Crispy Gamer

The Five Things You Need to Know About Sonic Unleashed

The 10-Cent Tour: The Blue Blur gets his umpteenth crack at redemption. Seriously, this guy has had more comebacks than Cher. Which Sonic will show up? The glorious, fleet-footed icon? Or the drunken, bedraggled shell of an icon? Crispy gets an early peek-a-boo at the game?

Sonic Unleashed 1

1. Unleashed will ship on four platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The big difference between them: The 360 and PS3 versions (in addition to their superior graphics) will feature nine levels; the Wii and PS2 will have only a paltry seven, and much crappier graphics.

2. The Sonic Bit Players will sit this one out: Tails, Shadow and Amy Rose are all benched, we were told. While you might get glimpses of them during cut scenes, the game's developers have decided to focus only on Sonic this time around. Crispy G. says: Very wise, Sega.

Sonic Unleashed 2

3. The game's engine -- called -- no kidding -- the Hedgehog Engine -- was built from scratch solely for this game. Get this: Sonic can move at real-world speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. And the levels? They're massive, with the smallest being six miles in length. While the sense of speed is truly impressive, the engine is clearly a work in progress. Translation: The action occasionally hiccupped more than grandpa does when he gets into the holiday schnaaps.

4. There will be no interspecies romance in this one. We repeat: THERE WILL BE NO MORE INTERSPECIES ROMANCE. If you're disappointed in that fact, then you should check your watch, because you're probably due back at the asylum by now.

Sonic Unleashed 3

5. Homing attacks are preserved from the previous 3-D versions of Sonic, but mostly what you'll be doing is running really fast, making split-second decisions (each level has multiple pathways), and then running really fast some more. In other words: This is classic Sonic.

The Crispy Forecast: Overcast, with occasional sunshine. We admit: The little guy's still kind of charming after all these years. And, after all his failures, we'd be remiss if we didn't also admit that we're kind of pulling for him this time. That said, we're still not 100-percent convinced that Sonic ever belonged in three-dimensions in the first place.

This preview was based on a publisher-driven demo of the game. The game is slated to be released in fall 2008.