Sonic Unleashed Preview

Ever since Sega’s blue hedgehog thoughtlessly entered the three-dimensional world, the Sonic franchise began to sink deeper and deeper into a seemingly endless hole. Over the years Sega has made numerous attempts to bring back the glory to their prized mascot which at one time only Mario could rival. They failed time and time again, and while one of their latest attempts on the Wii (Sonic and the Secret Rings) was a good effort, it just did not capture the thrill and pleasure that the legendary franchise was once known for. The small spurt of reputation that came with Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games feebly pushed Sonic back onto the radar and is now giving the hedgehog another chance to leap back on to the podium of famous mascots.

Sonic Unleashed definitely has the chance to do just that. While Sonic’s latest adventure will be breaking new ground, it is also going to stick to it 2D side scrolling roots that worked so well for it in the past. A quote from the lead designer of the Sonic team, Yoshihisa Hashimoto, states that Sonic Unleashed will have no relation to Sonic the Hedgehog (360/PS3) or Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii). Instead it will have more in common with the older Sonic adventure games.

Everything about Sonic Unleashed has been developed completely from scratch, from its new character models, to its “Hedgehog Engine.” Players will still be able to use Sonic’s iconic moves, such as the “spin attack” and the “homing attack” but you can expect to see a bunch of new elements in the game that will give it a breath of fresh air.

Sonic has a few new tricks up his sleeve, including the new Sonic boost, which will have you collecting rings to fill up an energy bar that allow you to dash throughout the course at a high speed, Sonic Drift, which will allow players to take short, sharp turns at curves while running through the course, and the Quick Step, which allows players to move left or right rapidly to avoid an oncoming obstacle. We can probably expect to see more actions revealed at a later date.

Though details on the storyline are slim, it is confirmed that Sonic will turn into a “were-hog” at night time. It is also confirmed that in the beginning of the game Sonic will be trapped by Dr. Eggmans evil plan and the power of the Chaos Crystal will be misused and something inside Sonic’s body changes. This most likely causes him to turn into Were-Sonic during the nighttime levels. Were-Sonic has been reported not to be evil, but more of a Hulk-like version of sonic. So far Sonic’s trusty sidekicks Tails and Amy have been confirmed to be in the game, but it is still unknown if other fan favorites such as Knuckles or Shadow will be making an appearance.

It’s fine to be a little skeptical on the fact that there will be a new Were-Sonic in the game. But from what we can tell so far, Were-Sonic looks to be a welcome addition to the game and the franchise. According to Hashimoto, Sonic during the day will maintain his quick and agile speed, but during the night he is a slightly slower, and surprisingly a more agile beast. While regular Sonic darts past and aviods obstacles, Were-Sonic will “manhandle” them out of the way and can “toss enemies around like nobody’s business.” The Official Nintendo Magazine has reported that instead of running, Sonic will use his tremendously long arms to swing across the level, sort of like an ape.

(not a wii screen)

There is also some very good news for us Wii owners, as Sega has said that the Wii version will be a graphical showcase for the system. The Official Nintendo Magazines reports that the Wii version of Sonic Unleashed has “shiny next-gen visuals.” It is even reported that the Wii is the lead-platform version of the game, while the PS2 version will simply be a downgrade from the Wii. Of course the 360/PS3 version may be tuned up with a little extra polish and gloss, but My Wii News cannot currently confirm this.

Very little is know about the gameplay and nothing is known about the controls of the game except that the main controller for the Wii version will use the the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo instead of holding the Wii Remote sideways like in Sonic and the Secret Rings. It is still not know if players will be able to use other controllers such as the Gamecube or Classic controllers, but it seems like Sega is trying to use the Wii Remote’s unique abilities to the fullest, so it appears to be unlikely.

The developers mention that their new side-scrolling camera angle works extremely well. While it keeps Sonic up to date with the 3D environments, it also allows for the game to keep that old Sonic essence that everybody knows and loves.

So far, Sonic Unleashed appears to be a breath of fresh air to the Sonic franchise which has been struggling over the past decade. Hardcore Sonic fans will definitely want to keep an eye out for this one, because we all know that we want the old Sonic back. I have high hopes for this game and it looks like it will show people that Sonic can be awesome in 3D too. Give us your thoughts by leaving us a comment below, check out the debut trailer, the ONM screens, and keep checking back to for more Wii and Sonic info

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  • By Ilchymis, April 18, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ve been feeling guilty about the fact that I haven’t puchased a Sonic title in over 10 years, and it looks like this just might be the game to break the dry spell. I honestly haven’t been able to say that I’ve been excited about a Sonic game in some time, so here’s to hoping for goodness in the future.

    Great preview!

  • By Herbert, April 18, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    Wow - I’m glad I bought a Wii, I’ve recently converted into a Sonic fan and am looking for a decent game to get. Maybe after I get Mario Kart and have money left over, I suppose.

  • By allie, June 27, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

    this will probally be a good game for you Herbert. they said it’s supposed to let newcommers get used to him and the way he is and let old sonic fans still have great fun

  • By kelly, July 2, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i can’t wait for this game to come out i mean you guys are on a roll because i loooooooove sonic soooooooo much this game looks sooooooooo good god bless this new game forever.

  • By kelly, July 2, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

    i’m a huge fan of the blue blurr

  • By kelly, July 2, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

    sonic will stuff chill dogs down mario pants because mario doesn’t stand a chance againest the fastest thing alive

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