Sonic Rush Adventure is a direct sequel to Sonic Rush, showing up on the DS in 2007. As was the case with its predecessor, this was developed by Dimps, with some input from Sonic Team. As it turns out, this will be an easy game to review! Sonic Rush Adventure fixes all the issues I had with the first game, fine-tunes the physics and controls a bit, and adds a ton more content. All in all, it’s a really solid platformer that I’ll strongly recommend to anyone with a DS.
Once again you can play as either Sonic or Blaze, but this time you can simply select who you want for each level, rather than be forced to play through the whole game twice. The game does not end up shorter than Rush though–if anything, Rush Adventure is quite a bit longer thanks to just how much more there is to do. The setup for this game is that Sonic is at a huge ocean with a bunch of islands to visit. From your central base, you can set out on a variety of seafaring vehicles in order to locate new islands to explore. To progress the story, you have to find the next level (i.e. the island it’s on), but there are plenty of other “hidden islands” (i.e. bonus levels) to run through as well. Rush Adventure ends up having seven zones with two acts each (and a boss), two extra zones for final bosses, and then sixteen of the hidden island zones (which are single acts, and generally a bit shorter). It’s a lot to do, and the levels overall are fun and well-designed. Nice variety of environments, lots of lush and bright-colored scenery, and–thank ‘hog–drastically fewer pits to fall into.
As for traveling across the ocean, this half of the game surprisingly turned out just as fun as running through the regular zones. By collecting “materials” at the end of each level, you can have Tails make four different vehicles over the course of the game. Then, after setting a course on the ocean map, you are thrown into a sort of mini-game. The first vehicle you have access to is a waterbike, which is controlled with the stylus in order to avoid obstacles and to jump off ramps. Next, you get a full-blown ship, and with that you use the stylus to fire various weaponry (guns, cannons, and a flamethrower) at all the approaching enemies. Later, you’ll get a laser-firing hovercraft. And finally, you’ll get a submarine that utilizes Elite Beat Agents sort of rhythm-tapping gameplay. I enjoyed all these little mini-games, but if you have a personal favorite vehicle, you can generally stick with that most of the time. Seafaring segments fortunately only last about a minute, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored over long stretches of nothing. The seas are filled to the brim with pirate robots!
The story once again is kept nice and simple. Sonic, Tails, and Blaze have to deal with the aforementioned pirate robots (who are all buffoons), and the heroes are supported by a comic relief character named Marine the Raccoon. She speaks with a lot of, uh, interesting Australian lingo, and is generally just an idiot. I found it all amusing enough, but if you don’t care you can always skip the visual novel-esque cutscenes. As for the music, once again it is quite good. The tunes this time are not by Hideki Naganuma, but they seem to fit in with his general style quite nicely–just more lighthearted perhaps.
Not a lot else to say, really. The game plays well, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. On top of collecting all the emeralds and such, there’s also a lot of bonus missions you can go through if you want more of a challenge (as playing through the main story is fairly easy). This game really gets a lot of bang for its buck–probably more than any other 2D Sonic game I’ve played through at least. Definitely look into adding it to your DS collection if you like platformers at all.