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Sonic Revived?

February 25, 2009 by  

The Sonic franchise has long been a gaming stalwart, giving rise to one of modern cultures most recognisable videogame characters and spanning several gaming generations and consoles. The first two or three Sonic games were extemely popular and well loved, cementing the character as the poster boy for Sega. However, as time went on sonic struggled to get to grips with new technology, as the side scrolling formula gave way to 3D adventures, Sonic lost his footing and declined in popularity. Some say the games were overly ambitious and frenetic, overloading the screen with visuals and gameplay too difficult to follow. The latest Sonic Unleashed game hoped to right some of these wrongs and return Sonic to the top, but it met with nonplussed reviews.

However, Sega refuse to let the old hero go out without a fight, and the Wii exclusive game Sonic and the Black Knight looks like it just may be a game that succeeds in a few vital areas where the rest have failed. Dispensing with the repetitive storylines of the past, namely dredging up the villain Dr Robotnic again and again, Sonic is summoned by the wizard Merlina in her time of great need. This attracts the attention of a fresh new antagonist; The Black Knight.

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Another area in which the new game hopes to improve upon Unleashed is the combat. Unleashed featured Sonic turning into a hulking 'Werehog' in a gambit which Sega hoped would be the key selling point. Instead, this feature was heavily criticised, as gamers didn't take well to their usually spritely and lightning fast hero being reduced to a slow, cumbersome monster. In Black Knight, Sonic wields a sword which he can use whilst on the trot, giving rise to highly inventive gameplay as you speed through levels and dispatch foes in one fluid motion. As Unleashed was a game that had been ported to the Wii, the motion controls struggled with the system and most gamers simply opted for using a joypad. This isn't a problem for The Black Knight, as being a Wii exclusive the controls have been developed and mastered from the outset.

Will Sonic and the Black Knight restore the age old franchise to its former glory, or will it be just another disappointment in a long line of lacklustre titles? We only have a couple of weeks to wait and see...

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