||The Good|| If you are a sonic fan you will put Sonic Unleashed in your 360 and play a few levels with a huge grin on your face. They nailed 3D sonic the hedgehog. Sonic games can always feel like they are playing themselves at times but this game had tons of fresh features to keep you on your toes, switching from 2D to 3D (best idea sonic team has had in years), quick stepping, ring energy boosting, stomping, sliding, etc.. etc.. They don't sound like much of a breakthrough on paper but utilizing all these with the right timing can boost your rank and feel very rewarding. The bosses are good old fashioned sonic game play. If you loved the sonic games on genesis you will feel like you are playing those wonderful sequences again, and adding in quick stepping and boosting makes good ways to dodge enemy attacks and get close enough to strike them. Then night falls, and poof sonic is a werehog. The first few levels as the werehog were alright and they had decent platforming, but it was really just taking you away from the fun part of the game.
||The Awful|| Werehogs. After you play through Sonic Unleashed a little while you will want to scream every time you have to play a werehog level. The slow movement speed and repetitive combat sequences, along with frustrating slow moving platforming will have you saying, "Why do they have to do this to sonic? They were so close." Along with having to play the werehog levels in the first place, you will have to run through them multiple times, to pick up sun and moon medals in order to advance to new levels, sun medals for sonic levels, and moon medals for werehog levels. These aspects of the game make it tedious, slow moving, and boring. Which is the opposite of what a sonic game should be. Some of you die hard sonic fans will have the desire to push through just so you can get a glimpse of the wonderful sonic levels, but if you aren't really a fan, you will probably mail this back half way through.
Let me explain the title first. With Adventure 2, I used to get massive motion sickness with the Knuckles/Rouge boards and couldn't beat one of Rouge boards and ultimately gave up on the game. I never fully played Sonic Heroes but did try the demo. That all said, Unleashed is definitely the best 3D Sonic since Adventure 1. I still place Adventure 1 at the top, because of two reasons: 1) the wow factor we all got from the first true 3D Sonic game, and 2) despite all the different playable characters and adventuring, it was actually fun.
Unleashed has some of the best 3D Sonic action stages around. However, some of the latter ones get frustrating, featuring cheap deaths by design (and not bad programming), on a scale greater than in any Sonic game beforehand. Still, I will see the bright side in this and say that they raised the challenge of the franchise, which has often been accused of mindless holding of the "up" direction on the analog stick.
Now let's talk about the Werehog stages. First of all, they are not bad or glitchy. They are, however, consisted of repetitive-looking environments, annoying block puzzles and some tricky platforming that'll have most players frustrated. The combat is actually the fun part of the Werehog stages!
Okay. So we have the brilliant Hedgehog stages, highlighted their increased difficulty, and then we have the Werehog stages, which get boring really fast, but are highly polished and playable. I would've kept playing this game if it wasn't for this next game design flaw: mandatory collection. Yep, you gotta collect emblems called Moon and Sun medals to advance the game and the story. I do not have the patience I used to with video games. I want instant gratification. That's not to say I do not appreciate a challenge. However, if that challenge is looking around 3D environments in every little nook and cranny, breaking every breakable thing as a werehog, etc. the game designers have failed at their job and I will stop playing.