Plus: Video of every level from the DLC
I’m of the opinion that Sonic Unleashed was already hard enough. Judging by last week’s review of the Chun-nan Adventure Pack, though, there are quite a few people out there who enjoyed the extreme challenge offered by the downloadable content (DLC). For those people, the Spagonia Adventure Pack may be a disappointment.
Initially, it seems as though not much has changed. Six levels are contained in the download pack for the same price as last time, and like last time, day stages dominate night stages 2-to-1. First two daytime stages are “Hard Mode” remixes of existing levels, with two totally original levels bringing up the rear.
But things are different. Though the “Hard Mode” remixes definitelylive up to their name, overall, the Spagonia Adventure Pack has a much more even-handed difficulty. Though I found myself getting hit often, the number of times I would flat-out die were fewer and farther between in comparison to the Chun-nan DLC. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the original Spagonia levels were easier than the original Chun-nan levels. Rooftop Run Act 4 spices things up visually by setting the level during sunset, and Rooftop Run Act 5 deserves special mention for tapping in to my fear of heights in a way that most games fail to. As gross as this might sound, I consider a game giving me sweaty palms a good thing.
While I considered the Chun-nan Werehog DLC stages to be the star of the show, I’m not so sure about their quality in the Spagonia Adventure Pack. Here, it’s back to the Werehog’s old tricks – levels that borderline on being way too long with too many tedious encounters. Rooftop Run Act 1-2 Night has you hunting for dozens of switches, and each switch you touch spawns another group of enemies to fight. As the level progresses, the number of switches that need to be pressed increases and their hiding places become harder to find. The final area has at least 15-20 different switches you need to activate, and finding them all can take several minutes. Not fun. Act 2 is a little more exciting, focusing heavily on platforming, but the game’s camera system gets in the way (a problem also present in Act 1-2), making some sections an absolute mess. Act 2 is also unusually dark, sometimes so dark that I could not see where my character was to make a specific jump.
Overall, though, I’d say I enjoyed the Spagonia Adventure Pack much more than I did the Chun-Nan DLC. I’m still not quite convinced that buying “Hard Mode” for each continent individually (instead of providing it for free as an extra already present on the disc as they used to) is something I’m happy about, however. Still, one could make the argument that it’s only $3 for one level pack. I can’t really dispute that. It’s viewing all the DLC as a whole that has me worried.
Regardless, if you’re on the fence, I captured video of all six levels, organized in to a handy Youtube playlist:
(Can’t see the above video? Click here.)