Since his debut 25 years ago, Sonic has been featured in so many games that even if Lego characters had fingers, you'll need more than a few to count them all. Sonic's latest adventure takes him to the world of Lego Dimensions so let's check it out!
The Sonic Level Pack comes with a Sonic figurine, a car called the Sonic Speedster (why Sonic would need a car is beyond me) as well as Tails' Tornado, a classic red and yellow airplane. Sonic stands holding a yellow ring with a cheeky smirk on his face while the Speedster is reminiscent of other cars in the Lego Dimensions series yet its curved and spiky edges fit with the classic Sonic style. The Tornado is my favourite piece in the pack. It's made up of many pieces that come together to form a cute and unique-looking figurine. I only wish I had Tails to put in it. The combination of both vehicles gives you quite a few abilities and playing as Sonic allows you to travel and fight at super-fast speeds.
The following abilities become available for you to use throughout the Lego Dimensions universe when you purchase this Level Pack:
- Sonic: acrobat, super strength, grind rails and run super-fast
- Sonic Speedster transformations: Sonic Speedster (use accelerator switches, tow bar), Blue Typhoon (use flight docks and flight cargo hooks, sail on water, use sonar smash to break glass bricks, tow bar), Moto Bug (use accelerator switches, dig, vine cut, super jump)
- The Tornado transformations: The Tornado (tow bar, use flight docks and flight cargo hooks), Crabmeat (jump, destroy gold blocks, super jump, guardian ability), Egg Catcher (tow bar, use flight docks and flight cargo hooks, use electricity switches)
The level included in this pack takes you through a combination of Sonic's previous games. You start out in the classic level Green Hill Zone. At first, it appears to be a 2D side-scroller but it soon becomes apparent that the gameplay is in 3D. This felt awkward to me and I wish the level had either taken it one direction or the other; preferably 2D to keep it original and further set it apart from other packs. There are multiple boss fights with Eggman much like in the game series. There's a bunch of cutscenes as well where you see the colourful cast (including Big the Cat who is as dumb and entertaining as ever) having chats.
Other than Green Hill Zone, you're taken to a beach, an area that resembles Metropolis Zone and finally to a cube rotating in space that features puzzles and a shoot 'em up boss fight with Eggman. I found this part to be frustrating as it seemed to suddenly up the difficulty by making it tough to land a hit on Eggman. Thankfully, there are bonus stages after every zone that are inspired by the ones in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 where you're constantly running on a path and have to collect coins and avoid mines.
The visuals throughout the level and adventure world are very well done and I expect nothing less from TT Games at this point. They're filled with familiar colours, textures, features (such as grind rails and springs) and enemies that you take out by jumping on their heads. The Sonic adventure world has some of my favourite visuals in my Lego Dimensions collection. It's a faithful interpretation of the Sonic universe in all of its nostalgic glory. You'll also meet a lot of Sonic's friends who give you quests and provide casual banter. From the Emerald Altar and Marble Zone to the wacky colours of Carnival Night Zone, you'll have a lot of fun taking in the sights at high speed.
Dotted around the world are special racing areas that are unique to Sonic. However, there is one big problem with them that I also faced while completing the level. Basically, trying to control him can be a real chore. Sometimes, he's just too fast and suddenly jumps off something doing a 180° in the opposite direction and you have to start the race all over again. I actually enjoyed playing as Sonic when it came to beating up enemies because it's really fun being able to target them and quickly bop them on the head one by one. For getting around, I always switched to a different character so that I could have more control. This is unfortunate because even though Sonic's movement is copied well, it just doesn't translate to the 3D environment of the adventure world. Apart from his super-fast speed, Sonic has the unique ability of being able to grind on rails which can be enjoyable as long as you're not under a time constraint.
This Level Pack is definitely one of the most unique ones and it's worth a purchase for anyone who grew up playing Sonic like I did. Just be prepared to have your patience tested as you try to complete the frustrating races and navigate the awkwardly-designed level.
- + Awesome visual representation of familiar classic Sonic environments
- + Many Sonic characters to interact with
- + The Tornado plane is so cute (and handy)
- - The 3D gameplay isn't handled well as controlling Sonic can be very frustrating
- - No 2D gameplay is a missed opportunity