SHQ Reviews

Review: Team Sonic Racing

Well, after 7 years, we finally got a new Sonic kart racer. But how's it stack up to the previous game? Find out in the review~

Sonic 3 A.I.R: The Definitive Sonic 3?

Sonic 3 is in a rather complicated situation. With more than a few of it's music tracks being surrounded in a sea of legal and licensing troubles, that seems to be the popular reason why Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley were never allowed to remaster it as they did the other Classic Sonic titles. Among that, it may also be why Sonic & Knuckles on its own appears on far more compilations and Sega Genesis clone consoles than Sonic 3 has in many years. So, when the officials can't provide, the fans must step up to the plate.

Enter Sonic 3 Angel Island Revisted, or, Sonic 3 A.I.R for short. This is a project that's been making the rounds for a while now, and only recently saw a full release. Developed by Eukaryot, Sonic 3 A.I.R introduces a 16:9 aspect ratio, 60 fps, a Time Attack mode in which you can race against Ghost Replays, and other quality of life improvments that make an already great game even greater.

Perhaps the best additions, beyond the preformance updates and bug fixes, is the added Drop Dash from Sonic Mania, and the ability to play as Knuckles and Tails together. More welcomed additions include Super cancel and being able to cancel Tails' flight and in-game achievements. Completing these achievements is how you unlock the three secrets in the game, being the Drop Dash, Knuckles and Tails, and another that I myself have yet to unlock.

Sonic 3 A.I.R sets out to improve Sonic 3, and, in just about every regard, it succeeds. But those of you who follow the Sonic modding community may remember Sonic 3 Complete, another modification that sets out to improve Sonic 3 and adds more customization options than possibly any Sonic game or mod to come before it. How does A.I.R compare? Well, one important thing to note is that A.I.R also hasn't had a final release yet, as Eukaryot is constantly taking feedback and suggestions on Twitter and will be implementing them in future updates. Sonic 3 Complete was finished years ago and likely won't see any updates again.

It may, perhaps be too early to say, since I've only done an all Super Emeralds run with Sonic and Tails, and have only started my Knuckles playthrough, but I would venture so far as to call this the definitive way to play Sonic 3, and the closest we'll come to a TaxStealth remaster. Sonic 3 Complete, as it stands, offers a bit more, but what A.I.R does offer sets it over the top. Perhaps one day Sega will work out whatever trouble they're having and we can have the best of both worlds. That's the dream, isn't it?

Sonic Mania: Encore DLC Review

Nearly a year after Sonic Mania launched (our review of which is over here), a new DLC package has just dropped. The "Encore DLC" brings new characters, new modes, and remixed levels. Combined, they form Sonic Mania Plus, an enhanced version of the highly-regarded game that has a healthy blend of old and new.

Sonic Forces Review - (Some Spoilers)

Sonic Forces makes a big gamble. What if Sonic were out of the picture for a lengthy amount of time? What would happen? The resistance is born with Knuckles at the helm and is stretched thin trying to defend from Eggman. Enter YOU! Can you help restore the world from Eggman’s clutches?

Sonic Boom Season 2 Finale Review

Sonic Boom season 2 will be coming to a close this weekend with the season finale called, “Eggman: The Video Game” and it will be a two-part episode series aired back to back.

I’ve seen and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’ll make you wish why the rest of the series wasn’t more like it.

The general plot: Eggman is tired of getting the short straw so in order to boost his reputation, creating a video game starring himself seems like a good idea. But he needs a little help as he doesn’t really have the best hand to hand combat skills. Enter Shadow and trouble ensues. Maybe even the end of the universe!

Expect nonstop action, Shadow, and even another familiar face will be returning. I don’t want to spoil it though.

Both episodes air this Saturday at 6PM ET (and then 6:15) on Boomerang.

Nostalgic Reviews: Sonic Heroes

Sonic Heroes

Game Title: Sonic Heroes
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: PS2/GameCube/Xbox/PC
Initial Release Date: December 30, 2003

Reviewed By LiveFree116 


It's hard to believe that Sonic Heroes released nearly 14 years ago already. It released to mixed but generally positive reviews(on GC) but how has it aged and what do we think of it in a day that platformers as a genre have not only progressed a lot but also aren't nearly as big as they once were?

Sonic Mania Review

After decades of fan outcry, Sega has finally released a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog game after 23 years of absense! Can you believe it?! Sonic Mania is a brand new game based on brand old games, headed up by lontime fans and hackers who have spent years essentially reverse engineering the entirety of the classic Mega Drive series. It's pretty exciting.

SA Report

Below is a brief summary of the first 6 hours of play I have had with Sonic Adventure.

I am not sure where to start, after spending close to $650.00 I was starting to get a little buyers remorse. In all honestly, I was questioning if Sonic would be that great.

Famitsu gave it good scores, but I heard that it played too fast??? After checking the Web Pages for any updates from people that played the game (which I could not find any????). I decided to break the box open and go for it.

My initial goal was to play the game to test out the playability. Unfortuanetly, it seems to play too fast!!! In some parts you are hitting walls because you cannot control Sonic very well. I noticed a little bit of glitches (not in the graphics) but Sonic getting slightly stuck onto walls. What I did not like is that when Sonic is in full speed he zooms into the middle of the screen (I guess to show the sense of speed). The gameplay is a little loose as well. I almost would prefer a slightly faster Mario 64.

But... And you know there was a but coming, after playing a few hours you get use to the control and it seems to get better as you play the game (you need to get use to the speed). I replayed the first level and enjoyed it much more. I still am frustrated a little because some of the areas Sonic runs through are more confined (like a cave) and they have turns so you end up slapping up against the a wall. Even after getting use to it, I still would of preffered it to be a little slower.

I have played through 3 stages so far, the one that was a bit dispointing is that tornado level, it seems all you do is push forward and it pretty much takes you to end of the level after a few minutes. Some of the Action portions (the all out speed ones) are nothing but running fast to get to end of the level.

After 6 hours of play I have found Tails and Big. I found Big, but it did not go into a conversation mode with him. When I went to the title screen I was able to play with Sonic, Tails or Big. According to the percentage next to Sonic, I am 25% done with the game (mind you this is with Sonic Only!!). I did ***** up and erased my game (everything is in Japanese), so I would say that it took me 4-5 hours for 25%. At this rate it would be a 16-20 hour game with one Character (but who knows how big the latter levels are). In addition, there are plenty of people to talk to, accoriding to the magazines they give you hints. Being that I do not know any I still have not gotten majorily stuck. If I could read what was said maybe it would not of taken me as long to get 25%.

What about the Graphics??? They are amazing. Depending on the level, there is fade in and some pop-up, again the tornado level had the most of this. (I really did not like that level). So far the other areas are free from major pop-up. So far, I have detected any polygon break up, seams, or any weird graphic glitches. I played long enough to for the game to turn from day to night time.

The following areas were played: The Beach (can't remember the name), The Inca Level, Casino Level. The Inca level was second (you take the train to the level). After beatting the casino level another portion of the inca level opened but I have not figured out how to get into it. The Casino level consisted of a Sonic Pinball table and a Nights table (both very cool). If you loose three balls on the Sonic table, you get to play a sewer type level (very cool). The main goal is to earn enough coins and then drop them into a room. Anyone remember that screen shot of a room with gold coins, kinda looking like the inside of those machines you throw quarters into in hopes it pushes some out???

When you go into this room two mechanical arms graps Sonic and shakes the coins out of him, the goal is to fill the room so you can get the chaos emerald at the top. In essence you build a mountain of coins that you can climb to get the emerald.

For the time that I played the game, and I know I am not done, I would give it an 8.5 out of ten, maybe a 9. This is mainly because the speed is so insane and sonic does not look to good in the middle of the screen and full speed. DO NOT FREAK!!! An 8.5 is given because I am losing some enjoyment in the fact that I do not what the hell is going on (all text in Japanese). For those not fluent or anywhere near fluent, this does take away from the game. If it was the American release, and I could read it, I would say a strong 9 or 9.5.

Main complaints:

  1. Too Fast, bounces off walls. Sonic R's playability is similar.
  2. Loose control, but you get use to it.
  3. Tornado Level Sucks (Push forward and hit jump evey few seconds and your done with the level). Also, lot's of pop up and drop out in this one level.
  4. Not able to read Japanese

Main Compliments:

  1. Graphics are amazing
  2. Music Lyrics are in english and very well done.
  3. Seems to be a big, big, big game.
  4. Sound effects are great
  5. Playability comes around, give it some time though.
  6. Textures are Amazing!! Rocks look like rocks!!!

Hello again. Since I am such a Sega nut as many of you, I know that those of you that have not played Sonic Adventure would like as many updates as possible. Below is an update to my earlier review of the game so far. I am now 80% complete with the game playing as Sonic.

The control factor that I had talked about before are almost a memory. The gameplay is still a little loose, but it nothing that you cannot get use too. My main complaint so far has been that is Sonic Team had another month they could of polished the small, yet noticeable problems. These are mainly little bugs like Sonic sticking to certain areas and the camara swinging behing a wall texture and you need to jump and move around to get the camera back on track. Like the control issue, this is not a major problem just something that could of been fixed.

As far as the famous pop-up and slowdown, it has been isolated mainly to the Tornado Level (Still can't remember the official name) and the Snowboarding level. Because of the speed and how much graphic is displayed there is pop up. But is does not hamper gameplay what so ever. Draw in does occurr at times, but this happens when something in the far distance appears because you turn the camera angle. Again, nothing to impede the gameplay.

Graphically, it is still amazing. I have been playing since Dec. 23rd. Being that I work for Toys "R" Us, my time to devote to the game has been minimal at times. As mentioned, I am 80% complete with Sonic. On my last report I stated that I played for six hours, which in real time I did. Some of this time was to start over after finishing the first two levels (erased my game) and starting levels overs since I died (or from a continue spot). When you select the memory card and you load the game it shows the time amount that you played. It lists that I have played for 6 1/2 hours. In reality it has been about 12-16 hours, but it seems that it adds up the time it takes to finish each stage and gives you a total. So, it seems that it would take about 8-9 hours of actual time (begin stage one complete it in 10 minutes, then add stage 2 and so forth).

To me that is pretty good length for this type of game.

Now that is with Sonic only, I started with Knuckles and Tails to see the difference and what is neat is that each character has their own intro/story within the game. When you start with Sonic, you fight Chaos then you play the beach level.

Prior to the beach level, you see Tails flying his plane and he crashes. You goal is to get to the end of the beach level to save Tails. When you play as Tails you see him flying around having a good time then his plane starts to breakdown and crashes into the beach, then you see Sonic helpting him get off the ground and then his Adventure begins. I trully enjoy how each Character is brought into the story based on what happened when you played as Sonic.

As far as I am concerned the most impressive level has to be Twinkle Park (the one with the Roller Coaster). The Graphics are simply amazing. I also enjoyed Red Mountain because it was more "adventure" instead of the all out speed of some of the other levels. The EGG Carrier level seemed to be like the other Sonic Games, lots of speed zones, things opening up and sucking you down, and like the other Sonic games I did not like it as much (I lost all 14 lives, plus had to continue about 5 times). It is not a bad level, it is just frustrating because so much is going on, the ship moves in and out of clouds changing the color scheme, wind from it flying causes you to slip off platforms, pretty much like the other Sonic games.

I also discovered additional play modes. You can replay the snowboarding level, but this time it has gates to go through and it keeps score on how you are doing. You can also play the shooting levels and it records your best three scores. You can also re-visit previously beat levels. If the first goal was to reach the end for a Chaos emerald, when you replay a level your goal is to explode the metalic thing that houses your little friends (like the old Sonic Games).

I have had the game for a few days and when I replay a level it still amazes me. What is very scary is that this game was made mainly on pre-final development kits. I am sure that other sites will have some issues as I do, but most of them are trivial and are easily overlooked. These issues should not in any way deter anyone from having this game. I will still buy the American version because there are soo much text and things that are going on that would be fun to discover.

Sonic Adventure Review By Teck

I've just received my copy of Sonic Adventure and I wanted to share my first feelings. First, there are no way to describe the beauty of the game. Graphics are really stunning and the animation is awesome. You ve never seen so detailed textures. Neither you ever seen a game of that speed. Sonic and his friends always keep moving and the camera is so dynamic you want throw away.

I played the game for only two hours. For the very first game, I feel myself lost and didn t know what to do because it has the Mario 64 system. Meaning you begin in the town (actually you first meet Chaos) which is the crossroad for the other levels. You ll have then to find way looking for doors and possible access. I was a little bit worried at this point because the first level, Emerald Beach, was really basic. Moreover, sometimes when you are in a high speed area, Sonic keep following the good path almost by itself. You only have to keep the right direction pushed. Then I played this level two other times (once you ve created a file on your VMS, you can acces to a Time Battle Mode) and I realized that this game is Sonic and that this is the way how it must be played. You just have to go forwrd as fast as possible and, believe me, when you keep this in mind, you really have big fun. And the fact is when going so fast, if the game was fully in 3D at any time, you couldn't manage to keep yourself on the track. I ll remenber from this level that the moment when Sonic is running on a moving bridge and been pursued by an orca is a leap for the history of video games.

Then, I met Dr. Eggman and one of his hi-tech ship. He fight was easy but it was also a great moment. The second level is even more intresting.

The name, Wind something (i can t remenber the name) will give you a hint on what it is about. My poor vocabulary (i m french) don t enable me to describe it like I would. But this one is really fast and big.

It contains lots of loops and jumps. It is definetly my favorite one... for the moment. The third take place in a casino. In order to gain access to an emerald on the top of a room, Sonic has to fill it with coins. For this, he has to play games and earn them. Then he changes himself into a pinball ball and you use him in two pinball with different theme. One is Sonic and the seconde one is Nights.

I did not go further but for what I ve seen, Sonic Adventure won't deceive any Dreamcast owners. The game seems pretty long because after completed the third level, the game shows a 25% of completion. This mean it have at least 12 levels which have to be completed with the other char : Tails, Knuckles, Amy, E-102, and Big the cat. Each one being different, this means that thoses 12 levels will be played differently with the other chars. I also tried a bonus mode (Chaos race or something) where some creatures race again each other on some different tracks. Thoses creatures have to be put into the VMS (they are eggs everywhere just like in Nights) so you can breed them and everything. The race issue depends then on how far the evolution of the creature get. What i can say is that i couldn t stop laughing looking at my baby still moving with his hands.

For now, this is all I saw and all I can tell about.