Sonic Rush (ソニック・ラッシュ, Sonikku Rasshu?) is a video game developed by Sonic Team and Dimps exclusively for the Nintendo DS as part of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was released on November 15, 2005 in North America, November 18 in the PAL region, and November 23 in Japan. It is a 2D platform game, but Sonic’s and Blaze’s sprites are rendered in 3D, creating a 2.5D effect. Boss battles, along with a Sonic-exclusive special stage, are entirely 3D. The game’s storyline follows the intertwining adventures of a new character, Blaze the Cat, and the series’ main character, Sonic the Hedgehog. They respectively battle Doctor Eggman and his doppelgänger Eggman Nega at certain points throughout the game.
The game was announced under the working title Sonic DS at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2004, and under Sonic Rush at E3 2005. The game’s 2.5D format was based on Sonic Team’s idea to combine elements from 2D and 3D games in the series. Upon release, Sonic Rush was well-received by critics, with praise stemming from the game’s music and similarity to older games in the series and criticism stemming from its overall quickness. A sequel, Sonic Rush Adventure, was later created and released in 2007.
Sonic Rush is a 2D platform game, similar to earlier games in the series as well as later ones like Sonic Advance. The player controls either Sonic the Hedgehog or Blaze the Cat, who differ in terms of special abilities. In the tradition of past Sonic games, gameplay consists of moving quickly through levels, collecting rings and defeating enemies The player collects rings as a form of health; when they are attacked by an enemy, their rings bounce in all directions. If they are hit by an enemy and have no rings, they lose a life. Both of the DS’s screens are used to display the play area, with the player’s character moving between them as necessary. Levels in the game are divided into “zones”, each consisting of two acts of normal gameplay then a boss battle. The course of the game differs depending on whether Sonic or Blaze is chosen; the seven zones are the same, but are accessed in different orders. During boss battles, Blaze fights Doctor Eggman and Sonic fights an Eggman doppelgänger called Eggman Nega. As the characters’ stories progress, they meet each other several times and unite in the final zone that comes after the seventh. The game features a special stage that Sonic accesses at the end of levels to obtain Chaos Emeralds. It resembles the special stage of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
New features include a grading system that grades the player based on the time it takes for them to complete the level; they can return to levels later to try for a higher grade. There is a point system based on the one in Sonic Advance 2 but displaying points in multiple categories. There is also a “Tension Gauge” on the left side of the screen which is filled by doing tricks and defeating enemies. The energy it generates allows the player to use boosts of speed while moving defeating enemies, moving through the level more quickly which results in more points and a higher grade, and when playing as Sonic, accessing the special stage. Although the game is primarily two-dimensional, there are three-dimensional elements which create a 2.5D effect. For the first time in the series, Sonic and Blaze’s sprites are rendered in 3D.The game’s boss battles are 3D.
Sonic fights one of the game’s bosses. Boss battles are rendered in 3D.
Sonic Rush has a two-player mode in which Sonic and Blaze race to the end of a chosen level from the game. There is also a feature in which players who own the game can send a demo of the game to other Nintendo DS users.
Blaze the Cat lands somehow in Sonic’s world (it is unknown where she came from). Her world had seven Sol Emeralds—similar to the Chaos Emeralds—but they were stolen by Doctor Eggman. She then makes it her goal to retrieve them; this is where Sonic meets her. While she is searching for the Sol Emeralds, Sonic is searching for the Chaos Emeralds. Blaze meets Cream the Rabbit, and is surprised by Cream’s politeness. Meanwhile, Miles “Tails” Prower learns that Blaze’s world and Sonic’s are beginning to merge somehow. Sonic begins to grow suspicious of Blaze and, along with Tails, looks for her. Soon, Sonic and Tails find Blaze and Cream. Sonic questions Blaze about her nature, but she refuses to give any information and leaves with Cream. Sonic follows her, and when he meets her on Eggman Nega’s base, it is revealed that Eggman and Eggman Nega are working together to collect both the Chaos Emeralds and the Sol Emeralds. She declares that she will destroy Eggman Nega. When Sonic once again questions her nature, she turns on him and fights him. During the fight, Blaze tells Sonic that she is the only one who can save their worlds, so he should not help her. However, Sonic wins the fight, and Blaze realizes the error of her ways. Eggman kidnaps Cream, and Blaze goes after him while Sonic takes on Nega. Sonic collects the last of the seven Chaos Emeralds; and meets Blaze, who has failed to protect the Sol Emeralds. Sonic and his friends help Blaze realize the meaning of friendship, and she turns into Burning Blaze—apparently her answer to Sonic’s Super Sonic form—while Sonic turns into Super Sonic. They fight Eggman and Eggman Nega and defeat them. The two worlds are restored, forcing Blaze into her own world. As she flies there, she realizes that she truly understands her powers. Later, on Sonic’s planet, Cream is crying because she misses Blaze, but Sonic tells her that Blaze promised to return someday. Blaze does return in Sonic Rush Adventure, the game’s sequel.
|North American cover|
|Developer(s)||Sonic Team, Dimps (co-developer)|
|Designer(s)||Akinori Nishiyama (director)|
|Artist(s)||Yuji Uekawa (art director)|
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Input methods||D-pad, face buttons
Stylus with touchscreen (menus; optional)
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