First impressions, then.

Short version: it’s good, really quite good.

Long version: read on.

It takes a while. It jumps into a six-hour (approx. figure) cut scene before letting you play and when you do… oh, it’s not too good. After Excite Truck it feels slow, clunky and just weighted all wrong. Sonic starts off very slowly and only gets up to high speeds after a good long time and only if you don’t hit any obstacles, which you do. There are a lot tutorial levels and, really, I felt like I’d wasted my £27.99 while playing them.

Then the first level proper starts and everything you learned actually becomes useful. You start to level up and get new powers, such as increased acceleration. There are twists on different levels, such as having to avoid breaking jars. (No, really.) There are different collectables and medals to get hold of, giving the promise of replayability. Speed boosts help keep things moving. And it doesn’t hurt that it looks absolutely lovely.

Gradually, like Sonic’s initial acceleration, it grew on me. It hasn’t yet reached the heights of excitement that Excite Truck gives you from the first second. Oddly for a Sonic game it feels slightly more deliberate than that and it relies even more on the memorisation of stages. Sometimes you can get caught up against an obstacle and it grinds to a halt. But that’s your fault and the game is genuinely good fun and addictive – I kept failing a level in Dinosaur Jungle today and never once felt like giving up, I always wanted to beat it.

It’s a genuinely, actually, shockingly good 3D Sonic game.

But, Lord, I miss Chao Garden.