Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Sonic Frontiers Final Horizons Update Review - When Hard Is "Too Hard"

It's been about 2 hours, it's a 36 degree celcius (96.8 Fahrenheit) day, i've never really experienced Vertigo before until playing stage 4-H. Everything about this stage is stressful. The backgrounds, the floating boxes, the music, the alarm beeping sounds, the mysterious walls that make Sonic explode for no reason, I keep on falling off the boxes. After a few days of trying I nearly had it. But right at the end, a ring boost was so out of reach that I couldn't boost up to it from mid air and then I died. Welcome to Sonic Frontiers' "Final Horizon" update, the last update for the 2022 game Sonic Frontiers. 

At first I enjoyed the new experience of the update, playing as individual Sonic characters in a Sonic game again, it's been a long time. Sadly, they only appear as holograms, which is very annoying. There is no classic Character Select screen like Sonic Adventure. There are some new additions to Ouranos Island (I can think up of a joke for that Island name but I don't think the Administrators would allow it). One cool thing I really enjoyed is the new character themes for Amy, Tails and Knuckles. I just really wish there was more focus on the playable characters instead of the generic and repetitive gameplay. From what i've learned, you can't play as Amy, Tails & Knuckles in the main stages of the game. That sucks.

I've been playing this new update for a couple of days. It started off as a joke, then it got real hard for no reason. I'm not the only one complaining about the game's new difficulty. Many people are shocked and frustrated about the new challenges, making most of the gameplay unenjoyable compared to the main base game. However, I didn't think that climbing the Trial Towers was difficult. In fact I climed Trial Tower 4 on the first go without falling off. The small Trial Challenges in between each tower climbs aren't actually that hard once you figure out what to do. I completed the Snake Trial quite easily, and surprisngly, completed the Tiger Trial challenge in under 30 seconds. I wish I could do more mini Trials like these, I actually thought they were fun.

I was surprised that we got a fresh batch of new stages in this update as well. The stages are named after letters instead of numbers. However, I like some of them and find the others infuriating. The biggest problem is that there are no checkpoints in between stages, so if you die on any point it's back to the start whether you like it or not. 

Tails is angry about the difficulty in the Sonic Frontiers Final Horizons update.

I also encountered a couple of horrendous glitches, especially in stage 4-H. At one point on a curved box, I moved the control stick to the right, but Sonic moved to the left. For this reason he fell off the box and died. Another on the same stage, I locked on to an enemy in the air, the triangle appeared for me to do the Homing Attack, I pressed Square, then pressed Square again, upon realizing the Homing Attack didn't activate, I pressed Square several times within a few seconds, and Sonic would just not Homing Attack with the lock on, so I fell to my doom and died. Remember, there are no check points. Did I also mention, there are no check points?!

Frontiers' Final Horizon update is still as confusing as ever, with extreme difficulty for no reason because so many people complained that the main game is too easy. This is why we can't have nice things. However, while I appreciate the new additions such as new levels, playable characters, and story mode, there is an amazing amount of content in this free update, it's just such a shame I can't enjoy it to the point where I should be able to select my own difficulty and the fact there are no checkpoints at all in the new stages is just dumbfounding. I loved the new Trial Challenges and climbing up the new Trial Towers which made more sense to the story and adventure, but I feel like Final Horizons feels so limiting on just the one random island and not across the entire game. If only Sega could Nerf the difficulty I would enjoy it more. It's more punishing than enjoyable.

Sonic Frontiers Final Horizon's free update is now out on Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. No review code was acquired for this article.




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