Posted by Urtheart, Mar.13, 2009, under Articles, Comments (0)

With no warning or even hint, Sonic Team have released their first Downloadable level pack for Sonic Unleashed (at the time of writing only for Xbox, but assumed to come to PSN soon). The description states you get 4 new Day levels and 2 new Night levels, and at only 250 MS points is it a bargain?

There are two sides to this story, if you prefer the Sonic levels as most Sonic fans do, you’ll want it for the Sonic levels. If you are simply the typical Xbox 360 owner, you’ll prefer the Werehog levels and will want the content for that. The levels are accessed from the world menu, so you can skip what sections you don’t like.

Tackling the Day levels first and the description is a bit misleading. You get 2 brand new stages, and 2 old stages made harder.
The first is act 1-2, and is the main Chun-nan day act, but harder. That really is all I can say about it. Same level, more bombs, more lives to make up for the fact you’ll fall and die a lot in the water parts and the rotating poles part.
Act 2-2 is, you guessed it, act 2 but a bit harder with 5 laps, same as above for what extras go in. These two are just disappointing, while I can see why they were made, it seems simply like an excuse to add more content in.
Act 4 is a brand new level, if not rather short. Which challenges you to navigate a fair few floating platforms. The level is short and fairly easy and rather bland. That really is all I can say about it
Act 5 is another lap one, but this time entirely on Water. Now on paper this sounds like a rather imaginative one, and it would have been, if not for it’s horrible design. Thankfully the old “lives everywhere” stops you from “Game Over”ing too often, but the whole screen is constantly cluttered and you’ll notice a large amount of slowdown making it very difficult to keep speed to stay on top while avoiding everything. It’s a nice idea, poorly executed.
In short Sonic levels are nothing to shout about, certainly not worth downloading unless you want to prove you are awesome at Chun-nan.

So with that being said (since I played them first) I went into the Werehog levels thinking one new short and one hard mode. The Werehog seems to have found more favour however.
Act 1-2 would suggest a replay of the Werehog’s primary level, instead what you get is the entire part of the level that was cut, almost doubling the size of Chun-nan. You start where you finish from the normal act 1, and you are basically given a whole new level from there, with parts you may recognise from the first trailers of Chun-nan. The level is still fairly easy to any veteran Werehog player, but it’s brilliantly executed with enough challenge to keep you on your toes, if not very battle heavy.
The final Werehog level is more of a pole swinging affair with bits of battle between in a brand new level. This one is much shorter so won’t take long to beat, simple affair of swing, beat up continue.

The entire package will last you 30 minutes tops, so the 250 price tag could be considered a bit much considering how short a time it will last anyone but perfectionists on the Sonic levels.

But should you buy it? If you really enjoyed the Werehog and fancy a bit more and have the points to spare it’s not a bad purchase. If you were wanting some decent Sonic action, forget it, the additional Sonic levels are badly done and you won’t get much enjoyment out of it.
However it certainly isn’t anything to shout about.

Scores are split for Day & Night gameplay (in that order)

Gameplay: 10 & 75 (Werehog great, Sonic pants)
Graphics: N/A (well it’s the same as the main game)
Story: 0&0 (there isn’t one, doesn’t make any difference)
Music: N/A (no new music, same as the main game)
Lifespan: 20 & 15 (30 minutes extra gameplay, no extra achievements or medals so no replay value, Day gets a bit more since S ranking will be a pain in the butt)

Overall: 13 & 70

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