LEGO Dimensions Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack

LEGOSONIC1Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most influential and popular video game characters of all time.  Now he’s making his mark in LEGO Dimensions with the Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack.  And his special LEGO level is almost better than some of the recent Sonic games released lately.  Well, maybe.  You’ll just have to read on to find out!  LEGO Dimensions is available for nearly all the current game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here.

LEGO Dimensions is essentially like Skylanders, except you build and play with LEGOs instead.  I even wrote a big article about it a year ago that you can read.  The Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack comes with a character and two vehicles.  You get Sonic the Hedgehog as a playable character, as well as the Sonic Speedster car and Tails’ plane: the Tornado.  The game gives you instructions on how to build the vehicles as you play the unlockable Sonic level.  Here’s a closer shot of the box they come in.


As a playable character, Sonic the Hedgehog controls a little differently than other LEGO stars.  He can still punch enemies and breakable objects, but his other moves are more akin to his original games.  He can spin dash, do a homing charge on enemies and trampolines, air dash, and even do a move where you can hold down the attack button and aim at enemies and he’ll warp to them.  It’s actually pretty nice to have a character who plays so differently from the other LEGO cast.  Although he looks a little weird in his LEGO form.  His head looks all right.  I think they could’ve done a little better with the ring he holds.  It looks more like a yellow inner tube than a gold ring.

The first vehicle you build in the Sonic level is the Sonic Speedster, which is a blue car.  I wonder if it’s the same car from Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing?  It’s just a regular car and doesn’t seem to have any special abilities aside from going up ramps and powering treadmills.  And Sonic runs faster without it.  When you hop in the car, Sonic even says something like, “I can go faster without the car, but at least I can rest my feet!”

The other vehicle you build later on in the level is Tails’ plane: the Tornado.  The propeller even spins around.  I’m glad that they gave Tails some attention, too, since he’s my favorite Sonic character.  There’s one point in the special Sonic level where you ride the plane in a little shooting stage.  Otherwise, it just rides like any other vehicle, although Sonic doesn’t drive the plane.  He just stands on top of the wings and Tails pilots it.  Anyway, here is a shot of the included LEGO figures out of the box and all put together.


The Level Pack unlocks a new level and a hub world.  These are some of the coolest unlockables in LEGO Dimensions, and reminds me of some of the stuff SEGA did with Sonic Generations.  In the level, Dr. Eggman has found one of the portals from LEGO Dimensions, and is using it to summon a limitless army of robots.  You first start out in a Green Hill type area, then move on to an Emerald Coast section from Sonic Adventure.  Next is a mechanical Metropolis zone, followed by sendoffs of Marble Hill Zone and Labyrinth Zones from the first game.  In between these areas, you’ll run through a half-pipe bonus stage where you can collect rings and nab a Chaos Emerald at the end, similar to the bonus stages from Sonic 2.  Except it’s easier here because you’ll get the emerald no matter what, you don’t have to collect a certain number of rings.  You’ll also fight a bunch of mini-bosses throughout the level, like various forms of Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic.  And at the end you’ll have a final showdown with Chaos where you can turn into Super Sonic.  Unfortunately, the level end a bit anti-climatically and on a cliffhanger, but the rest of the stage is cool.

You also get to explore a Sonic-themed hub world.  It’s like any other hub world in LEGO Dimensions, with missions to complete and structures to build.  You’ll explore 3-D areas based on classic Sonic levels like Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Carnival Night, Sandopolis, and Ice Cap Zones.  Unfortunately, some of the missions you must complete in these areas require other characters, which wouldn’t be so bad if they would let you quit the mission and come back to it later.  Rather, I had to quit the whole hub world entirely and start over if I couldn’t do some of the missions.

Even though a lot of the Sonic areas play like a classic Sonic title, it’s still a LEGO game through and through.  I do like how they changed the LEGO studs to rings, but they still act like the studs.  Sonic has a health bar, and while he can still drown, the game is much more forgiving since when you die, you just come back where you were, like other LEGO titles.  And like other all things LEGO, there is lots of self-referential humor.  I think my favorite was when you meet up with a robot Chao named Omochao.  In the regular Sonic games, Omochao acts as a tutorial, but in this game, he’s pretty ridiculous.  One time he said, “Jump on blocks to pass safely,” to which Sonic sarcastically replied, “Thanks Omochao, I thought I could just stroll through the lava!”  What’s interesting is that Traveler’s Tales, makers of all the LEGO games, are no strangers to Sonic either.  They even developed one of the Sonic games back in the day: Sonic 3D Blast!  And some of the music in the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast was later remixed into Sonic Adventure!

Unfortunately, the Sonic Level Pack has some big problems, too.  While it’s one of the most interesting levels in LEGO Dimensions, it’s also one of the buggiest.  During the main level, the game froze up on me three times, and once more during the hub world.  The hub world’s framerate also dips down into Sonic Boom territory at times, too.  If I wasn’t so interested in seeing all this pack had to offer, I would’ve quit it a long time ago.  There are some other more minor problems, too.  The level seems tailor made for Sonic’s abilities, so I can’t imagine how it would play with any other character, especially in two-player mode.  And while they use a lot of classic Sonic music for some of the areas, some places they don’t, which I couldn’t understand.  But if you are a die-hard Sonic fan and don’t mind slogging through the bugs (which you should be used to by now if you’ve played some of Sonic’s recent 3D entries), you’ll probably enjoy this pack regardless.


Kid Factor:

LEGO Dimensions is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Cartoon Violence and Crude Humor. It’s a LEGO game, so it’s pretty safe for kids.  Anything you destroy just falls to pieces.  Kids love Sonic, so they’ll probably love this LEGO pack, too.  While I would recommend most LEGO games to all ages, I think LEGO Dimensions is best for older kids.  One, the things you build are pretty complicated sometimes, so they would need to be experienced LEGO handlers.  And like other LEGO toys, the sets are pretty expensive so kids would need to know how to keep up with and take care of their toys, as the game is useless without them.  And plus using the pedestal is not very intuitive.  Also don’t forget the whole choking hazard thing with small LEGOs!

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