Blaze the Cat, in her first appearance in a Sonic game, is brought from her native dimension into Sonic's dimension. Her world had seven Sol Emeralds, which are effectively similar to the Chaos Emeralds, but they have been stolen by Doctor Eggman, in order to gain ultimate power. Without the Sol Emeralds, Blaze's dimension will collapse. Meanwhile, Sonic is searching for the Chaos Emeralds, which have been stolen by Doctor Eggman Nega, Eggman's alternate counterpart from Blaze's dimension. Eventually, the two characters must put aside their differences and team up to stop the combined forces of Eggman and Eggman Nega.
Why It Rocks
- This was the first Sonic game to include a boost system (Technically, Sonic Advance 2 was the first, but it was only used when you reached top speeds), allowing you to speed up at will by defeating enemies and performing trick combos with the D-Pad. This laid the foundations for Modern Sonic's gameplay, being put to good use in titles such as Sonic Unleashed's daytime levels, and Modern Sonic's levels in Sonic Generations.
- As a result, the emphasis on speed is ramped up a notch, and being able to blast through the zones in this game at exhilarating levels is a satisfying reward for those able to master the tricks system.
- It introduced Blaze The Cat to the Sonic franchise and she ended up becoming a relatively popular character.
- You get to play as both Sonic and Blaze in this game, and both are different from each other in terms of the moves they can perform. Sonic has a basic version of his homing attack, whereas Blaze doesn't. However, Blaze has the ability to hover in mid-air, and as a whole is slightly easier to control than Sonic, making some platforming sections less of a hassle.
- This game takes full advantage of the Nintendo DS's dual screens, with both of them being used for gameplay and for displaying the play area. The player's character moves between the top and bottom screens if necessary, and during the boss battles, the top screen contains the gameplay, whilst the bottom screen is used to display how many life points the boss has left.
- Even for the series high quality of music, the soundtrack for Sonic Rush is phenomenal. It's mainly done by Hideki Naganuma, who also did the soundtrack for Jet Set Radio, and he fits right at home with this series type of music, creating one of the greatest Sonic soundtracks of all-time.
- Furthermore, both Sonic and Blaze get their own music. Each zone has a unique version of the zone song exclusive to each character, and they're all a blast to listen to.
- Very good graphics, especially given how this came out relatively early in the DS's life (around a year in since the DS came out in late 2004).
- Whilst the boss fights aren't the best (See BQ#2), it's impressive that the boss fights are rendered in 3D, and again, look fairly decent given the release date of this game.
- Despite Dimps' previous history with doing special stages in handheld Sonic games, the special stages to get the Chaos Emeralds in this game are alright. The method to reach them is simply finding certain handles in a zone (which aren't too hard to find), and instead of relying on a certain number of rings, you have to have enough boost in your tension gauge to boost on the handle and enter the special stages.
- Once inside, the special stages follow the half-pipe formula first introduced in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, using the DS stylus to move Sonic. The controls are fine, and the gradual increase in difficulty isn't harsh (except for the 7th stage).
- A small positive with regards to unlocking the final zone is that you only have to get the Chaos Emeralds to unlock the final zone, as Blaze gets the Sol Emeralds by progressing through her campaign.
- It was the first handheld Sonic game to truly introduce a rankings system, encouraging replayability in order to improve your ranking on both the levels and the boss fights.
- Tails saying goodbye to the player when you leave the game is a small, but still neat, moment.
- The multiplayer mode, Battle Play, is a decent little diversion from the main course of the game, and only requires one cartridge between two players.
- The two final bosses, the Egg King and the Egg Salamander, are epic, helped by the amazing music that accompanies them.
- Whilst the zones themselves aren't terrible, the level design is similar to the Sonic Advance trilogy (also done by Dimps), in that the enemy placement and bottomless pits are abundant and annoying to deal with.
- Altitude Limit epitomizes how annoying the level design can be, as one poor move can lead to instant death via lasers.
- The boss fights aren't that great, not helped by the fact you have Tails and Cream shouting annoying catchphrases during the fights, in which the same catchphrases are said every time Sonic or Blaze either attack the boss or get hit by it. They're rather simplistic, and nothing special (except for the final two bosses).
- Like with the boss fights, the story as a whole is rather simplistic, but nothing offensive.
- Even though both Sonic and Blaze play through the same zones, Blaze plays through the zones in a different order to Sonic, making it more of an unbalanced playthrough in terms of difficulty.
Sonic Rush received positive reviews, with a critic score of 82/100 ("Generally favorable reviews") and a user score of 8.1/10 ("Generally favorable reviews"). Reviewers heaped praise on it's music, visuals and similarity to the older titles in the series, whilst criticism was aimed at the level design and overall speed.