Sonic Generations brings back the speedy hedgehog, but is it just another poorly executed title, or has Sonic finaly gone back to his roots?
The little blue hedgehog was the first game character I set eyes on. It started my life as a gamer and I have many fond memories. From racing through Green Hill Zone, to the catchy theme and sound of his jump. But over the years, Sonic titles have had a bumpy ride. We have seen Werehogs, to an awful Next-Gen title. With so many Sonic titles I wish to forget, Sonic Generations is one I want to remember for a long time. It's the best title for over a decade, and it feels like Sonic is finally racing back on track.
Sonic Generations is special for two reasons. One, it is a celebration to the 20th Anniversary, and second, it's a great game. The hedgehog himself is celebrating with a party and having all his friends around. But without warning, a mysterious monster breaks up the party and sucks Sonic and his friends though time holes. Sonic's friends have been placed in different levels, with Sonic appearing in a place called White Space. This brings the Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic together as they race through familiar stages to rescue his friends and restore time. It's the typical silly plot you would expect from a Sonic title but it sets the game up for some interesting ideas.
White Space is a colourless place, everything has been drained. This is the games hub and from here you will select your stages. It's a neat idea and takes away all the fiddling through menus. Within White Space you can switch between both, Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic at any time. Each Sonic characters have stages they need to complete and they both offer a different experience. Classic Sonic gives you the traditional 2D platforming, whilst Modern Sonic will have you playing in 3D Dimensions.
Classic Sonic offers some of the best parts in the game, but Modern Sonic also has it's moments. Whilst playing as Modern Sonic you will be treated with a 3D Dimensional view. Most of the time you will be looking behind Sonic, but it sometimes changes to the classic 2D side view. This all works well enough but it does come with slight flaws. Jumping across obstacles can be hit and miss most of the time, due to the angles and controls not been 100% solid. Speeding around the stages can also create a problem or two. For example, Sonic can sometimes be speeding when he suddenly stops, due to hitting an obstacle you didn't see coming. Moments like this are few and far between and it doesn't destroy the overall experience Sonic Generations holds. It might not be up to quality with Classic Sonic, but it does offer some impressive action set pieces and memorable Boss battles.
If you've stuck by the franchise for many years you will notice some familiar places. From Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant and more. All these have been updated with impressive visuals and 3D backdrops. It all looks great but it's not really a game to stop and admirer the view. Sonic is built for speed, but you can still be struck by it's gorgeous visuals when racing through the number of stage.
Sonic Generations is a great game, despite it's flaws. It's a welcoming return for the hedgehog and it feels like Sonic is back to his roots. Let's just hope it stays that way.
Review by Gareth Smith