Ladies and gentlemen! I am happy to announce that maybe hell has frozen over, because Sonic Frontiers is a good game! Since being released on November 8th, I have only recently been able to set some time aside to finally play it. But within the hours I have progressed through, I have had such a fun experience. The graphics, gameplay, story and challenge are all phenomenal. So those who just wanted to know if this game was good, it is, and you can go click off and go enjoy YouTube or twitter banter. As for those who want a more detailed explanation, I come to deliver.
The game immediately starts with Eggman screwing with things and causing mayhem to ensue. Meanwhile, Sonic, Tails and Amy go looking for the chaos emerald on a nearby island, only to be trapped in a digital dimension. With only sonic able to successfully break free, he must venture on this island and find a way to free his friends from a better version of the Metaverse.
This is truly an open world for you to explore. Ancient relics and strange architecture litter the landscape along with classic rails and jump pads. The world tempts you and rewards you to struggle and venture to platforms almost seemingly out of reach, and graces every player with fun ways to maneuver around. When not soaking up the sights or trying to get an out of reach item, you will be indulging in battles against robotic-alien looking opponents that are native to the island.
Varying in design and skill, you will learn to be creative with attacks to take down many of them. But your abilities will be put to the test when facing off against the Kaiju sized “Titans”. Though if you encounter one and don’t feel up to the challenge, it is an open world, just do what Sonic does best and run outta there and come back when prepared.
In this game, Sonic can level up and unlock abilities to help you take down the tougher opponents and get to new areas. To upgrade attack and defense, you need to acquire seeds dropped by opponents or hidden away in puzzles, and give them to Hermit Koco. For upgrading speed and ring capacit,y you will find yourself catching small rock like creatures, called the Kocos and bringing them to Elder Kocos. To obtain new skills you can find skill points in the world and use them in the skill tree. The tree itself is simple and can be molded to your playstyle, such as unlocking the Combo Mix ability which will do the combos for you, but at the cost of your attacks being weaker. Some skills will be needed to progress further, so don’t be afraid to take some time to look for skill points.
The kocos are are rather cute and they are many quests to do involving them. Though I’d prefer having chaos and a return of the chao garden, the kocos do bring their own flare. When standing idle for a few seconds, every Kuco you have captured will appear and eagerly stare at you like puppies. Many also have various unique features and designs which are nice and I find the noises they make to be very adorable. (still wishing for chao garden)
To progress the story, you will not only have to fight Titans, but also have to enter the digital world. To get digital, you will activate pillars which send you to a classic sonic racing challenge, complete with grading system. There will be a set of requirements for every challenge, and accomplishing them rewards you with items. Challenges are more like common sonic games with architecture, atmosphere and opponents which gives a Sonic Adventure feel. Speaking of Sonic Adventure, some pillars will send you to a Big the Cat fishing minigame. It’s an open world game, of course there would be fishing. Catching fish will let you buy useful items from Big. Some of these treasures will also reveal more of the story’s elusive plot.
Personally, I have been playing the Nintendo Switch version, and found no loss in graphics. The quality is nice and the gameplay is superb. The only troubles I have encountered are rare camera issues and the occasional object pop ins. I have noticed things abruptly popping in the sky or in the grass. It’s not that distracting and I’d have to really be looking for this issue to notice. A patch in future updates will most likely solve this problem, so I don’t have much worry.
Truly, this game has been such a treat to play. There is no doubt that the Sonic Team poured their hearts and all their love into this game. Everything was placed with care. Noticing how certain cutscenes are shown and the digital scenery shows inspiration from Sonic Advance. The team took care to add in side scrolling parts to implement the more classic Sonic gameplay. I also discovered that Ian Flynn, current writer of the Sonic IDW comics, was a lead writer of the game. This game was made by those who love Sonic and wanted to bring out the best parts of the franchise.
So before I end this review and spend the rest of my day playing more Frontiers, I urge not only Sonic fans, but anyone curious, to definitely give Sonic Frontiers a try, cause I can guarantee it is good.
Final Verdict: Sonic Frontiers