Welcome Time Wasters!
So long as that headline didn’t scare you off, we’re here to talk about a new Sonic game. That’s right! We’re going to take a look at Sonic Forces…
Yeah. That probably wasn’t the Sonic game you were expecting. Speed Battles is the little brother of Sonic Forces. It’s a mobile game that pits players against each other in high-speed races. It has a few loose connections to the main Sonic Forces game, but nothing that really matters in connection to the story.
The gameplay of Sonic Forces: Speed Battle has four players competing against each other to win reaches. These typically don’t even last a minute, which makes it great for on-the-go gaming. The quick races match up well with the Sonic franchise, as well.
Racing in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle only requires one hand. Players will swipe left, right, up and down to avoid obstacles that will appear in their paths. This can include walls, pillars and enemies. Along the way, players will also pick up items. These items include speed boosts, shields and methods to attack the other players. Each player can carry up to three items at a time. The different characters also get different items, but they are mostly the same in terms of behavior.
The last thing that players will pick up when racing in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle are rings. Players start out with no rings at the beginning of a race and can hold a maximum of 100. The more rings the player has, the faster their character will go. They will also lose rings for running into obstacles, or after being hit by another player’s attack.
Every player gets rewards for taking part in the races, but the rewards are better for those that place higher. These rewards are chests that contain character cards. Character cards are what allow players to unlock and upgrade characters in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. The game in generous enough to start players out with enough cards to get them going and it really isn’t too hard to unlock extra characters. Outside of character cards, players will also need rings to fund the upgrades.
There are two types on rings in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. The first are the normal gold rings that you know and love. The second are special red rings. The gold rings are used to upgrade characters and players can get them from victory chests after winning races. These chest can also contain character cards and take real-world time to unlock. Some chest can also contain red rings, which are the premium in-game currency of Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. The red rings can unlock chests instantly and players can buy more chests from the in-game store with them.
Yeah, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle uses a loot crate system, but don’t let that scare you away from the game. I hate loot crates as much as the next guy, but they feel more at home in a free-to-play mobile game than in the full $60 one (I’m looking at you EA).
Loot crates suck, but you know what I hate even more? Ads. I can’t stand ads in games. I can deal with a banner ad, but it’s the forced videos ads that really kill me. Just take a guess at what Sonic Forces: Speed Battle does after every race. That’s right. It hits you with a video ad. I understand loot crates or ads in a mobile game, but when both of them get tossed in at the same time, it feels like a desperate plea for cash. Especially when it comes from a larger game company like Sega.
Let’s move away from the bad and start talking about the good again. This is the graphics in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. It looks great. There’s also an awesome sense of speed, solid character models and good special effects for attacks. I did come across some lag during my time with the game, but its hard to determine if that was the game, my device or the internet connection I was running off of. Just note that it can happen.
The audio in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle isn’t bad, but it doesn’t really stick out to me. The music in the background is really easy to unintentionally tune out, as is that for menus. It feels strange to say that about a Sonic game, which usually have such stellar soundtracks. However, there are all the right sound effects for picking up rings, stepping on speed booster and so forth.
Overall, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is a fun racing game that carries the ugly blemish of loot crates and forced video ads. If you can get past these negatives, the game really is worth playing. I’d just advise to play it sooner rather than later. After all, you never know how long the communities for mobile games like this will last.
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle earns 3.5 GiN Gems out of 5!