The easiest thing I can say about Sega’s semi-ambitious Sonic Generations is it’s the best Sonic game in over a decade. This goes back to Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast. Sure the handheld games were solid but Sega kept mixing in the 3-D graphics trying to turn what was an ADD hyper speed hedgehog side scroller into a platformer. Each time Sega seemingly went more and more crazy with their story for their mascot. This time they ditch almost any semblance of a story and make the best Sonic game in years. It’s not hard to say when they turned Sonic into a werewolf a few years ago and then gave him a sword.
Sega crafts a decent game out of a story that isn’t the greatest. Sonic is celebrating his birthday and then all of a sudden a big beast rips all of his friends away forcing Sonic to go to different areas from his past (the levels) and beat them to free the friends. It’s quite simple and it’s not meant to be a deep story like some of our other games. They throw in a younger or the older Sonic in the mix to make the story seem like it transcends time and space.
The very first level is Green Hill. Essentially ripped from the very first Sonic game. This is where you play 2-D Sonic and Sega goes straight into the old formula. Move to the right of the screen, jump and collect rings. I feel young again when I play some of these levels. Then the next level is the same zone as the 3-D Sonic. Things go from a racing look to a side scroller to well a bunch of the different genres Sonic has been through. While I like some of the maps better for the side scrolling others work well in the multi dimensional way.
Sega has done a good job in developing a game that not only allows older gamers to return to Sonic but also have the newcomers try out the older style of the spiky blue hero. Each level is vibrant and colorful and unique. The game’s colors at times are a tad too bright and can hurt your eyes but while you are in motion and not getting mind raped by the colors it looks stunning. No it’s not Skyrim, or Uncharted 3 but it still looks nice. There are moments where it looks choppy and the voice acting isn’t the greatest in the world but it is okay.
The controls are the same as they were in both the 2-D and recent Sonic games making it an easy game to get into and not all that tough to figure out. You can use the analog sticks or the D-Pad to move, although I found myself using the D-Pad for the older levels it was quite humorous when I caught myself doing it. But some of the levels that were in later or more recent Sonic games don’t translate well in the side view, the one that I think suffers quite a bit is the City Escape level. Doesn’t translate as well.
The way the game is set up is there are 3 areas in the world. You beat the six levels ( 2 per zone) you unlock challenges. You must do at least one challenge in each zone in order to collect a boss key to get to fight the boss. This part of the gameplay frustrates me because you are now forced to do Ghost Races or do stupid maps with the silly side characters.
Overall Sonic Generations is generally a fun game that you sometimes want to put down but at others you don’t but when the classic level designs come out and reach out to you you don’t want to stop. Yes it’s short but at the same time it’s a game that I wish might have a few more levels. I give the game a nice 8/10 which makes it better than some of the other sequels this year.