Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
The creators of Mass Effect team up with Sega to give Sonic a fresh new spin on the Nintendo DS.
BioWare worked its magic on the Star Wars brand with Knights of the Old Republic, it redefined ancient China with the breathtaking Jade Empire, and most recently, it took us on a wild adventure through a vast universe in the unforgettable Mass Effect. Now, for its next big project, Bioware is turning to an unlikely ally, Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is different from any previous Sonic effort for the DS. Rather than being a straight up platformer like the Sonic Rush games, Chronicles focuses on a more traditional role-playing style. A new enemy has emerged in Sonic's world, and it's up to the blue hedgehog and his allies to band together as a battle party and put it out of business. Could Dr. Robotnik be behind it, or is there another force responsible for the forming of the Dark Brotherhood? You'll have to play to find out.
With Bioware at the helm, Sonic Chronicles should be nothing short of an RPG masterpiece. The story is well-crafted, with several twists and turns to keep players intrigued. There's also a "recap" option, so if you need to shut off the system or continue the game at a later point, you simply need to start it up and it'll fill you in on what was missed.
Party formation is a huge factor in Chronicles. You have several classic Sonic characters to choose from, such as Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Rogue, Shadow the Hedgehog and others. Each one brings special abilities to your battle party, such as speed attacks and other maneuvers. There are eleven playable characters in all, with hundreds of party team-ups to experiment with. The Combo Moves system guarantees massive damage to whatever enemies you face, although they can dish out equal damage to you if you're not too careful. Picking the moves through the menu system is easy and efficient, making this a fun RPG experience for all ages.
Chronicles features 20 areas to explore throughout Sonic's world, including classic environments from previous games and all-new ones created by the Dark Brotherhood. You'll need to work efficiently to avoid obstacles and solve puzzles throughout each world, while also picking up rings for bonus items. The visuals look wonderful at this point in development, really capturing the nature of Sonic while also presenting an isometric viewpoint that's simple to watch. The music is really good, too, the kind of epic stuff that we've come to expect from Bioware.
What would a Sonic be without some Chao trading? Chronicles has this in spades, allowing you to pick up Chao with varying abilities and skills that come in handy during combat. If you're not too comfortable with a certain Chao, you can trade it with a friend wirelessly and get a new one to play around with. Hopefully, there will be some Wi-Fi Connection options that let us connect with the Dark Brotherhood community.
Even if online play doesn't make the cut, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood should be another excellent feather in Bioware's cap, a tour-de-force for the Hedgehog. Between this and Sonic Unleashed, this could very well be his comeback year.