fire.

As for the new abilities, you have a super punch, where you hold down the punch button for a bit and release it to knock out your enemies faster. There's also a slam move which could buy you some time when multiple enemies are present. These come as you go on, guess I can't fault the game for this since it rewards you for making progress, then again, what use do you have for these powers when you could get by just fine without them?

Graphics

Due to having weaker hardware and small discs which cut down on storage, some sacrifices had to be made, and man does it show. Some things to note are the bleak looking areas, the lack of detail on most artifacts, among other victims of a port from one system to an inferior other. Shrek looks noticeably worse here than on the XBOX version, but I want to save you the trouble.

Ending

You'd think that the XBOX version outperforms the GameCube version on all fronts, right? Well, they had an actual ending for this version, revealing that the palace collapsed and Merlin is now within Shrek and Fiona's custody. Not spectacular, but it's a more fitting end than what the XBOX gave us.

Cuts

The race mode is cut out entirely. You essentially get the cheats as soon as you beat the game, and the list is halved considerably.

Glitches

As to be expected with a low quality port, we've got plenty of glitches to talk about. These can be found if you activate the cheats, namely those that give you infinite gas and no limit on your fire breath. Particularly applying to Mother Goose Land and Prince Charming's castle, you could leap over the game's boundaries and walk along the background, but watch out, if you fall, you'll wind up in a dungeon fashioned after a GameCube and with no escape. This also exists in the XBOX version, only this time it's a straight-up dungeon.

It feels as though they wanted to punish exploiters for trying to mock the game for its unfinished aspects.

Overall

Neither version is very good. It's not in the same tier as Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, but it's no higher than The Simpsons Road Rage. They tried to deliver on the Extra Large part in the GameCube version, but it doesn't enhance your experience in the slightest.

Whatever the case, there's no denying that these games have an attractive quality to them, you can't help but talk about them, maybe that was their goal all along. I'm a sucker.


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Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric review

Posted : 2 years, 9 months ago on 16 January 2019 10:20 (A review of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric)

Sonic games tend to appeal to people in different ways. There're the good games like the Genesis lineups, that helped lay the foundation of the series, there're the Sonic Adventure games, the Sonic Advance, Sonic Rush games, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed that help to expand the Sonic universe with insuring lore, there're the questionable games like, well the rest, that only appeal to specific people, yet are still enjoyable in certain ways. It doesn't matter how good or bad a Sonic game is, just so long as it has some appeal to it, otherwise, you'd be stuck with a game like Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

Now I know what you're thinking, there's a time and a place for a Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric review. Yeah, and that time is while Sonic Boom is still a thing. To correlate with the news that Boom might last throughout the 2016s, I might as well take the time to redo one of my old reviews. But first, a little backstory.

Sonic Boom originally served as an off-cannon spin-off to the Sonic series. As part of the deal, Boom received its own show and two games to boot. Needless to say, practically every Sonic fan praised the shit out of this spinoff. However, skip a few months to the release of Boom, it pretty much spelled the end for Sonic.

Rise of Lyric was developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, an independent company managed by former Naughty Dog employees Bob Rafei and Jeff Lander. To put this into a more grim perspective, this was the only game BRB has ever worked on. I'm not kidding, and considering how the people behind the company has had experience with better developers, that just sad. The game utilized the Cry Engine 3, an engine that only works properly on more sophisticated game platforms (not low powered platforms like the Wii U).

Upon release, the game was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews, and combined with its 3DS counterpart, sold poorly, making this game, not only the lowest scoring Sonic game, but the lowest selling one too. Oddly enough, it got lower scores than Sonic 06, and it sold worse than even a bulk of the spin-off titles. Let that sink in.

The worst part about all this is that there're people who still try to defend this piece of shit, as well as Boom as a whole. Sonic Boom has bred the next generation of Sonicfags people. With that said, let's begin.
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For some reason, the game starts off with Sonic getting blasted by enemy fire before his friends, and getting crushed by rubble. I'd say its the perfect representation for how SEGA feels about Sonic these days. In all seriousness, why start off with this? It's rather pointless and it pretty much spoils the story (to a degree). We cut to an adobe after effects time card, and we're then treated to a massive decrease in quality, as Sonic and co. chase after Eggman. This is especially irritating, and here's why.

The game passes itself off as a prequel to the Boom series, a retelling of Sonic lore if you will. How did Sonic and co. know each other? Why are they chasing Eggman? Where are they? Why should I give a damn? It all boils down to shitty writing. Something that has been apparent since 2010. Hey, you know how in every Sonic game, there's a great soundtrack to listen to? Even in 06? Here? They just use a generic orchestral theme. Believe me, when you fuck up something that even another catastrophe got right, you know you've fucked up hard. The chase continues on, as we're ambushed by Knuckles' now warped personality. shitty puns, and then we get a Metal Sonic cameo. I'd be more appreciative of this, had he not shown up only for fan service.

On to the voice acting, it's all the main voice actors from Colors onwards. Sonic's voice has slowly developed into that of an elderly Scott Menville, Amy sounds more bored, Knuckles is more or less the same as before, and, oddly enough, Tails' voice, Kate Higgins, doesn't appear for this game (I guess even she didn't want to take the piss), and instead, Tails is voiced by Charmy's actress, Colleen O' Shaugnessey. They're not terrible, but the San Diego and 4kids casts are still easier on the ears.

We're then treated to one of the major flaws in this game, the speed sections. While speed sections are always fun, they're brought down by the choppy framerate. This woudn't be a big deal, had it not been for the fact that the framerate can cause you to crash into obstacles, due to them appearing too late.

The chase continues until Sonic and Tails are lured into a pit, containing ancient robots Eggman dug up. We then receive the second fatal flaw in the game. The combat. The combat narrows down to endless button mashing, and it remains the same, all the fucking time. After defeating the robots, Sonic and Tails go exploring. I'd like to bring up how poor the environments look. They look bland and rather uninteresting. You know how in games like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Unleashed, you have this wide open and interesting towns to explore, let's get rid of that and make you beg for those Mario like map screens in Colors.

After some boring exploring, Sonic and Tails rejoin Knuckles and Amy, and another combat mission occurs. After that button-mash-fest, the four attempt to escape and they come across an ancient temple, where they see depictions of Sonic and Tails. Probably meant to represent better times. In spite of Amy warning him not to, Sonic opens the door and the four enter, just before Metal could get in. Here, we're treated to a kinda interesting moment with Metal, and him wanting to be the one true Sonic.

But enough of that, we have more worthless exploration to do, but before that, we need to get more of Knuckles' degraded personality. One thing you'll immediately realize about this game is that the characters are almost always talking, spewing out cheesy one liners and stating the most blatantly obvious factors no matter what.

The game from here is somewhat of a tutorial for the characters, as they try to find a way back out. Following that, Sonic and co. discover that they've accidentally released the title villain of this game, Lyric, who's about as threatening as The Deadly Six. He ties up the four and he escapes, planning to kill all life and replace it with machines. Hey, this reminds me of that one guy who wants to roboticize every living creature and kill all forms of nature.

The four manage to escape, and they make electric whips- oh I'm sorry, "enerbeams" out of the beams that trapped them. They exit the tomb and they travel to the excavation site where they meet their friend (at least according to this game, it's so well explained that I wouldn't be surprised if they just decided to have everyone live in pineapples under the sea). They meet Cliff and they tell him what happened. He tells the four that they need to gather five crystals in order to to take down Lyric once and for all.

Now we're introduced to another gameplay mechanic. Along with venturing to specific areas, you also get the option to help out the locals, which won't do much, aside from helping you upgrade your weapons, which is kinda needless, since you could still defeat enemies with no issue. They're first tasked with helping a group of trapped miners, which only serves as another tutorial. they are then sent to a chamber where they find the first crystal.

They soon head off to Bygone Island, where the same old song and dance occurs, with different missions each time. It's so similar, I'll just be focusing on one particular mission between Sonic and Amy, which has the luxury of horning in an unnecessary piece of Sonamy fan service.

After more of the same old same old, the four continue their search, and Sonic and Tails get separated from the others. They soon come across an ancient robot named M.A.I.A., who tells them of Lyric and how they could stop them. She then proceeds to send them back in time, (because it worked SO well eight years ago), but we have more fan service. Shadow makes an appearance and he attempts to defeat Sonic.

Ok, first off, why is Shadow suddenly the bad guy? The disfavor between the two has slowly died down over the years, so why change it now? Second, Kirk Thornton has yet to improve his performance as Shadow. Through more bland combat, puns and stating the obvious, they knock Shadow into an alternate portal, and our two heroes continue on to the past.

More bad gameplay later, they find Lyric and trap him, which would intimately prove to be bogus later on. The two return to the present, and Knuckles and Amy find them as well. Skipping more of the useless exploration, they reach a destroyed village and continue on their merry way. One thing I need to bring up is that throughout the game, it's shown that Sonic has more of a loner dialect, which is why he still hangs around his friends and often relies on their assistance, hello!? But enough of that. The two are then faced by Metal Sonic in an even more boring boss battle. They ultimately succeed and claim another crystal.

I know I keep skipping around in this game, but most of what happens in it is more or less the same as earlier events in the game. After a boss battle with Eggman, the two eventually make it to the Sky Citadel, where they face Lyric. He captures Sonic and forces his friends to hand over the crystals, which they do, but then we're treated to a replay of the very first scene, and of course Sonic survives, thus showing how pointless this scene is.

When 06 did a similar thing, at least Sonic was actually dead, and it provided some emotional weight for the rest of his friends. to put it simply, even if it sucked, it still worked a hell of a lot better than the scene here.

They escape the crumbling citadel and they go to Lyric's lair where they do battle. The two succeed, we're treated to one more Shadow cameo, everyone returns home and we're given a highly lackluster ending.
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*Sigh.... do you understand why this is the worst Sonic game of all time? The plot is poorly written and lacks logic, the graphics are horrendous, even by Wii U standards, the music is forgettable (and considering that Sonic is a series that always gears out great soundtracks no matter what, it's all the more insulting), the dialogue is painful to listen to and the gameplay is completely bland and rather schizophrenic. Oh, and like 06, there're plenty of glitches, such as the standard falling through the floor glitch and the more famous Knuckles jump glitch that allows you to skip through portions of the game, which is beneficial, since a bulk of the game is completely worthless.

The fact that many Sonic fans continue to defend this terrible game further makes me weep for the condition of a series I once kinda tolerated, and further confirms my fears over what the series has been reduced to since 2010, a shitty campfest that only idiots and Sonicfags could enjoy. Adding to the horror, Sonic Boom has been confirmed to continue airing, the sequel to Sonic Dash was made only to further promote Boom and another Sonic Boom game is coming out this fall, and this one has Ken Pontac and Warren Graff on the writing team. Great, now we have a bland platformer with writing on par with a Five Nights at Freddy's fan fiction.

It's made worse by the fact that SEGA not only uses Sonic Boom images on their social network accounts, but they're not even interacting with their fans to get their feedback, and are instead shelling out memes, further representing how much SEGA cares about their fans these days, and worse yet, SEGA implies that Boom will still play a key part in the Sonic franchise.

Oh, and to anyone who questions whether or not I'll review Shattered Crystal, I probably won't. There isn't much material for me to work with, and it might apply to the latest Boom game.

Overall, if you want a Sonic game that doesn't pander to the idiots who give fuck all about meaningful content, stick with the Sonic games from Sonic 1 to Unleashed, or just play Freedom Planet, or both.

I'm REM, and until we meet again, good day.
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Ratings
Gameplay: 1.5/5
Story: 1/5
Music: 1.5/5
Graphics: 1/5
Acting: 2/5

Total: 6/25


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