WorthPlaying has dished up a preview of BioWare's Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood based on what they saw of the Nintendo DS RPG at this year's E3.
The combat system in Sonic Chronicles is an interesting combination of Sonic the Hedgehog-style speed and turn-based combat, which takes a bit of getting used to. The basic concept is fairly simple: Sonic and his pals have Health Points (HP) and Technique Points (TP) and take turns beating down enemies. The major twist is that characters in Sonic Chronicles have multiple actions in a single round, depending on their speed. In the E3 demo, for example, my team was made up of Sonic, his rival Shadow, Knuckles the Echidna and Cream the Rabbit. Sonic, being Sonic, was blazingly fast and got three turns in a single round. Shadow and Knuckles, which are not quite as fast as Sonic, were capable of multiple regular attacks. Cream, however, was so slow that she only got a single attack. Once you choose to attack, your characters use up multiple attacks in a single round, and the same goes for defending. Obviously, defending lowers the damage you take from attacks, and it also regenerates some TP.
POW attacks are the Sonic Chronicles equivalent of magic, and they're not of the fire-and-forget variety. Once you activate the move, you're forced to play a very Elite Beat Agents-style minigame; you have to tap, slide and rotate in rhythm to the buttons that appear on the screen. Successfully complete these minigames and you'll earn a power boost, but if you fail, your move will be weak, or in the case of some support spells, they flat-out won't work.