3141 Reviews liked by SunlitSonata

Damn, I miss the times when we just unlocked more content by playing the game, now I have to wait for Nintendo feeling ready to release more content via updates. And I need to hope it’s good and worth the money too.
Gameplay is amazing, but it lacks content, because Nintendo decided to release an unfinished half-baked version of this game, instead of giving it a bit more time. I might change my rating when all the content is released… if I come back to this.
I’m just not a fan of this kind of direction. Just let me play the full game, let me unlock characters, stages, costumes and more. Reward me for playing this game. This is just not it.

This was good, until it wasn't. By which I mean that King Koco Boss Trial and the true final boss, which only validates my enjoying of the shmup in the base game. I like the new characters even if my muscle memory with Knux threw me off at first, and the new cyberspace levels are legitimately one of the best things in the franchise, I need an SA3 with level design like those asap. They'll almost certainly tone down the Boss Trial and fix the camera during the final boss, so whatever.
...I don't really understand why so many people said the platforming with the Trial Towers was so hard though. *I* got to the top of each my first try, even on hard mode :^)

I'm not gonna say the people that don't like the difficulty spike are invalid or be one of those annoying "ermmm skill issue!!!!" guys, because if you don't like it you don't like it. That being said, holy fuck this is exactly what I want and I loved this update so fucking much.
I think i went in with pretty low expectations compared to a lot of sonic fans, but the fact that Amy, Knuckles, and Tails are not only playable but have their own skill trees with sick ass upgrades and abilities is way beyond was I was expecting and it's super sick! Sonic is still the best character for sure, but that was always gonna be the case for me. There's a couple character quirks i'd like to at least be options, like animation startups and whatnot but generally I'm really happy with how these characters feel! Amy is the best she's been in a 3D sonic game easily, I would have liked a bit more love to the Piko Piko Hammer but i like the new magical side of her with all the Tarot card abilities. Tails is a ton of fun too, weirdly the only one with no homing attack though. The Cyclone upgrade you get is super fun to fly around with and a sick surprised. Knuckles is the weakest of the 3 IMO but still a fun time. His upgraded glide is fun to use from high places, and his weaken parry makes enemies like the Ninja pretty fun to decimate. I do understand why he has the little startup with his glide, but I do wish it was at least optional. I think a lot of the frustration that comes with these characters is the expectation of running through the whole game with them and them being capable of that. I think that's fair to expect but personally for the way I planned on using these characters they achieve their goal pretty perfectly. Just doing their obstacle courses and using their new abilities to puzzle solve and whatnot was a blast. I was expecting them to just kinda be plopped in as optional things with their traditional abilities and nothing beyond that, but the new moves and tons of obstacle courses that use those moves were a very welcome surprise. They're janky, but as a loser who's played Sonic games endlessly and especially this game endlessly, it just didn't really bother me. Super understand if it bothers someone else but I didn't really mind.
This is a little more contentious, but holy shit I ADORED the tower trials. They were the Island 4 towers cranked up to 11 and I loved them. I know it's unpopular but I love that level of difficult platforming and had an absolute blast doing the towers. The trials themselves I personally didn't mind, but I also don't think were anything super special. The cyloop trial was really fun once I learned the parry strategy, and again a bit controversial I found the last trial to be a blast. I will say, and as a suggestion to anyone struggling, I turned the difficulty down to easy to make the parry window a bit more generous and it made it feel pretty perfect for me. I wish that was the parry timing by default tbh. It was a fun way to refight the titans and it made me really learn how they function and get really good at them. My biggest thing was learning when the best time to quick cyloop them was, because you can absolutely demolish them when they're stunned by that.
Cyberspace especially was such a massive upgrade though, all the levels here are so easily the best cyberspace stages in the game by FAR. The new objectives are pretty fun to go after and the levels themselves are just so much more interestingly designed. Huge alternate paths with really sick skips you can pull off, and a ton of new really solid gimmicks, it was an absolute blast to run through these. It also really highlights how much the spin dash makes these levels infinitely better, but especially when they're designed with the spin dash in mind it leads to super fun and exhilirating levels. I still don't think it's like the peak of the boost formula or anything, and there's some work to be done with physics and what not but damn are these such a massive step above cyberspace in the base game which i already enjoyed, even moreso with the spin dash being added!
The island felt so much more fresh and exciting to explore and I had a great time doing so. The obstacle courses and platforming challenges were so much more fun and satisfying all around, and there was way more of them. There was also a ton of little lore conversations and those were amazing. All of this is stuff I do wish was in the base game, but it's so nice to have explainations of things like why the titans look the way they do, what the ZAP symbol means, why there's so many stacked rock towers around the islands, why the hell we played pinball, etc. You don't have to like those things obviously (pinball was one of my lowlights of the original game even) but these conversations between the characters explaining in universe why they exist was very charming and cool to see.
With that all said, OH MY GODDDDD THE ENDING SEQUENCE WAS SO FUCKING SICK!!!! The supreme fight got an upgrade, albeit not a huge one and he still dies in like 3 seconds when you're max level on everything but he's a bit more unique and has more going on here. The End fight was super fuckin cool, Sonic's new form is badass and it's got some of the coolest spectacle in the series history. I liked how it wasn't just a beat the shit out of it thing and there was extra strategy things you had to do. Balanced out being max level pretty well and made it still interesting. I actually died to this one unlike any other previous titan and it motivated me even more to kick its ass! The whole ending cutscene was fucking amazing and some of the coolest shit I've seen from Sonic. I can understand finding the titans to be way more style over substance, and I would even agree with that but I really don't mind when it's this fucking cool LOL.
I can't believe I had this much to say about a free update we had no clue we were even getting, but god it made one of my favorite Sonic games way better and i'm so happy with it. There's obviously some jank (it's sonic!) and i understand some people not wanting to deal with the difficulty but man, it hits all of my personal tastes so perfectly. I feel odd giving it a star rating since it's essentially replacing the original 5th island of the game with an infinitely better version and story but this blew my expectations out of the water. I love Sonic the Hedgehog so much.

missing an arm and leg, my body is caked in my own blood
"S-skill issue!"

Possibly the hardest Sonic content of all time (whoever made the Master King trial is going to hell)

This could've been the best thing the Sonic franchise has ever gotten, with revival of multiple playable characters and an overhauled final boss to make the endgame more impactful but it is held by unforgiving, unfair sections like the Trial Towers, the Trials and the unbalanced new guardians. This maybe could've been an 8 if they toned down the difficulty just a little bit but for now it's decent at best.

this is what most people thought frontiers was gonna be like when the gameplay first got shown off but its actually a reality
final boss was pretty cool tho and the music carried pretty hard

Mileage will vary per person. Feel cobbled together at times, pop in feels worse. Some challenges require a lot from players comparatively to what was done in the base game. New characters implementation can go from feeling good to clunky at different points. Awkwardness with controls and camera at times...etc...etc.
So naturally, I liked it a whole lot but you might not. Score is reflective of janky nature of it really but I had a lot of fun here since I kept up with the updates and changes to the physics. I do think the challenge offered here can be alienating and very unforgiving for people who simply weren't playing frontiers for the content presented here. A lot of tough "you mess up and have to try again from the beginning" moments here that feel extremely jarring when the base game was a lot more forgiving all around. If you aren't prepared for that and haven't been playing frontiers consistently (and actually play other games like most people) the update can be a major turn off and actively hurt a lot of the worthwhile and fun ideas that are in the update. There's a surprising amount here for it being free but I feel like if they charged money opinion would be a lot more harsh. A lot of good ideas such as the new cyberspace levels and platforming challenges with different characters. But there is also a lot of stuff most people wouldn't want to play in order to get to the good stuff such as the tower climbs and trials.
That said, very excited for the next mainline game. This game always felt like a testing grounds and I think there's a lot done well here for a truly great follow-up. Fingers crossed they deliver. There's always a lot of talk of sonic fans not having high standards for stuff but Frontiers now is a completely different game than how it was when it launched and it was due to active feedback and revision from the dev team. It always felt like a testing ground for a smaller and more solid game. I think a smaller scope with more focus on fun platforming that leads to meaningful new areas and rewards instead of puzzles and upgrade collectables would do a lot if they continue with this sandbox gameplay style. Also more varied set pieces please and thank you.

Sonic Team cooked so much that it's kinda burnt.