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Sonic Rush Adventure Package Art
Sonic Team

Sonic Rush Adventure

It's an exciting time to be a fan of Sonic and Nintendo. Sonic and Mario are appearing together on Wii in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games and Super Smash Bros. Brawl! But don't let all the blue hedgehog action on Wii overshadow that on DS; Sonic Rush Adventure is off the starting blocks and ready to race onto your DS! Does the sequel to the acclaimed Sonic Rush live up to its predecessor? Read on to find out...


Character design is a strong point in all Sonic games, and Adventure is no exception. Despite the wealth of new faces, they always manage to fit into the universe alongside veterans. This time, joining the returning cast of Sonic, Tails and Blaze are Marine the raccoon, Captain Whisker (with a 'stache to rival Eggman's), and his torpedo-headed, right-hand bot, Johnny.

While superb 3D character models grace levels and interior locations, character illustrations liven up cutscene exposition. The illustrations in exposition dialogue are not static, but change with character reaction to dialogue and situations. While it sounds like a confusing mix of 2D and 3D, Adventure pulls it off seamlessly.


Sunny, upbeat tunes match the nautical island settings. The new sounds of splashing waves are just as fitting as the old clink of golden rings. While character dialogue is text-only, it's so well written that when reading you can almost hear the characters' unique voices. A dialogue highlight is the irrepressible, inscrutable young raccoon, Marine who talks with an Australian accent, dishing up phrases like, "Strewth!" and "Don't chuck a wobbly!"


Believe him when he says, "Sonic's the name, speed's my game!" Sonic Rush Adventure is a praiseworthy return to roots. As with the original 2D Sonic games, the object is to get to the end of the level as speedily as possible, deftly dodging traps and enemies. Adventure raises the bar of level design, making levels even more fun to blow through than in Sonic Rush due to improved navigability. The levels are varied enough to maintain interest, but not to the point of being confusing or causing the player to feel uncertain about how to progress. In the pursuit of speed, going through the level the first time actually feels a bit slow and cautious, with the real run being the second or third time through.

Even the classic Sonic purist will appreciate a couple of additions to his basic move set. Yes, Sonic can still accelerate by running, turn into a ball and jump to attack. But as in Sonic Rush, a gauge on the left of the screen can be charged up to provide crushing speed boosts. The gauge is filled by performing tricks while in the air by pressing B in quick succession and A before landing. Another nice addition is the mid-air lunge by which, depending on whether or not players have jumped from a spring, Sonic can either lunge laterally or straight up; perfect for those high places that are just out of reach. As in Sonic Rush, players can choose to play through levels as either Sonic or Blaze the cat.

Also like Sonic Rush, Adventure touts massive 3D boss battles at the end of each zone. Players will have to think on their feet as they dodge the jaws of a robotic T-Rex, escape the slashing sword of a giant pirate, and navigate the insides of a mechanical whale, to name just a few. Sounds tough? Remember: Sonic's safe as long as he's got some rings!

3D gameplay has also been incorporated nicely into sea navigation. As in Star Fox Armada and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, players draw a line on the map with the stylus to chart their path. Then, depending on which type of craft they're sailing, players either have direct control over movement or simply over defending the vessel from enemies while en-route. In either case, control is with the touch screen, by tapping, sliding and tracing.

In order to explore different areas of the sea chart, players must construct different types of vessels out of materials they earn from completing levels. Often, to acquire enough materials players must replay certain levels. The better the level is played, the more material is netted, pushing players toward faster times and higher scores. Levels can also be replayed in Time Attack and Mission modes to earn top times, Chaos and Sol Emeralds.


As if the robust single player experience wasn't enough, Adventure brings a plethora of multiplayer options, bringing back Sonic Rush's multi card and single card download local play plus Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection play with global rankings! The ultimate test of skill is how fast and stylishly players can get through levels, and there's no better gauge of this skill than going head-to-head against another player who's across the room or across the world. Using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, players can play against a stranger for worldwide ranking, or a registered friend in a non-ranked match.


At first glance, Sonic against robot pirates seems like a strange concept. Once tried however, players will understand that the story works because it's built on the solid foundation of Sonic's roots in speed-based gameplay. New and old interwoven, Sonic Rush Adventure is a shining example of what a sequel can and should be.

final score 9.5/10

Staff Avatar Paul Starke
Staff Profile | Email
"In Japan this was named a 'trouble bug.' (...Is it really a bug?)"

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