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Sonic Unleashed vs. Sonic Colors Extra Round - Final Thoughts

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It's funny you'd mention boosting during chase sequences, because Rooftop Run's last chase sequence killed me quite a few times.  

 

They decided it'd be cool to do some rail chasing.

 

With broken rails.

 

And the assholes fire their weapon right as you make a fucking turn.

 

So you take damage, and can't jump out of the way and head straight into a pit (I think you can't anyways, haven't played in awhile for reasons).

 

Otherwise Rooftop Run has some pretty dickish obstacle placement, though luckily death isn't the punishment for most of them (most of them is annoyingly stopping you in your tracks for a few seconds).

When you get to that rail turn just rail switch to the right, the second the lasers start to move, its kind of random when it happens but it doesn't kill thankfully.

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I'm giving you my impression of what I see, and using a mixture of experiences from both Unleashed and Generations to "TRY" to give a somewhat coherent response. In my case, based on my observation, the level design of Colors works in opposition to the gameplay control that Sonic generally has across the board, mainly because the often times SMALL and really blocky platforms means you have to use a control scheme MEANT for a fast paced level design in an environment more suited to a much slower character.

 

If anything, one of the prime examples I feel is evidence of this is the fact that Sonic was given a double-jump in this one game, yet it doesn't appear in ANY of the other games. The double jump acts as a crutch to make up for Sonic's poor precision.

 

I understand that I haven't played Colors, and to you that might cause my argument to be seen as invalid, but I personally think my experiences with the extremely similar Generations and Unleashed and the things I've noticed in those games are sufficient enough to give my opinion on it.

 

If I was just watching someone play Sonic CD, I would also assume that it controls about the same as Sonic 2/3.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and I've never been bothered about when they start throwing lives at you because I just saw it as them saying "okay this level is really fricking hard and we know it is, but we want it to be.  We don't want you to have to pointlessly redo all the earlier stuff again when you fail though, that's not fun, so have infinite lives for this bit".

All that is is them admitting that they didn't know how to actually design the difficulty without devolving into Battletoads-level nonsense, so they starting shitting out lives like Christmas so when the game starts killing you for sneezing you don't run out.

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Yeah being hit by the lasers doesn't send you straight to a pit I should know they've got me enough times lol.

 

With regards to dickish obstacle placement, I can't think of any outside of the times you're encouraged to boost (namely the chases and the barrell rolling bit, which can be a pain due to randomness I confess).

 


All that is is them admitting that they didn't know how to actually design the difficulty without devolving into Battletoads-level nonsense, so they starting shitting out lives like Christmas so when the game starts killing you for sneezing you don't run out.

 

Nintendo Hard maybe but Unleashed is no Battletoads.  I agree with Soniko that the huge QTEs in Eggmanland were out of line, but everything else was perfectly reasonable "very hard final level" difficulty to me.

Edited by JezMM

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Nintendo Hard maybe but Unleashed is no Battletoads.  I agree with Soniko that the huge QTEs in Eggmanland were out of line, but everything else was perfectly reasonable "very hard final level" difficulty to me.

 

It's the exact same kind of fake difficulty, and the QTEs in Eggmanland might as well be Terra Tubes for all the difference it makes. They also got themselves under the false impression that if it one hit kills you, that automatically means the level is harder than if you just got hit normally.

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You can't do this in Sonic Colours, so yeah, Unleashed wins for me. I traded in Colours...I kept Unleashed, even after 4 years this game is pretty fun to blast through from time to time.

 

The video has a remix of Terminal Velocity playing in the background. I find that a bit hilarious.

Edited by KrazyBean

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  You can't do this in Sonic Colours, so yeah, Unleashed wins for me. I traded in Colours...I kept Unleashed, even after 4 years this game is pretty fun to blast through from time to time.   The video has a remix of Terminal Velocity playing in the background. I find that a bit hilarious.
Ain't gonna lie looking at this is amazing but learning to play this stage for the first time was hard as HELL! (and let me say the slippery controls don't help much at all)

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Also you can't keep bringing up the "Sonic Handles like shit at low speeds in Unleashed" because he fucking handles like shit in all 3 games at low speeds

 

Sonic actually has friction in Colors and Gens, so... yeah. It kinda does have something over SU.

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Ain't gonna lie looking at this is amazing but learning to play this stage for the first time was hard as HELL! (and let me say the slippery controls don't help much at all)

 

Thanks. It took me a LONG time to get that run done properly though smile.png

Edited by KrazyBean

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I think that in terms of level design they both pretty bad, in 3d sections they just narrow corridors, in 2d, Colors is clear winner, but not by much, because of wisps Colors add more depth (like with drill wisp you can find different areas), and Colors actually have underwater sections, which i like. In Unleashed i just boost, boost and boost and sometimes jumps, in Colors with wisps and nerfed boost, again, i can do so much more. So Color wins for me. But Despite of all that i have fun running through levels in both games.

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Unleashed's design is a case of your mileage may vary. On one hand you may view them as cheap, but on the other, the constant danger means you get loads of replay time.

 

When I consider how long it takes me to play through each, I'm gonna have to go with Unleashed. Even without the Werehog stages it can take a considerable length of time to go through it all without practice since there's a lot of obstacles. Which part of me thinks is a challenge for you to come and replay it and do better the next time. Gameplay time is something that is of definite importance to me and this is where Unleashed wins out. Colors was said to be fit for a younger audience and that label is apt with how much simpler and easier the stages are for the most part.

 

So, gonna have to go with Unleashed on this one.

 

I'll give Colors points just for not having Werehog stages in terms of design, though.

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Unleashed. Simply because Unleashed's level design fit the gameplay a lot better. Colors' was just too much blocky and too little 3D for my likes.

 

And well, yeah some alternate paths but Unleashed's pace was enough to make up for it for me.

 

Honestly, Generations nailed the best mix so yeah, bleh.

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It's the exact same kind of fake difficulty, and the QTEs in Eggmanland might as well be Terra Tubes for all the difference it makes. They also got themselves under the false impression that if it one hit kills you, that automatically means the level is harder than if you just got hit normally.

 

This is a thing where we're going to have to agree to disagree personally.  If one hit doesn't kill you in a game with a health system like Sonic's what will?  I think a challenge in which "you must complete this stretch of level without making mistakes here here and here" and providing as many chances as you like to do so is not cheap at all.  The alternative would just be a level where your first time through you just get hit by stuff every time and never even learn or appreciate how you are supposed to do it because you just grab your rings and waltz right through all the danger.  (Obviously this wouldn't apply to Unleashed of course since you couldn't grab dropped rings - and with good reason, would kill the pace).

 

 

Or I guess you could make it stupidly easy like Colours.  8C

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Just to add, the above problem is something I actually get even in the Classic Mega Drive games.  Even Death Egg, most hazards you can get through just by running forward, getting hit, grabbing a ring and going as far as possible before your invincibility wears off, grab a ring again, repeat.  Meanwhile Scrap Brain... not so much - that game had some instant death traps and Scrap Brain was really tough for it.  I don't see what's so bad about Unleashed making the final few levels make such cheap tactics not even an option.  You MUST overcome the obstacles in front of you to survive, and they give you infinite lives to work out how to do so instead of expecting mastery first time and punishing those who don't beat it right first time to having to do the rest of the level again (which they may have already struggled with first time because, yeah shit's hard).

Edited by JezMM

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A bunch of Unleashed's marketing efforts seems to largely consist of replicating the leaked gameplay video.  Other than that, their campaigns were really about the same.  Sure, Unleashed had that TV spot that reminds me more of a Chef Boyardee commercial than anything else, but Colors also had a TV spot actually.  

 

The winner is Dead Island

 

 

Gimmik?  One can barely fill a whole level, much less a whole game.  The other is a whole other game.  Which is worse?  

 

The winner is Bloody Roar.  

 

 

One has hallways with death sometimes, the other has kinda empty Megaman levels with hallways sometimes.  I guess they were trying to make it more in line with the classics but it seems like their effort didn't go much beyond just slowing it down, their question was more like "How fast were the classics" rather than "How were the classics fast".  Colors also repeats big chunks of its levels for some reason.  

 

The Winner is the spiderball puzzles from Metroid Pri- I mean an empty pool and a superball.  

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In terms of level design, Unleashed is the clear winner here.

 

The problem with Colors is that the level design doesn't really lend itself to the whole amusement park thing the game has going on. For one thing, there are a bunch of attractions that Eggman talks about in his PA announcements but we don't see any of them. Where is the Ferris Wheel and mall mentioned in Tropical Resort? Why don't we see signs for the Bucket 'O Sushi in Aquarium Park? It would make the levels much more memorable. Also, where the hell are all the people? It's an amusement park. There should be people. Yeah, it's run by Eggman, I know, but there have to be at least some people who would believe that he would reform and the park was indeed built 'out of a sense of remorse for his past transgressions'. I just can't believe that Sonic and Tails are the only two patrons in that entire place.

 

What sets Unleashed apart in this aspect is that the levels are actually memorable because of all the different set pieces. Giant baobab tree in Savannah Citadel that you get to run around. It's there. Massive clock tower in Rooftop Run that you can either climb up or grind a rail around which gives you a breath-taking view of Spagonia? Got that as well. Neon signs that have the names of Sonic characters on them in Skyscraper Scamper? Yup. And what about Eggmanland, a level that is a new take on the whole carnival trope with a rollercoaster, a few ferris wheel-type things and all that kind of stuff? Yeah, you got that as well.

 

Why can't the levels in Colors be like that? There are almost no cool props to add flair to the levels. Nothing to make them really memorable. Unleashed levels were actually memorable. I like just going through Rooftop Run and grinding down the clock tower. I like just racing through Jungle Joyride and going past the submerged temple ruins and stuff. Unleashed has nice set pieces in their levels. Okay, Colors does have a few, but it's just not enough to make the levels really memorable to me.

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What sets Unleashed apart in this aspect is that the levels are actually memorable because of all the different set pieces. Giant baobab tree in Savannah Citadel that you get to run around. It's there. Massive clock tower in Rooftop Run that you can either climb up or grind a rail around which gives you a breath-taking view of Spagonia? Got that as well. Neon signs that have the names of Sonic characters on them in Skyscraper Scamper? Yup. And what about Eggmanland, a level that is a new take on the whole carnival trope with a rollercoaster, a few ferris wheel-type things and all that kind of stuff? Yeah, you got that as well.
 
This is actually a very interesting point. In Generations, they took the most memorable parts of each stage and more or less translated them to modern HD flawlessly (Speed Highway's Going Down, City Escape's truck chase, Rooftop Run's clock tower and the railing overlooking the city, etc.). What was the particularly memorable part of Planet Wisp? No real part sticks out, barring the immense beauty of the natural portion that you see at the start of it.

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In terms of level design, Unleashed is the clear winner here.

 

The problem with Colors is that the level design doesn't really lend itself to the whole amusement park thing the game has going on. For one thing, there are a bunch of attractions that Eggman talks about in his PA announcements but we don't see any of them. Where is the Ferris Wheel and mall mentioned in Tropical Resort? Why don't we see signs for the Bucket 'O Sushi in Aquarium Park? It would make the levels much more memorable. Also, where the hell are all the people? It's an amusement park. There should be people. Yeah, it's run by Eggman, I know, but there have to be at least some people who would believe that he would reform and the park was indeed built 'out of a sense of remorse for his past transgressions'. I just can't believe that Sonic and Tails are the only two patrons in that entire place.

 

What sets Unleashed apart in this aspect is that the levels are actually memorable because of all the different set pieces. Giant baobab tree in Savannah Citadel that you get to run around. It's there. Massive clock tower in Rooftop Run that you can either climb up or grind a rail around which gives you a breath-taking view of Spagonia? Got that as well. Neon signs that have the names of Sonic characters on them in Skyscraper Scamper? Yup. And what about Eggmanland, a level that is a new take on the whole carnival trope with a rollercoaster, a few ferris wheel-type things and all that kind of stuff? Yeah, you got that as well.

 

Why can't the levels in Colors be like that? There are almost no cool props to add flair to the levels. Nothing to make them really memorable. Unleashed levels were actually memorable. I like just going through Rooftop Run and grinding down the clock tower. I like just racing through Jungle Joyride and going past the submerged temple ruins and stuff. Unleashed has nice set pieces in their levels. Okay, Colors does have a few, but it's just not enough to make the levels really memorable to me.

Well, the Ferris Wheel was in the DS version.

But this is Hd Unleashed vs Wii Colours.

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Err, the boss was the Ferris Wheel. 

I think his point was that for all of the hype about Sonic being in an amusement park, we rarely actually interact with anything...amusement parkish. I know Unleashed had a similar issue in terms of interacting with setpieces, but it was somewhat forgivable in that he was mostly running on walkways and roads. Colors kinda doesn't have that excuse for not letting us interact with more amusement park setpieces.

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Err, the boss was the Ferris Wheel. 

No, it was in the DS version. In the beginning of act 2 you were running away from a Ferris Wheel after running through what was holding it up.

Edited by Dom

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Round 9: Level Design:

 

Replying here for this round slipped my mind, but I guess I should add my input before the next one...

 

Anyway, level design, neither game's level design is great, to be honest. Yet out of the two, I'm going to have to give this round to Sonic Colors. I don't mind the game's blocky levels, or the slower pace, as the two of combined contributes to platforming. Exploration is encouraged, and as you progress in the game, the replayability of levels is encouraged as well using the new wisps that you have unlocked. I love mulitple routes and discovering new things and Sonic Colors does this.

 

Sonic Unleashed on the other hand is fun with the daytime (I didn't find the nighttime stages fun at all so I'm not even going to elaborate on them in this post) stages, but they are too linear and are too much of a boost-fest. Slowing down doesn't work as doing so causes Sonic to slip and slide all over the place. While I don't like the idea of going slow, Sonic Unleashed on the other hand goes so fast that I can't even really enjoy the sights of the game. At least I can do this with Sonic Colors. Exploring and discovering things in Sonic Unleashed I find rather difficult to do due to the rapid speeds that I'm constantly going in.

 

I admit that I am not a good gamer by any means, but Sonic Colors is more forgiving with it's level design, having less to deal with trial and error as opposed to Sonic Unleashed. My reflexes I admit are terrible, and Sonic Unleashed makes me pay for that as countless times I would trip over obstacles, run into spikes, and fall into bottomless pits as I am moving so fast and I am usually unable to react in time, which I find quite frustrating. With Sonic Colors I am moving slow enough to be able to see these obstacles, and the yellow triangle warning you of a bottomless pit coming up is very helpful as well (which is optional):

 

DYPYTkL.jpg?1

 

Level design has a purpose to provide an enjoyable gaming experience for the player. This is why Sonic Colors wins as I find it more enjoyable and fun, blocky levels and minimal 3D gameplay aside. Sonic Unleashed's (daytime) level design was fun at but far too often I would feel like it would punish me with cheap, unfair difficulty at times. With Sonic Colors, it would of been nice had the whole Amusement Park setting was further/better implemented into the game design, I agree, but that didn't ruin the fun nor dampen the gameplay. So Sonic Colors it is.

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Round #10 - Gameplay

 

Time to get down to business, we've discussed the gimmicks and the level design, now lets look at how it all comes together in gameplay. Gameplay is without a doubt the most important aspect when designing a Sonic game (or hell, most games in general) and 3D Sonic games have been somewhat unwieldy in that aspect. Whether you prefer Unleashed or Colors, both games were seen as the first strides to put Sonic in good graces again, so which game succeeds in the gameplay area and which one falters? Lets find out.

 

090410_03.jpg

 

You know what, since I talked about the gimmicks and level design already this whole passage will just be my general opinion of both game's gameplay. Sonic Unleashed's gameplay is a study in contrast, on the one hand you have the fast, reaction-based, fast reflex daytime gameplay and on the other you have the slow, platform heavy, God of War style Werehog. You think this would create some serious genre whiplash when going from one gameplay to the other? Well it does. Anyway my main issue with the Daytime gameplay is that it very reliant on trial and error which has been sufficiently touched up at this point so I don't think I need to explain further, yes the gameplay is exciting and adrenaline pumping, but only when you worked through the blood, sweat, and tears in order to garner enough skill to reach that point, it's not very good game design in that sense, especially in a franchise like Sonic where it has to be at least somewhat forgiving with it's level design, but it just isn't. The Werehog doesn't fare all that much better, what you have a poor man's God of War where combat is the heavy focus, and occasionally you would partake in slow platforming and this goes on forever, it becomes very repetitive and boring. The bosses aren't very good, as I said only the Egg Dragoon fight was really fun and I don't think I need to delve into the Final boss. I know they're extra stuff like The Hub Worlds and Medals and what not, but I consider that the Extra fluff of the game and that will be covered later, though I will say that the Medals were a major factor in souring the experince by a fair margin.

 

sonic2.jpg

 

Sonic Colors was the first 3D Sonic game in a long time that didn't have alternate gameplay/hub worlds/whatever that got in the way of the main meat of the game, and it was understandably appreciated by a lot of fans and definitely critics. It's the first Sonic game where you playing pure Sonic gameplay all the way through, and damn if it isn't fun. As established, Sonic Colors' main draw is the Wisp, and the game promotes their usage to get the full experience of the levels they are presented in, the main criticisms I seen in the topic are how they are situational and limited as a result, and while that is true for some of them (like the Blue and Rocket wisps) other wisp can get really creative and they can have uses well outside their specific set areas. For instance I used the Laser wisp to reach areas that Sonic can't normally reach (even without the laser panels), the drill has a shit ton of areas for it to be used, you don't have to use it in a specific patch of dirt or water you can use it in any of them and find tons of secrets. The Spike Wisp ends up being the most creative because it serves as a natural extension of Sonic's primary abilities (the spindash turned wall crawling ball). The levels are big and gives a good multitude of alternate routes that make it so I don't play the stage in the exact way that I'm expected to, I can choose where I want to go and that's the beauty of it to me, yes the level design can get somewhat blocky and cookie cutter esque, but that in no way kills the level of fun I have, it could have more slopes and curves, but it's fine for what it is, a natural improvement, a stepping stone to greater designed levels, at least that's how I see it. The levels also have some automation issues (it gets unacceptable at Starlight Carnival). The bosses are decent, and the Final Boss breaks the Monster of the Week Curse and the "Awful Final Boss" curse of past 3D Sonic games, so that's good. So yeah, Sonic Colors has the gameplay that I find superior and it's predictably the game I choose this round.

Edited by Soniman

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Since the last time I tried to compare Colors and Unleashed without really knowing anything about the former, as well as just being more of a dick than usual and thus making a total buffoon of myself, I'll just talk about the positives of the gameplay for Unleashed and leave the comparing of Colors and Unleashed to the people with experience.

 

I can't really talk about Unleashed's gameplay without also bringing in some connections to story elements and concepts, so bear with me if parts of this seem somewhat of a repeat of previous sections. It's established early on, via the whole introduction with Dark Gaia, and the fairly obvious shtick with the Day and Night theme going on in the story that the Werehog is slower than Daytime Sonic, and it is also somewhat clear that Sonic isn't exactly all that comfortable with his new form for a myriad of reasons. Thus it makes sense that Werehog Sonic slower and ends up being so different compared to Daytime Sonic from a story point of view, and thus rather well integrated in this regard. Granted, I will admit that they didn't capitalize on this enough by making Sonic just a BIT too nonchalant about his new form after the first few stages, but I chalk that up to poor plot structure more than anything else, or Sonic just masking his true feelings in order to appear confident.

 

Individual gameplay wise, I find Daytime Sonic to be a general blast to play, mostly because it does a good job at invoking a sense of speed, while still having obstacles that don't completely ruin the pace. GRANTED, I do think quicktime events were kind of annoying, and I do think the level design could have been expanded upon, and I also think it might have been a little TOO FAST, but I think it was still good at maintaining flow of gameplay.

 

That being said, there is a gameplay style here that I absolutely loathe, and the only reason it's not all that important is because there are only two of these stages: FLYING SECTIONS. I'm not sure why exactly I dislike these parts so much, but I think it has something to do with my so-so hand to eye coordination, and the fact that it's all one giant quicktime event that frankly still feels too fast for my tastes, thus leading to a sense of dissatisfaction/irritation.

 

The Werehog is a rather well implemented gameplay style, fully taking advantage of the brawler like nature it set out to be and executing it well with a highly satisfying list of combo moves and beat-em up action. It's also noticeably more interactive when it comes to gameplay, weaving in and out of the levels and interacting with set pieces more often than the daytime stages, and frankly just being enjoyable in general. Also That being said, I won't deny that it can be rather jarring compared to the speed oriented Daytime Sonic, which is probably the source of most of the discontent aimed at it (though I still feel it's overblown). However, I have more specific reasons in terms of issues, primarily in terms of the LENGTH of his stages.

 

The Werehog isn't slow on it's own merits, moving at a reasonably brisk and frankly more controllable pace than normal Sonic, but this pace is set back by his stage design, which is heavily loaded with many enemies and is just really long in general. The problem is that this length makes an otherwise reasonably paced gameplay style much longer than it needs to be, and thus it tends to overstay it's welcome. It also doesn't help that some of the later levels start getting increasingly dickish level design, especially one particular spot where you have to go across falling girders with SPIKES attached to the side so you can't recover if you screw up, which is likely often considering the Werehog, while more precise than Daytime Sonic, is still not so precise that he can move across a beam without at least falling over the side at least once, so this part was just dickish.

 

I know it sounds like the Unleashed gameplay is more bad than good, but frankly I still think the positives outweigh the negatives by a reasonable margin.

 

TL;DR: Daytime Sonic is fast and fun, but too fast sometimes, level design could use expanding, and quicktime events are annoying. I hate the flying sections, but they are few and far in between, and the Werehog sections have good gameplay, but have flawed level design that doesn't complement the controls of the Werehog as well as they could.

Edited by 743-E.D. Missile

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Sonic Unleashed daytime and Sonic Colors are the same in core mechanic. They both use boost, ring dash, quickstep, drift, stomp, wall jump, both have skydiving sections etc, but Sonic Colors is actually do a better job by removing bullshit elements like  necessity to collect medals to progress through the story, unnesesary qte's, wherehog, tornado defence sections and boring hub worlds. While werehog has a good concept, it still out of place in Sonic. Sonic about speed and platforming and not about brawling. If Unleashed was just like Darioff mod, it will be tie for me, but as a whole Colors is clear winner.

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That may be true, but On the contrary Colours has so little extra that it makes it ridiculously short (I can complete it in under half a day). I like my games to give me a decent play and whenever u get a new one I play it almost non stop for a day or two before I let loose a little and play it more reasonably, Unleashed ( while I don't own the HD version I have Xbox-sat my brothers) and both versions took me longer to complete. (HD especially with all the extras)

Alas back on topic, I honestly really can't choose between the two, Colours is great in my opinion and they are both built around the same core gameplay, just with different speeds. While Unleashed has trial and error and QTE's (I didn't mind the Werehog), Colours has a terrible 2D/3D ratio and didn't really feel all that much like a 3D sonic game, felt more like a game akin to Sonic Rush Adventure, a 2.5D title with little 3D bits thrown in for visuals. The good thing is I could happily switch between the two games flawlessly and if one was part of another (I.e. Eggmanland was in colours) then it would fit well without breaking the game.

So for me it's a tie

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