Welp, it’s finally here, the Sonic game I’ve been looking forward to playing for the second time, now on PC.
The 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, a time to finally make things right. The Blue Blur’s 15th anniversary was a complete and utter disaster, from Sonic 06 to the GBA port of the first game…and possibly Sonic Riders, who knows. Sonic fell flat on his face and it’s time for him to recover. So I watched the trailer of this game and HOLY S***! IT’S CLASSIC SONIC, DAMN SON! I was looking forward to this game and I actually bought it new as it was quite cheap for a new release.
Sonic Generations (ソニック ジェネレーションズ Sonikku jenerēshonzu), developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It was released in 2011 worldwide.
Sonic arrives at his birthday party, with many of his friends celebrating with him. Tails gives Sonic a chilli dog as a present…wait, a chilli dog? As that food he eats in the cartoons…is now canon? Eh, OK, I have no issues with him possibly eating another animal, it’s the circle of life after all.
However, a mysterious being known as the Time Eater, kidnaps all of Sonic’s friends, with Sonic trying to stop it…and fails. Sonic then wakes up in White Space and after going through Green Hill Zone Act 2, he rescues Tails. They find out that they have to travel through different time periods to rescue their friends and collect the Chaos Emeralds to unlock the door to defeat the Time Eater.
And you’re wondering where Classic Sonic comes into fruition? Well at the very beginning of the game you play a remixed version of Green Hill Zone Act 1. At the end, he too gets taken away by the Time Eater. Classic Sonic will go through his retro-styled levels and Modern Sonic will go through his modern levels, with all nine of them based on previous levels from different games in the series…main series.
And that’s the gist of the game, you play as two Sonics. Each level will have two Acts, one is retro for Classic Sonic and one is modern for Modern Sonic.
There are three sets of levels, each of them based on past Sonic games. For the first game, we have the Classic Era from the Sega Mega Drive games, consisting of Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1, Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic 2 and Sky Sanctuary Zone from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The second set is the Dreamcast Era from the Sonic Adventure games and oddly Sonic Heroes, a game that wasn’t even released on the Sega Dreamcast, but I guess it was meant to symbolise the beginning of Sonic being in other consoles. They consist of Speed Highway from Sonic Adventure, City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2 and Seaside Hill from Sonic Heroes. And finally, we have the Modern Era, consisting of Crisis City from Sonic 06 (which is now canon to the series WHAT THE F***?), Rooftop Run from Sonic Unleashed and Planet Wisp from Sonic Colours.
These levels have been remade both for Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic, but if you’re a Sonic fan, you’ll identify a lot of these stages and even some moments from each of them you’ll remember, it’s great being a fan…sometimes.
I love the Classic Sonic levels, probably because I love the classic Sonic games. They emulate the gameplay well though the physics and controls have been altered since it is 2.5D and not 2D sprites but what they did here is great. Classic Sonic can run, jump and bop on enemies like yesteryear, though there are times that I forget that this Sonic doesn’t have a homing attack yet so accidents occur through human error. The controls are simple like the classics and the spin dash can be performed by just holding it’s own button instead of crouching down and pressing the button multiple times to rev him up.
The spin dash is incredible, since once you use it, you’re literally blasting away, even to the point of nearly leaving the screen, so I enjoy using it, especially at the right time. Some of you might feel that Classic Sonic being in Crisis City and the sort being jarring, but there is a funny moment in that level that cracks me up. Though when I say the physics have been altered, I mean it’s really been altered a lot as platforming feels a little stiff and stuff like rolling into a ball and gaining speed is gone. Does the new Sonic Team have no clue about physics?
Modern Sonic levels are decent, it’s the 3D levels you know and love from going “way too fast” but being balanced now thank goodness, sidestepping and drifting like crazy…until you realise that most of the levels consist of Modern Sonic being in the 2D view, which makes no sense since that’s Classic Sonic’s terrirory. This has been an issue with Colours, though I did have no issues with that aspect because this wasn’t really a thing and Sonic 4 doesn’t count. You can tell the developers couldn’t be arsed to make true 3D levels and opted to just make a 2D Sonic game with tidbits of 3D sprinkled around the place, it’s inconsistent and shows that they don’t know how a 3D Sonic game should work half the time.
Not to say the levels are bad, not at all, but it’s just irksome when you shaft the Modern Sonic gameplay. As such, Modern Sonic can do what he does best, jump, homing attack, boost and automated sections that are at least more flashy that I can get distracted by them. During the time you are launching out into the sky, you can perform tricks that will increase your boost meter, which is always a plus in my books since boosting is quite fun and when you know the levels back-to-front, it’s quite the exhilarating experience for the most part.
But if there’s one thing I can agree on, it’s the fact that the levels have multiple pathways like in the classic days, more for Sonic and some Modern but the Modern controls and gameplay don’t always benefit that.
At the end of completing a level using Classic and Modern Sonic, you’ll save a friend and after completing all the levels from an Era, you have to beat a boss…but you need three keys to open the door to access it. So, to add padding to the game, we have Challenge Stages, where you have a bunch of unique objectives to complete and you get rewards for it, most particularly music. But if you want to just simply beat the game at a fast-pace, you can just simply beat one stage from each level to get the keys and just go beat the boss.
The main bosses include Death Egg Robot from Sonic 2, Perfect Chaos from Sonic Adventure and the Egg Dragoon from Sonic Unleashed. But there will also be rival bosses inside one of the era’s levels. For the Classic Era, we have Metal Sonic from Sonic CD, Shadow from Sonic Adventure 2 and Silver from Sonic 06 in what may be the best Silver boss because anything is better than his original boss in that game. It’s no use…FOR SILVER!
I don’t know, but have any Steam users found the Egg Dragoon to be…broken? As in I can sometimes barely hit the boss? It’s just that I had no issues with him in the PS3 version so…damn it! We can all agree that the Egg Dragoon boss is not the best boss…no, screw that, the Time Eater boss is the worst boss in this game and in Sonic history and I’ll just leave it at that.
Actually, let’s get back to the story. As much as I like seeing Classic Sonic and Tails and the like, the story is really weak and for an anniversary title, it’s a massive disappointment. Usually in anniversary stories they look back on past triumphs and mistakes, references, jokes based off a flaw or perfection of a character from days gone by. For Sonic Generations, we have small references but the plot is so basic and downplayed. I mean sure, the levels will make most of us feel nostalgic, but sometimes a story with a wide scope and is satisfying can make a huge difference. But let’s remove the fact that this is an anniversary story, the story is just OK anyway, time travel isn’t interesting if the time traveller isn’t a lesbian (look at Overwatch and Life is Strange to get the joke). I’m guessing the entire game was rushed and thus, didn’t have time to make a decent story.
Back to the game. If you want some extra gear for your adventure, you can go to the skills shop where you can buy skills for either different Sonics or for both. They can be beneficial if you’re a beginner, but if you’ve played it multiple times, you don’t need the skills. But the shields should always be a recommended purchase and you can even upgrade them to be elemental shields like in Sonic 3 & Knuckles; though this is only for Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic has boost I guess so use that. Heck, in the same shop, you can buy a Mega Drive, and what is it for? TO PLAY SONIC 1, AS IF HAVING A MILLION PORTS ISN’T ENOUGH, SEGA IS JUST GIVING IT AWAY, F*** IT, IT’S ONLY SONIC 1…though this is only on the PS3 and Xbox 360 port so Steam users have to buy it separately…if you really want to get it. Also, WHERE’S MY F****** CONSOLE/PC PORT OF TAXMAN’S SONIC 1 & 2?
Oh, if you’re a veteran Sonic Generations player, turn off Omochao, the robotic tutorial Chao because he’s absolutely f****** annoying. You don’t need him at this point and I feel sorry for any beginners getting into this…well I and other players were those beginners at one point.
By the way, I first played the PS3 port, probably the superior port in my opinion and I don’t know why I sold it *bashing my head into a wall intensifies*. But it’s not the end of the world as I have the Steam version thanks to that Sonic 25th Anniversary Humble Bundle. If you pre-ordered the game, you would have gotten some DLC of Casino Night Zone. But on Steam, Sega just gave it away to everyone eventually, regardless if you pre-ordered it or not, so I have a complete version of Sonic Generations…not that it makes any difference since it’s just a Pinball table giving me vibes of Sonic Spinball due to Sonic being the ball, but also giving me vibes of Sonic Pinball Party, which is a more competent Pinball game. You don’t get any achievements for it or any unique rewards, it’s just for fun and I have no issue with that, it’s a nice distraction when you get down to it.
You also have a Collection Room. During the game, you can collect Red Rings, each one you collect will give you some concept art for the game and such. Holding Select in this room will take you to the Statue Room where you can unlock statues of different characters and items seen in the game. Now you were supposed to get the codes from Sonic products you bought at the time. Thankfully though, the codes are the same for each character and the codes are re-usable…so I know what I’m doing for the next 10 minutes.
The graphics are great and the level design is quite good for each level apart from Modern Sonic’s Crisis City, I hate that level and it’s probably the reason why I lost so many lives when I was just banking so much of them before. The music is awesome, great renditions of classic pieces and even the modern pieces. Though it’s a shame that TJ Davis didn’t come back to do Super Sonic Racing because the guy who did it sucked and it’s the worst piece of music in the game.
Overall, Sonic Generations is a welcoming entry after so much crap…yeah, I know Sonic Colours was good but in terms of wanting to celebrate the series, it does a good job, but it could have been so much better, so much more if it wasn’t so rushed, but at least it wasn’t as rushed as Sonic 06, this game is a Sonic game through and through with no gimmicks to an extent. I love the Classic Sonic gameplay and the Modern Sonic gameplay is still great too, and through all it’s many, many faults, is a fantastic experience that unfortunately still had potential to be more than it eventually is. Lets hope Sonic Forces does a much better job celebrating the series…or play Lego Dimensions with Sonic as that is more of an Anniversary game for Sonic than Generations…how shameful is that?
But, Sonic Forces is coming out, which is going to once again celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series. After a while…I’m more excited for Sonic Mania than Sonic Forces, I mean I will definitely play Forces, but…hopefully my opinions on Forces will be positive.
You can get it on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and the Nintendo 3DS.