Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sonic Unleashed - Endless Possibility

When I got the game several weeks ago I cursed the Sonic Team's inability to remember the basic formula for a good Sonic game:
1. Run through pretty stages
2. Collect rings
3. Smash robots
4. Collect the seven Chaos Emeralds
5. turn Super Sonic
6. Stop Eggman
7. Mix well and enjoying the ride
Today I beat Sonic Unleashed and I'm much more content. Maybe it's all the holiday cheer but I don't think the game is THAT BAD. To be honest, once I discovered how to earn more than two lives, I actually started enjoying myself. The graphics are pretty, the music fits, and the characters are dead on. I struggled with the gameplay at first, but I got used to it. I have to give the Sonic Team credit for trying to find ways to incorporate the Wii motion controls into their games. The Sonic Unleashed controls are a major improvement over Sonic and the Secret Rings.

The story is cheesy. I mean come on, a "werehog"? Really? That's the best they could do?! Sonic changes into a monster at night and no one is even afraid of him. His personality shines through, as it should, I guess, but where's the drama? He could have at least struggled with the evil forces taking over his mind like most lycanthropes. Oh well.

Chip, the new character, fits in a lot better than Silver the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog PS3) or Blaze the Cat (Sonic Rush). I have no problem accepting him into the fold. I like to think of him as a less annoying Omochao (Sonic Adventure 2), except you can't pick him up and throw him over a cliff.

Eggman has evolved with a slightly more sinister sounding dialogue. He's no SatAM Robotnik, but you can really hear the hate in his voice when he's battling Sonic. I didn't mind the idea of Dark Gaia as the main boss, but I would rather fight Chaos (Sonic Adventure) again. The final battle with Dark Gaia was fun but odd.

I don't want to post too many spoiliers. I think any Sonic fan should get the game and play it. The running stages are fun and the credit music ("Endless Possibility" - Jaret Reddick) just makes you feel good. Just keep in mind the target audience and run with it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

China Bans, my favorite website for social artwork networking, was banned by the Chinese government.

According to the article on deviantArt, Chinese Deviants ( "deviant" is the term used on deviantArt to refer to it's members) are finding it extremely difficult to access because it is now on the black list of the Chinese authority. There has been no official announcement or explanation for the ban, however some speculate that it's related to Tibetan politics.

I think it's sad. I'm a subscribing member to and even though I haven't been very active in submitting art as of late, I can't imagine how upset I'd be if found one day I couldn't connect.

There are so many kinds (for lack of a better term) of art submitted to deviantArt on a daily basis. A search of popular submissions will find something for everyone and if you have the mature block checked off you'll find somethings that will offend anyone. Still is it right for a goverment to block a website that promotes freedom of expression? Would deviantArt ammend it's submission policies to make nice with Chinese authority? or will the rest of deviantArt just have to carry on without our Chinese friends?