This is going to be the first dual review on this blog, and it will consist of descriptions of both games in each reviewing category.
Sonic Unleashed has an involved and complex story, so here’s the summary: Over the course of a lengthy battle in space, Dr. Eggman has managed to siphon Sonic and the chaos emeralds’ energy and harness them to blow up the planet, releasing a monster from the planet’s core known as “Dark Gaia”. Dr. Eggman succeeds in doing all of this, and with no further use for Sonic or the drained emeralds, dumps them out into space. The power draining has a side-effect on Sonic though, turning him into a powerful werehog whenever the sun goes down. With the earth dismantled, an evil monster awakened in the planet’s core, and his new nighttime alter-ego, Sonic has quite the adventure on his hands!
So, onwards with the reviewing!
Sound: This game has fantastic music, whether it’s orchestrated or all the way to rock. The voice-acting is okay, although some of the characters can become seriously irritating at times on both versions.
Xbox 360/Wii: 8.5/10 for both
Presentation: This Sonic game has pretty much the same menu system on both versions, the only difference being that the Xbox 360 can change the time of day for the game at will. The Xbox’s in-game visuals though are mind-blowing, though! Watching Sonic run across water or slide under a brick wall has never looked so good.
The Wii’s version also looks very pretty for Wii standards, although not quite as captivating.
Xbox 360: 9.5/10
Gameplay: The difference is day and night, literally. Sonic’s day stages are extremely fun, other than the slippery platforming. Once you get past that, though, you get to keep on enjoying the smooth gameplay of Sonic dodging countless lasers as he rockets into robots, hopping on and off rails, and dodging bombs at break-neck speed. At night though… ugh. Levels can last up to 45 minutes of tedious battle brawls, climbing up poles, and what is no doubt the worst of all, walking across a thin tightrope to the platform on the other side. Its slippery controls are probably the biggest downfall of the game. And in both sections of the game, there are some very unforgiving button prompt moments.
The Wii version is actually quite different from all of this, though. It’s controls aren’t nearly as slippery, so you can be more accurate and precise with your jumps, and it doesn’t always feel like a leap of faith. The controls also feel more responsive, which just makes the game feel like a more solid experience. Of course, the Wii version doesn’t include some very fun levels like the Xbox version does (Empire City, Mazuri) but overall the levels the Wii does provide are satisfactory, even with the exception there are about 3 times more nighttime than daytime levels in the Wii version.
Xbox 360: 6.5/10
Length: The Xbox 360 version has a hub world that has you talking to countless citizens for hours, so that lengthens the amount of game time (but not in a good way). The less plentiful werehog/nighttime levels also make up for their lack of numbers by being way too long. Overall, this version takes about 12-14 solid hours to complete.
The Wii may have way more nighttime levels, but those last to an upwards of 15 minutes. And there aren’t any terribly draining town missions to go on either, making this version mainly about the gameplay although length is shortened. It still lasts a good 8 hours, though.
Xbox 360: 9/10 (with all the boring town/nighttime levels included)
Wii: 8/10 with solid action for every moment of the game.
Final Averages: Xbox 360 scores an 8.4 out of 10!
Wii follows with a solid score of 8/10!
Overall, both versions are great. Yes, the Xbox 360 version is the longer and (at times) the more enjoyable version, but the Wii version is pretty fun itself.