Sonic Rush (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Mike Mason 29.09.2005

Sonic has always been a popular character for years, ever since selling the Mega Drive in the early 1990s. Recently though, aside some of the Sonic Advance games, he's been in a bit of a rut - will Sonic Rush, his first DS outing, help the blue hedge-pig begin his climb back to the top?

Sonic Team have been big supporters of the DS so far. They supported the launch with the quirky Project Rub, have an equally insane looking sequel to it in progress and are currently developing Sonic Rush. Sonic Team's enthusiasm for the system is surely proven by the fact that this will be their first Sonic game developed by the core team since Sonic & Knuckles back in 1994 - since then the games have been doled out to Sega of America and Dimps (with some supervision from Sonic Team). With the core team back behind Sonic, though, can he front another 2D classic? Early signs certainly look good.

Sonic has been left spinning when it comes to the 3D realm, thrown into snooze-worthy 'adventure' sections and speed sections full of glitches that make many want to connect their controllers with the characters' faces. It's reassuring, then, that he's staying in 2D for the most part in his first DS outing, and looking as a crisp as a fresh spring morning with it. The characters are in 3D but run on 2D planes, which allows for some nice effects as Sonic scales in and out of the screen on swings and roundabouts.

The game does switch to a 3D view for some boss battles that look set to display some of the best 3D on the DS so far, including a battle with an impressive-looking metallic serpent which tries to crush Sonic, and a mine-throwing scarab beetle which bounds about trying to kill the speedball in no uncertain terms. The special stages from Sonic 2 also make a welcome return, presumably in full 3D this time, wherein players charge down an everlasting tunnel dodging bombs, trying to collect enough rings to net them a much-lauded Chaos Emerald.

Screenshot for Sonic Rush on Nintendo DS

The sound is also looking to be a pleasing sensation for the ears, with the range of music heard so far consisting of slightly-techno tunes which serve to highlight the speed of the game. One such (brilliant) tune seems to be stolen from somewhere but changed just sufficiently enough so that there are no copyright issues. Unfortunately, it's also one of those irritating situations where you just can't place your finger on where it's come from. The classic chiming of ring collecting is also present as always, but unfortunately some new sounds have found their way into the 2D games - Sonic speech. Anybody who has played any of the past few home console outings will know how ear piercingly bad the voices are, and this is no different. Perhaps in a bid to make Sonic more ‘urban’, the would-be hipster now lets out strings of the word ‘yeah’ in a nauseating American accent, with a few ‘alright’s thrown in just for good measure. To say that it is heard around 20 times within a minute of preview video is no exaggeration at all (I counted), and could prove to be a factor that infuriates many.

In this outing, Sonic is joined by another new character, Blaze the Cat, a purple creature of the feline persuasion who happens to be a member of some kind of royal family. Presumably Sonic’s other friends, rivals and general filler characters are at home drawing straws to see which random assortment of characters will be appearing in the next game, or perhaps holding X-Factor-style auditions to find the latest member of the ever-growing ‘So Sonic Crew’ to go in the next game. So far, not much information is known about her, or what she even does. Brilliant.

The DS' dual screened nature is used to full effect here, with Sonic whizzing between the two screens. One second he will be running on the top screen, the next he could be running down a hill and switch to the bottom screen. This may sound confusing, but upon watching a video of the game you realise that this looks very natural and fits well into the Sonic convention of frantic speed runs, definitely more than the recent home console efforts ever have. To add to the fun for speed freaks, a metre is displayed at the side of the screen which fills as you move. When it reaches its peak you can unleash a speed dash which rockets Sonic along at double speed for a second or two. The touch screen is not put to use at all, which is perhaps a good thing as it could only result in wrist injuries/gashes in the touch screen at the speed the game looks to hurtle along at.

Disappointingly, there don't look to be any boss battles that take advantage of both screens so far, but perhaps this is being saved for a large boss encounter somewhere along the line. The return of the final boss from Sonic 2 in glorious 3D? We can only hope...

Screenshot for Sonic Rush on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

With the wiry blue warrior sinking rapidly into mediocrity, it's a crucial time for his profile to be raised again before his big outings on the next generation consoles. If Sonic Team manages to pull this off, it could easily be a candidate for best DS game of the year - can it ever top the genius that was Sonic & Knuckles, though?






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (21 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


After playing this at the Post E3 Tour I was impressed, but left with a feeling of 'damn, wish Sega would do Monkey Ball DS'. And now it is I have lost all interest in this! :roll:

Pac-Pix is a brilliant, if somewhat limited, experience. I see this not quite living up to the same standard, unfortunately.

Nice work, again, Mason!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Is that a 3/10? Seems a bit low...

We'll see how it turns out though.

Previews score out of 5 :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Can't see myself getting excited about this pac-pix was good but got very limited and most likely it will bomb at retail 2,000units in a month in America.By the way a nice review.

Yep, as Adam said it's out of 5.

Sounds great, and the screenshots look good as well! Hopefully it'll be a classic!

Sonic isn't my cup of tea poor man's Mario

I can't for this game to come out ^_^
Haven't heard a bad word about this game yet!

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

You will. When people wake up and release that it has nothing to do with 2D/3D maybe we could actually have some opinion that matters.

Truth is we have rediculously high standards for Sonic, and when it doesn't quite live up to the hype it's comdemned for all eternity.

Considering our standards are higher now than they were back then, added to the fact that Sonic's freshness cannot be relived, people WILL SLATE Sonic Rush.

It's impossible for a future Sonic to be better or at least on par with the classic sonic's due to our high standards.

Not surprised Anticipation is low (it is out of 10 right. If not disregard what I'm saying). This is a nintendo site, this is a platformer previewed, and it's nothing like Mario.

Anticipation is out of 5.

The reason for the high standards I hold with Sonic is the fact that he's had at least 4 classic games under his belt. I don't think it's coincidence at all that they're all 2D - Sonic Team have rarely managed to get a great grip on 3D, unfortunately.

I imagine it'd be pretty dang hard to have a platformer game at such high speeds in 3D...imo, I quite liked Sonic Adventure 2 Battle...hated some of the dialogue, but I liked the music and the gameplay and the story was pretty good when you take poor dialogue out of the picture.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Oh Ok sorry.

Though 2D is not necessarily better. The Advance games are no better.

So I just get sick and tired of hearing "Sonic's better in 2D", "Sonic cannot work in 3D". It has nothing to do with dimensions.

2D is better than the 3D ones though. the advance series even though not as good as the megadrive ones were alot better than the 3D ones imo. Just because there controle felt the same.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

It will be interesting to see how this and New Super Mario Bros fair. Both are new spins on an old style of play; both will have the problem of living up to nostalgia.

Nice preview, this is more than likely the game that convinces me to buy a DS.

Woah, de-ja vu, where I have written that before?

Cubed3 Staff [ Retro Editor :: Previews Editor ]


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