(This is an unused review from my old site vgMastersClub.com which is where a lot of the inspiration for me to start making books came from!)
Sonic Generations is literally a blast from the past! Not only does this hedgehog iteration involve both the newer Sonic and old-school retro-tude Sonic, but it throws both blue blazers into tons of classic levels from the franchise’s long history. This allows people to constantly get nostalgic while playing through each and every part of this game. The HD graphics looks amazing and you will find yourself quickly forgetting about the atrocities that were many of the previous 3D Sonic games over the past decade.
The classic Sonic levels are a thing of beauty and unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, which pretty much played like hot garbage, they really bring you back to the days of old with Generations (yes this was written many years before Sonic Mania was even a thought). There is more of an emphasis on speed and gone are all the quirky boosts and gimmicks that the newer games have become known for. This is just Sonic in all his spin-dashing glory which is exactly how I like it.
All is not perfect in Sonic-land however as my main gripe comes in the form of the 3D Sonic levels. Too many times do I find myself losing lives seemingly due to the floatyness of the controls, or the poor design of a stage as I have ran off the side of a level more times then I can remember. I am hoping that this will be remedied as I hone my skills and memorize levels, however it is an immediate stigma that could have been avoided with more detail put into level layout and some tighter controls. Perhaps this failure to perfect the level design and control combination is why we haven’t had a truly great 3D Sonic game since Sonic Adventure? (Albeit those haven’t really held up too well over time either…) Luckily these are minor gripes and don’t fully affect the enjoyment of the game.
The boss fights are another spot where Sonic Generations really shines. The bosses again bring a dash of nostalgia but add a new twist to them which keeps things fresh, yet familiar. Fighting Metal Sonic for a Chaos Emerald was beyond great and an amazing bonus boss fight! Other bosses such as the Eggman Robot and Perfect Chaos brought back great memories of battling them in the past. This is by far the right way to do a Sonic game.
The addition of challenges is a great way to increase the replay value of levels and give them new twists. At first they felt more forced than a nice bonus, as you have to play one to unlock a boss key, however it’s not the end of the world. After going through all the levels, I found myself wanting to go back and complete all the challenges. At the end of each level you are also given a rating based upon how fast you completed the level, how many rings you collect, and whether or not you died. This gives the game even more replay-ability as you can go back and attempt each level or challenge again in order to better your time and rating.
Sonic Generations is finally a title that Sega can be proud of. There are still some annoyances with the 3D levels, however that is nothing that can’t be hashed out with some extra grinding to memorize the layouts. The rumor of a constant slew of DLC levels for the game only increases the greatness that Generations could become (I think we only got a single level for DLC?). If you are a fan of the old 2D Sonic games on the Genesis, the 3D Sonic games on the Dreamcast, or even if you have only played the terrible 3D Sonic games that Sega has put out since then, you need to check out Generations as it will surely put a smile on your face with its pure awesomeness and nostalgia.