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.
Next page: Stunning visuals
Physics and inertia
Have they fixed the physics so it actually feels like the original Sonic? In the real 2D Sonic games from days-of-yore you needed some skill to keep him moving, if you messed up and found yourself at the bottom of a slope with no momentum you'd have to move back and take a run up. The last Sonic game was atrocious, all of the feeling of momentum and inertia was gone, Sonic felt like he was filled with helium...
I am disappoint
This review has been up all day, and no one corrected the fact that the Megadrive had the original version, not the Master System?
Re: The bonus levels were always pseudo-3D...
I hear Sonic first appeared in 1991's 'Rad Mobile'... A little birdy tells me that THE little birdy from Flicky, did appear in Sonic one, though, in multiple clones.
The bonus levels were always pseudo-3D...
... and took place on top of a giant sphere floating against a delightful Escher inspired backdrop. Fish morphing into the gaps between fishes.
Geeky trivia: What was the very first game to feature Sonic (though you didn't play as him)?
I feel sorry for anyone who didn't have a Master System with Alex Kidd as the built-in game :)