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Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Preview
Previewed on 5/6/08

Death lurks in the dark...brotherhood...chronicled by Sonic...yeah.

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is the oft-dreamt-of game that RPG players have been anticipating for twenty years. ...Okay, so it's not. At all. Sonic Chronicles is one of those games that most people weren't expecting, and when it was announced it is quite likely most gamers' reaction was more "Huh?" then "Yeah!" However, when the same announcement came that Bioware was developing this Sonic RPG, some of the intial trepidation was replaced with anticipation. While Bioware with Sega for a Sonic RPG isn't exactly the first "dream team" one can imagine, anything with the Bioware tag on it is likely to perk the interests of RPG fans.

The game lets players guide Sonic through hand-drawn environments with the stylus. As the environment is explored, certain icons will pop up to give the player means of advancing. These range from character-specific actions to the Sonic's trademark loop-the-loops. Players will explore towns and interact with other characters.

Some screens show the possibility of branching conversations, but there's nothing confirmed in that regard. The out-of-battle experience seems to be pretty standard RPG fare.

The battle system, it appears, doesn't stray from RPG conventions either. Perhaps surprisingly, given the series' speedy identity, The Dark Brotherhood utilizes a turn-based combat system. The touch screen is utilized to perform attacks. Some attacks allow Sonic to pair up with one of his companions and perform a team attack. These attacks, along with some individual special attacks, will require players' interaction via the touch screen. Players will have to interact as the attacks occur in order to insure success. This interaction can range from simply tapping the screen to drawing circles and designs combined with tapping. The more powerful the special attack, the more complicated the interaction is. The game lets players know whether or not they performed well with a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down indication.

The story has been kept pretty much under wraps thus far. The "Dark Brotherhood" referred to in the title has not been revealed in the slightest, but it appears that many Sonic characters will make appearences, including Tails, Dr. Eggman, and Knuckles. Several familiar locations will be in the game as well, including Green Hill Zone.


The screens of Sonic Chronicles certainly look nice. The hand drawn backgrounds are beautiful, to say the least, and the 3D characters don't look out of place.

Thus far information is pretty scarce, but gamers can look to get their hands on Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and form their own impressions of this unlikely mix this fall.





SCREENS

-Joseph Wartick