Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2006 platform video game for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 that was made to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It was developed by Sonic Team, published by Sega and directed by Shun Nakamura.
The game shares its name with two earlier video games, a manga, a television series, a comic book series and their eponymous main character. To disambiguate, the game has been called by a number of different aliases, including, but not limited to, Sonic 06, Sonic 2K6, Sonic 360, and Sonic Next Gen.
It was released during the course of 2006 and 2007 to critical ire. The game was also made available on Xbox Live's Games on Demand service on August 11, 2009, but was later delisted during September 2010 in order to increase the value of the brand.
Each story mode has the player control either Sonic, Silver or Shadow the Hedgehog. Sonic's levels generally focus on speed, with some sections having him run at full speed while dodging obstacles. Other segments see him escorting Princess Elise, who uses a barrier to protect him from certain hazards. Shadow's sections are similarly speedy albeit more combat focused, though some segments see him riding vehicles, such as a buggy. In contrast, Silver's levels move at a slower pace, and revolve around his use of telekinesis to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. In certain areas, control is switched to an amigo character (Tails and Knuckles for Sonic, Rouge and Omega for Shadow, and Amy and Blaze for Silver), each with their own abilities. Although each character plays the same levels, each character's unique abilities allow him or her to get to different areas of each stage, and deny them from accessing certain items. Once players have completed all three stories, the Last Story is unlocked.
In each story, the player will navigate through Town Stages where they can converse with townspeople to progress the story. The main gameplay takes place in Action Stages which become accessible as the game progresses. Some Action Stages require certain abilities to access (for example, one stage requires the Ring Dash move to be unlocked). While in Town, players can take Mission Stages to earn rings, which can be spent on upgrades to their characters.
Several downloadable extensions have been released that add features to single-player gameplay. These include 'Very Hard' mode, a more difficult version of the game; 'Boss Attack' modes, which allow a playable character to engage in continuous battles with all of the game's bosses; and 'Team Attack Amigo' mode, which sends players through a multitude of levels in a set order, changing to a different amigo character every two levels, culminating in a boss fight.
The game features two multiplayer modes: Tag, where two players must work together to clear levels and collect Chaos Emeralds; and Battle, where two players race against each other.
In Soleanna, the Festival of the Sun's opening ceremony is disrupted by the arrival of Doctor Eggman who seeks the Flames of Disaster from Princess Elise, as well as the Chaos Emerald she possesses. However, Sonic the Hedgehog arrives and escapes with Elise and the emerald intact, but Elise is quickly captured but she tosses the emerald to Sonic. Sonic meets with Miles "Tails" Prower and they rescue Elise, Tails distracting Eggman's robots while Sonic and Elise escape. Meanwhile, Shadow and Rouge the Bat meet up armed with the Scepter of Darkness stolen from Eggman's base, but it is dropped, unleashing Mephiles the Dark, a shadow-based creature who reveals Shadow sealed him within the scepter ten years ago, before opening a wormhole which transports Shadow and Rouge to the future. Silver and his friend Blaze the Cat live in a post-apocalyptic world caused by the Iblis Trigger, who unleashed the Flames of Disaster, actually a fiery monster named Iblis. The two meet Mephiles who reveals Sonic is the Iblis Trigger, and sends the two back in time using a fake Chaos Emerald.
Silver and Blaze are separated upon arrival, with Silver witnessing Eggman's attack on Soleanna and Sonic's departure. He meets Amy Rose who accompanies him to find Sonic, but defends Sonic when they find him, while Elise gets kidnapped again. Sonic flees, meeting with Tails and Knuckles the Echidna who go to rescue Elise. However, they are lured into a trap by Eggman and warped into the future where Tails discovers Elise and Eggman died the day before Iblis was released. Shadow and Rouge find a shutdown E-123 Omega, and then reunite with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. They gather several of the Chaos Emeralds, and return to the present save Shadow who confronts Mephiles, but learns in the future he was imprisoned by Omega, blamed for the destruction. Shadow escapes to the present-day thanks to Omega.
As the story progresses, Shadow and Silver join forces and travel ten years into the past. They learn Iblis and Mephiles are the result of the Duke of Soleanna's project to harness the power of the city's god Solaris. The Duke gives Shadow the Scepter of Darkness, which he uses to seal Mephiles, while Iblis' flames are contained by Silver and placed within a young Elise's tears, the dying Duke asking his daughter to never cry for her tears could release Iblis. Sonic fails to rescue Elise from dying, but Silver suggests going back in time to prevent her death. Sonic succeeds, saving Eggman from dying too. Shadow, Rouge, Omega, Silver and Blaze return to the future to eliminate Mephiles and Iblis. Mephiles is defeated by Shadow, while Silver tries to seal Iblis' flames in his own soul, only to be rejected. Blaze steps in and seals Iblis in her soul, but is trapped in another dimension.
Mephiles survives Shadow's attack, and kills Sonic by running him through with a crystal blade, causing Elise to cry and unleash Iblis. Mephiles bonds with Iblis, recreating Solaris and ripping apart the time-space continuum. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Silver, Rouge, Omega, Eggman, Elise and Sonic's corpse are brought together. However, Silver guesses the Chaos Emeralds can resurrect Sonic, prompting everyone to locate the emeralds. Elise uses the emeralds to resurrect Sonic as Super Sonic, Shadow and Silver transforming into their super forms and destroy Solaris. Sonic and Elise go back in time, finding Solaris' original form to be a single white flame. Elise blows out the candle, rebooting the time-space continuum and erasing Solaris from existence, erasing the story's events. Sonic passes by the Festival of the Sun, he and Elise showing signs of recalling their friendship.
This game features the cast of 4Kids Entertainment from Sonic X in the English version. The Japanese version has mostly the same voice actors from the previous games. In addition,Lacey Chabert, former voice of Meg Griffin from Family Guy, who is coincidentally a long-time Sonic fan, voices Princess Elise, marking the first time in the franchise that Hollywood talent has provided voice-over work for a Sonic game.
Sega originally planned releasing a port of the game as the first Sonic game for the Wii. However, such a port would have taken a long time to create, and Sega wanted to release aSonic game much closer to the Wii launch. So instead, the company developed and released the 2007 video game Sonic and the Secret Rings.
The stage Crisis City is included in the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 version of Sonic Generations.
HipHop/R&B Artist Akon has done a remix to the Dreams Come True song "Sweet Sweet Sweet," a song from the album The Swinging Star. This track was originally composed byMasato Nakamura, and sung by DCT's Miwa Yoshida. Added as the ending theme for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis, the song is entitled "Sweet Sweet Sweet ('06 Akon Mix)," in Japanese and "Sweet Dreams" in English. It is Sonic's ending theme for the game.
A number of other songs feature vocals by other artists as well. Shadow's theme, "All Hail Shadow," one of the vocal songs from the Shadow the Hedgehog soundtrack, was rearranged by Crush 40; it was originally sung by the band Magna-Fi. Silver's theme, "Dreams of an Absolution," by Lee Brotherton (from the Remix Factory, AKA Bentley Jones) was written byMariko Nanba and Brotherton. Elise's theme, entitled "My Destiny," was performed by singer/songwriter Donna DeLory.
The in-game music is composed by Tomoya Ohtani, Mariko Nanba, and Hideaki Kobayashi, with Namano Mushrio, and the Japanese Geroinic Band & Symphony.
|GameRankings||49% (41 reviews)(Xbox 360)46% (13 reviews)(PS3)|
|Metacritic||46 / 100 (38 reviews)(Xbox 360)43 / 100 (17 reviews)(PS3)|
|1UP.com||C (Xbox 360)|
|Computer and Video Games||6.2/10|
|Edge||3 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||5/10|
|Eurogamer||2 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|Famitsu||30 / 40 (Xbox 360)
29 / 40 (PS3)
|Game Informer||6.75 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|GamePro|| (Xbox 360)|
|GameSpot||4.4 / 10 (Xbox 360)4.2 / 10 (PS3)|
|GameSpy|| (Xbox 360)|
|GamesRadar||4 / 10 (Xbox 360)
4 / 10 (PS3)
|GameTrailers||4.6 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|GameZone||4.5 / 10  (Xbox 360)|
|IGN||4.8 / 10 (Xbox 360)5.0 / 10 (PS3)|
|Official PlayStation Magazine (UK)||4 / 10 (PS3)|
|Official Xbox Magazine||4.5 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|Official Xbox Magazine(UK)||6.0 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|Play Magazine||5.5 / 10 (PS3)8.5 / 10 (Xbox 360)|
|PSM||2 / 10 (PS3)|
|PSM3||4.7 / 10 (PS3)|
|X-Play|| (Xbox 360)|
Sonic the Hedgehog has been widely panned by critics for its poor camera system, its long load times, and its numerous gameplay glitches. Across 41 reviews, Game Rankings recorded the average score as 49%: the second poorest average for an Xbox 360 title at the time of the game's release. Sites like IGN admitted that "it offers a few good ideas, and a handful of exciting moments, but none of this helps the game recover from a catastrophic loss in control." GameSpot called it "a mess from top to bottom," while GameTrailersconcluded that the game is "flat-out unfinished, unfairly difficult, and most importantly, just isn't much fun." GameTrailers also rated the game #9 in their countdown of the "Top Ten Most Disappointing Games of the Decade." In 2009, GamesTM named it #1 on their top ten "Videogame Franchises That Lost Their Way," commenting that "The blue hedgehog's next-gen efforts have been nothing short of appalling, none more so than his 2006 appearance." In late 2009, the game was named "Worst Video Game of the Decade" by ScrewAttack.
Dave Halverson of Play Magazine is notable for initially giving the game its biggest praise; a score of 9.5 for the Xbox 360 version. This was dropped down to 8.5 in the next issue, with Halverson explaining how he was incorrectly told that the load times and glitches in his review copy would not be in the finished product. Later, Halverson gave the PS3 version a 5.5, expressing his disgust not only for how the glitches and load times had not improved, but how the game actually ran marginally worse despite the extra development time.
|“||The reason why we probably ended up with what we see today, involves a lot of reasons. One is that we did want to launch the title around Christmas, and we had the PS3 launch coming up, but we had to develop for Microsoft's 360 at the same time and the team had an awful lot of pressure on them. It was very hard for the team to try and see how we were going to come out with both versions together with just the one team. It was a big challenge.||”|
—Yojiro Ogawa, 
The game's plot was also widely criticized. GamesRadar called the story "ridiculously overwrought" and "conceptually challenged," while GameTrailers commented about the plot elements to be "pretty ridiculous stuff" and that "You might actually be better off reading Internetfan fiction."
GameSpot stated that "While the character variety might initially seem like a good idea, most of them aren't too interesting," GameTrailers commented that "even if you like the characters, the convoluted manimal melodrama is poor quality," while Eurogamer mentioned that "Rather than fleshing the game out, the supporting cast often just annoys."
The implied romance between Sonic (a hedgehog) and Princess Elise (a human) has also been heavily criticized. GamesRadar called their kiss "the most bizarrely cringe-worthy kiss in video game history," and in another article, concluded about the pairing that "True love has never been so disgusting." GamesTM went so far as to say that "...Sonic's relationship and kiss with Princess Elise truly marked the point the [Sonic] series had veered off into absolute nonsense."
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