The “Blue Blur” has been around for a whopping 20 years. Sega has given the public many games featuring Sonic The Hedgehog. His glory days were back on the Genesis and Dreamcast, and games like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Riders and Sonic Unleashed are the games that Sonic fans would like to forget. The year 2010 was arguably the last year of a good Sonic game to be released with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. And before that in the year 2001 Sonic Adventure 2 for the Dreamcast was released. Everything in between has been a rollercoatser of disappointment and rage. In 2011, Sega has developed the game diehard Sonic fans have been waiting for, Sonic Generations.
The plot of Sonic Generations is as follows. Modern Sonic is celebrating his birthday with his friends, including Tails, Amy, Cream, Big the Cat, Vector, Rouge and many others. It is tragically cut short by the untimely arrival of the Time Eater. This new enemy sucks in all of Sonic’s friends and scatters them across space and time. The places include locations from Sonic’s past. Upon recovering from the Time Eater’s attack Sonic finds himself in a new area known as, the White Space, and everything is drained of color. While exploring Sonic comes across his younger self, Classic Sonic along with Classic Tails. Being the genius Tails is, he figured out what the Time eater is doing and how Sonic can fix the problem. Because Sonic moves so fast he is able to undo the distorted time and space the TE has created.
This plotline is very much Sonic and feels more thought out than other games who try this alternate dimension environment. While the Sonic games are not known for the complexity of their stories (or lack thereof) they are simple and easy to follow. This makes the game a lot more enjoyable as it does not feel a story has been shoveled out last minute. So right off the bat, Sonic Generations is already paying homage to their previous games with good storytelling. But wait, there’s more.
The gameplay of SG is done is traditional gaming fashion, getting from point A to Point B in a variety of levels. The levels in SG are from the 20 years of Sonic history ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog to Sonic Unleashed. The popular term these days is, “Don’t fix something if it is not broken”. In regards to the more modern Sonic games this term applies. The formula has been changed quite often from the original to accompany the changing technology, but it has never seemed to work. Every level has two Acts, one for Classic Sonic and one for Modern Sonic. The classic Sonic levels are arguably the best ones to play as they are the epitome of a modernized classic. The game is played in strictly 2D just like the classics. The graphics however are more of a 3D feel and the colors are as vibrant as ever. The Modern Sonic levels feature a mix of 2D and 3D environments and gameplay. The mechanics have been tuned from previous games and the 3D levels are better than ever. Spin boosting and homing attacks make a comeback for a nostalgic feel. The classic power ups also make a return like Speed Shoes and Invincibility, while other levels like Planet Wisp have unique power ups.
As an added bonus, you obtain points after every level. These points are used in the skill shop to purchase skills for both the Sonics. The skills include added running speed and boost gauge even extra lives. These skills can be equipped for added challenge or to just make the game a little easier. For 7777 points you can purchase the Genesis console in game. This enables the ability to play the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. After both acts on all available levels have been completed on a level challenge gates open up. Upon completing these challenges new skills are unlocked. Finding Red Rings in the various levels will also unlock artwork, music, and additional skills.
There is an online feature as well. The leaderboards have two modes, Ranking Attack and 30 Second Trial. Ranking Attack challenges players to gain the best time and score for every level. 30 Second Trial challenges players to see how far they can get in a level in 30 seconds. The 3DS version of the game has a different gimmick. The 3DS version has special stages based off of Sonic Heroes, a multiplayer versus mode, and the levels are very different compared to the console versions. The different levels throughout Sonic’s history have been revamped and reimagined, from Green Hill Zone to Sky Sanctuary to Rooftop Run. There are levels that are sure to invoke a healthy dose of nostalgia.
The music of Sonic has always been remembered as catchy, fun, and fast. That has not changed. Jun Senoue has composed the entirety of the game’s music and the official SG theme song, Tenderoni is performed by Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. Some songs have been remade and some have stayed the same. Nonetheless they are all recognizable and sound amazing.
Sonic Generations is the game for Sonic fans. There is no crazy gameplay gimmick like Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed. The formula is old school, classic Sonic and that is the way it should stay. Sonic Generations gets a 9.5/10 for being one of the best Sonic games on the market . Sega, you have finally listened to the fans and thank you for giving us the game we have been asking for. Pick up Sonic Generations at your local game store today for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the 3DS. Sonic Generations is also available on Steam. Sonic Generations is rated E for everyone by the ESRB. Happy gaming.