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Monday, October 13, 2008


The Dark Brotherhood

Hey, sometimes when you're stuck, you should go out and get some air, you know what I mean?

I know it's been a while since I've posted some game reviews, but I've been busy with the move and everything. I do have some new games to talk about, so I'll start with Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the Nintendo DS. The game was developed by Bioware, the folks who single-handedly brought back good old computer role-playing games from the brink of extinction with Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic. This time around, they apply their design expertise to everybody's favorite blue hedgehog and put it on the Nintendo DS so you can take it with you. If you liked Knights of the Old Republic, you'll feel right at home here. While concessions have been made to adapt to the hardware limitations of the DS, Dark Brotherhood has the same feel of Bioware's more robust offerings on the XBox and Xbox 360. You feel like you have some freedom to explore Sonic's world, instead of putting your head down and running as fast as you can from one checkpoint to the next. Indeed, if you're looking for typical Sonic gameplay here, keep looking. Sure, there are gold rings to collect, but this game is about as far removed from the typical, twitchy, push-the-button-combos-at-just-the-right-second as one can get. Sonic's zipping around ramps and through loops is only triggered at special circumstances, and you have no control of the characters when they make their special moves.

As one would expect from a role playing game, you have choices to make when the characters gain experience, improving their attack, defense and special combat moves. Some combat moves are tied to other characters and can only be used when those characters are in your party. There are a total of 10 characters to choose from, and Sonic can only add 3 extra friends with him when he explores. Choose your friends carefully, as you'll need some of their special moves to get past obstacles - Tails can fly, Knuckles can climb, and so on.

If you've got to collect everything Sonic, you're probably already enjoying this game. If you're a fan of Bioware, but you're afraid the game may be too fast for you, worry not. This game is just the right speed for you. Sonic moves!

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