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Sonic Frontiers, the latest adventure from the legendary blue hedgehog, offers an enjoyable open-world exploration. While it may not be the masterpiece Sega fans were hoping for, Sonic Frontiers nevertheless takes a solid step in the right direction.
Sonic is thrust into an open world with a collection of tokens that allow him to communicate with friends and unlock classic 3D levels. It's the classic collect-a-thon experience, featuring grind rails, bounce pads, traversal mechanics, enemies, and more on each island.
Collectibles in Sonic Frontiers are essential elements of the game, helping players unlock challenges and discover new places to visit. There is a wide variety of collectibles available, each playing an important role in the storyline. Rings serve as guides for Sonic to locate other items.
Sonic Frontiers offers more complex collectibles besides rings, such as Skill Pieces, Vault Keys and Egg Memos. These items are used primarily in Cyber Space levels of the game to help players unlock more difficult challenges.
Another valuable collectible is Purple Coins, which allow players to open purple portals located across each island's map. These portals provide access to Fishing Spots and other locations in the open world.
Finally, Egg Memos can be found at fishing spots and listened to for further insight into the game's lore. These recordings offer an insightful glimpse into Dr. Eggman's thoughts and emotions while trapped in Cyber Space.
Sonic Frontiers mostly features chill and ambient music. However, there are some high-energy tracks that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
It's worth mentioning that the game utilizes a day and night cycle in its environment, meaning the world will appear different at different times of day. At night, skies are dark and you can only see a small portion of the sky; in the morning however, everything becomes brighter and you can see all of it.
Sonic fans typically appreciate the unique elements developers do in their games, and with Sonic Frontiers Sega managed to open up an entirely new world for exploration. But many gamers want a different visual experience with distinct characters - which is why some players install mods.
In this game, you play as Sonic the Hedgehog as he ventures across five islands to collect Chaos Emeralds and battle hulking Titans. The gameplay combines platforming, rings, grind rails, and other traditional Sonic elements into an innovative open world environment.
Sonic Frontiers stands out with its diverse soundtrack, which seamlessly transitions between different genres and moods. Lead composer Tomoya Ohtani describes the soundscape as "Stillness and Motion," featuring plenty of softer tracks alongside amazing rock tracks that make this the definitive Sonic game for fans of that style of music.
This game offers a fresh take on the franchise, with an action-oriented feel compared to past Sonic titles. Expect plenty of fast-paced moments where you'll be dashing around, blasting through hills or climbing towers at breakneck speed!
Though the gameplay is great, there are still some annoying bugs. Sonic's movement can get quirky when he's flying around a lot; he may lose momentum while jumping which will cause him to go in an unexpected direction.
Another frustrating issue is that the game's LOD (low-polydome) and pop-ins aren't quite as smooth as they could be, especially on PC where the game doesn't have the same optimized graphical settings as other consoles do. Thankfully, some PC mods have addressed this issue.
Sonic Frontiers is the first Sonic game to offer an open world experience. The 'Starfall Islands' are filled with flower fields, woodlands and ancient ruins - the player's main objective being to explore these lands and uncover their truth alongside their echidna friends.
Sega appears to be taking their Sonic games and stories more seriously this time around, including themes of death and loss, discovering one's true self, and familial ties. All are present here for players' enjoyment.
This comes as a shock to me, given that the last two Sonic games were lighthearted platformers that weren't particularly focused on storytelling or exploring the world around it. Unfortunately, while the gameplay is enjoyable enough to keep me engaged, I feel like there's something missing here; some depth would have added benefit.
For example, the UI could have been much more dynamic and less static than it currently is. It may only be a minor thing, but I believe that would have greatly enhanced the game experience overall.
However, this isn't the only issue with the user interface in Sonic Frontiers. The game also retains some elements from Sonic Forces which can make gameplay feel repetitive at times.
The good news is that the game anticipates your running around at Sonic's natural speed and accommodates this by placing common items out for grab without stopping or explicitly signposting other points of interest. So it doesn't need to explore every corner of a map, though I found myself spending far too long traversing different zones in search of my next boost pad or spring to discover.
Sonic Frontiers, a series that's been heavily dependent on linear levels and antiquated control mechanics for several years, welcomes a change. Instead of progressing through courses, you explore expansive worlds in search of secrets and collectibles. It's an exciting change from previous iterations!
One of the most intriguing mechanics in Sonic Frontiers is the boost feature, which allows players to move at an incredible fast speed and take down enemies with ease. However, a recent Twitter conversation between director Morito Kishimoto and Sonic fans suggests SEGA might opt out of including boost altogether in future games.
Although the boost mechanic provides players with some thrill, it's also easy to abuse and not particularly helpful in games where it's essential for chaining attacks together. For instance, trying to chain an aerial attack with spin dashing can be challenging if timing your actions correctly for smooth transitions.
Modern Sonic has made a mistake by locking out the ability to turn at high speeds. This is particularly annoying in long rail sections with no interaction or stomping parts where characters must literally run circles around in order to gain access to the next section.
Thankfully, mods exist to solve many of these issues. For instance, one mod I recently made fixes the turn-in issue by making it dependent on speed; this makes stomping, wall jumping and turning much smoother than they were in the original version of the game.
Overall, Sonic Frontiers is an impressive step in the right direction for the series and truly puts it on a higher pedestal within its franchise. Hopefully we'll see some major updates to its core game that bring it back into the spotlight once more.
Sonic Frontiers, Sonic's first open zone game, provides plenty of entertainment for gamers. Players can explore five massive Starfall Islands and take on new challenges while interacting with an assortment of characters.
Sonic will encounter various obstacles and puzzles along the way that are meant to distract him. These challenges can be straightforward or intricate, but usually come with rewards like collectibles or new vantage points.
Sonic Frontiers' Challenges offer an immersive way to discover the world, offering an entirely new dimension to platforming and exploration. By completing challenges, players can unlock Fast Travel and reveal parts of the map.
Kronos Island boasts more than two dozen Challenges that require you to use your skills acquired in previous levels in order to uncover more of the map and collect red and blue seeds that can be given back to Hermit Koco for stat boosts.
In addition to Challenges, Sonic must complete side missions that require him to interact with ruins on each island. While these can be tedious, they help Sonic become familiar with each island's location and make navigating them simpler.
On Chaos Island, for instance, you must Cyloop the central pillar and knock an orb through three hoops in front of you. The first two are low enough that it is easy to knock through them easily, while the third proves more challenging.