The Best Levels The 3D Series Had Produced
Unleashed actually began development as the third instalment in the Sonic Adventure series, before switching to the name 'Sonic World Adventure' once more of the premise had been fleshed out. When the developers began showing off some of their newest innovations however, it was clear this was a different game entirely to what had come before.
And that is exactly the point of Unleashed, and why everyone is wrong about dismissing it. Not only was this game tasked with bringing the sensational to a franchise in the dirt, but it managed to do it so successfully that the formula would go on to be replicated in both Colors and Generations. Those two games might have the crown of being where Sonic found his way back into the hearts of critics, but his true comeback was right here with Unleashed.
'Unleashed' really is an excellent word to describe just how adrenaline-pumping and impressive the daylight levels of the game feel. The levels switch between 2D and 3D platforming seamlessly and are stacked full of different routes that reward players the faster they are getting round the course, staying true to what had made the formula that had worked so well in the past. New mechanics such as the quick step and Sonic Boost make this feel like the fastest Sonic has ever been, and quick time events and sudden flicks and spots can open up entire portions of the level never seen before which, on top of the collectible medals and much improved grading systems, gives each stage a real sense of replayability.
Blasting around the red roofs and clocktowers in Spagonia, scaling trees and canopies in Mazuri or hitching a ride on a rocket firework to dash across a great wall filled with dragons in Chu-Nan is honestly some of the most fun anyone could ever have in a Sonic game, and most of these levels have yet to be bettered by Sega in terms of visuals, smoothness and design.