It's far from a perfect package, but whether you're a veteran who remembers the series' heyday back on the Sega Genesis or a newbie looking to dip your feet into the series, you won't be disappointed with Sonic Rush Adventure.
Here it is. My very first Sonic game and the only one in the entire series where nostalgia clouds my analytical lens. Sonic Rush Adventure is easily my favorite Sonic game of all time. It takes the levels from Sonic Rush and smooths out the difficulty curve with less inconvenient enemy placement and death traps. There are also plenty of exciting set pieces much like any game in the series. Rather than focusing on two sides of a story, like Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure follows one continuous story front to back all while retaining both Sonic and Blaze as playable characters (you unlock Blaze after beating the third boss).
Perhaps the biggest point of contention for most are the boat rides. You probably already guessed my stance on these. I love them. I find them a lot of fun and they make excellent use of the DS touch screen. Having to actively ride to the next level increased the scale of Blaze's dimension. It also added to the thrill that a grand adventure should have. The bosses are, once again, excellent. My favorite being the Ghost Condor. For years, I've tried my best to defeat the boss without falling back down to the runway bellow.
I've speed ran this game and tried my best to get the highest score on every level. I've experienced everything this game has to offer. But no game is perfect and there are some flaws I can't overlook. Entering the final levels are kind of a pain as you need to back track to abandoned islands where you will find stone relics. You use them to unlock the door to Pirate Island where you face off against Whisker and Johnny, the fake out villains of this game. This decision would've been more digestible if the game had levels on each of these islands. Actually, there are hidden islands all throughout the game most containing one bonus level. These bonus levels are meant to challenge the player's skill but they also feel very unfinished. Most of these bonus levels are riddled with bottomless pits and cheap obstacle placement, reuse assets, and are so short they leave no impression at all. Hidden levels is something I always appreciate in a game and I've gotten used to these levels faults but their presence is worth a mention (especially considering you play one right before Coral Cave). The Chaos Emeralds make a return and you collect them by racing Johnny, some green **** with a jet ski for a head. When I was young, I hated these. Collecting the Chaos Emeralds was a nightmare because of how unfair this seemed. There are races where Johnny has infinite boost. The only way to stand a chance is to upgrade your jet ski using minerals from previous stages but the game never tells you this. Thank god I talk to every npc on South Island as they give you missions. Some of them give you rewards such as the Sol Emeralds, medals and decorations for the island. Unfortunately you can only have access to the missions menu by talking to Marine the Raccoon and the missions menu is so bland and uninteresting. This is also a nitpick but sometimes the cut scenes go on too long. Characters will ramble on and on and I'm usually very patient when it comes to these. I do remember there being a skip feature but I haven't played through the campaign in a long time.
Starting with Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic stories started having fake endings in order to make up for the loss of multiple stories and campaigns. In Sonic Rush Adventure, you unlock the true ending by collecting all the Chaos and Sol Emeralds. The Jeweled Scepter, the Master Emerald of Blaze's dimension, is stolen by Dr Eggman and Eggman Nega. This reveal caught me off guard: one because I genuinely thought Johnny and Whisker were the big bads of this game and two because I've never seen Eggman Nega before. Now that I'm older and have played many games, read many books, and watched many movies I can say for sure that the Eggmen being here in the finally feels completely phoned in. These two appear completely out of nowhere as they played no role in the story before. I thought this could've been one of the few Sonic games where Eggman played no role at all but I was wrong. They're here and the final boss with them was fine.
When it comes to world building, I believe Sonic Rush Adventure is among the best the series has to offer. It is simple, yet ambitious. Dimps did everything they could to improve and add to Sonic Rush. It may falter but I will never forget the experience I had with this game. Its faults will not suede me from giving it the highest score I can offer. It's a score that is share by only one other Sonic game and it's a game that isn't even on this website. Compared to all other games in the series, Sonic Rush Adventure comes the closest to finding that balance between world building, storytelling, challenge and fun. There is no doubt in my mind that it sets that bar incredibly high.
The best Sonic game in my opinion. Blaze the Cat is such a good character that should really be used again. The rush-gameplay is so unique and it's fun to constantly do tricks and boost. This game is a major upgrade to Rush. It's way longer and I only really miss Cream, her mom and Cheese because they really went well with Blaze. Other than that, the levels are fun. The bosses are easier than in Rush (which I appreciate). I felt like the overall difficulty was more forgiving. There was just way more to do. Also, I loved unlocking stuff on the island in return for doing missions! The exploration mini games are also pretty good. Absolutely amazing game that really deserves a remake.
Another great aspect of the game was its length: while there are only seven islands in total, there is a surprising amount of content that is unlocked. The graphics are also excellent as are the designs and layouts of the various levels.
Though he's been struggling on home consoles, Sonic has been doing pretty well on handhelds. Sonic Rush Adventure is a very good game. The level designs are good to play through and good to look at, considering the DS's limited graphical capabilities. The races felt unnecessary, and the game could have done just as well without them. However, the controls aren't as smooth as they could have been, which can lead to some frustrating moments, especially in the water bike stages. The water platforming stages are pretty generic, too. It was a good step for Sonic, and showed that the franchise is capable of delivering a solid platforming experience.
Sonic Rush Adventure has a lot going for it; bright and vibrant graphics, a goofy plot-line with fun dialogue, fantastic boss battles... Heck, even the sections where you travel between the islands on a boat are well designed and fun to play. Unfortunately, the action stages (which should be the meat of the game) are simply bland and uninspired. You spend all your time zipping around through loops and tubes, never stopping to indulge in such fanciful things as, say, actual platforming. Of course, this approach isn't always wrong, as aptly proved by the excellent Sonic Advance series, but in this game it just feels... Tedious. This is doubly compounded by the structure of the game, which FORCES you to repeatedly play levels in order to gain the materials to build new items and boats. It's usually a pleasure to re-play stages in Sonic, but here they turn it into a chore that hampers progression. There are a ton of great Sonic games. This isn't one of them.
SummarySonic returns to the DS with all the classic 2D dual screen action of "Sonic Rush," as well as a new high-seas adventure where he clashes with ruthless pirates. As Sonic, set off from Windmill Village to explore seven islands for action-packed adventures spread across a large map. As you venture, you'll uncover valuable items and materia...