Sonic the Hedgehog has done a lot of strange things in his time. He’s travelled through time, through worlds and done a lot of crazy stuff in his quest to save the world from the evil Doctor Eggman. However, Sonic Battle has everyone’s blue hedgehog throw the gloves away and just decide to punch the hell out of baddies…and his friends.
Yeah, oddly enough, Sonic Team decided to get the hedgehog into a fighting game enviroment many years ago, and judging on the fact that they havn’t done it since, you could assume that it wasn’t a success. But; well, that ony really reflects the sales figures and the critics view. I’m going to give you my view on Sonic Battle, which probably isn’t the view you’re going to hear anywhere else.
To start with, Sonic Battle features on the GBA. That does mean that in modern times, it’ll look ever-so-slightly dated. But when I turned it on, I was surprised by how that isn’t really true. It’s used a rather unique art style, something new to the Sonic saga of games, and that art style payed off nicely, creating graphics and images that just don’t get “old”. These graphics help to push the story of Sonic Battle forward, which, although simple, is rather well made. Sonic stumbles across a robot one day on the beach, and he decides to fix up this robot because he’s a genuine nice guy. however, he soon discovers that this robot is an ultimate weapon, created by Professor Gerald Robotnik. And the robot has the power to destroy the world.
All of your favourite Sonic characters end up returning. (Everyone apart from Big the Cat :L), and they all have a unique fighting style. Sonic’s style focuses very highly on raw speed, Tails uses machines and his flying abilities, Rouge floats, Shadow’s similar to Sonic, Knuckles punches, Cream uses her chao, etc. It took real effort to create a unique fighting style for all the characters, and the effort really shows. The biggest draw of the game, however, has to be the ability to customize your robot. It learns abilities by watching or fighting other people, and then can equip these moves. You can have Shadow’s speed with Knuckles’s punches, but Cream’s flying abilities. The amount of customization in it is nearly endless.
The actual gameplay is done in a 3D arena, with 2D Sprites for the characters. It is an unusual combination, and it’s often hard to hit the opponant in a direction that isn’t left or right. But apart from that, most of the battles are really well done. The hitbox and the balance included is pretty perfect, apart from obvious exclusions (Shadow’s obviously the strongest character)
I mean, all in all, it could be worse. For a Sonic spinoff, let alone a Sonic fighting game, it could be SO much worse. I’m actually kind of thankful that it’s good, because it shows what a Sonic-spinoff game should be, and that they can be good in their own ways. If you’re a Sonic fan, or a fan of unconventional fighting games, then you might as well give it a try. You’d probably be surprised xP