Sonic Generations

7 Overall Score

Beautiful stages, amazing remixed music, and a real sense of Sonic’s manic speed

The game is occasionally framey and the 3D stages still have issues maintaing the feel of a Sonic game

Written by on November 28, 2011 in [, , , ]

Sonic has definitely had some issues in the past few years. All of the 3D Sonic games released in the last few console generations seem to have squandered all of the goodwill that the blue hedgehog gained in his Genesis heyday. The 3D Sonic games, starting with Sonic Adventures, haven’t done a fantastic job of giving the player that intense sense of speed and nearly out of control feeling that made the 2D games special.  Sonic Generations does a fantastic job of bringing the series back to a good place, mostly by going back to what made Sonic so special in the first place.

Sonic Generations marries the old and the new through a, mostly silly, story involving an unknown force that is trying to completely destroy time. As a function of this evil being ripping time apart the Sonic of the Genesis era is joined with the Sonic of the Dreamcast and later era. This sets up a situation where the player will visit each of nine main stages twice, once as the classic 2D Sonic and once as 3D Sonic.

The stages themselves are reimagined versions of classics from a slew of different Sonic games. Classics like Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1 and Speed Highway from Sonic Adventures are well represented. The game even includes levels from very recent games like Sonic Colors. Even the SEGA CD Sonic game is represented in this game. All of the stages are gorgeous and the music for each Sonic is excellent. It’s a nice touch that SEGA made sure that when playing through levels as 3D Sonic the player would get to hear a different, remixed, audio track.

Piloting Sonic around these levels is mostly excellent. Classic Sonic has the mind bending speed and fluidity that you would expect. Occasionally in the later levels, Classic Sonic can become a bit frustrating because his controls are just a bit floaty. This isn’t really a problem on the remade versions of classic stages but the newer stages demand a bit of platforming that just doesn’t suit the floaty nature of our 2D friend.

The 3D/2D hybrid stages presented to 3D Sonic are fun though not as fast as their 2D only counterparts. The problem is that there are two many points in these levels where the player can lose momentum which doesn’t feel good in a Sonic game. Sonic’s homing attack is present here and does help keep the flow of the levels moving but every once in a while that attack sends you plummeting off the stage which immedately becomes frustrating. These levels almost serve as a reminder of what the issues really were with the 3D Sonic games as a whole.

The only real disappointments in Sonic Generations revolve around the boss fights and Chaos Emerald stages. There are only four main bosses in the game which just feels wrong when previously Sonic had to battle a different boss at the end of every set of levels. Instead Sonic must finish three levels in both Classic and 3D and then he must complete three challenge levels to unlock the boss. This works well enough and many of the challenge levels are fun diversions but by the end of the game it becomes a bit tiresome. I would have preferred battling a unique boss at the end of each level using a combination of Classic and 3D Sonics. Some of the Chaos Emeralds are unlocked by defeating the bosses and the rest require Sonic to participate in rival battles. Those rival battles feel more like just another mini boss fight rather than the trippy, surreal Emerald stages of Sonic past.

Despite some minor control issues and disappointing bosses Sonic Generations does a really good job reminding fans exactly what made Sonic fun in the first place. It’s worth noting that if you never liked Sonic this game isn’t going to magically change your mind. If you missed the frantic pace and seizure inducing visuals of Sonic past this is a game you really shouldn’t miss.

A copy of Sonic Generations was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Elaine View all posts by
Electrical Engineer, podcaster, writer, gamer, tech lover, mother of two children (who are often trying to kill me) and lover of rum, vodka and wine from a box.

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