Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood - DS

Sonic the hedgehog returns to the DS for more hero action, but should you drop everything and get ready to save the day? We getting tapping the stylus to find out.

Knuckles has been kidnapped, you're holiday has been cut short, shock horror -what's a hedgehog to do? Well it seems step into the breech and save the day with your merry band of forest critters.

The first outing from developers Bioware (Mass Effect, Baulder's Gate) this is also the first time Sonic has chosen the Role Playing Game genre and you can build your skill set and therefore have greater control over your character’s growth. Besides Sonic, there are a further 10 characters to play/master and yes that includes characters like Tails and eventually Knuckles.

Movement at the beginning is slow, mainly thanks to tutorial screen after tutorial screen, but it eventually gets moving along. The premise is simple. You tap around the screen using your stylus to move, collect rings and items, and defeat any baddies (usually animals) that get in your way.

The different characters are useful rather than just for the sake of it and certain characters are good for certain tasks: Tails can fly, Amy can bash. As long as they are in your team, accessing them is as simple as pressing an icon at the top of the screen.

Battles are fought out on a dedicated screen with you and your teammates (which you control) taking it in turns to try and defeat the enemy before it knocks you for six.

Every so often they try and make a run for it and that involves you running from left to right jumping boxes and speeding up on conveyor belts to catch up. Do so and you get to carry on the battle, lose them and you'll have to start from the beginning again.

Once you have pinned them down, to make it a little more interesting than choosing attack or defend commands you can opt for a POW move that deals a deadly blow if you get the combination of taps correct. POW moves, of which a large variety can be bought as you progress through the game, need energy to be performed so you've got to use them wisely. The more you fight the more you earn.

Verdict

With plenty of worlds to explore (there are over 20 different areas) and a stack of characters to play there will be plenty to keep your kids happy. The battle mode, and its turn-based fighting style, like Pokemon, can get a little tedious.

If you're a fan of Sonic, you'll revel in yet another adventure from Bioware.


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