Zero Punctuation review Sonic Unleashed in order to unwind during this stressful Christmas period.
Sonic the Hedgehog is sort of a rock star of the video gaming industry. He fronted a succession of extremely popular titles, made enough money to buy St. Paul's Cathedral and grind it into a fine snortable powder, hung around with a lot of suspiciously effeminate young boys, abused a number of forbidden substances, spiraled downward as inevitably as al-Qaeda Airways, weathered a few very embarrassing attempts to regrab the spotlight, and now his shows are attended only by people's dads, who can only shake their heads in despair at the unshaven drug-addled spaz on stage whose pathetic spurts of activity masquerading as entertainment only serve to highlight both his and his audience's mutual decline into inexorable piss-dribbling old age. All he needs to do now is hang himself on a doorknob while having a wank.
The particular substance Sonic is abusing this time around is dual world gameplay, because Nintendo were all over that for a while, and Sonic is nothing if not willing to jog sweatily along about fifty feet behind the band wagon. You get to explore various thinly disguised countries of the world in either the day or the night. During the day, you're lovable, drug-crazed has-been normal Sonic. During the night, you turn into a werehog - which, as I've been quick to remind everyone with assuredly insufferable smugness, is a misnomer! Because the word "werewolf" drives from the old English word "wer" meaning "man", so "man-wolf". A more appropriate word would be "hog-wolf" or "wolf-hog" although I'm not sure he's even supposed to be a wolf, because wolves don't usually possess stretchy arms or run around ripping off God of War.
I bought Sonic Unleashed to review because I was almost certain I would hate it, and I needed something to help me unwind in the stressful Christmas period. It's a fairly safe assumption that anyone who ever had any actual talent in Sonic Team has long since abandoned the company to an invading force of leprous retards who create design documents by flicking fountain pens at a pile of shredded paper. I was looking forward to a delightfully horrible game to get good and angry at, but it turns out I was disappointed. Sonic Unleashed is so bad, so utterly putrid, that I can't even get worked up about it! It falls right off the edge of my critical spectrum into the black cloying void of dispassionate loathing. It doesn't even have the hilariously awful quality of previous Sonic games, like in the last one where he tried to get his little furry leg over a human girl who was probably underaged, just in case it didn't completely creep you out.
The only slightly tolerable parts of Sonic Unleashed are the night-time man-hog levels, mainly because you could put Sonic in a skirt, unfocus your eyes, and convince yourself that you're playing God of War - a much better game. It's almost entertaining to be able to pick up two small relatively harmless enemies and slap them against each other like one of those possessed toy monkeys, and like God of War, you can opt to finish off wounded enemies with a quick-time event special move. But they're terribly unforgiving, and if you fail, the sheer reality-altering power of your ineptitude causes them to regain most of their health, so you might as well forget it and just mash heavy attack until their skulls have been flattened against the curb.
The leprous retards of Sonic Team have basically been lost in their own little world for the past few years, but occasionally something penetrates their malformed three-inch-thick skulls. Recently for example, the notion finally broke through that most people want Sonic games to be about Sonic and that his ever expanding entourage of neon woodland creatures can all go dive under a tractor. So the cast of anthropomorphs is cut down on this venture. Tails makes an appearance, but he was with the series while it was still good, so I'll let that one slide. We're also introduced to a new "helpful" (in massive inverted commas) pixie-like character who is like Navi from Ocarina of Time with a cheese grater taped to her face. It doesn't help that the dialogue's so fucking embarrassingly written I had to change the language to Japanese just to give it enough of a sense of cultural distance that my hands didn't keep slipping off the controller and fastening around my throat.
Another thing that finally penetrated is that putting Sonic in a 3-D environment is repeatedly proven to be like releasing freshwater fish into the Dead Sea; they just don't get along. So the day missions, as normal Sonic, largely consist of running very fast on a largely 2-D plane. Then Sonic Team's nanny was called away and they fell back on their leprous retard instincts. Ironically Sonic just moves too fucking fast, running face first into pits and spike traps that you'd need clairvoyance to be able to avoid on your first go. So the levels can only be beaten by trial and error. There's more than one stage that kills you if you don't press anything in a first second or two. This is gameplay I would expect from a fucking ROM hack, designed by Hitler! They even use that obsolete fucking lives system, and if you run out you've got to start the level all over again. And then, just to be completely insufferable, when you finally reach the end of a level the game grades you, usually very poorly. I'm ashamed enough that I'm even playing this game, and now the game itself is insulting me for it!
Mind you, even getting to the next level is like pulling teeth. First you go from your world map to the country you feel like harassing, then you have to find the entrance to the mission hub (while avoiding conversation with a bunch of spliffed-up locals), then you have to navigate the incredibly unintuitively laid-out mission hubs to find the level entrance to find the actual game part of the fucking game! And even then they won't let you in the door until you've picked up enough coins as part of a completely asinine gameplay-lengthening scheme that will more often than not have you traipsing back and forth over every shitty fucking level trying to find them all!
This isn't the game for you if you like jumping right into the action. Come to think of it, this isn't the game for you even if you don't. I'm not sure what kind of person could consider this the game for them, but they probably live in a cave and subsist on raw fish. Nostalgia is the only reason Sonic still gets a free ride despite repeatedly rubbing his little blue balls in our face with terrible game after terrible game. Sonic is done. He's past it. He doesn't need more games, he needs help! Specifically the kind of help that involves taking him behind the shed and tearfully putting both barrels through his confused, oblivious little face. Stuff him, mount him, repurpose him as a litter picking device.
Okay I guess I got a bit worked up: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
Other possible uses for a stuffed and mounted Sonic the Hedgehog include shoe tree, stationery holder and adventurous sex aid
Sonic Unfinished more like
Game Damage plug
After the end credits, the intro/trailer for Game Damage is shown. Game Damage was an attempted gaming show Yahtzee hosted with Guy Blomberg and Matt Burgess. The pilot episode was released on 15 December 2008 and was used as a pitch for potential sponsors. One more trailer (possibly from an unreleased episode) was released on 3 October 2009, after which the project was scrapped.