PETER HOSKIN reviews Sonic Frontiers and Pokémon Scarlet And Violet

Sonic Frontiers (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, £49.99)

Verdict: Boom too much

evaluation: ***

I love omelets. I also love ice cream. And yes, I’m totally partial to a cup of ranch cider.

But mix them all together into one unholy digression? Blowburg.

The reason I mentioned this is Sonic Frontiers, the newest offering of this fast little goth. It’s also a mixture of things that are pleasant in isolation but less palatable in combination.

The most obvious components are, well, Sonic himself and also The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Just like that ever-changing game from 2017, this game takes its iconic hero and puts him in wider, airier spaces than he’s used to, with more things to do too. She also has a similar sad disposition.

There are other components as well. Huge boss battles from Shadow Of The Colossus. The platform from the 3D Mario games. Even many callbacks to classic 2D Sonic levels from the ’90s.

Peter Hoskin wrote: Sonic Frontiers (pictured) is a mix of things that are fun in isolation but less palatable in combination.

But the problem is the mix.  None of these moments last long, and they are always followed by something completely different.  Sonic Frontiers (pictured) never quite settles into being a coherent game, but it does switch between several different modes

But the problem is the mix. None of these moments last long, and they are always followed by something completely different. Sonic Frontiers (pictured) never quite settles into being a coherent game, but it does switch between several different modes

Taken individually, these things are a lot of fun. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that Sonic Frontiers has some of the best pure Sonic gameplay… ever. When you jump between floating bumpers or descend into the face of a giant villain, it’s generally pretty cool.

But the problem is the mix. None of these moments last long, and they are always followed by something completely different. Fast, slow, giant, tiny… Sonic Frontiers never really settles into being a coherent game, but it does switch between several different modes. It’s weird.

Oh, and he’s also wonky. Although Sonic Frontiers is a gritty new take on one of gaming’s biggest characters, it feels strangely underpowered, and even patchy.

Perhaps, with a little more time, her makers could have made a pretty cake out of applesauce, omelettes, and ice cream. As it is, blogger.

Pokemon Scarlet and Purple (Switch, £49.99)

The verdict: nap time

evaluation: ***

Yes, it’s definitely another Pokemon game. And as always, it comes in two forms – in this case, scarlet and violet – that are practically identical except for small differences between the lists of cute little creatures it contains. Again, you’ll have to run around, capture these creatures, pit them against each other, etc., et cetera.

If that makes it sound like I’m Pokemon weary, well, I guess I am. Years of annual releases more or less will do that to a guy. The scenery in Pokémon Scarlet and/or Violet, inspired, it seems, by the Iberian Peninsula, is a novelty — but that’s about it.

Perhaps the problem is the Pokémon game released earlier this year, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This bucked the headlines by setting itself in an earlier, more expansive world. It has brought back what Pokémon is all about: the beauty of discovery.

Yes, it's definitely another Pokemon game.  And as always, it comes in two forms - in this case, scarlet and violet - that are practically identical except for small differences between the lists of cute little creatures it contains.

Yes, it’s definitely another Pokemon game. And as always, it comes in two forms – in this case, scarlet and violet – that are practically identical except for small differences between the lists of cute little creatures it contains.

In fact, Arceus’ brilliance made other Pokémon games pale in comparison. Scarlet/Violet’s best parts, like the open landscapes, are faded versions of Arceus’ innovations.

Its worst parts, such as the oddly subdued graphics, add to the sense that this has been rushed down the production line.

It’s not all bad. Scarlet and Violet are charming in that all Pokémon games tend to be charming – likable characters, fun cartoon plot, easy gameplay.

But none of that changes my answer to the question of which version you should buy. Crimson or purple? Obviously: Arceus.

.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: