Classic Sonic teams up with new Sonic — if only new Sonic called in sick and learned to shut his mouth. For those of you that are huge fans of the classic Sonic games, we have been waiting for what seems like forever for the next great Sonic game — or for that matter a good Sonic game. After the travesty that was Sonic 2006, and Sonic 4: Episode 1 — who does SEGA think they are not releasing the next episode, Valve? — I had given up hope on ever enjoying a Sonic game ever again. Sonic Generations consists of everything that I wanted in a Sonic game and everything that has slowly built my hatred for the newer Sonic games, all wrapped into a single package. Which side prevailed? Let’s read on.
The story consists of New Sonic panicking when all of his pals start being kidnapped and trapped in separate worlds. It is up to Sonic, and Sonic, to rescue them and find out who the mastermind is behind this — though I’ll give you two guesses.
Each of the Acts are broken up into 2 parts — one for Classic Sonic in an awesome sidescrolling level, and one for new Sonic which plays on a vertically scrolling level that for the most part works well. However, it still has parts that ruin the momentum that a Sonic game should have.
Each of the Acts are reimagined versions of older Sonic titles, but the selection leaves a lot to be desired. Why they decided to use more modern Sonic games (Sonic 2006, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Colors), instead of from more classic game such as Sonic 3 or Sonic 3D, is beyond me.
A major problem for me is the way the game is designed. After beating a couple of the Acts, you hit a literal brick wall. To progress in the story any further, you have to finish challenges from the Acts you just completed. These range from completing time trials to ghost races. Completing these unlocks keys that are used to open up the boss battle before being able to move on to the next set of Acts. This is a complete misstep to me, and even though these challenges only last a minute or two, I fail to see the reason why they designed the game this way. It really stops the momentum of the game and grinds it to a halt. Although, the lack of momentum seems to be a problem with Sonic games in general these days.
The graphics are pleasant to the eyes and I was amazed to see just how good a 3D Great Hill: Zone I, my all time favorite Sonic level, could look. The game runs at 30 FPS, although it does take a dips here and there, but it’s nothing game breaking. The music consists of different remix styles of the classic songs depending on which Sonic you are currently using. Classic Sonic has more of an orchestrated feel while modern Sonic has a modern rock feel.
Playing as classic Sonic the game feels like it should. You are able to run through the levels at an extremely fast pace — but eventually you will hit that spike or run into that enemy and be helpless as all of those precious rings fly out of your body, never be seen again. Modern Sonic, while not controlling poorly, just doesn’t have the same sense of speed as playing as Classic Sonic. At times you are given a glimpse of what could be , but miss a few timed homing attacks and your momentum is taken to a stand still.
I can’t feel disappointed in Sonic Generations. It had everything I wanted in a new Sonic game, but at the same time everything I didn’t want in a Sonic game. The forced challenge missions and lack of the classic levels put me in a tough spot. While not releasing at full price is a bonus and makes this package even sweeter, I just couldn’t get myself around some of the glaring faults of modern Sonic games. I would almost would have liked to see them release separate titles, one for each of the Sonics. Oh, and Sonic, please don’t ever speak again, because that would be great.
Note: The Sonic Generations review was written based on the PS3 version of the game.