This video notwithstanding, I have been fairly kind to Sonic the Hedgehog, giving the DS version of Sonic Colors a 9, and an 8.5 to Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1. This is partially because I am a newcomer to Sonic’s games, and partially because Sega has been putting a bit more effort into his titles as of late. Thus, I will be seeing many of the levels in Generations for the first time.
Sonic Generations features a variety of levels and boss fights from the multiple versions of core Sonic games that have been released over the years. Each world features one Classic Sonic level, one Modern Sonic level and a boss fight. Completing levels unlocks Missions in which the player must complete a specific goal, such as finding all of the rings in a section, or finishing a level without getting hit once. A Time Attack mode is also available.
Sonic Generations for the Nintendo 3DS brings together Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic (as well as Classic and Modern Tails) to battle the Time Eater. The game is supposed to feature the best levels of Sonic's 20-year career, like a video game "greatest hits" album. Sonic the Hedgehog may be fast, but can he go forward by going back?
Does What Sonic Does Best - If you are one of those Sonic fans that has lamented over the spinoff games he has appeared in, you will be pleased to know that this is Sonic gameplay at its most basic. You dash through the levels picking up rings and taking out baddies as quickly as you can. Boss fights and bonus levels round out the package, and while I can’t vouch for their accuracy compared to the originals, I can say that the game a a whole was a lot of fun to play.
Still Pretty After All those Years - The Classic and Modern levels all look great on the 3DS. The graphics are sharp and maintain the sense of speed that Sonic has been known for. The music sounds great and the game as a whole is very well done. The 3D effect doesn’t really do much, but it doesn’t get in the way, either.
Sonic Stuff - As this is supposed to be a retrospective of the series, artwork, music, and 3D models can be unlocked as you progress in the game. There are a good number of things to see and hear. Players that strive to reach 100% completion will be busy for a bit.
Sonic Skip - Unlockables are opened up by completing Missions. The Missions consist of things such as picking up all of the rings in a section of a level within a certain amount of time, or completing a level without getting hit. Fortunately, they can be bought with Play Coins, which are earned using the 3DS’ pedometer. This is a great option for players that don’t want to bother with the Missions, or for just passing particularly hard ones.
Too Many Sonic Games? - While it is neat that Sega borrowed from so many different games, it has the unfortunate side effect of making Generation's gameplay feel a little uneven at times as you alternate between Classic and Modern levels. This may sound like blashpemy to long-time Sonic fans, but I actually preferred the Modern levels.
Classic or Just Old? - The Classic levels just didn’t grab me like the Modern ones did. They weren’t bad; I just liked the Modern ones more. The Modern levels felt as if they did a better job of keeping the action going as I used Modern Sonic’s Boost ability to keep him zooming along. Holding down to use Classic Sonic’s Spin Dash has never quite felt right to me, though, so take that for what its worth.
Sonic Generations is a fitting tribute to the series, featuring a variety of levels from the many core Sonic games that have been released over the past 20 years. The game looks and sounds great and running Sonic through its levels is as fun as it ever was. Unlockables and the ranking system provide some replayability and if you are curious about Sonic, this game can serve as a good introduction to the series. Sonic fans should also enjoy this tribute to The Fastest Thing Alive, and here’s to another 20 years of defeating Dr. Robotnik!