Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is the worst game I have ever played for the Nintendo DS.
From the god awful visual style to the repetitive and mundane combat system. It doesn’t even have anything interesting you can unlock to warrant repeated playthroughs.
The game starts with a promising opening cutscene, but it’s all downhill from there. The 3D character models mesh horribly with the hand-drawn backgrounds. Seriously, this game came out back in 2008, I know that the Nintendo DS hardware is limited, but other DS games such as Golden Sun Dark Dawn had a similar Visual Style, and they looked much more ascetically pleasing.
The battle system takes inspiration from the game Elite Beat Agents, and while the need to follow the image on the screen using the stylus may be fun for a while, it never really innovates.
Multiple dialogue options never go anywhere because no matter how much of a jerk you make Sonic out to be, it doesn’t affect the story or the gameplay.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Movement
You use the stylus to move Sonic across the screen during the hub world sections, though the environments look incredibly boring.
You can acquire new teammates with unique ways of traversing the environment, which you would think would make for some exciting exploration, but it just felt like padding.
Since specific areas can only be accessed by certain characters, and you can only walk around the environments with four characters out of the playable 8, you have to go back to the character select location constantly to get the one necessary character to progress the story.
Nothing in Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood felt as though it was done with any sense of ambition or scope due to the presentation and atmosphere lacking any sense of wonder.
The environments are extremely small and can often confuse you as to where you have to go since it’s not clear what you can walk on and what is part of the background.
Much of the music is reconstructed from the Genesis-era Sonic games, however, it sounds incredibly dull, as if the people who were working on it didn’t care.
Though, the worst offender would have to be once I got to a specific area of the game and couldn’t go back.
I had just left the planet on a spaceship; when I landed on another planet, I had to fight these enemies, which I couldn’t defeat no matter what I did.
I was only doing minimal damage to the enemies, and I thought I was doing something wrong. I tried every attack in my arsenal, but I was only doing 1 HP worth of damage with every attack. After I lost, I restarted from the last checkpoint and tried again. I fought these same enemies for over an hour, but I got nowhere.
It turns out before you left on the spaceship for the other planet, you were supposed to get a specific character who dealt heavy damage and acquire him for your party. He is, however, hidden and requires some time to find.
If you miss him on your first walkthrough, you have to start the game from the very beginning because the game has an autosave feature, and you can’t go back.
Pathetic RPG length
How can they be only available for a limited amount of time if they’re necessary to beat the game? The game is only roughly 4-5 hours long on your first playthrough, which is insultingly short for an RPG, but there is so much padding, which falsely makes the game longer.
There are many side quests, however, you have to complete them in a particular order because, as I said earlier, you don’t get a chance to go back to previous parts once you reach a specific part of the story.
I don’t understand why you can’t just select any chapter you want upon completing the game and unlocking New Game Plus.
In a good RPG like The World Ends With You, which came out months before this piece of garbage and set a template on how chapter-based RPGs should be developed, once you beat a chapter, you can go to the menu screen and replay that chapter with all your upgraded stats, as well as any new items you managed to acquire.
Here, despite having the levels set up into chapters, you still can’t select a level. And the New Game Plus I mentioned before is an absolute joke. None of the enemies scale to your new powers, and there is no way to make them stronger, so the NG+ mode can be breezed through in less than a couple of hours.
The worst bit of padding, though, would have to be collecting the rings. Rings are this game’s currency, you get rings by running through them in the hub world, however, there are a finite number of rings, and defeating enemies doesn’t get you any.
Once you defeat enemies, you get items that you can sell to shops for half of their value. On my first playthrough, I was stuck in one area grinding for hours, trying to defeat low-level enemies to get items that I could sell for rings to purchase better items that I needed to heal my characters.
Joke of a boss
The final boss battle is an absolute joke. You can beat him in literally 10 seconds if you just follow the cursor on the screen.
I haven’t even mentioned the Chao garden, which is a side activity of the game where you can raise these creatures called Chao and equip them with your characters. I didn’t mention it because the amount of grinding you have to go to to find and level up the Chao isn’t even worth it, considering that there is no time in the game when equipping a Chao is necessary.
BioWare should be ashamed of themselves for thinking so little of Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood. Just because it was a side-project doesn’t mean they didn’t have to care.