THE GAME: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a Nintendo DS console role-playing game based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It is being developed by Canadian RPG developer BioWare, which is now part of Electronic Arts. The game is scheduled to be released in 2008 in North America and Europe. A preview of the game was featured in the February 2008 issue of the Nintendo Power magazine, giving details on the game features and confirming its name. It also confirmed that there will be 11 playable characters, but only 7 are known. The interview also states that the game will feature areas and music from previous Sonic games ranging from Emerald Town, Tails Lab and Central City to more classic fields such as Green Hill Zone and Mystic Ruins and new ones like Blue Ridge Zone. GAMEPLAY: In the current build of the game, special attacks can be initiated by rhythmically tapping and dragging on indicated locations on the touch screen of the Nintendo DS, much like Elite Beat Agents. These are done using "Fatigue Points", which are similar to "Magic Points" (MP) in other RPGs. The player can also choose which attributes to increase when leveling up, and special attacks are bought using rings as currency. Examples include Sonic buying upgraded shoes. One pair may make him faster in battle, while another may inflict fire damage. The battle system will also allow for team attacks, said of Chrono Trigger, or Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Some characters can perform multiple actions per round. Each team member can perform a special power move that requires you to execute touchscreen commands. It's been said that there will be about 40 combos in the game which involve three or four characters. You can choose which attributes to improve on your characters when they level up. When in open areas, a map is displayed on the top screen as well as the members of the current team; while inside buildings or caves the top screen reverts to showing an expanded view of the area, the controls will be done through the use of the stylus instead of the d-pad much like Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. As your team members level up, their map abilities will improve, giving access to new areas, implying that not upgrading certain characters could mean missing out on certain hidden secrets on the overworld. According to the official game site, players will be able to collect different types of Chao with different abilities that will act in a similar fashion that the badges you equip in the Paper Mario series. Players will be able to trade Chao with each other via WiFi connection. The game will have two acts, one set in a standard Sonic area, while the other will take place in an alternate, darker dimension. There will also be sidequests in the game which can earn extra experience points, and sometimes special items or equipment upon completion. There will be over 20 different areas to explore. One of the areas, Tails' Workshop, is used as the group's headquarters, where party members can be switched around. Also, the game will utilize a dialogue system similar to one of Bioware's previous titles, Mass Effect. STORY: Sonic is on vacation from defeating Eggman two years ago. He gets a call from Tails that Knuckles has been kidnapped by a group called the Zoah, and that six Chaos Emeralds are missing. According to BioWare, Eggman will not be the main villain, but he will be a "more credible bad guy again". The game will also have fully animated cut scenes. According to Nintendo Power magazine, "The second act takes place in a darker world than we're accustomed to seeing in Sonic games". The game also introduces a new character named Shade. However, at this time it is still unknown what or who Shade is, other than that she is female. BioWare has stated that they want to expand on the characters and tie up loose ends left by previous installments of the franchise. Shade, the mysterious new character in her battle armor What do you think about this game?