Sonic Forces Reviews

AuthorReview
Blaizicus
740,933 (393,170)
Blaizicus
TA Score for this game: 2,744
Posted on 10 February 19 at 15:47, Edited on 10 February 19 at 15:48
This review has 3 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Sonic Forces? More like Sonic BOREces..... *cough* ahem.

That kind of gives away the gun really with this game, and it’s a shame to see how far sonic keeps falling especially after getting right multiple times recently, with Sonic Mania actually smashing it in terms of expectations, they should have taken the extra time to make sure they really delivered bringing sonic back into 3D, considering that Sonic Boom was a steaming Cow pat. They need to take what people say to heart a lot more when it comes to what people want in a Sonic game, Taking Sonic Generations as an example. Clean gameplay, a simple story, and any cameos from Sonics previous adventures were brief and didn’t interfere with the main game.

The story decides to go down the dark and edgy route again, with them introducing a new super broody villain called “Infinite”, because of course he is. Who has untold and super magical powers, and can of course, only be defeated by the power of friendship? Now, this would be alright if they didn’t take themselves too seriously, but the problem is they do, with the story staying down the path of a razor the whole way, which is a shame, as if they would have been a little more self-aware, they could have actually made it far more enjoyable. It doesn’t help that all the different characters and timelines all cross so that you sometimes repeat the same levels repeatedly just as different characters.

There are three different characters you play as, and weirdly enough the amount you use them doesn’t feel right either. Sonic Team took the time to actually add a character creator, with a surprising amount of depth and unlockables you can unlock to make pretty unique and interesting characters, with several different races with different passive abilities, and several different weapons called “Wispons” The game actually excelled when you got to play as your own character, playing with new mechanics and playing as someone in the story actually assisting to save sonic and being involved in the plot, and this could have actually carried the game itself, granted the custom characters were the easiest by a county mile, as the Wispons were about as balanced as a hippo on a unicycle, however with some tweaks to the combat and gameplay, it could have been an interesting game at the very least, but because you have to play either as modern sonic or retro sonic, or sometimes even sidled up to normal sonic, you barely ever get chance over the thirty-episode long campaign to really get enough time with your character.



It may be thirty episodes long but the issue is that the levels are actually quite small, and again with some of them being repeated, it means you can find yourself getting rather bored very quickly with the claustrophobic environments. The backgrounds are very engaging and quite nice too look at, but that’s just the issue, there isn’t much going on in the actual platforming to keep you engaged, as unlike previous Sonics there aren’t many perks to actually exploring, as the levels are fairly linear, just hold right for 2D and forward for 3D, and hit Jump whenever you splat into a wall or an enemy. Even then the enemies usually arrange themselves into convenient bludgeoning range for you to just pound them all into mulch. The effort was at least put into replay value, as there is a deep challenge system, with at least something behind doing each level multiple times for unlocks, whether that’s beating it on S rank, within a certain time, or collecting all the hidden rings in the level, you will usually be awarded with some form of cosmetics for your characters or some option challenge stages.

What also doesn’t help is that something has been done with the controls that makes it really finicky at the best of times, momentum seems to be really adjusted in such a weird way, if you are going slow, then it feels like you are trying to jump with cement shoes, whereas if you even pick up the slightest bit of speed Sonic will just launch himself fifteen miles and usually down the nearest pit much to my irritation. This is usually happening whilst the characters are smarmily quipping each other in dialog that makes me want to perforate my eardrums with a rusty spoon handle. Which also brings me to the music, at least in bad sonic games, at least the music has been somewhat redeeming, with even Sonic 2006 having possibly the strongest soundtrack in the series, Sonic Forces doesn’t even manage that, with most tracks almost being over performed, even Green Hill zone was a bombastic blast to the face of way too much going on, and that’s level one. Again, this wouldn’t be too bad if it was adjusted slightly and make deliberately over the top and camp, but again, it’s just too much. The song Fist Bump is pretty awesome though, as it captures that camp attitude perfectly, they should have gone around that to be honest.

Even the boss stages end up just becoming a chore, with boring and repetitive weaknesses you can exploit through the fights, just leaving me to heave a weary sigh every time captain angsty-pants would show his face and declare his evil plan time after time again whilst sending his backside back to the ground, even their designs leave something to be desired, as it’s all stuff that’s been done in previous games, just better.

Sonic Forces was a game with plenty of design flaws, but the thing about it is, only a few tweaks could actually fix it, by focusing on the sort of eighty’s twee that Sonic games can have, by focusing more on one or two more of its unique concepts, tightening the controls and trying to find a tone and sticking with it, Sonic Team would easily be capable of making a damn good game again, they’ve prove they can before. Sonic Forces wasn’t a burial for them, if anything it may have been the kick in their own butts they may have actually needed to hopefully find the direction they want to take their lead franchise.
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BrazenCoronet17
16,731 (10,466)
BrazenCoronet17
TA Score for this game: 310
Posted on 02 July 19 at 11:40
This review has 0 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Sonic Forces is just fine. The level design is bad, yes, the control sucks, yes, everything is messy and unrefined also, yet I found myself enjoying the experience at times.

So first, the level design. It's not good, honestly. In Modern Sonic's staqges, There is just a ton in your path. when you try to go fast, you will inevitably fall hands to a robot and have to pick up your rings again. The levels are poorly paced and simplistic but loaded with artificial difficulty. The OC stages have similar issues but on a smaller scale, so the OC stages are tolerable sometimes, and Classic Sonic's stages WOULD be okay if...

The control wasn't so awful. Mario Sunshine had a terrible control and psychics scheme that made it so you couldn't change your direction once you jumped. This is okay in 2D titles like Castlevania. But this happens in the 3D stages too. And boy is it annyoing. classic Sonic is the big perp here. He has a messy speed gain, ridiculous psychics, and intolerably bad jump momentum!


(Minor spoilers for story review)
*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***


Despite all this, the game is good enough for a hardcore sonic fan, as well as players looking for something intense. It's definitely not as bad as people make it to be, and trust me, there has been MUCH WORSE. But if you're not into this stuff, it's better to go out and get something else, because this game is tight when it comes to its target audience.

*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

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StephenGamesXB1
229,518 (138,343)
StephenGamesXB1
TA Score for this game: 467
Posted on 19 December 17 at 15:35
This review has 2 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Originally Posted at PressA2Join.com

I was a big fan of Sonic Mania when it came out earlier this year. In fact, it was such a good title that my faith in Sonic was restored and it seemed we might enter a new golden age for games in the series. Sonic Mania may have set up my dreams, but Sonic Forces dashed them so quickly and expertly that I could feel joy draining as I continued to play.

The story of Sonic Forces has Sonic the Hedgehog face off against his old nemesis Dr. Eggman who has teamed up with an entity named Infinite who faces Sonic in combat and defeats him easily, the rest of the story unfolds over 30 stages that include boss levels. It comes so close to being a dark story, but the dialogue and voice work is often grating and lessens the story. If you were hoping for a new renaissance in hedgehog stories, Sonic Forces is not that game. Also problematic is the length, after going through all 30 story stages and then doing some optional stages, I found I had only played for about 5 hours.

Despite the length of the story, the greatest challenge of Sonic Forces lies in collecting red rings, number rings, and Silver Moon rings. In order to find each of these, players must collect all of one item in a stage first. It gives the game a much-needed jolt of replayability, but that serves to be the only reason to do so.

Sonic Forces sees players controlling two Sonics, a “Modern” Sonic representing gameplay of 3D efforts like Sonic Adventure, and a “Classic” Sonic that has gameplay matching up best with classic 2D titles of the series. The title also allows players to create a third custom character, a character that can be of a few different animal varieties and can wear an abundance of gear. The gear doesn’t do anything but make your character look dashing or freakish, depending on where your tastes lie. The player’s character zips around with the aid of a grappling hook and with the use of a few devices called “wispons”.

These wispons act like weapons and send enemies in your immediate path to the junk heap. They also come in many varieties like Burst, Asteroid, and Drill. These can make eliminating enemies infinitely easier when used well, and come in handy with navigation. The longer a person plays Sonic Forces, the more likely you are to unlock weapons that give additional benefits towards ring collecting, invulnerability, and speed.

And like any Sonic game, speed is the name of the game. The faster you can maneuver through the levels, the better score bonus you can get. Levels that have straight paths do marvellous jobs at giving players a true sense of speed. But, those levels that allow players to move in 3D environments highlight a problem with Sonic Forces. The physics affecting the player is bewildering. In my own playtime, I observed my character taking a tumble into a bottomless pit by sliding off of platforms despite the animation. That on its own would be a problem, but trying to make precision jumps in 2D levels presents new challenges.

Through a mixture of camera angles and awkward mid-air maneuvering, my character also suffered a fall into bottomless depths. These issues represent a gameplay issue that is present throughout Sonic Forces, all while adding a degree of difficulty to certain levels that wasn’t meant to be there. But that is where the difficulty begins and ends. Most of the levels do behave properly, and any slip or ill-timed jump can be quickly remedied. But that also extends to the few bosses that are in the game. Most of the bosses are preludes in how to defeat a later boss, however, a later battle with Infinite is unique and feels like the best challenge. Speaking of bosses, Sonic Forces is relatively low on them with only 7 true boss battles in the entire game. For a franchise that has had bosses after every level in previous games, it is a surprise to see them become such a rarity.



Outside of the regular stages, there are also a variety of secret stages, labelled Secret and EX Stages. These offer new challenges focused on a mechanic not present in the rest of the game. These aren’t necessary to beat the game, but shake-up the gameplay a bit for those who don’t mind the detour.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of Sonic Forces is that it looks great. Modern Sonic and Player Character levels, in particular, have a surprising amount of detail to the environments in both the foreground and background. The Casino Forest, in particular, looked vivid and alive while playing with lighting effects and details in the neon lighting. Sonic Forces also manages to offer a stable 60 frames per second at mostly 1080p. On Xbox One X, the game will sometimes give a resolution of more than 1080p. However, only certain stages reach that enhanced resolution.

Sonic Forces also boasts a robust soundtrack that keeps optimistic tones that are a hallmark of the series. There are even a few songs that will be played at key moments with vocalization. In particular is a song called “Fist Bump” that is far catchier then it has any right to be. Part of that is due to the vocalizations of Douglas Robb, better known as the lead singer for Hoobastank.

Also worthy of praise is the presentation, as an effect used by the Infinite is used throughout the menus while transitioning. While playing the story, the map of your stages and missions looks like a RISK board while Sonic and his friends attempt to liberate the world. Menus are consistently clean and easy to understand, even when creating the player character.

Conclusion

Sonic Forces tries to give Sonic fans what they want by mixing up the formula and having a custom character does go some way to achieving that. It also strives to be a game that is easy on the eyes and has a soundtrack that got my toe tapping while zipping around. However, the slippery and clunky physics makes some stages more needlessly frustrating than the rest of the game. The greatest failure of Sonic Forces is that it has plenty of good ideas that are hampered by poor gameplay execution.
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