Sonic Generations: 3DS Version

Sonic games in the past couple of years have been making some real strides to not only be commercially acceptable but also critically accepted. Sonic Colors and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 came out last year and split the cynics in half. A very large portion being satisfied with the direction the games were headed and a small but vocal group disappointed that not every little detail was perfect. Ever since the release of Sonic Heroes in Early ’04, it’s been hard to separate a Sonic game review and the Sonic Cycle. Finally I think this will be the last one to do so.

Sonic Generations starts out with Sonic turning 20 years old and he’s celebrating his birthday, even in game. But during the celebration time and space break down and he ends up back in Green Hill zone from Sonic 1.  Sonic and Tails figure out they are in a void. A space between space and time. They end up running into themselves from the past and both Sonics and Tails try to set things right by beating some of the best stages in Sonic’s History. I don’t understand how that works out either, but it’s pretty darn fun so I just let it go.

Each stage is separated into two acts. Act 1 playable by Classic Sonic and Act 2 playable by Modern Sonic. And each stage also includes a Special Stage that can only be played by Modern Sonic. The beginning of the game is like a dream come true for most Sonic fans my age. It feels and looks like the old Sonic but in 3D (both kinds of 3D too)! But once you hit the first Boss Gate (which each one you must defeat to get new stages) it kind of slows down the fun and accurately gets a little less fun to match the stages in Sonic’s History. The Dreamcast era stages just got hard all of a sudden. It was a big surprise and I got really frustrated. Not to say that it wasn’t fun or that it was less of a game. But the first 3 stages just feel better designed, especially for Classic Sonic. The Modern stage designs are pretty great through out the game but Classic Sonic gets real hard and doesn’t stop being hard for the rest of the game. Also the Boss Gates were kind of crappy, all of the Bosses (except oddly the last) was a little boring. Shadow and especially Silver are not shining examples of Sonic’s history and I don’t know why they would be included in a package made to celebrate it.

Once I beat the game, I was at first a little disappointed that it was over with so quickly. Thankfully the game includes a Mission mode and a Online Vs. mode (Offline Vs. mode is available too, but I had no one to test it out against). While playing through Story or Vs. mode you can unlock or get credits to buy more Missions. Most of the missions are time based or get 50 rings or something along those lines. But they’re really fun and unlock more things to be views in Collections. Which is filled with Artwork, Music and Events that can be viewed or listened to, which is great as a fan.

SonicFly

I was really enjoying the game but as a fan I wasn’t sure if they picked the right stages to show off Sonic’s legacy. I know the stages chosen are different than the console version and I’m pretty sure the consoles got the cream of the crop for the most part. But if they wanted the 3DS version to be different than the console version I would have chosen a list of handheld Sonic stages from his past to make it a more different package. Instead I just felt like I was getting an after thought of stages. Which is especially true once you hit the Dreamcast era and beyond. But on the other side of things, all of the Classic stages that were chosen are fantastic choices. Green Hill (you gotta have Green Hill), Casino Night and Mushroom Hill are some of the best stages from each of their respective titles and I’m really glad their included.

But as an overall design, the game is fantastic. The presentation is really great. Both Modern and Classic characters look and sound just right. It’s not a perfect game but the highs out number the lows by 4 to 1 on my little list of pros and cons next to me. I was really surprised to find myself enjoying the game as Modern Sonic more than anything else. I figured it would have been the other way around but if they made a handheld game completely made out of Modern Sonic stages it would be everything that Sonic needs to be in the future from here on out.

Sonic Generations is a good game. Just like Sonic Colors and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, it continues a level of quality that breaks the tradition of bad Sonic games from the past decade. It’s controls and presentation are better than ever. I never had a surprise death that wasn’t my fault. So it’s official Sonic has broken the cycle. I can’t wait to play the next completely original Sonic game.

Bryan Belcher

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