Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Game Poster Image
Speedster hedgehog ventures forth into RPG-land.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Sonic and his pals can be sassy and snarky, but their hearts are in the right places. They are trying to save the world.

Violence & Scariness

Various powerup moves called POWs during bloodless battles. Kids see punching between characters until one is knocked out.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is not the typical Sonic game and it's far more complex than the usual platform game. This E-rated game has some cartoon punching. Because of some repetitive gameplay, it may bore younger players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 13 year old Written bywavymouth June 26, 2009
Adult Written bySPVMGreenYoshi . February 22, 2018

lol

This game was great! the violence was perfect!
Teen, 13 years old Written bygospelganster August 19, 2009
i love sonic
Kid, 11 years old February 9, 2016

Sonic becomes a great RPG.

This game is great for kids because it contains great positive messages. But since it's an RPG, there is lots of violence.

What's it about?

When you think of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega's fleet-footed mascot, you think of speedy platformer games full of running, jumping, and rushing crazily about like a roller coaster gone off the rails. But Sonic, who's been around for 17 years now, is now venturing into a new video game genre. By mixing Sonic's mythic backstory into a role-playing format, Sega has created SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD, a fairly deep DS offering centering upon a simple premise: someone or something has kidnapped Knuckles, Sonic's sometime pal and sometime rival. It's up to Sonic and ten of his pals to find the sharp knuckled, short-tempered Knuckles.

Sonic Chronicles shines as an entry-level role playing game that has at least 20 hours of game within, all of which is played via the touch screen. As you play as a Level 1 Sonic, you're given a generally understandable tutorial which tells you how to move Sonic by touching a spot on the lower screen to which you want him to travel. You're told to talk to everyone by touching icons above them and you're shown how get powerups by simply running into them. The battle system, which at one point not only has you fighting but chasing down a drone, is also explained in the too-long tutorial.

Is it any good?

BioWare, the game developer, impressively put a lot into a game. The graphics and cut scenes are full of personality and panache. The characters and story become really interesting one-third of the way through. And the battle system comes with a variety of ways to combat enemies by using all of Sonic's pals. But by trying to do everything their way, some elements were left out.

After a few hours of play, you'll find that battles take too long and can get boring, despite the variety of so-called POW moves, which are implemented via the touch screen. You do have to play a mini-game to make sure you hit your opponent with the POW move, but these sometimes don't have enough diversity in them. As with many RPGs, you must do a lot of exploring for not much payoff. Plus you meet a lot of the same enemies when backtracking. And yet, you have to applaud this detailed effort that's often brilliant. For instance, you'll like discovering Chao eggs, which, when put in your garden, grow up to be powerful helpers in battle. You can trade Chao wirelessly, too, if your pal has another Sonic Chronicles game. So while the new Sonic isn't perfect, overall, it's joy to play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various powers Sonic and his pals have. Which power would you like to have in real life? Of all the Sonic characters, which is most like you? This is the first Sonic role-playing game. Would you like to see more? Why, or why not?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $34/99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Sega of America
  • Release date: September 30, 2008
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence

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