Sonic The Hedgehog [*xxxx]

Back in 1990 my parents bought me my first game console. Sure, my brother had his NES but for that Christmas I received a Sega Genesis. 256 colors, 16-bit gaming, real groundbreaking stuff. While I had popped my proverbial cherry with Mario and Luigi, the Sega introduced Sonic The Hedgehog… a heroic blue speed-freak set to free his critter pals, obtain the chaos emeralds, and defeat the evil Dr.Robotnik. Several sequels followed – although I believe that progress peaked with the first sequel (which I could usually clear in about 2 hours flat).

The next level system from Sega – the Dreamcast – introduced a new 3D Sonic. I tried it, I couldn’t stand it. As was the case with most games translated from a side-scroller – it is either well done (ala Duke 3D or the various Mario titles) or completely blown – like the various Sonic releases. Now a few years back – Contra was re-released for the PS2 as a side scrolling game with vastly improved graphics. It received good reviews, and overall was a great addition to the series. It pleased old-school gamers and the youngin’s alike.

At this point, I’m pretty sure you’ve all realized that my opinion of Sonic The Hedgehog for the Xbox 360 is that it is an absolute piece of crap. Don’t get me wrong, I can overlook the fact that Robotnik has lost weight and is called Egghead. The graphics are phenomenal, and all the classic characters are otherwise back in 360 degree HD glory. The opening cinematics are breathtaking. What I can’t handle is very simple actually.

When I want to look left, I aim the stick left. When I want to look right, I aim the stick right. The Left stick will allow you to move Sonic around. The right stick aims the camera – and it is backwards. Aim left, look right. Aim right, look left. Worse part – there’s no way to reverse it. I’ll admit I tried – but what can I say, every game I’ve played for the past 10 years which involved aiming with a stick HAS HAD THE ABILITY TO REVERSE THE AIM.

The shoddy camera control completely distracts from any positive experience to be had with this game. IMHO, Sega needs to stick with what its good at… either bring Sonic back as a side-scrolling adventure or hang up the hat – if I see another 3D Sonic hit the market I’m going to puke. The only thing that could redeem this game would be an update through Xbox live that allowed the player to customize the controls. A little kid might not have a problem with it, but not everyone wants to shoot people – sometimes even I want a game rated E for everyone.

I say, do it right – or quit.

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