Do you like the old-school 2-D Sonic games? Then you're gonna LOVE this.
Let me say right off the bat that fans of old-school Sonic the Hedgehog games are going to go crazy for Sonic Rush. It features all
of the best aspects of the 2-D classics, only taken to the next level, courtesy of the DS's dual screens.
As usual, your goal is to collect rings and eventually finish the level while dashing up, over, and through all sorts of elaborate hills and loops. However, while other 2-D Sonic games confine this action to one screen, Sonic Rush uses both the top and bottom screen as one active playfield. This allows for all sorts of over-the-top level designs, including massive loops two screens in size and hills that span both screens from top to bottom. There are also horizontal loop-de-loops (or rather, loops on their sides) that have Sonic running towards the camera and then away from it as he makes his way upwards. It takes a little while to adjust to using both screens and you'll lose Sonic on occasion, but once you learn to pay attention, you're off and running (no pun intended).
Sonic games have always had a "pinball" element to them, and this one is no different. There are trampolines, bumpers, and springboards for Sonic to launch himself off of, as well as "rubber bands" hanging from the ends of vines (yes, Sonic can now railslide on vines) to propel him upwards.
And of course, the ever-popular spikes are there to cause Sonic to spill his rings all over the screen on contact.
Controls are the same as in the Sonic games of old, with a few extra moves thrown in. Sonic can now spin in place and make a quick dash left or right, as well as jump in the air and dash forward or turn into a homing missle.
But I mostly suspect you'll want to climb to the top of a massive hill and then run down it full speed, hit a two-screen loop and then launch off a springboard. I didn't detect any touchscreen control in this version; I have no idea whether or not any will be integrated. Frankly, I don't think the game needs it.
The enemies you face are the usual robotic creations of Dr. Robotnik. They're all very
cartoony and fit the spirit of the game well. The demo ends with Sonic battling a giant mechanical snake on top of a cliff; he attacks by slamming his head down, attempting to crush you. The way to hit him is to spin in place, dash out of the way at the last second, and then jump on his head. I wasn't able to beat him (I came close, hitting him three times) but it was a lot of fun.
The graphics in Sonic Rush are excellent. I was trying to figure out if the Sonic
character model is 3-D or not; he may be a sprite, but when you beat a level
a fully 3-D Sonic celebrates on the screen. I couldn't figure out if that 3-D model
is the same one used in the game or not. Either way, it looks great. The backgrounds
are your typical jungle and sky motifs, but they feature a lot of parallax scrolling
and are generally well done.
Fans of the Sonic series are going to really enjoy Sonic Rush when it hits stores.