Test – Sonic Frontiers – Faster than sound! | Xbox One

On June 23, 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog appeared for the first time on the Mega Drive console. Becoming the mascot and undisputed star of Sega, like Mario for Nintendo, the blue hedgehog has crossed the ages and different platforms at the speed of sound. Sonic Frontiers will be available from November 8, 2022 on the Xbox Store and we can’t wait to play it. Is our favorite hedgehog always too energetic or out of breath? Let’s find together.

Dr Robotnik is at it again

We started this test by going through the menus quickly. We only have the possibility to choose a New game, the Language, the Intellectual Property and the User Manual that can be consulted through the internet address or QR code.

After selecting New Game, we have a choice between three difficulty levels: easy, normal and hard. Then two styles of play are offered to us, the Action style, for those who have never experienced Sonic games and the High speed style. For the first one, the camera is a bit far from Sonic and the speed is limited. For the second, the camera is closer for a better sense of speed. Of course, the difficulty and style of play may change during the game. We start with a cutscene where Sonic’s enemy, Dr. Robotnik, uses an AI to hack a dimensional portal. Then the robots appear, to the delight of the famous Doctor, who is looking for the secret of the ancestors. Unfortunately for him, a problem occurred and he found himself absorbed into another dimension, leaving the portal open. Then we finally discover Sonic, accompanied by Tails and Amy Rose, on a plane crossing the sky, heading for the Starfall Islands. The three companions are searching for the “Chaos Emeralds”, when suddenly a dimensional portal appears and absorbs the plane into cyberspace! The tutorial begins. From the first seconds, we find the universe of Sonic with sound effects, the “rings” to recover, the double jump to perform, the boosters to accelerate, the ramps that make us go -loop or push us in the air, but above. everyone, speed! Everything is very fast, very fast. Turbo mode is now available by pressing the RT button, represented by a blue gauge that recharges quickly over time. To enhance all this, a timer appears at the top of the screen. At the end of the course, the results were revealed to us, as well as the challenges achieved. If others want to validate them all, there is no need to worry, because there is the possibility to restart the course and the challenges that have been completed will remain in memory.

We find Sonic, getting up after being knocked unconscious, in front of a dimensional portal. A voice calls to him and reveals to him that he is the key, because he was able to get out of cyberspace by his own means. This voice asks him, to save his friends, to find the Chaos Emeralds, to destroy the titans and to tear the fabric that separates the dimensions. We finally have the chance to discover a new way to play with Sonic, in the open world. The options are now available and we can configure the game to our liking. In fact, in addition to the usual difficulty, sound and graphic options, we can interact with the movements of our supersonic hedgehog. Speed ​​settings can be used when starting, cornering with or without turbo or even at maximum speed. The length of the jumps, the sensitivity of the direction and the acceleration can also be changed.

It’s time to explore the Starfall Islands. The first part of the island, Kronos Island, is still part of the tutorial that takes us by the hand to give us complete explanations. In addition, a “simulator” notification appears in each innovation to have the possibility to practice it in the simulator or receive a token. The challenges allowed us to discover a fairly detailed map. For information, once all the challenges are completed and the map is fully revealed, quick travel between portals will be available. The rings are absolutely everywhere and to get them, you have to bounce, slide and jump in all directions throughout the game. Once we got our 400 rings, we open access to super speed so that Sonic can reach super speed. Combat phases are also part of the game as well as skills that can be unlocked to change the punches delivered. We are far from the first games of Sega’s mascot… After a few minutes of play, it’s time to fight the first goalkeeper. This one gave us after his defeat a tool, allowing us to activate a new portal and rails to move between them. As for the first course and the following ones, five challenges are available. Once it is a success and after sweating a lot of the controller, we get two unit keys and access to the next part of the area. These unit keys are essential to progress the story as they allow us to have access to the Chaos Emeralds.

Collectibles, collectibles, more collectibles…

You will understand, there is an insane amount of things to recover. We made a small list to be as clear as possible:

Kocos are cute little plant creatures to bring back to Koco Elder to improve speed abilities or the number of rings Sonic carries. The red power seeds and blue defense seeds scattered on the map should be exchanged with Koco Hermit to improve the defense or the attack. Purple coins can be exchanged with our friend Big the fisherman. Every coin spent allows us to earn a catch. Heart-shaped tokens are scattered throughout the island and listed on the map. They must be recovered in order to free Amy. The same goes for another character from the Sonic universe on the second island, but this time you have to collect medals. When you defeat an enemy, it drops skill shards. When a certain number is accumulated, the shards become a skill point. The guardians drop a mechanism to open the portals.

During our adventure we met Big the fisherman. He gives us the right to fish for purple coins. What a surprise to know that we found not only fish at the end of our line, but also golden tickets, scrolls of fast travel to Kocos Elder and Hermit and many other interesting things. Since this is a mini-game based on the catch, the quality of the fish determines the number of tokens obtained, which in turn can be exchanged for bonuses with Big.

We need to return the hearts of our friends to continue the story in place and face the boss, the Titan. To do this, it is necessary to collect all the Chaos Emeralds, otherwise it will kick our ass. The places are quite big but full of things to do. We were a little afraid of a rather poor open world, but that is not the case given the number of battles and collectibles to collect. In addition, even if we think that we beat all the guards and robots in the area, it can happen during the night that a particular event, a shower of comets, causes all the enemy of the island will appear again. And here we are again for the castagne!

Sonic Frontiers consists of five islands that all have a different environment and the courses included in the portals are equally varied. We are moving from 3D to 2D phases, which is not pleasant. So the youngest of us will experience what Master System and Megadrive console players experienced with the first Sonic games. As for the title story, it is quite defined and there are no unexpected twists so don’t expect an incredible plot.

Without control, speed is nothing

Let’s get to grips. Unexpectedly, it was very good. Of course, it takes a bit of getting used to in high-speed phases, especially when our blue friend moves from line to line in areas of the course. It is also necessary to take into account all the subtleties of the perfect jump time, speeding up or slowing down the rhythm to gain precious seconds. As for the open world, there is no particular concern to note. The combat phases are fast and the combinations of blows follow each other perfectly.

Now let’s talk about the two big dark points of this title. First, the graphics. We can tell you that the game is not very beautiful, to the point of wondering where the optimization of the Series is hiding… The graphics are quite cubic and the clipping is everywhere. True, when the motion blur is activated, it erases the defects but it is clear when it is deactivated. We also noticed a problem during a stage fight with one guardian in particular, Asura. To defeat him, you have to make a vertical run on his arms. Many times we fell while climbing, which is not good… We hope Sega will find out the problem and fix it. Finally, the rather poor variety of enemies on each island is not welcome. Second, the voice part. Although the background music is spot on and the sound effects take us back to the original Sonic the Hedgehog universe, the dubbing is average. It was like listening to a poor quality children’s cartoon and the intonations were quite depressing. A little more for the very rhythmic music of the portals, which is distorted in the high speed phase and during battles in Super Sonic mode.

For success hunters, you will be happy to hear that there is no difficulty in obtaining it. In fact, when the story is over and the areas are 100% completed, there are only five or six quick achievements left to reach 1000 G.

Tested on Xbox Series X (optimized version)

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