The right way to make a 3D Sonic, even if it is technically 2D.
It seems that with every major Sonic game of this generation, the quality declines a bit. The 3D games are broken and just plain too easy and seem to be rehashes while the 2D ones are great but almost always overlooked. But finally, one Sonic game combines the great gameplay of the 2D's with the notoriety of the 3D games. That game is Sonic Rush.
Where to begin, where to begin. The gameplay is a blast from the past. It ditches almost all the innovations of the new games in favor of the old games, but still has new material that flows greatly. Each course you'll blast through in roller coaster meets pinball like fashion. And this speed also adds a new move: the trick. Sure, it was in the Sonic Adventures, but it never really played much of a role. This one's trick system rewards you for originality and is actually used to access the special stages. And about the special stages, they're basically Sonic 2's. For those who don't know of them, you were in a half pipe grabbing rings and avoiding the ring sucking spikes. The major difference here is the way you play it. You'll make use of the second screen's touch system, which seems to fit in so perfectly that you'll say "Why didn't that make it in Sonic 2?". The boss battles take place in true 3D. Sort of. Even though it takes place in 3 dimensions, the movement is limited on a 2D axis, only moving left and right. The most disappointing part of these boss battles is that they're almost always the same damn thing with a power boost and some new moves. This even applies to the second mode, as Blaze The Cat. That's right, there's a second character. Without spoiling much, she's trying to save her own dimension by collecting the Sol Emeralds. I know, cliché, but it seems to work. Her game isn't as good as you'd think. In fact, the only differences are her abilities (hovering and fire) and the arrangement of the course. Despite this, it all wraps up nicely and for pretty long, offering a pretty good challenge.
Now onto the graphics. The graphics offer a vibrant, colorful display of the environment, whether it is a deep rainforest to a psychedelic, LSD-inspired half pipe. The characters are presented in full 3D, and they take full advantage of that. You won't see lighting or shading, but they'll manipulate themselves as such and will zoom in and out with illusionary 3D effects.
The music in this game is a huge departure from the kiddy Sonic themes. It's all weird techno, adapting to the course. It's not good, not bad, but different, and I love it.
If you want a good Sonic game or just a game that'll last you quite some time, consider purchasing this game.
*originally posted July 17th, 2006