Is the Sonic cycle finally over?
If you’ve been playing Sonic games for the past 10 years I’m sure this is one of the top questions on your mind when you hear that the next sonic is around the corner. It’s been 20 years now since sonic showed up on the Genesis, but he’s been through one tough ride for the past ten years. The transition from 2D to 3D hasn’t been very kind to him, or the fans of the franchise. Ever since his days on the dream cast Sonic’s been through one bad game after another, and for a while it looked like the blue hedgehog was ready to be put out to pasture. However as of recent it’s been looking more, and more like he might actually be getting ready to make a comeback, but he still has a ways to go before he can catch up to his chubby Italian rival.
Sonic Generations as the title implies, is a run through Sonic’s 20 years of existence. Right from the title screen the game puts you in the very first level the blue blur ever ran through, and boy does that first level feel like a blast from the past, easy to run though, smooth platforming, multiple branching paths, and some classic sonic music playing in the background. Sega sure tried their best to open a portal and reach back into your childhood/ teenage years with this game. I give big props to sega for making this game instead of doing a bunch of HD remakes, It’s nice to see they made a game that was inspired by old material, and not just a full on rehash. The game really does put a fresh spin one the older levels while making some adjustments to the newer ones. Also the game has a lot of hidden content that pertains to Sonic’s history that gives the game a decent amount of replay value. You can always go back to an old level and try to increase your rank or get a faster time and compete with people online. You can also unlock a bunch challenges in the game, but some of them are just more trouble than they are worth.
When it comes to game play however it is unfortunately, at best, a mediocre platformer with a good sense of speed that still needs some work done to it. Most of the problem’s in the game stem from the fact that the 3 acts that you usually get per zone have been reduced to two acts per zone, and each sonic only gets one act. This puts a pretty big damper on the game as a whole, because you never get to fully experience many of the games different gameplay elements. Like the light dash that you only get to use in two levels, or the spikes/ rocket wisp that you only get in one. The game has plenty of mechanics, but you never really get to use many of them in a meaning full way, which makes the game very limited in scope. Not to mention that noting in the game gets to evolve properly. And while the levels themselves are inspired the game play, is very much unpolished in some parts and is riddled with glitchy physics, random difficulty spikes, frame rate issues, and some very under whelming boss fights. There are still plenty of times in modern sonic levels where you lose control of Sonic and he’ll go flying right off of the screen, and overall he still doesn’t control very well. He still moves way to fast, which will leave players flying off the screen before they can react to the change in pace of a level, and forget trying to do jumps in the small platforming sections of the 3D part of the game. Classic sonic doesn’t have as many issues, but from time to time he’ll miss jump imputes or react in unexpected ways. If sega could have ironed these issues out they could have produced one of the best sonic games ever made. The game offers a decent Sonic experience, but it never really gets to shine.