Sonic Shuffle

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Sonic Shuffle
Sonicshufflebox.png
North American Dreamcast cover art
Developer(s) Sonic Team
Hudson Soft
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Hidenori Oikawa
Producer(s) Shuji Utsumi
Artist(s) Hisashi Kubo
Manabu Yanagisawa
Composer(s) Yoshitaka Hirota
Hidenobu Otsuki
Ryo Fukuda
Takeo Suzuki
Kazumi Mitome
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s) Dreamcast
Genre(s) Party
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

Sonic Shuffle (ソニックシャッフル Sonikku Shaffuru?) is a party game developed by Sonic Team and Hudson Soft and published by Sega for the Dreamcast video game console. It was released in 2000 in North America and Japan, and in 2001 in PAL territories. The game is based on the prospect of advancing characters around a board game while playing mini-games in between turns, much in the same vein as Nintendo's Mario Party.[1]

Sonic Shuffle is the first Sonic the Hedgehog game in the party genre. The game's story centers on Sonic and his friends as they attempt to restore a dream world by gathering the shards of a powerful object dubbed the Master Precioustone. Sonic Shuffle received mixed reviews upon its release.

Gameplay[edit]

Sonic Shuffle is a party game for up to four players, with computer artificial intelligence making up the rest. The player can select one of the main characters of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. The game's main mode, Story Mode, is a one-player game where the player must collect the most Precioustones.[2] The Versus Mode and Sonic Room can accommodate 4 players simultaneously. Further to the simultaneous play, the game allows for players to play in teams and play against one another on a giant game board, going around and playing mini games to collect Emblems. Whoever has the most emblems at the end of each board wins. The overall goal of each board is to collect the most precioustones, out of a total of 7. There are 5 boards in total: Emerald Coast, Fire Bird, Nature Zone, Riot Train, and Fourth Dimension Space.

The game also features 8 playable characters, each with their own unique abilities, including Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, extra characters for use in mini games from the Sonic Room and VS mode, includes, Super Sonic, Big the Cat, Gamma, and Chao.

The game feature around 50 mini games and around 30 mini events. Mini games range in variety and challenge and they are divided by Teams of 2, Teams of 3 versus a Single Player and a Free-For-All. The mini events generally involve a little story, or event, and usually a choice given at the end to determine the prize or punishment.

Beyond the Story Mode and Multiplayer Mode, the game also had options to play any unlocked mini-game, songs, or look at any unlocked artwork.

The game play involves picking randomly given cards. The deck of cards has four of every card numbering 1-6 and four wild cards. Three of the wild cards have an "S" and the remaining card is the "Eggman" card. Playing the cards would dictate the distance the player would move on the board. The "Eggman" card was bad fortune for one or all of the characters and would generally cause trouble for the players in myriad ways.

Four player mini games the players are split into 2 teams of 2 and 1 vs. 3. 4-player, 2-vs.-2, 1-vs.-3, Duel [3]

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

Eight playable characters are available in Sonic Shuffle, although four are playable from the start. Sonic the Hedgehog, the main protagonist of the series, is a blue hedgehog who can use Spin Dash to attack. Tails, Sonic's friend, is an orange fox who can fly using his two tails. Knuckles the Echidna is a red echidna who has the ability to climb when he reaches certain spaces. Amy Rose, a pink hedgehog who views Sonic as her love interest, can use her Piko-Piko Hammer to jump from one Hammer Space to another.[4] Super Sonic is the powered-up form of Sonic. Big the Cat is a large purple cat who is accompanied by Froggy and can throw large rocks. E-102 Gamma is a robot who can rapidly fire his weapons. Chao is a small entity who can defeat an opponent by using Lullaby. The four remaining characters become accessible as playable characters when certain requirements are met.[4]

The main antagonist of the story, Void (ヴォイド Voido?, voiced by Urara Takano in Japanese and by Lani Minella in English), is a mysterious entity who threatens to destroy Maginaryworld through his power of darkness.[5] Illumina (イルミナ Irumina?, voiced by Yūko Minaguchi in Japanese and by Elara Distler in English) is the guardian angel of Maginaryworld who protects the Perfect Precioustone until her disappearance after Void destroyed the Precioustone.[4] Appearing as the player's tutor in the game is Lumina Flowlight (ルミナ・フロウライト Rumina Furōraito?, voiced by Ikue Ōtani in Japanese and by Elara Distler in English), a fairy living in Maginaryworld, who gives hints to the player.[4] Doctor Eggman, Sonic's archenemy, makes an appearance in the game to punish the characters furthest from the Preciousstone.[4]

Story[edit]

The game is set in Maginaryworld, a dream world created from the dreams of other dimensions.[6][7] Illumina, the Goddess of Dreams, and Lumina Flowlight guarded the Perfect Precioustone, a crystal created from everyone's dreams, in the Tower of Light.[7][8] However, one day, a monster known as Void stole and shattered the Perfect Precioustone, resulting in chaos in every part of the universe.[7][9] Lumina sends a message in search of a hero who can save Maginaryworld.[7] Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Amy Rose and Knuckles the Echidna.[7] To prevent Maginaryworld from disappearing, Lumina convinces Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles to retrieve the pieces of the Precioustone.[10] However, Doctor Eggman, having learned of the power of the precioustone, follows them into Maginaryworld.[7]

Upon entering Emerald Coast, a tropical paradise created from the dream of those who enjoy the sun, the group finds out that Void's powers are changing the beach into ice.[11] The group obtains the first precioustone after surfing down a tidal wave brought on by the ice.[12] After the Precioustone is brought back to the Temple of Light, Emerald Coast is restored to its original state.[13] The group is next teleported to another world containing the dream of freedom. The Fire Bird, a large airship, contains the true form of its world that is losing power.[14] Once the group collects the next Precioustone, the Fire Bird is destroyed and Sonic, Amy, Tails and Knuckles flee to a balloon.[15] With the dream to be free restored, the Fire Bird reveals its true form, a phoenix.[16]

The group makes their way to the Nature Zone, a jungle created from dreams of those wishing to be one with nature. However, Void has placed dark pillars in the jungle.[17] After acquiring the six pieces of the Precioustone, the group is given a set of keys to unlock the last Precioustone.[18] When the four obtain the final piece of the Precioustone, an earthquake occurs and they are forced to escape.[19] The jungle is restored to its original state, much to the group's surprise.[20] Sonic, Amy, Tails, Knuckles and Lumina then enter the Riot Train, made from a dream of those who love adventures. However, the train is unstable.[21] After collecting the pieces of the fourth Precioustone, Sonic, Knuckles, Amy and Tails successfully push the train to a stop.[22]

With the train back in control, Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles and Lumina enter the 4th Dimension, a world that Illumina has dreamed of which also contains the fifth and final piece of the Precioustone.[23] With the imminent disappearance of Maginaryworld, the five head towards the Temple of Light to retrieve the last piece of the Precioustone. The group then confronts Void, who reveals that he has decided to wreak havoc on Maginaryworld due to his loneliness.[24] Void resorts to turning himself into a monster with the aid of the Precioustone, forcing Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy to fight him. The group uses the light switches to defeat Void.[25] Finally reunited with Void, Lumina merges back with him into Illumina, their true form. She thanks Sonic, Amy, Tails and Knuckles for saving Maginaryworld, apologizes to the group, and tells them that dreams can conquer emptiness.[26] The game ends with Sonic, Amy, Tails and Knuckles leaving Maginaryworld toward new adventures.

Boards[edit]

There are a total of 5 boards in Sonic Shuffle. They all correspond to the dreams of those who dream about these areas. Emerald Coast is the dream of those who like to be in the sunlight. Fire Bird is the dream of those who like to be free, and like heights/the sky. Nature Zone is the dream of those who want to be with mother nature. Riot Train is the dream of those who like adventure, and like trains. Finally, Fourth Dimension Space is the dream of those who like to travel between stars. The characters have a board that matches them. Sonic goes with Riot Train because he likes adventure, Tails goes with Fire Bird, because he likes flying in the sky, Knuckles goes with Emerald Coast, because he likes some well deserved sunlight, Amy goes with Nature Zone because she likes nature and beautiful areas like this, and last but least, Illumina goes with Fourth Dimension Space, because she protects Maginaryworld and she must like travelling between stars.

Development[edit]

The game was first announced under the working title of Sonic Square in the June 2000 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.[27] While the previous month's issue teased a reveal of the game Sonic Adventure 2, at the last minute Sega of America deemed it too early to unveil the game, and instead allowed the magazine to do an article on the previously unannounced Sonic Square.[28]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 56.32%[29]
Metacritic 54/100[30]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 5.5/4.0/6.0
Eurogamer 4/10[35]
GamePro 4/5[33]
Game Revolution B- [31]
GameSpot 4.5/10[32]
IGN 4.7/10 [34]
Official Dreamcast Magazine 6/10

Sonic Shuffle received mixed reviews from critics, gaining aggregate scores of 56.32% and 54% on GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively.[29][30] Common complaints were made against the general gameplay, number of available mini-games, and loading times. Anthony Chau of IGN scored the game 4.7 out of 10, praising the game's graphics and sound, but criticizing the game's load times, saying, "...every time characters land on special tiles for mini-games, battles, duels, and other events, the game takes a while to load. Then, after the specified event, it takes a long time to load the board again. Imagine playing Monopoly where each player takes a full minute to prepare his turn and pass his turn to the next player." Chau also criticized the game for offering a lower number of mini-games than Mario Party.[34] Ryan Davis of GameSpot ranked the game 4.5 out of 10, saying that Sonic Shuffle "is not only a poorly realized party game, it's also a boring one to boot." Davis called the minigames "confusing and pointlessly complex" and also criticized the game's load times.[32] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer ranked Sonic Shuffle 4 out of 10, praising the audio, visuals, and voice acting, but criticizing the game for its loading times and its limited number of mini-games.[35]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Sonic Shuffle". IGN. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  2. ^ Instruction booklet, pgs. 5-6
  3. ^ "The Best Dreamcast Multiplayer Games | RetroGaming with Racketboy". Racketboy.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Instruction booklet, pp. 21-24
  5. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence. "Lumina Flowlight: Void's power of darkness is transforming different parts of Maginaryworld... If this keeps up, this world will... Maginaryworld will cease to exist!" 
  6. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence. "Lumina Flowlight: Maginaryworld... A world created from the dreams of those from other dimensions..." 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Instruction booklet, p. 2
  8. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence. "Lumina Flowlight: Precioustone. A crystal created from everyone's dreams... The power of the Precioustone makes dreams come true and is the essence of the Maginaryworld's existence... Illumina, the Goddess of Dreams, and I are the protectors of the Precioustone." 
  9. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence. "Lumina Flowlight: But one day, darkness draped the Precioustone... and Void... The Precioustone was stolen by the Darkness of Void... and the Precioustone was shattered. When the Precioustone shattered, Illumina lost her powers and became a prisoner in a faraway world..." 
  10. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Opening sequence. "Lumina Flowlight: ...Please, please help me! I need your help! I need to gather the pieces of the Precioustone!" 
  11. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Emerald Coast. "Lumina Flowlight: A tropical island paradise created from the dreams of those who enjoy the sun. But now... / Sonic: Is that Void's doing? / Lumina Flowlight: The dark powers of Void are changing this paradise into a cold world of ice... If we don't do something, this paradise is going to be sealed in ice forever!" 
  12. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Sonic Surfing. 
  13. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Emerald Coast. "Lumina Flowlight: With the piece of the Precioustone brought back to the Temple of Light, this place has been saved and has returned to the beautiful world it was!" 
  14. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Fire Bird. "Lumina Flowlight: This is a world that has lost its wings of freedom. (the ship descends rapidly) Oh no... We're losing speed... If we don't do something we're going to crash! We have to hurry! / Sonic the Hedgehog: OK! Here we go!" 
  15. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Sky Diving. 
  16. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Fire Bird. "Lumina Flowlight: Now the phoenix can fly freely! The dream to be free has been restored!" 
  17. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Nature Zone. "Lumina Flowlight: This jungle was created from dreams of those wishing to be one with nature. And that... Was placed by the darkness of Void..." 
  18. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Nature Zonee. 
  19. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Earth Quake. 
  20. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Nature Zone. "Knuckles the Echidna: The jungle's been regenerated... / Amy Rose: Wow! Looks totally different... / Tails: Yeah... it feels alive! / Sonic the Hedgehog: Yeah..." 
  21. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Riot Train. "Lumina Flowlight: But now we have no destination and we're out of control! The train is very unstable... There's no way to predict what will happen!" 
  22. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Stop the Train. 
  23. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: 4th Dimension. "Lumina Flowlight: OK everyone! We're entering the 4th dimension! Sonic the Hedgehog: A piece of the Precioustone is there? / Lumina Flowlight: Yes. It's the last one." 
  24. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: 4th Dimension. "Void: I am so lonely... You don't need me? Then... why... I was... bo...r...n..." 
  25. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Void Battle. 
  26. ^ Sonic Team, Hudson Soft (November 14, 2000). Sonic Shuffle. Sega Dreamcast. Sega. Level/area: Ending sequence. "Illumina: Thank you... Now Maginaryworld will become an even better world than it was before. I'm sorry... I'm the one who lost myself and almost lost my dream... [...] Even the strongest people have dark emotions in their hearts... We must be stronger... Emptiness does not conquer dreams... Dreams conquer emptiness..." 
  27. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, July 2000 Issue, pg 146-147
  28. ^ http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/EGM%20on%20Sonic%20Adventure%202,%20Sonic%20Shuffle.htm
  29. ^ a b "Sonic Shuffle for Dreamcast". Game Rankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Sonic Shuffle for Dreamcast Reviews". Metacrtiic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  31. ^ Sparks, Shawn (December 1, 2000). "Sonic Shuffle Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b Davis, Ryan (November 17, 2000). "Sonic Shuffle Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  33. ^ Doctor Zombie (December 27, 2001). "Review: Sonic Shuffle". GamePro. Archived from the original on October 4, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b Chau, Anthony (November 15, 2000). "Sonic Shuffle". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (March 22, 2001). "Sonic Shuffle Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Sonic Shuffle Instruction Booklet. Sega. 2000. 

External links[edit]