Sonic Generations Review

Developer:

Sonic Team (X360, PS3, PC), Dimps (3DS)

Publisher:

SEGA

Console(s):

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, 3DS

Players:

1

Rating:

E

Release Date:

November 1, 2011

-Jovan St. Lawrence

In 1991, we were introduced to Sonic The Hedgehog, a 2D platformer with a fast and nimble hedgehog as the lead character. Many 2D Sonic games came afterwards all mostly receiving critical acclaim. In 1999, one game stood out in the launch of the Sega Dreamcast. Sonic’s first 3D title, Sonic Adventure was released to positive reception. Years later, and we’ve received many disappointing titles in the franchise such as Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic The Hedgehog ‘06, and the uninspired 2D game, Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I. Although I very much enjoyed more recent titles such as Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, those games were lacking in more ways than one. However, we now have Sonic Generations, the culmination of 20 years of the blue hedgehog that has given us fans hours of fast paced gameplay in familiar places. 

Generations features levels derived from the previous Sonic games over the last 20 years, spreading across three eras: Classic, Dreamcast, & Modern. You play as both Classic Sonic, from the Sega Genesis era, and Modern Sonic, from the Dreamcast era to present. The game includes nine levels in total and both Sonics have their own style of play in those levels. Classic Sonic mainly consists of two-dimensional side scrolling stages while using classic moves such as the spin dash and spin attack. Modern Sonic follows the 2D/3D gameplay of Unleashed & Colors, featuring techniques such as boosting and homing attacks. Familiar power-ups like Invincibility and Speed Shoes make a triumphant comeback as well.

So Generations is given a story to which Sonic Team’s credit isn’t that bad at all. Sonic is celebrating is (20th) birthday with all his friends from over the years when all of a sudden, a mysterious being simply known as, The Time Eater, destroys the party and sucks Sonic with all his friends through different “time holes”. Sonic is knocked out and when he comes to, he awakens in what is known as “White Space”. When Modern & Classic Sonic encounter each other, along with Classic & Modern Tails, they soon realize that the Time Eater is damaging time and space itself and both Classic and Modern Sonic must race through history to save their friends and restore the balance of time.

Many of Sonic’s 2D and 3D stages from previous games return in glorious 1080p and stereoscopic 3D (for those with fancy 3DTVs). Stages such as Green Hill (Sonic 1), Chemical Plant (Sonic 2), City Escape (Sonic Adventure 2), Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed), & Planet Wisp (Sonic Colors) all make triumphant comebacks to this game. The 3DS version also has exclusive tracks of its own different from the consoles. Even boss battles from previous Sonic games have returned like Perfect Chaos (Sonic Adventure), Metal Sonic (Sonic CD), and Shadow The Hedgehog (SA2). 

Overall, I’m pleased with the choice and amount of retro and modern stages that are in Generations. They are all popular enough and they all look and feel incredible for this game. However my honest complaints with the game are that Sonic Team could have easily capitalized on this game with offering DLC stages post-launch. I understand they couldn’t put in too many stages because that wouldn’t be feasible and it would delay the game behind the 20th anniversary of the Sonic franchise. Maybe they do have future DLC stages for this game, however, it might be too late for them at this point. My next complaint is that they’re isn’t any stage from Sonic The Hedgehog 3. I was very surprised by this decision. Sky Sanctuary (360 & PS3) and Mushroom Hill (3DS) are both from Sonic & Knuckles, not from Sonic 3. I would have accepted Angel Island, Carnival Night, or Icecap Zone as worthy stages from Sonic 3 to bring back for Generations. Hopefully we will see them as DLC soon enough, if there is any DLC.

Aside from my complaints about the game, Sonic Generations has much lasting appeal to it. Throughout the levels, you can acquire red rings. These special rings unlock artwork & retro Sonic tracks for you to look at or listen to through the rest of the game. Various missions are in the nine levels as well. Racing you’re doppelganger through a classic or modern stage is one of the many missions in the stages. There are online leaderboards for two modes. 30 Second Trial challenges players to see how far they can get through a level in 30 seconds and Ranking Attack challenges players to obtain the best time and score on each level. These two modes have never been done in a Sonic game before and it makes for great replayability. There is even a Skill Shop where players can use points earned from high scores to buy abilities, shields, upgrades, and even the original Sonic The Hedgehog game for the Genesis.

Any and every Sonic fan needs to buy Generations. There is no questioning this game. It is 20 years of an amazing platforming experience bundled into one game. Long time composer of the series, Jun Senoue, who has worked on the Sonic franchise since Sonic 3, remixed many of the tracks for Sonic Generations, giving brand new life to stages we’ve known for years. The gameplay is nothing short of amazing. You’ll never want to stop playing through the stages, collecting every red ring, getting as high of a score as possible to beat your friends in the leaderboards, and finishing every mission for that stage, both classic and modern. A handful of things were excluded in the final game but the experience doesn’t wear off too easily and getting 100% in this game is no easy task. Sonic Generations is certainly a must have.

The Pros:

  • Enjoyable story
  • Improved voice acting (certain characters are less annoying to listen to)
  • Interactive hub world
  • Great soundtrack with remixes that’ll drown you in nostalgia
  • Two great types of levels showcasing the positives of both Sonics
  • Incredible amount of unlockables in each level for both types
  • Nice addition of missions in the stages

The Cons:

  • Skill Shop isn’t too necessary
  • Weak boss battles
  • Relatively short campaign
  • No Sonic 3 stage

Verdict: 85%

Sonic Generations: Official Gameplay Trailer

Let us know, was this a welcomed addition to the Sonic franchise?