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Tokyo Game Show 2022 – Sonic Frontiers is a bit of a mess, but it's fun

At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, I was able to spend some time with the latest Sonic the Hedgehog Games, Sonic Frontier . My experience was mixed, to say the least.

I think I’m what you call a dead Sonic fan. I grew up on Genesis games and religiously played Sonic Adventure 2 on my Dreamcast until I unlocked the Green Hill Zone bonus tier. But after Sonic Heroes , I am in series Dropped on – especially after hearing what is now commonly known as Sonic ’06 after the mess. So playing Sonic Frontiers made me feel like home, dizzy at how much I missed.

The game’s TGS demo seems to be set near the beginning of the story. Sonic wakes up in a strange world, separated from his friends, only to be guided by a mysterious invisible voice. You’re left in the central world, with paths subtly leading you to your next mission objective – your first mini-boss. From there you’ll gain power and be directed to the first traditional 3D Sonic level. Once you’re done, you can loop back to your source in the overworld and face the demo’s main boss.

From the beginning, it feels like Sonic Frontiers expects you to know all about Sonic and All the power-ups he’s had in recent games — not to mention how to use them. Even in the first part of the open world, the paths require things like light dashes or multiple homing attacks to traverse, but there’s currently nothing to really teach you how to do those things. The closest the game gets to actually guiding you is during the loading screen tutorial, which may or may not have anything to do with obstacles in your current area.

Even while waiting in line for my turn to race, I saw many people stumbling in the same place. While there is a ground path ahead, there is an optional path from a nearby elastic spring. Everyone went to Spring – it was Sonic after all. However, at the top of the spring jump, you need to do a nudge to reach a boost ring, which will take you straight to your next target. Except no one knows how to do a light punch. They just hop on the springs over and over, collecting gold rings one by one, but never quite reach the booster rings. Even I, who knew what to do, didn’t know how to dash – the game didn’t tell me. Honestly, if the controls hadn’t been printed out in front of me, I would never have guessed that tapping the left stick was the answer.

However, even though I didn’t really understand Sonic’s abilities and often wandered around at slow speeds rather than breaking the sound barrier, I did have a good time Overall presentation. The open world area with multiple branching paths is more like 2D Sonic in design than the 3D I’m more familiar with. I think I’d love to spend time exploring all possible paths. Likewise, a traditional 3D level is a fun level with many optional objectives to give it a little replay value.

The combat was also much more fun than I thought. From simple jumping or homing attacks, things have come a long way. The ability to dodge behind enemies in mid-air or mid-hit is great. It makes me feel like speed is my greatest weapon – like a Sonic game.

All in all, my time at Sonic Frontiers made me think this was going to be an order Frustratingly complicated game to start, but incredibly enjoyable to master. That said, this is only for new players or lapsed fans like me. I doubt that newer Sonic players will have any issues picking up the game and scaling without issue. Regardless, I’ll definitely be picking it up when it’s released in a few months.

Sonic Frontiers will be released on November 8th, 2022 for Nintendo Switch,

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with more than a decade of living and Work experience in Japan. For more of his work, check out his Twitter and blog.




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