I have to admit it has been a very long time since I have played a Sonic game, but I know I still lived at home with my parents and went to school. I remember I proudly completed Sonic 1, 2 and 3 on my Sega Mega Drive.
I never played Sonic Heroes on the GameCube, but saw it played a couple of times and was told it was rather disappointing; so I hoped Sonic Rush would offer me the same level of game play and hours of fun I had back with the original game almost 15 years ago!
Loading up Sonic Rush on my Nintendo DS I immediately felt I was in familiar territory, as the intro and graphics were what I remembered, although obviously rather sharper and clearer on the DS, which once again proves how gaming has moved on this past decade or so.
The first thing you have to get used to is the fact that the games uses both screens for game play, Sonic will run between the top and bottom screen, smoothly and effortlessly; which is a slight distraction at first, but it quickly becomes second nature and hopefully will became a standard for similar style games on the DS.
Sonic Rush features 14 levels which are broken down into two stages and a boss fight. The main levels are in good old fashioned 2D, with the Boss fights in 3D. In the first Zone you of course play Sonic the Hedgehog, who has similar moves to what I remembered, the levels immediately seemed very detailed and were also reasonably long.
Though not completely 3D some sections of the game are 3D, mainly the boss fights and special areas on the levels. This adds a bit to the retro feel of the game but also brings it up to scratch with modern technology. In the pas Sonic 3D games have been hard to play and not as fun as the 2D variants. However Sonic Rush has a good blend of both, with the main level in 2D, look and feel of the original games is still there.
It's been a while since I played a Sonic game, however one I was in the sound became familiar, and the music even more so. Though much of the music has been changed and updated it still has that Sonic feel to it. So if you loved the originals and still play them this game is defiantly going to give you the fell of the originals.
After a couple of tries I managed to complete Sonic's first two levels and then admittedly died a lot during the first boss fight. Then the second character was opened up which is Blaze the Cat, which as her name suggests, has several fiery moves. This is also when things started to slow down a bit for me, as the game was a lot faster and hideously harder then I remember it being. I truly was out of practice!
Sonic Rush also once again features Tails the Fox, as Sonic's support character and Blaze has a Rabbit, called rather disturbingly Cream? The thin plot revolves around Sonic trying to bring down the evil Dr. Eggman, who is up to his old tricks again.
Sonic and Blaze each have there own levels and zones to work through and you can choose to play either at any time, which prevents you from becoming too frustrated. Although the levels are still devastatingly tricky at times; as you can't just blast through them, by jumping and bouncing; you will have to often slow down or stop completely and think about how to make it across to the next section, so you don't fall to your death.
In each zone there is a Specials Generator, which will launch you into one of the Special Stages, of which there are 7 scattered around the game. I have to admit this fact completely passed me by, until I actually sat down and read the manual!
Sonic Rush can be also played two player, using one or two card play, both are the same, but it of course saves time if two game cards are present. In battle mode you will play on only one of the DS screens, as your opponent will be on the other. Two player gaming is also available using the Wireless Download system, although I was unable to test this feature.
With Download Play available hours of fun can be had with friends, without having to shell out mega buck for two copies of the game.
Sega have once again produced a highly addictive Sonic game, which will appeal to all old fans and probably gain plenty of new ones. Sonic Rush is a much harder game to master, but manages to keep you going back to it again and again, so you can complete the next level. I highly recommended it for all DS gamers who have some free time on there hands. Also it is a good titles for those on the moves as the levels are fairly quick to complete when you know them, it can be played in short bursts while on the bus to work or getting a lift to a friends house.
This is the kind of game the DS was made for, highly addictive, fun and short but challenging levels. I'm not sure what the PSP has to offer but I'd say Sonic Rush is a game designed for the handheld format.