Review - Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood - Destructoid

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Hello, Destructoid. Welcome to my first game review. Today we will be reviewing...

Yes, yes. The new Sonic rpg for the DS, made by none other than Bioware. Please note that I am a big fan of Sonic's old games, and a huge fan of Bioware and Sega. Now, I know you're telling yourself "How could Bioware make a bad game?" Well, get a load of this shit.

-= Gameplay =-

I'll start off with the most important part; the gameplay. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is an RPG that is fully controlled by the DS's touch screen. This worked for Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, but a lot of people hated it. If you hated it then, you'll hate it even more. You control Sonic on a 2D map that doesn't physically change. He runs incredibly slow in this game, and when you aren't dragging him around the map, you're poking context-sensitive buttons on the screen. This might not seem that bad, but trust me, it really is incredibly dumb.
When speaking to characters on the screen, Sonic is given a choice in dialogue, similar to other Bioware games. However, this doesn't effect the NPC's attitude at all. None of the responses actually hurt your game in any way, making the choice relatively useless.
In battles, normal attacks are performed by touching the function you want your party member to perform, and then touching the target. Shortly after, Sonic and his friends will repeatedly attack your target for a few seconds. You don't even have to do anything. You just sit and watch, as Sonic repeatedly dashes into his enemies. There is another form of attacking, called a POW attack. These attacks can be bought with points you earn by leveling up. I tried using the first POW attack, which is called Axe Kick, and an Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents minigame appeared on the screen. That's right, when you perform a special attack, you have to play a dumbed down version of EBA, to the game's shitty music. Which brings me to my next point:

-= Sound =-

The sound in this game is pure shit. All of the sound effects sound like noises you'd hear in a Looney Toons cartoon, except they're ALL out of place. When robots die, they make some kind of weird boingy noise, like a spring being let loose. There are some standard sound effects from the Sonic world, but they all sound badly mixed, almost like they'd sound on the original gameboy's speakers.

The music is really generic. It's nothing that you'd expect from a Sonic soundtrack. While you may hear some Sonic 2-esque metal tracks, most of the ingame music is absolutely terrible. It sounds like the Learn to Read soundtrack. Remember that show? Learn to Read with LeVar Burton? Sega and Bioware must have hired the composer from that show.

-= Graphics/Presentation =-

Oh boy, this was the last straw for me. This is where I couldn't take it. In the beginning, you're greeted to an introduction sequence. It's like a half-assed attempt at making one of those Metal Gear Solid Animated Comics that Konami made for the PSP. For some unknown reason, moving paper figures of Sonic and his friends are attacking moving paper figures of Eggman on his badly rendered CGI ship. Right on top of the pre-rendered cutscene, Sonic and his friends speak to Eggman via speech bubbles. It's like they didn't even try.

The ingame graphics consist of a 3D model of Sonic moving on a static 2D landscape. It looks miserable, since the shadows of the characters overlap borders and make it seem like you're playing a board game. Seriously, there's one part where a character jumped off a cliff, and it looked like he just slid himself over a bit.

My last gripe is the presentation. The menus look absolutely terrible. They look like graphics some 12 year old made for their geocities Final Fantasy VII fansite. The buttons have shitty sprites, and horrible animations. Some of the combat buttons are awfully small and hard to press. It doesn't matter though, you won't have to get used to anything. You probably shouldn't play Sonic Chronicles. It's a bad game, that seems like the development team put almost no effort into it. If I had to grade the game, I'd give it a 1 out of 10. Please, don't buy it.

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