Setup & Timing
While Sonic The Hedgehog games are not targeted at new and casual gamers - they're targeted at long-time gaming fans - making the main menu inaccessible until you "earn" it does not help the game attract new gamers that might try it, considering the series' fame. Once you go through (or skip) mutiple opening segments, and after you play through the Training level, the main menu becomes accessible. Most of the opening credits are skipable, as are the introductory story segments. Download time is appropriate for the data transmitted.
Menus & Navigation
Once the main menu is "unlocked" for use, it's easy to use. Simple tapping or use of the direction pad and the "A" button will get you around. The options are well-labeled, but they're a little small and close together for people still getting used to stylus accuracy.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Game Play in Sonic Rush Adventure is done exclusively via the Nintendo DS's buttons. Just like the first Sonic Rush game, they choose not to throw touch screen controls in where they are neither needed nor beneficial, a decision I applaud. The buttons and controls are accurate and straightforward. Everything in the game reacts exactly as expected without any noticable flaws.
The Single-Card Download mini games' graphics in Sonic Rush Adventure are 2D with some 3D elements, similar to the previous game. The sound effects and music are nice, but not essential. The two games made available are, in fact, different, providing unique experiences in a variety of environments. Several options are missing - like the ability to select time limits and/or lap counts - but thei absence does not affect game play.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
When I first started playing Sonic Rush Adventure, I was very annoyed. There was no main menu and no access to the Single-Card Download features. After going through the introduction and the Training Level, I finally gained access to the menu. Once I eventually got the Single-Card Download mini games up and going, some of the annoyance melted away. The games are nice - small, but fun - despite the long waiting period before playing the multiplayer minis. The race is a multilap affair, which is different than Sonic Rush where it was one level beginning-to-end. This sequel also replaced the downloadable demo with a ring collection mini game. The decision to leave both games' Single-Card Download offerings different means that they better compliment each other, whereas other series see the sequel as a replacement and forget about/ignore the earlier title. Now that everything in my copy is set to go, I'll be playing it again. It's definitely enjoyable... if you ignore the whole initial opening debacle.
Allow players to set the time limit (Collect Rings).
Provide more character options for players to choose from.
Offer the ability for the mini games to be played by up to 4 (or more) players.
Permit players to select the number of laps (Race).
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 78 / 100 (a.k.a. 39/50)
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