The next game that I will be covering is Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 for the PlayStation 3. Like Crash Twinsanity, this game was rushed in development. The PlayStation 3 is a much more powerful console so that it can handle higher quality models, improved textures, more complex level design, etc. The controller is the same as the PS2 so it shares the same issues that I pointed out in my Crash Twinsanity analysis. Now some people may think that a rushed game for the PS3 may have done better than a rushed game for the PS2. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Crash Twinsanity mainly had the story suffer with little bits of pieces that affected the gameplay: in Sonic 06, everything is affected. Sonic 06 supports local multiplayer where you either work together to reach the goal ring or race each other to get to the finish first.
Age is rather important consideration due to the initial targeting towards children which it still somewhat relative today; however, games such as this and Shadow The Hedgehog have been given a more dark and serious tone to them probably trying to appeal to the older, much more mature audiences that classic Sonic fans wasn’t too happy with. This game has a princess which I guess would put young girls into consideration as well as some female playable characters to attract more people into the game.
Sonic 06 has you be able to select a character to go through their own stories; Sonic, Shadow, Silver (making his debut) and a final story segment. Naturally, since Sonic is the name of the game, you would think that he would have the most relevance to what is going on. Nope, Sonic just tries to catch a princess who constantly gets kidnapped (about six times in one game). In fact, Sonic encounters Iblis (a monster from Solaris’ separation) once and doesn’t encounter Mephilis (the game’s main villain) at all. Sure Mephilis kills Sonic, but Sonic doesn’t even look at him due to being blinded by a Chaos Emerald. Sonic sees him in one instance but doesn’t actually confront him. Sonic is almost completely in the dark with what is going on, getting a little bit of information as to why Dr Eggman is trying to capture Princess Elise, but you are going to get more information as to what is happening in Shadow and Silver’s story making Sonic rather irrelevant (in his own anniversary game). The game is filled with plot holes, inconsistencies and bad pure writing. At least Crash Twinsanity had some funny interactions to keep me distracted from the bad story.
That’s the story over, now for the gameplay. To say that the coding was ‘bad’ would be the understatement of the century. A more appropriate title might be ‘Sonic Adventure Bugged’. You can clip through walls like nobody’s business, control is super precise, frame rate drops and just general wonky coding. At the end of some of Sonic stages, you encounter what we call ‘Mach Speed Sections’. These sections involve Sonic constantly running with the player only being able to move directions and jump. On the first play through, you will die here a lot (and there is one on the very first stage you play). The main reason that you will die is the jump button: you can’t change your direction in the air so expect jumping into your death. Another reason is the how it works. Since you are constantly moving forward, you may think that you don’t need to hold the analogue stick forward but jump panels actually require you to do so otherwise you won’t go the full distance. One instance that has this happens results in Sonic running into a small wall. When you take damage, Sonic enters a very weird animation and you can’t jump, this animation doesn’t stop playing until a bit after the invincibility frames stop (the wall you ran into will kill you before you can even get free).
The animations and VFX isn’t all that great either. The spin dash animation is rather basic, the light speed dash just makes Sonic look like he is being pulled by an invisible rope, Sonic does a weird break dancing animation when he gets hit and I don’t really know what is happening in Shadow’s homing attack combo. He’s just rotating randomly making grunts. The Chaos Spear looks decent although it’s just a basic lightning bolt, Chaos Blast looks rather pathetic. When Sonic boosts, he gets blue lines appear and spin dashing and jump dashing gives him some weird effect.
This isn’t the end of it; you can escape the barriers of boss fights, get killed by horrible hazards (meteors in Flame Core), boss fight against Silver can be aggravatingly difficult (and take up to half an hour as Shadow) and you can even escape the games barriers completely then get sent to space. When you play as Sonic, you can get gems to give extra abilities, there is a bar that is meant to limit how much you can use them. It doesn’t work and you can slow down time as much as you want to get massive time bonuses and shrink to perform infinite jumps and completely skip platforming sections.
The game is broken in almost every sense. The PS3 is a lot more powerful than the PS2 so it can handle a lot more but rushed development has made this game almost completely broken.