I am in no way a Sonic fan. I played the original three games on Genesis and liked them at the time, but I stopped keeping up at around Sonic Adventure 2. Even when I went back to play the original three games I found myself not enjoying them today. Despite all that, I absolutely love Sonic Generations.
The Classic levels keep with the tradition of power-ups and spin attacks. The level design is great with multiple paths and platforming challenges that usually don’t slow you down too much. They take place entirely on the 2D plane with the occasional 3D flare. The modern levels combine 2D segments with 3D behind the back segments and add in all the various abilities from other Sonic games. His main stay attack is the homing jump that they introduced in Sonic Adventure. Sega succeeds in making it fun to play Sonic behind the back by mostly treating him like a car. You can drift around corners and boost by collecting rings and killing enemies. Modern Sonic’s special abilities over the years are re-added as you progress through the levels.
In addition to just beating the main levels as Modern and Classic Sonic, there are also challenge levels that either add a mechanic or change the way a level is played. For the most part these are completely new layouts with the same art style as the level they are based on. Each of the sets of Challenge levels contains a race for Modern and Classic Sonic that takes place in the original level, but that is pretty much the only time you will just be replaying a level for a challenge. The only issue I have with the challenge levels is that rather than finding which ones were fun and building on them, they decided to just keep trying new things with their levels. I think it would have been cool if they had built on a mechanic throughout each area and made it more complicated. There is also a neat online mode where you can either compete for a ranking in how fast you beat a level or by how far you can get in 30 seconds.
Sonic Generations has a whole bunch of remixes and classic tracks from Sonic games throughout its entire run as a series. For the most part, these remixes are great and, for my money, there are two greats as far as classic game music goes – Mega Man and Classic Sonic music. These classic Sonic tracks are just as catchy and great as they always were. Specifically there is one remix that stands out above all else and that is this remix of “Super Sonic Racing” from the Sega Saturn game Sonic R. All stages have the option for you to choose any tracks unlocked as the BGM for that stage. So if you want to keep going back to improve your time or find the hidden items you can listen to whatever you want while you do it.
Sonic Generations’ story is exactly what you would expect. It’s a Saturday Morning cartoon, but this time it’s about old Sonic and new Sonic being thrown out of time and forced to go back through the stages of their past to stop a mysterious force that’s eating time. I could spoil who is behind it all, but I am pretty sure you already know.
Sonic Generations looks incredibly sharp and for the most part it translates the style of each game into modern 3D very well. The highlights for me were Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone and Planet Wisp. The only thing that may be an issue for some is that Sonic Generations is more concerned with making good new Sonic levels rather than replicating the feel or exact style of an older level. It works out and you will recognize bits and pieces from your favorite levels, but these are all new designs.
out of 10
- Solid 2D and 3D level design that keeps up the speed, while not being monotonous
- Crisp visuals that bring Classic Sonic areas into HD
- Great remixes and classic tracks
- Tons of options and extra challenges to complete
- The framerate can get a bit choppy on consoles, and on PC it’s reliant on your hardware
- If you don’t like Sonic’s friends they are still all over this game
- Short if you don’t complete the challenge levels.