Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows
Sonic Forces is Sega's latest attempt to make Sonic modern but not cringey like Sonic '06, not 3edgy5me like Shadow the Hedgehog, and not an almost literally unplayable broken mess like Sonic Boom. Did they succeed? Well, almost. Kind of. It really depends on who you ask.
First and foremost, it's important to note that I'm pretty casual Sonic fan. I like the series and have many of the games, but I've not beaten many of them, and I don't ABSOLUTELY LOVE it like a lot of Sonic fans do. They're fun games, but I'm not as gung-ho about Sonic as I am with Fire Emblem, Hyperdimension Neptunia, or Fallout, so I'm going to have a more tempered view of the games than most. With that said, I really enjoyed Sonic Forces. Overall, it's definitely on the easy side of things, but there were still some parts that game me some serious trouble, especially the final boss.
You spend the game's 30 stages (plus a few bonus stages you can unlock) playing as either Sonic, early Sega alternate dimension Sonic, or your custom made OC (which is why I've spent the past few months referring to the game as Bad OC Simulator 2017). To my disappointment, though, there aren't a lot of options for making your OC truly horrendous outside of clothing choices (although a t shirt, golden plate helmet, and Crocs IS pretty horrible). Your avatar never speaks, and you don't get to name him/her; you're always "buddy" or "rookie." The stages are all almost purely linear, but there are some branching paths with different collectibles that give a little bit of replayability. The game's only real replay value comes in trying to better your score on a stage, though, and compete with friends that way. It's something, but personally, I feel no urge to keep playing now that I've finished the story.
The Switch version runs smoothly and looks pretty good. Granted, it's not the most visually demanding game, but the fiery and ruined environments still look good on Switch both docked and handheld, and the frame rate didn't give me any real noticeable hiccups. The music is bit...dated....though that may be intentional as it reminds me a LOT of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. The voice acting is fine, although some characters' voices are definitely better than others. What made me REALLY happy is that they didn't completely disregard the established character for Knuckles like they did in Sonic Boom. Knuckles is NOT an idiot, and Sega finally remembered that, it seems.
Sonic Forces really isn't a bad game. It's not an amazing game, and it's not the game that most Sonic fans were hoping it would be, but I really enjoyed it, and I think that's probably indicative of how it's likely to be perceived in general - casual fans or newcomers will likely enjoy it while hardcore and long time fans will probably be left pretty disappointed. Wait for this one to get cheaper - $20 or less, I'd say - but then give it a play. It's a good time even if not one you'll likely want to revisit.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.