someone's special 20th anniversary, SEGA have released their
latest flagship game based on their extremely popular gaming
character, Sonic the Hedgehog. Combining both classic and
modern gaming elements, Sonic Generations is not only a walk (run)
down memory lane but also a walk (run) through modernity as players
are taken on a rollercoaster ride of unparalleled arcade speeds.
Just like the
original Sonic the Hedgehog game that was released in 1991 on the
SEGA Mega Drive, this 2011 incarnation features the same sense of
speed but uses the full technological power of modern consoles to
create a very entertaining and at times frustrating yet fun arcade
It's classic Sonic
with a healthy dose of modern twists such as 3D graphics and
revamped gameplay that not only features the classic Sonic spin-dash
attack but also a new attack for Modern Sonic called the Sonic
Boost! Interesting enough, it comes together rather well that
although doesn't try to reinvent the wheel but rather, creating a
sturdy and fun arcade game from start to finish.
At its core, Sonic
Generations is an arcade game that takes place in a variety of
themes from classic Sonic history as our favourite hedgehog attempts
to thwart a nefarious entity from destroying time itself. As you
move through these time holes, you'll not only be visiting a younger
Sonic but also all the friends of Sonic in order to fix up this
Best of all, this
re-imagining of the Sonic franchise not only pays homage to a wide
gamut of Sonic games before it but there are some truly
rollercoaster and vertigo inspired levels as you explore these
amazing Escher inspired worlds. Thankfully the basic elements of the
original game are included in this title but with a few new twists
for the new Sonic.
Not only do you get
to control two Sonics in the game but when you complete each level,
you also free Sonic's friends who can then team up with you to take
on new challenges which opens up the title for some great replay
value. Nothing is more fun than racing at super speeds, collecting
rings, solving puzzles and defeating enemies in classic Sonic
It's also great that
the entire game is not just 3D and at certain parts in the game, it
will revert back to its original 2D counterpart and these 2D level
are a real blast from the past. Fortunately they look brilliant on
FULL HD. You also need to change your strategy a little in these 2D
environments. Just be warned that some of the 3D levels are really
quite CRAZY, like running at super speeds downhill.
As mentioned, the
game is oozing with Sonic goodness as you run at high speeds, jump
off larger than life ramps and slide on these rollercoaster rings
and arcs. I found that the Classic Sonic is a much more lenient
character when it came to errors on behalf of the gamer because in
the "modern" world, our Modern Sonic is a little more difficult to
control, especially when running at super speeds or when an element
of timing is involved. Nothing is more frustrating than mistiming a
key gaming section and then falling to your death which is more
gamer error than controller error.
controller works perfectly on the XBox 360 and it feels like a Sonic
game from the get go. Most gamers will easily be able to pick this
title up and start playing without any issues whatsoever. As this is
almost a history lesson, the two Sonics will fight a variety of
bosses from their colourful backgrounds and there is an element of
strategy involved as you use your Sonic attacks and the environment
around you to win. All in all, the gameplay comes together rather
well for this title.
Graphics & Audio
is a noticeable difference between Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic,
with Classic Sonic almost looking quite "spritely" but Modern Sonic
is a much more streamlined and more animated character.
On the XBox 360, the
gameplay is extremely smooth thanks to the decent graphics engine
and I could not fault this title anywhere... except from the
occasional frame rate issue. The characters are well animated and
there is some good special effects and lighting thrown into the mix.
Add in lots of arcade sound effects and a very Sonic sounding
soundtrack and Sonic Generations is a well made title.
In the end, Sonic is
back and he's bigger and better than ever. This is the game that
SEGA needed to revolutionise the character and best of all, the
gameplay successfully combines classic and modern gaming mechanics
into one accessible title. It's fun and it's frustrating but at its
heart, Sonic Generations is the perfect game for those that players
that want something a little different as opposed to the overcrowded
first person shooter, sports and racer market. With lots of
unlockable content, this game can definitely be played a second and
even a third time... Bring on a sequel!!!