Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s mascot since the appearance of Megadrive, returns on November 8, 2022 in a new 3D adventure in Sonic Frontiers, developed by Team Sonic and published by Sega. It was released on PS4, 5, Xbox One, Seris, PC and of course the Nintendo Switch. Will this game stay on par with other apps, except for Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, any joke from JV or will it raise the bar? This is what we will see together. So collect your rings and Chaos Emeraulds, it’s time to pick up speed!
It all starts with Eggman inoculating a strange AI-containing device by the name of Sage into a mysterious device. So happy to get old data back, he doesn’t see his devices getting overloaded and finds himself immersed in a new world, made of digital data: cyberspace. Then he turned to Sonic and his comrades on their way to the Starfall Islands to find out why the Chaos Emeraulds reacted to this place. Unfortunately, the Tornado’s plane, the Tails, hits an electromagnetic barrier and they find themselves engulfed in cyberspace. But thanks to his speed, Sonic managed to escape and left to save his friends across the five islands and discover the nature of the ancestors, an ancient people who lived in this world for a long time.
The story is fairly simple, but it focuses on two things: the discovery of ancestors and the relationships between the different characters. Where Sonic Team was clever is that there are no dirty friends in this adventure, with the exception of Big the Cat (we’ll get back to his case later.). We find the legendary quartet (Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sonic) as well as Eggman as the hero, accompanied by AI Sage. It is effectively written and straightforward. The other strong point is that you’ve successfully hooked a good portion of the old games stamped on Sonic, including episodic games like Shadow The Hedgehog (a really bad game) or Sonic Riders (a little tricky to master at first but rather cute) this opus. .
Note that the adventure is entirely dubbed in French, even if the sound effects don’t always sound right in terms of sound.
Gotta go fast!
The controls of the game are very simple: B to jump, A to slide, Y to attack, X to turn on the run loop, L and R to avoid, ZR to activate the boost, and ZL to turn on some special abilities. Sonic moves with the left stick and the camera moves with the right stick. Pressing the right stick allows you to lock an enemy or something.
The game responds well to the commands we perform and we do not fall into the trap of some games where speed takes precedence over maneuverability, efforts have been made. Another good point is that the boost is on the trigger and not the button, which makes it easy to switch between race mode and boost mode.
The game has a light RPG part, very light. Sonic has 4 stats: Strength, Defense, Speed, and Max Rings; and skill tree. These skills will be unlocked by gaining experience by defeating enemies, this allows you to learn new combos. The stats will rise by collecting seeds of strength or defense to return them to Hermit Koco, as well as Kocos, which are small, ringing creatures to return to Elder Koco.
You will have different collectibles to collect on the different islands. Let’s start with the gears, which you will recover from the little bosses, they will be used to open the portals to the classic levels. If you complete these levels, you will combine 1 and 4 keys that will be the goals achieved (finish the level, finish in a certain time, collect a certain number of ring, pick up 5 stars of the level). These keys will allow you to unlock Chaos Containment Units in order to obtain the Chaos Emerald. Other important collectibles to advance in the game are the emblems, which are different on each island, so you can unlock mini-games or puzzles to advance the story and unlock secondary dialogues if you want to deepen the game’s traditions and character relationships. The last type is the purple coins, but we’ll get to that later.
The classic levels are quite numerous, but rather short (between 1 and 5 minutes per level), which is rather a good thing for learning the passages in order to achieve certain goals. We will find well-known areas of various ops (Green Hill District, Angel Island, etc.). The puzzles aren’t particularly difficult and the mini-games are generally fun (like Ikaruga Like, a Flipper).
You will come across different test locations scattered all over the map. These will go from going to a specific place at a certain time, jumping rope, reclaiming certain things… They are very diverse and often have small variations to refresh the experience. Once you have completed an event and are close to another completed event, a path will be created between them to allow you to quickly move from one place to another.
On each island you will find a special level: this is the fishing area with Big the Cat. He will lend you his fishing rod and you can indulge in the practice for a certain number of purple coins per crew. It is not very difficult and you can get gold tokens and tickets depending on your hunting score. This will allow you to purchase various things in his shop to advance the adventure or strengthen your character, as well as notes from Eggman to deepen knowledge from another point of view. There will also be an encyclopedia to see your different clips.
Let’s talk about the enemies: wild animals are very wide, of different sizes and shapes. From the simple walker to the giant, passing through the little bosses, you will have something to beat, not to mention that you will find a part of the old Sonic monsters games in the classic levels. The big regret is that some of the little bosses are missing and it’s very easy to kill them, others on the contrary have weird hit chests and we don’t always understand why we get hit (especially during big guardians).
Count about twenty hours to complete the game without completing everything, which is more than a lifetime enough. You will unlock arcade mode when you finish the game if you want to bring back the classic levels to improve your times.
But let’s finish the most important thing about the game: the open world. It’s really fun to explore, you have many ways to get from point A to point B and the different collectibles are there in great numbers so you don’t get frustrated by the lack of stats or items to advance in the story. A day/night cycle is there, but we don’t have the possibility to change the time in the game, too bad, because some events are not available at night and you have to wait or do something else until night falls. You can also unlock teleport points by completing all the classic levels on an island or by collecting Kocos Scrolls in fishing grounds that you can do via Elder or Dean Kocos.
Sonic or Sonic?
Let’s start by talking about the smoothness of the game: it is very stable, there is almost no lag during the game even when there are a lot of things displayed on the screen. Another strong point is that you have set the training mode during load times in order to master the different game techniques, allowing you to constantly stay with hot fingers. But we have to realize that loading times are rather short, and that’s another good point.
Now let’s talk about music. Once again, the Sonic team has outdone itself and found us talents to produce an incredible OST. We whisper a little soft music as we cruise freely on the islands, further inviting us to continue our exploration. Compresses when using the boost and the transition between normal and compressed mode is very normal. A special reference to the music of the Titans, incredible and epic.
Now let’s talk about the part that annoys 4K fans, the graphics. The snip will be your enemy and we are technically a little below current standards. But it must be admitted that AD is rather attractive and that the different environments have small characteristics that make each island unique.
- Dealing with more than correct
- First class soundtrack
- Interesting classic levels
- Simple and attractive story
- A fun open world to explore
- Hunting with the big cat
- Short load times with training modules
- Almost no friend
- Graphically below
- Missed some guards
- VF is very different
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