Speeding through time
Review Sonic the Hedgehog celebrates his 25th anniversary this year and consequently, Sega is touting yet another title where the blue-speedster takes centre stage. According to the company, Sonic Generations broke Sega's pre-order records as the most anticipated Sonic title in 20 years. Hmm, and there I was thinking the heroic hedgehog was a spent force…
This place is bugged
Generations takes a trip down memory lane, piecing together elements from titles of yesteryear. Unfortunately, it feels a little rushed at times, held together by a weak plot which appears to have been created in order to glue the different game snippets together. Still, I shouldn't be too harsh, as Sonic was never that plot-centric anyway.
To sum things up, a new bad-guy with ties to Dr. Eggman/Robotnik, interrupts a surprise Birthday party and throws a spanner in the works of time, scattering Sonic's furry friends throughout different points within his history. While searching for them, a slimline Sonic bumps into his chubby old-self and teams up to do a Quantum Leap to fix what went wrong. Set the parameters and it writes itself, I swear.
Zoned out on the green
Featuring expected elements from chequered loop-the-loops to bouncy spring-board thingamajigs, the game is a constant reminder of days when Sega made consoles. From Mega Drive to Dreamcast, reminiscence is all part of the Generations game. The soundtrack, packed with familiar Sonic tunes, once again inhabits your head for days like some forgotten mantra triggering memories of repeated gameplay from bygone years.
The game itself splits into three eras spread over nine worlds, each tackled first by the classic chubster in 2D platform style, followed by contemporary stick-figure Sonic in a more-modern 3D environment. Things kick-off with the evocative Green Hill Zone, revamped in HD glory. It's a wonderful spaghetti junction of possible routes. However, there's little time to choose one, as Sonic's addiction to speed seems to have worsened over the years, rushing through levels like the ground is made of hot coals.
Don't get me wrong, Sonic was always about speed, but I don't remember him ever being this fast. Yet, continuously crashing through 3D levels made me think the handling could have been better. Still, it's an exhilarating experience and Sonic Generations actually encouraged me to dust off my Master System and sit down with the original 8-bit version for a few days.