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Item - Sonic vs. Zonik

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Series: Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks — no. 3
Authors: Gross, Nigel
Sutherland, Jon(athan)
Illustrator: Selecciones Illustradas
Date: 1994
ISBN: 0140904069 / 9780140904062
Length: 300 sections
Number of Endings: 24 (1 victory, 4 instant failures, 19 conditional failures)
User Summary: Robotnik has created an evil duplicate of Sonic, and it must be stopped quickly!
Demian's Thoughts:

My expectations for this book were fairly low, since I figured that it would be difficult to follow James Wallis' excellent act. Alas, my fears were justified. This book isn't nearly as good as the first two. First of all, the humor is almost entirely gone -- there were one or two jokes that were passable, but for the most part the book's attempts at being funny ranged from unimpressive to cringeworthy. Worse, the general quality of the writing is remarkably low; most upsetting is the fact that the tense keeps changing from present to past and back again in a distracting (not to mention amateurish) manner. This sort of error, especially as widespread as it is here, simply should not have made it past the editor. And speaking of errors, there are a lot of game-breaking typos present. At first there's nothing too severe, just the occasional point where the numbers for choices are reversed. As you approach the conclusion of the book, though, things get really bad. Sometimes you'll end up in a section which has no relevance to what you're doing, and other times you'll get stuck in an infinite loop of vaguely related (but obviously not quite right) sections. Either way, the book frequently forces you to backtrack and take other choices because the area you've reached is completely incomprehensible. As with the tense problems, this simply should not have made it past the editor. The final blow is the fact that, as with the rest of the books, the combat system is rather vaguely defined, making battles hard to resolve satisfactorily and making the book even more frustrating than it should be. Even without these problems, the book couldn't be considered much more than an average effort. It has a few interesting ideas (most notably a "zone chip" which can be used at any time to warp into a different area of the book), but these don't do it too much good in the face of all the pointlessness on display. Far, far too many of the choices are of the random "do you go left or right?" variety, and there are two fairly tedious mazes (three if you count the otherwise somewhat nifty pinball machine puzzle) that serve as little more than padding -- to be fair, though, I should mention that at least one maze offers an easy solution if you get a good enough roll of the dice. Ultimately, if not for the many typos, the mission would be an easy one -- I finished it on my second attempt and lost within just one move of victory on the first (though it's possible I unintentionally cheated due to vague rules). I'd recommend avoiding this one -- while the first two books were surprisingly fresh and entertaining, this is more what you'd expect of a licensed video game gamebook: a cynical attempt to cash in on a popular name with the help of a hacked-together, barely-playable mess.

My High Score - 120 rings

More reviews by Demian

Errata:Your starting equipment isn't listed on the character sheet, though it's probably just supposed to consist of the Energy Gun. The choices are reversed in sections 298 and 119. The path that leads from 82 to 67 should in fact lead to 121 instead. The path from 85 to 68 should instead lead to 227. The transitions from 216 to 114, 153 to 268 and 199 to 97 are all wrong, though it is unclear where the paths actually should lead. The jump from 180 to 76 works slightly better if you replace 76 with 234 (though it still doesn't make much sense).
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