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Looks like it's Sonic's birthday again - this time hitting his second decade. To celebrate the special day of the Blue Blur, and his 20 years, SEGA have released a new Sonic game, aptly named Sonic Generations, released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.
Introduction and overview.
Sonic the Hedgehog was a series which begun in 1991, depicting a blue hedgehog with the ability to travel supersonic speeds. Sonic was created to combat the super popular Mario series, which debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System - could the blue blur hold a candle to Nintendo? Sonic Generations is a game made for the Sonic fan, bringing back levels that were vastly popular in their heyday. Sonic is regarded as a series known for bringing high-speed platforming, with odd items and scenery like springs, item boxes and...loop-de-loops? Different. Sonic Generations was made to celebrate Sonic's 20th Anniversary, and was made with the fanbase in mind. SEGA put up polls on their site, which helped out with level selection, so the game was full of levels fans know and love. It's also using the Hedgehog Engine, brought back from Sonic Unleashed, this time with slight tweaks to give the game an easier time running.
The story of Sonic Generations begins with a young Sonic running along the grassy plains of Green Hill Zone...then suddenly, a huge, dark monster comes out of nowhere and lets out a powerful shock wave of energy. Fast forward a few years, and we see the characters we know planning a surprise party for Sonic. Tails warns them that Sonic is arriving shortly, and in a matter of seconds, Sonic rushes into the fray. He's greeted by a loud "SURPRISE!", and confetti bursts. Sonic's even given a birthday chili dog! The giant energy entity arises once again, blowing away all the party items, including his chili dog he recently received, leaving a shocked Sonic. The entity, also known as the Time Eater, then takes Sonic's friends, and as Sonic fights back, he's hit, as if it's no use attacking. Tails lets out a cry for help before he's taken, and Sonic later on finds himself inside a white world as he comes back from passing out. As he explores this area known as "White Space", he notices that there are several familiar locations dotted around the area. He takes it upon himself to check them out, and try to find a way to save his friends.
The opening cutscene to Sonic Generations.
Sonic Generations plays similar to how Sonic Unleashed played, this time with a bigger emphasis on exploring new routes in levels, using skills from the Skill Shop to aid you on your travels, and platforming. It's not as linear as past Sonic titles, as you can now go either the scenic route, or the quicker route. Also introduced in Sonic Generations is Classic Sonic, who plays rather similar to the classic Sonic games, hence, 'Classic' Sonic. He can jump higher than Modern Sonic, can spin, has shields to take hits for him, and has the Spin Dash. Modern Sonic on the other hand, has moves like the Homing Attack, which can automatically home in on enemies for an efficient kill; the Sonic Boost, which allows Sonic to travel at a great speed for a limited time, the Slide - which can let Sonic slide under small crevices to reach certain spots, and the Stomp, which can crush enemies below Sonic, and can also let him access secret areas. Abilities can be purchased at the new Skill Shop, introduced in Sonic Generations. You can buy moves like the elemental shields which were introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, a move that slows down time, even the ability to never let your boost bar drain, handy for those speedrunners. As always, you have Rings to allow you to take hits - every 100 rings equals a new life, so hang on to them. If you run out of rings, you can die if you hit a hazard, so look out. There are also "Red Rings", where if you collect them, you can get unlockable artwork, or even songs! If you collect 5 of them, you may get a new skill to purchase. As with the previous Unleashed and Colours games, there are 5 ranks; D, C, B, A and the top rank, S. You have to destroy enemies, collect rings and run as fast as possible to attain the S rank, so be quick.
The 2 Sonics; to the left - Classic Sonic. To the right, Modern Sonic.
A trailer showing the 2 Sonics in action. This trailer also showcases level design and graphics.
A playthrough of Modern Chemical Plant Zone.
Design, Graphics and Level Design
This game had nostalgia on its mind - bringing back many great features that Sonic fans would recognise and love. From the beloved Green Hill Zone, to the more recent Planet Wisp. From the elemental shields, to the classic Spin Dash. This game was made with the fans in mind, this is their game, basically. This game also has classic battles reimagined, such as the rival battle with Shadow from Sonic Adventure 2 was revamped, and made better. Metal Sonic even returns, as the fight against him in Sonic CD was made cleaner, and nicer, with HD graphics to boot. The Hedgehog Engine allows for a new barrier of speed - Sonic's faster than ever. Motion blurring, dynamic shadows and lighting effects are there to make Sonic look like he truly is going fast. This game can also be played in 3D, so those with 3D glasses and a 3D television are lucky. This game is truly a colourful masterpiece, with every level being different. As with the tropical theme of Seaside Hill, to the factory metal look of Chemical Plant, not one level looks the same as the other. There's also the PC-exclusive modding, where you can mod various things, from HUDs, to levels, to even characters.
A screenshot of Modern Green Hill, showing the vibrant colours of the surroundings.
A video showcasing a level mod.
This game's music is definitely one of this game's main points, and one of the many reasons why I always find myself replaying it. This game is almost nothing but remixes of classic Sonic tunes - from the classical bringback of Green Hill, to the close to orchestral Modern Crisis City, from Modern Chemical Plant's remix, to City Escape, every song in this game is amazing in its own way. The voice acting is also quite good, Sonic still sounds like the same old, cool Sonic, just a bit older, Tails sounds like an actual boy now, as many fans have complained in previous games, Knuckles sounds like a tough teenager, and Silver isn't annoying anymore, as numerous people complained about (it's no use, anyone?) As I've said quite a lot lately, the game was made with the fans as the target audience, those who have been playing Sonic for their whole lives. They will be those who like this game more than the rest, as it has some of their favourite music, and little sound effects inside.
Sonic Generations OST - Open Your Heart (Remix)
Who ever thought that even the 3DS would get such fantastic music?
Who could forget Rooftop Run? Best song in the game in my opinion...it's just...so instrumental :D
Last Words, and Final Comments
I'll just say this - Sonic Generations fixes what Sonic Unleashed and Colours failed to do. There's a perfect balance between speed and platforming, there's a perfect amount of colour and variety in the levels, there is absolutely fantastic music to bob your head to, and there's graphics that will make you have eyegasms (especially if you have the PC version). The levels are levels most who have ever played Sonic before would immediately recognise, the speed is those people could be used to by now and the bosses are those people could've battled before. This game literally brought back Sonic from the dark times people call the "after SA2 era", and has reawakened the Blue Blur we all love. The levels are fun to explore around, as it's always great to look for every single route possible, to attain the fastest times (Generations is a speedrunner's paradise, so much routes to explore), and there's even multiplayer modes that are about getting fastest times. Sadly, this game has a few flaws - from a bad draw distance on consoles, to being a bit too short (if you're a good player, it'll take 4 and a half hours max), but Sonic Generations is a good game nonetheless. To me, SEGA have done a job well done.
The final verdict.
Outstanding! This game is a must-buy for Sonic fans everywhere - a perfect gift to our favourite 20-year old hedgehog.
and yes, I realise that my username is Classic Sonic...
Sorry if this review seemed bad as well...it's kind of my 1st one..
Awh, why thank you! I put quite the bit of work into it, and I hope you liked it! Yeah, I noticed there's not many reviews here, so I decided "Why not make one?", and since I was playing this game often, I decided to make a Generations review. I hope you enjoy replaying Generations as much as I did!