• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 30, 2008

Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
Buy On
  1. 65
    On the gameplay front though, players will need to suffer through tedious point-to-point fetch quests with very little story to push the experience, and a battle system that gets too repetitive far too fast.
  2. Sonic's first foray into the role-playing realm is a laudable effort, but it ultimately falls short of its potential.
  3. Sonic Chronicles is good for dedicated (and lapsed) fans, the BioWare faithful, and anyone just looking for a decent RPG on DS.
  4. A noble effort by the folks at BioWare to translate the lore of SEGA's beloved hedgehog and his cronies to an RPG format. Largely, the game succeeds at providing an interesting experience. However, it seems to be too simplistic for its own good, lacking the depth of gameplay needed to make it truly special.
  5. The problem with the game is that it plays to none of Sonic's strengths while simultaneously underlining all of the franchise's most famous faults. You're ultimately left with the conclusion that actually a Sonic The Hedgehog role-playing game probably isn't a very good idea. That said, BioWare has done the best it could with a difficult brief.
  6. A complete average, if not slightly subpar, RPG. If it wasn't for the fact that it had Sonic characters in it, it wouldn't stand out at all. The combat system is interesting but flawed, the gameplay is slow and rather tedious and the plot is as cookie-cutter as they come.
  7. 70
    Hardcore Sonic fans will definitely want to check this one out, as it offers a strong storyline and entertaining writing that's on par with the best fan fiction.
  8. Sonic Chronicles is undeniably a nice-looking game, and its slick presentation makes for an enticing experience to begin with. The longer you play, however, the more the cracks start to show, and what seemed like a potential minor classic is soon reduced to just "pretty good".
  9. Even with all the minor gripes, aside from the unfortunate plot spoiling, the JRPG elements are traditionally solid and keep the title from falling into the art of the rip-off.
  10. 70
    All in all, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a fairly easy and light RPG that I'm sure younger gamers will have a blast with.
  11. Games Master UK
    Shines with hog-tastic potential, but the actual 'role playing' bits need beefing up. [Nov 2008, p.70]
  12. 100
    Sonic Chronicles' light action elements provide plenty of fun puzzle-solving and exploration opportunities without cramping the fairly traditional RPG style.
  13. It has a lot of good ideas, but none of them are fully fleshed out and turned into truly great gameplay additions. The story is forgettable, the equipment and level ups may as well not even be there, and everything just feels half-finished.
  14. At last, Sonic discovers the RPG games world in a title which disguises the blue hedgehog's universe with some of the best BioWare features. The result is probably one of the best Sonic videogames of the last years and an inevitable purchase for the fans.
  15. games(TM)
    There are better RPGs out there, there are better RPGs on DS, but better Sonic Adventures? You’d be hard pushed to find one. [Dec 2008, p.114]
  16. Edge Magazine
    How do you craft an RPG around a character defined entirely by movement? We’re not sure that you can, and BioWare hasn’t proved otherwise. [Dec 2008, p.96]
  17. 80
    It would have been a pretty good RPG without a bunch of famous characters in it, but the characters add plenty of visual charm and personality to the game.
  18. If you're a Sonic fan Chronicles really is an essential purchase. It's one of the best Sonic games we've played in ages (given the quality of some Sonic games in recent years this doesn't come as a surprise) and, despite it not being as in-depth an RPG as we'd hoped, it's really a lot of fun while it lasts.
  19. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood isn't a bad game, it's just a disappointing one. If you're a diehard Sonic fan, it's probably the best outing containing your favorite blue hedgehog in years, regardless of how low a benchmark that may be.
  20. AceGamez
    Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood could have been awful, but it's not. It's a joy to play, every bit the Bioware experience but mixed in with the instant arcade style thrills of Sonic's glory days on the Mega Drive.
  21. Sonic Chronicles is a solid Roleplaying Game. Especially the use of color, fluid combat and the diversity in mini-games are really persuasive. On the other hand, the story is hardly worth following and feels rather dull. But, in all fairness, Sonic Chronicles will give you lots of gameplay, even if you don't like blue hedgehogs.
  22. Sega’s blue hedgehog comes back with his most unlikely incarnation: an RPG. Developed by BioWare, Sonic Chronicles is a good game, with a great pace, an interesting roster of characters, many things to do (especially side quests, BioWare’s favourites), and charming visuals. Sonic is back at his best, and we hope it’s the beginning of a new era for the hedgehog.
  23. The storyline, art direction, and world exploration are top-notch here, but the tiresome combat sucks the life out of an otherwise enjoyable adventure.
  24. Sonic Chronicles is not a bad game by any means, and I had a fantastic time when the combat worked like it promised it would.
  25. Nintendo Power
    Sonic Chronicles may annoy you at times, but it certainly won't ever bore you. [Nov 2008, p.96]
  26. 78
    The presentation of the game is probably its strongest point – it simply looks really good.
  27. It’s a bit formulaic in its design, but levels are a nice slice of gaming on the go that require almost no level grinding.
  28. 65
    Charming, but simple and repetitive. Sonic fans may find some fun, but there are far better RPGs to be found on the DS.
  29. Sonic Chronicles is an admirable attempt to revitalize an aging franchise, but it ultimately suffers from an identity crisis and never really hits its stride.
  30. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Something is missing in this hedgehog’s story. Technically perfect game, but lacks in enjoyment – there are no challenges no thrills ... no fun. [Nov 2008]
  31. Had Sonic Chronicles simply been a standard RPG with generic characters in it, it would still have been a fantastic title. The fact that it actually features familiar faces and backgrounds only adds to the enjoyment.
  32. 70
    Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a solid role-playing experience, but it's ultimately an overly lightweight one that is unlikely to truly grab the attention of genre veterans.
  33. Despite being a slow starter, it reboots the Sonic franchise with style. There are plenty of solid foundations here for a potentially brilliant sequel. Go to it, Bioware.
  34. Considering the initial shock of a Sonic RPG, and the potential, I think that SC could’ve been a bit better in most aspects but TDB definitely lays solid foundations for the probable sequel. It really is an RPG but delivered Sonic style; fast and fun.
  35. With easy RPG dynamics, Sonic Chronicles is a title that will only really appeal to fans of the fastest hedgehog in the known universe or younger DS gamers.
  36. Graphically the game is every bit a Sonic game, with the bright colors and key level design choices you will recognize from the other Sonic games. There are plenty of big loops and curvy tracks which add to the entire experience. The characters you play with such as Sonic and Tails as well as the ones you fight the robots and even the basic animals you will fight are all designed well and animated very well. The game is done so well graphically, and even if you did not know you were going to look at a Sonic RPG, you could just see a couple of screens and easily see that the game is a Sonic game.
  37. Little of the BioWare magic for telling an engaging story through impressively written dialogue and deep characters was used, and repetitive battles and too many generic enemies don't help matters. And for a game about a speedy hedgehog, it too often plods along slowly.
  38. Let’s get this straight, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a solid RPG through and through, but it doesn’t really play like one.
  39. 80
    An odd and unique fusion of Eastern and Western RPG conventions, Sonic Chronicles is a difficult game to qualify. On one hand, it's weak when compared to other Bioware titles, and even some other RPGS, such as the easily comparable Mario RPG. On the other hand, though, it must be evaluated based upon what it really is: a handheld Sonic RPG.
  40. The decision to hand of an rpg featuring Sonic and pals to experienced developer Bioware was a good decision. Great characters and beautifully crafted environment make up the atmospheric experience and combined with the engaging battle system Sega finally has a new game with Sonic in that's actually any good. The only major flaw here is a somewhat low difficulty level.
  41. It’s also an excellent introduction to the RPG genre for Sonic fans or those that usually find them too overwhelming and don’t want to spend hours levelling up their characters.
  42. 75
    Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is one of the best Sonic titles in recent years.
  43. 69
    This game could only really be suitable for Sonic fans and younger gamers. Sonic aficionados will love a change of pace and a slight return to form for the blue spikey wonder. It also forms a fantastic introduction to the RPG world for kids as it is lightweight enough that they won't get bogged down by statistics yet it'll still introduce them to the basic concepts of RPGs before they move onto some of the true favourites on the DS (such as the Final Fantasys and the forthcoming Chrono Trigger).
  44. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a decent first attempt at giving the speedy hedgehog a new genre to explore, but the game lacks the addictive and challenging elements that make RPG fans want to keep exploring and progressing.
  45. We can call this the best Sonic game in years considering the pretty low quality platform Sonic games we have played recently. This game still has some issues to deal with however.
  46. BioWare has created a rare beast with Sonic Chronicles; a beginner's RPG that is pitched perfectly for the hedgehog and handheld’s younger followers to identify with, while still possessing its developer’s unmistakable sheen of quality.
  47. A decent first attempt at a Sonic RPG, perhaps not good enough to appeal to the masses, however it should keep Sonic fans satisfied.
  48. Sonic Chronicles may be hard to recommend to those who fancy Sonic for its sheer speed, but this is an RPG that uses the characters in completely appropriate ways.
  49. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a must for any of the hedgehog's fans. And to all other players, it's worth a try. Bioware did a great job which deserves to be seen by everyone.
  50. A fun RPG while it lasts, but can wear thin over time. Great visuals and level design help overcome some missed potential.
  51. A welcome return of a quality Sonic title that brings back memories of first playing Sonic 1 on the Sega Mega Drive. With great graphics, great gameplay and a developed storyline that’s not overly serious, Sonic’s a great addition to all gamers. The only downside is the somewhat odd battle system.
  52. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Falling short of the excellence usually offered by Bioware, as it invests in some repetitive elements of exploration and combat, this game has a simple mechanic, puzzles and a nice tactical element in battles. Despite the story’s slow start, in general it makes good use of the Sonic universe, presenting many known characters. [Oct 2008]
  53. If you like either Sonic, or RPGs, you have to buy The Dark Brotherhood. It’s as perfect a handheld RPG as we’ve ever played.
  54. n-Revolution Magazine UK
    If there’s one game to get this month, Sonic Chronicles is it. It’s brilliant in every way, and we can’t get enough of it.
  55. 65
    Surprisingly fun and competent, though far from the shot of adrenaline the franchise needs to return to its former glory.

Awards & Rankings

#8 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
#5 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 91
  2. Negative: 21 out of 91
  1. Jan 27, 2013
    This sonic game is a rare jewel: combines adventure and RPG with the most loved characters of the franchise. It has nice graphics and aThis sonic game is a rare jewel: combines adventure and RPG with the most loved characters of the franchise. It has nice graphics and a interesting plot. In the fights you will use the stylus to perform the character's moves, which add much fun. If you're a Sonic fan or a RPG fan, I recommend this game! Full Review »
  2. Aug 31, 2015
    Even though it is slow pace this is surprisingly a good sonic the hedgehog game we have gotten in a long time. I love how you can play as allEven though it is slow pace this is surprisingly a good sonic the hedgehog game we have gotten in a long time. I love how you can play as all the characters including my favorite, shadow the hedgehog. it's cool how you can choose sonics dialogue on how he responds to people whether it's negative, positive, or just wisecracking towards character he is talking to. Full Review »
  3. Mar 29, 2014
    I can't help but want to like this game. Note I said "want to like", but the truth is, this game really was a mixed bag for me. To keep itI can't help but want to like this game. Note I said "want to like", but the truth is, this game really was a mixed bag for me. To keep it simple, I'll list the pros and cons that I believe hold the game back.
    - Story and script. Whether canon or not, I don't care, but the story does have interesting moments and follows through with its narrative pretty fairly. Mind you, the premise is a bit hackneyed, but this is Sonic, tropes in the franchise have been to death, often by the desire of fans, so no big deal.
    - Art Style. At first, I wasn't too keen on the art style Sonic Chronicles had, but as I played, and eventually got into the later game acts, the design choices began to make more aesthetic sense to me. The character designs and backdrops were nicely rendered, and meshed well with the cartoony feel the game was going for.
    - Conversational Freedom. The fact that you could make Sonic reply to people's statements in either a passive, aggressive, sarcastic, or crass manner made me smile. And with BioWare aware of this trend in RPGs, I was glad it was implemented as it adds to the story, not to mention the interaction between the characters.
    - Characters. This includes enemies and NPCs. I enjoyed the fact there were a multitude of people to talk to, including other Sonic characters, such as GUN Commander and Vector.

    - Sprite Textures. OMG were these things ugly. I mean, it'd be one thing to have used the models from Sonic R, which were simple polygons and well done for the hardware, or even to go full-on 2D sprites. First off, the models had this annoying charcoal grey outline that was, I guess, to look like a hard inked line seen in 2D artwork. Not to mention, the models were clunky and jarring. Simpler models or even 2D sprites would have sufficed.
    - Music. Central City theme and the battle music. Central City's theme, a detuned, broken down remix of Diamond Dust Zone for 3D Blast, was terrible in the sense it wasn't calming, it wasn't very town sounding, and seemed to be more fitting for an abandoned amusement park. The battle themes leave something to be desired, as much of them start to sound more and more similar as time goes on. Though the sound is very electronic and gritty, it almost feels as if there's no structure, no beat to get pumped for a fight. Now, not to try and compare it to Final Fantasy, but I will, which had the same intro for the first six games, all varied their own battle themes in some way or another so that they could be easily discernible from one another. It's not that I don't like that kind of music, as it seemed to have worked in the Adventure series, but it just doesn't feel right in the setting. Now in the chase scenes, it seemed more appropriate, but not in the battles, where so many are used to a driving bass riff to start off.
    - Platforming and QTEs. I'm sorry, but having to stop, tap the icon, and then perform the action just to reach a platform is ridiculous to me. But this wasn't just a flaw with Sonic Chronicles, many RPGs on the DS suffered this dilemma of relying on the touch screen for motion and platforming. Now if it were implemented well, then yeah, maybe, but no. It's jarring, it's ugly, and it just kills any pace any level of player has. Also, on a similar note, the quick-time events for battle, a nice idea, trying hard to utilize the concept Mario RPG started in 1995, but just falls short into aiding in delivering a enjoyable playing experience. How come? Because the actions become too complicated too quickly, and the fact it requires the utmost precision to perform, on a system damned for its imprecision. One pixel off, or two frames late, too bad, the action has failed. And thankfully, QTEs were only special attacks and chase scenes, because though I'd have liked to see Normal Attacks utilize QTEs for damage boosts, the way they were implemented here in Chronicles makes me glad they weren't.
    - Experience curve. Experience curve so sharp, even Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance is like, "Ouch." Instead of steadily diminishing with each level gained or just an increase in required EXP, what happens? After a level or two, an enemy that dropped 100 XP will then drop only 10 XP after the next level up. Understandably, there is a limited amount of levels to aspire to, but that doesn't mean there should be a sheer cliff or roller coaster ride with XP. Not to mention, most of the time you actually have to grind for a long while to just to increase a level, like an hour at some points.
    - Status Allocation. Not as loathed as some of the other cons, but still a negative feature overall, mostly just because it's poorly utilized. Even though the points are defined as to what they improve, the flexibility to improve a character in a general direction and terms are not accurate as to what they actually are. Your attack, defense, and special are improved automatically, and what you improve is your accuracy, evasion, and luck. RPGs are should be flexible. Period.
    Full Review »