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Talking about the Sonic Rush duology

#1 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 05 October 2018 - 03:39 PM

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Man is the word duology weird.

Despite taking a good brunt of the criticism at times, it is worth pointing out that Sonic Team directly oversaw the making of Sonic Advance 1, 2, 3, Rush, and Rush Adventure. While the oversight by Sonic Team lessened after Advance 2, Dimps cannot take all the blame for the direction things went...Because Yuji Naka was around as the "producer" until Rush Adventure.


Sonic Rush is forgettable. Even now as I try to articulate an opinion on the game, the only thing in the back of my head is "That was fun, whatever". You spend a good chunk of time holding down the boost button while mashing the jump button during springs and ramps to build meter to keep boosting which you have to do because enemies are placed directly in your path. Enemies you cannot just jump over because you are running at top speed meaning the time between seeing the enemy and hitting said enemy is milliseconds. Periodically, you get launched by a quarter pipe where you see a floating platform telling you to stop boosting cause there be some platforming over a bottomless pit to do. You are speedrunning on a chaotic rollercoaster, this is every level. Sure there are level gimmicks, Sonic Heroes-esc rooms where you beat up enemies to unlock the way, and periodic 3d sections, but they get drowned out by hearing Sonic go "Ha ho alright yes ha ho" 90% of the time. Even a level as terrible as Altitude Limit (think Sky Canyon but worse), I can't really feel much hatred because I forgot about it.
The bosses are okay but some bosses having insta-kill moves brings it down. Furthermore the mechanic introduced by this game (the Boost) cannot be used which is a noticeable miss. Well, at least there's the spindash.
The Chaos Emerald getting is handled essentially like Sonic 2 except instead of rings you need meter. There are multiple "Special Generators" and this works well. The special stages are touch screen based which means there is a %50 chance of you hating them. I thought they were fine because at times I had unlimited chances (build meter on nearby spring or rail, Special Generators are reusable).
Then there is Blaze....Blaze is padding. She doesn't get unique levels and exists to gate off the Super Sonic level. It's ironic. If Blaze was just an unlockable character with her own story that you didn't need beat in order to get to the Super Sonic fight, she would be fine, would feel like a bonus. However, because the game tells me I HAVE to do something, it feels like padding. There is no reason to play as her unless you want the real ending....which amounts to replaying the same levels with a character who honestly makes more sense to have the boost button.
Sonic Rush is fun but much like the yearly Call of Duty games, good luck taking anything afterwards as you wait for the next yearly game to be churned out. This becomes apparent when you find out they recycled the two Songs from two of the zones and recycled the first boss fight later on.


Sonic Rush Adventure is an impressive admittance of defeat. By that I mean that for once, they didn't change anything from the core gameplay which I applaud. They have faith in "Boost Sonic", hurray self-confidence.
As its name implies, this is the "Sonic Adventure" of the Rush series. More story, cutscenes, supplementary gameplay elements, this is good. In not messing with the core formula, they are working on other things.
"Hey let's have a hub world with island building elements" "Well I was gonna give Sonic ass lasers but okay, let's do that" "How bout a mission mode with 100 missions?" "Oh fine, guess making Sonic run even faster will have to wait" "What if instead of tube special stages, we have Jet Ski races?" "But Sonic 2's half-pipe...fine."

It isn't all sunshine and blowjobs but overall, the elements placed make for great side content. They introduced a material system which is straightforward but they made the mistake of using it as a way to gate between levels ala the vehicle mini-games. Again, we are in Sonic Adventure territory. This is all done in an effort to increase the time spent in zones which are unfortunately as forgettable as the ones in Sonic Rush. Added to this are "Hidden Islands" which are short mini levels they cranked out without much effort. To use a modern example, Mega Man 11 didn't need anything more than Mega Man 2 to make me happy.
The vehicle sections are fine, they work as a distraction between zones and do help the immersion of going from island to island. I expect some to hate them on their touch-based nature but to me they did their job. If only the vehicles weren't gated by Material Collecting.
Emerald hunting is simplified into beating Johnny in a Jetski race (don't ask why he has the chaos emeralds or why they are in Blaze's world, the game doesn't care) or (in the case of the Sol Emeralds) completing missions. This works, unlock the final stage by getting all fourteen, yeah this works.
With all the positivity I've had (which is a nice change of pace) what about the zones....They are there. About the same as Sonic Rush except you have to replay them for materials which makes it even more apparent how shallow they are. The only sections of levels I somewhat remember are the bullshitty bits which is memory for the wrong reasons. They cut out beat'em up rooms at least. Like with Sonic Advance 2, the speed holds them back. There isn't any way to improve the levels (aside from removing Dimps standard death pits). Everything is drowned out by the cocaine err Boost.
Bosses are a good deal better than the previous game. Faster and more active attacking with less "wait for the boss to expose its weakness". Only real criticisms are they take too many hits (keep in mind the game default for boss fights is "easy" with "normal" having even longer life bars) and the fight against Captain Whiskers and Johnny. Going upward with the Dual Screens will fuck up the camera in that fight and I have to ask why both Sonic and Blaze aren't fighting here? Some Tag Team action would have been awesome.
Quite telling, the game where they didn't fuck with any of the core mechanics turned out so well. It's like they used the energy they would normally use to give Sonic a magic talking screwdriver on making a better game. Now just imagine if this is what they did way back in Sonic Advance 1.


Edit: Spell chck
This post has been edited by Laughingcow: 06 October 2018 - 01:56 PM

#2 User is offline HP Zoner 

Posted 05 October 2018 - 06:15 PM

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No comment on the soundtracks? Those are always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of these games, especially the former. The Rush OST frequently finds its way into my playlists/brain, and most of the tracks are very upbeat and full of good vibes. The second game's music wasn't that good, but it was still mostly enjoyable.
Edit: Wait, my bad, I do remember the music being hard to listen with the constant trick noises and Sonic never shutting up. I just kinda forgot about it because I've listened to the soundtracks much more often than I played the games.

As for the bosses, you said you didn't like them in the first game much, but I might actually have to go one step further. Besides being annoying and making you wait too long until they're vulnerable, they're just not interesting from a visual or gameplay standpoint. Easily the lowest point of the game for me, as well as being some of my most hated bosses in the entire franchise. This contrasts greatly with Rush Adventure, which was surprisingly inventive with its bosses. The T-Rex is cool-looking, the wrecking boss thing gives you some freedom in how you want to defeat it (the heavier the ball, the harder it is to push, and the more damage it deals), and the whale is basically a mini-level.

I didn't find either game exceptionally good, but they were stylish, and I did have fun with them, even if you do have to approach them knowing full well that they're nothing like most 2D Sonic games. Too bad there was always something bad for every thing I liked, whether it was Dimps's bottomless pit fetish, the dumb bosses, or getting locked in a room full of enemies to break the pace. And yes, we all know the fundamental issues with boosting.

Now, the "third" Rush game, Sonic Colours DS... I couldn't stand that one. A lot of people praise it, but all I saw was boring level design and an overuse of Wisps. I was glad to finally see the trick system gone, though.

(Speaking of Colours DS, I found it odd that the slide move in that game behaved a lot closer to the classics' rolling physics than... the game's actual rolling physics. It was like they were trolling at that point.)
This post has been edited by HP Zoner: 05 October 2018 - 06:20 PM

#3 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 05 October 2018 - 06:33 PM

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View PostHP Zoner, on 05 October 2018 - 06:15 PM, said:

No comment on the soundtracks?

I couldn't hear anything over all the Trick sounds, boost noise, and Sonic/Blaze grunting constantly. It's part of that ugly drowning out effect and is a shame because yes, the OSTs are fine.


As for Sonic Colors DS being the "third" rush game....I disagree. That's a Modern Sonic game to me. Lock on homing attack, wall jump, stomp, the death of rolling, etc.

#4 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 01:28 PM

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Rush is a game I liked enough to 100% it - that's something very rare for me with a game.

The sequel on the other hand, I barely touched. *shrug*

#5 User is offline Saad 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 02:44 PM

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Biased opinion here, I love Sonic Rush, it being my first game and all, it's fun and fast, the soundtrack is top notch, the special stages are great, and Blaze is playable character.
That doesn't the game is perfect, the trick system, although neat, is super loud, and the bosses are just not that good, and sometimes the game seems to have more style than substances. And even with these flaws the game holds a special place in my heart, considering it shaped who I am now

#6 User is offline saintminya 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 02:57 PM

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Sonic Rush is my favorite Nintendo-handheld Sonic. Rush Adventure, I'm honestly not sure, as I've only played the first several stages.

Sonic Rush feels like a continuation of what worked in Advance and Advance 2, especially with how much speed you can gain. Level design was never frustrating for me, although it took a bit getting used to the dual screens being used for one massive scene. Once I got attuned to the screen size and shifts-of-mainscreen, I began to appreciate how much it lent to the feel of not only speed, but covering insane distances. The story was pretty interesting too, and I dug Blaze from the start. It was awesome having Sonic start partway through the story, and I wish more games would do that.

Sonic Rush has the best soundtrack of any handheld game, aside from maybe Generations 3DS, and is even better than some console games. Of course, I happen to really love Jet Set Radio.

Oh yeah, the trick system! I enjoy it, even if it is loud. Doesn't really add anything other than show some personality, but its fun, and I like that its continued to be implemented in the Modern games.
This post has been edited by saintminya: 06 October 2018 - 03:01 PM

#7 User is offline Tanks 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 03:39 PM

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You can beat the very first act of Sonic Rush by holding right with no jumping. I know because I recorded it myself and slapped it up on vimeo when the site first went live. But then again that's not much of a litmus test because I think you can do that in a few other Sonic games, including the classics.

THAT SAID, the music is fantastic. I still have the Sonic 3 Data Screen remix stuck in my head, it was so catchy. And I still run to several of the songs from both the OSTs. The games themselves were beyond replyable too. I remember for a little while I was just shy of top time for the first act of Sonic Rush Adventures when the game first came out. I think our own Sonicandtails took the top of the leaderboards at one point too.

Fun times guys. Fun times.

#8 User is offline Master Emerald 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 09:33 PM

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I find Sonic Rush better than the entire Advance Trilogy and most of the 8 bit Sonic titles lol.

#9 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 06 October 2018 - 10:16 PM

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Sonic Rush's final fight is the only instance in which I think a DS game shined at a dual-screen mechanic.

#10 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:46 AM

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I own and have only played the first one. Rush along with New Super Mario Bros. were actually the first Nintendo DS games I got the very day my dad bought me a DS lite; it's also the first 2D Sonic I actually owned since the Genesis titles, and (barring a few short playthroughs of Advance 3) the first post-Genesis 2D Sonic I got to play.

Rush's soundtrack is nice (I'm a fan of JSRF), Blaze is an alright character, the trick system can be fun at times, and I guess it's not as badly designed of the 3D games of the era...and that's pretty much all of the really positive things I can say about it. Or at least, all of the positive things I can actually remember from it. I can recall maybe playing this game once to completion, revisiting some levels a few times in the immediate years, but have otherwise never bothered with it since in almost a decade, if not longer--and if I did, it probably wasn't for more than 10 minutes. It's very much a one-and-done game in the worst of ways IMO. Play through a few levels and you've seen virtually everything the game has to offer, outside of maybe the special stages/final boss; and while the ridiculous speed is fun the first few times you experience it, it's not enough (at least for me) to return to it again anytime soon if not ever.

A fair amount of people seem to treat Rush (and its sequel) as more of its own thing, an experiment of the standard 2D formula instead of the new groundwork/standard; but that right there lies the problem for me. In the same way I felt Adventure 2 re-wrote 3D Sonic game design into the binder of overly simple and sloppy design choices it still follows today, I think Rush does the same thing for the 2D games. Part of me wants to say that rather than being a true turning point, it's just the zenith of what Advance 2 started, but even comparing those two games side by side, it's incredible how they managed to even further water down the existing game design for the sole sake of high octane speed; and the boost mechanic does an excellent job at doing that.

I also think what Rush did to the 2D formula is a bit worse than what Adventure 2 did with the 3D formula, namely because the formula has (somehow...) grown even more stagnant and repetitive than even the 3D Boost games. People try and make a point about segregating Rush and its sequel from the 2D Sonics that have followed, and I guess it's technically true in the presentation department....but fundamentally they all otherwise seem to be the exact same base, largely untouched to the point that you can see dust accumulating on each succeeding game over time. It's also a pretty damning example of Sonic Team/Dimps believing they could just market any type of Sonic game they wanted with the Rush gameplay, regardless if it was or wasn't appropriate or not (*glares at Sonic the Portable Hedgehog 4*).

Oh, and it also has the usual Dimps level design tropes. And Dr. Eggman Nega, who should be filed alongside Mephiles in the "lazy character design" cabinet as one of the best examples of an official unironic recolor OC. It's especially bad when he's supposed to be the villain to Blaze in her world, who actually has a distinct name, design, and personality to Sonic himself.

I'm really surprised it got such good metascores/reviews for what's such shallow design (82 MC, 83% GR)--although I presume if reviewers were to look back at it today, they wouldn't be as positive about it now as they were back then. I guess it got the positive remarks purely for its style, rather than its substance...which I guess at the time of release, there really wasn't any Sonic game like it (whereas Boost games are a dime a dozen, and the playstyle has been firmly entrenched in both the 2D and 3D games for quite some time). I do think Sonic Team/Dimps rewrite of 2D Sonic gameplay wasn't lost on audiences if the sales for the Rush titles were anything to go by--Rush only sold 770K worldwide in its fiscal year, and Rush Adventure came under half of what the first game made (378K). Is it any wonder the last three handheld Sonic games that followed were placebo cousins of Sonic Team's console games afterwards?



(Meanwhile, NSMB was my first Mario game and that game quickly converted me into a fan of the series. I've re-visited and re-played the game to completion multiple times over the years, and I happily bought and enjoyed the Wii sequel. Out of the 2D Marios I have played, it still remains my personal favorite of the bunch.)
This post has been edited by Yeow: 07 October 2018 - 03:48 PM

#11 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:57 AM

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View PostYeow, on 07 October 2018 - 10:46 AM, said:

I'm really surprised it got such good metascores/reviews for what's such shallow design (82 MC, 83% GR)--although I presume if reviewers were to look back at it today, they wouldn't be as positive about it now as they were back then.

It is the "Call of Duty" of the Sonic series hence the good scores. Remember that critics are not fans and judged in a vacuum away from the other better Sonic games, I can believe this. Sonic Rush is a fun game but if we are talking the Sonic series overall, yes it is the culmination of years of forgetting what Classic Sonic did hence why I stated that this ends with Sonic 4.

Likewise, I would like to direct you to an interview with Iizuka from before Sonic Colors was released.

https://spong.com/fe...-Takashi-Iizuka

On page two, the interviewer outright insults Sonic Team, stating that Dimps is (adlib) "propping them up". I don't recall hearing any arguments like that back in the day. Last I checked, most people didn't even know Advance to Rush Adventure existed because they were on portables (especially if that %50 drop off is true). Can someone clarify this for me?

Edit: I would like to add that if anyone hasn't given these games a try to do just that (I recommend Desmune if you go the emulation route). Formulate thoughts and share them here. The more the merrier.
This post has been edited by Laughingcow: 07 October 2018 - 12:07 PM

#12 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 12:31 PM

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I only tried the first one until that moment where you have to navigate a propelled platform through a maze of spikes with almost no space to make any mistake; I left the game and never returned. I treated rush adventure as if it was just an extension of the first game, so I didn't try it because why bother. With leads me to say, in advance (pun intended) of the incoming topic, that I only finished Sonic 4 Ep II because I paid for it, and the same goes for generations 3DS, but I quitted in the final boss because I didn't really want to make that effort, and don't ask me about the challenges in that game because they deserve even less effort from my side.

#13 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 04:13 PM

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View PostHedgeHayes, on 07 October 2018 - 12:31 PM, said:

I only tried the first one until that moment where you have to navigate a propelled platform through a maze of spikes with almost no space to make any mistake; I left the game and never returned. I treated rush adventure as if it was just an extension of the first game, so I didn't try it because why bother. With leads me to say, in advance (pun intended) of the incoming topic, that I only finished Sonic 4 Ep II because I paid for it, and the same goes for generations 3DS, but I quitted in the final boss because I didn't really want to make that effort, and don't ask me about the challenges in that game because they deserve even less effort from my side.


I presume you're referring to these sections at Altitude Limit? (Video starts at 1:57 in Act 1, but there's more sections like this in Act 2).


This post has been edited by Yeow: 07 October 2018 - 04:14 PM

#14 User is offline Dr. Mecha 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:31 PM

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wait, what about Sonic Colors DS?

I know it didn't have Rush in the title, nor does it have Blaze as a playable character; but it does feels like Sonic Rush in some form or fashion.

#15 User is offline lupinsmask 

Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:50 PM

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I enjoyed both games but I hated SRA's grinding materials for all of that crap.

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