Game Review: Sonic Generations (360, PS3, PC)

An evil time travelling monster has taken Sonic from his 20th Anniversary party and forced him into the past. Now it’s up to modern Sonic to team up with his classic Sega Genesis era self to travel through worlds old and new to save Sonic’s many friends! Sonic Generations is a celebration of 2-D classic and 3-D modern Sonic that will assuredly please fans of the series. (360 version reviewed here)

In the game, you’ll play a world based on a previous Sonic game in two ways. As classic chubby Sonic, levels are 2-D and simpler affairs, but not any less fun. To complete a world, you’ll also have to play as modern Sonic in 3-D, with all his new moves intact. You’ll zip through Genesis era worlds like Green Hill and Chemical Plant, dash by Dreamcast era levels like the truck chase City Escape and the underwater ruins of Seaside Hill. Even more recent Sonic games get a level, like Planet Wisp from Sonic Colors (complete with some of the abilities from that game, which makes me want to play it now). It’s especially neat how they envisioned 3-D levels from classic worlds like Chemical Plant, as well as 2-D levels of newer stages like City Escape.

After you beat a set number of levels, special challenges open up in each of the worlds for you to tackle. You’ll also be able to fight a classic boss and rival character to earn a Chaos Emerald and open up the next set of stages. Hidden in each world are red star rings that will unlock concept art if you nab them, and you’ll earn classic music tracks by beating the special challenge levels. Depending on how well you do in a stage, you’ll earn points that you can use to buy special skills and other goodies. You can even unlock the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on the Sega Genesis, so there’s lots of replay value here.

There are a couple of tiny problems with Sonic Generations, but they are few and far between and don’t hinder the fun. Sometimes the controls feel a little loosey-goosey, and you might fall through a floor or get snagged by a bad camera angle once or twice. They did, however, finally fix one of the problems I’ve had with Sonic games for years. They now warn you with signs if an upcoming pitfall is ahead. But other than that, this is a Sonic game done right. And that’s saying a lot, considering I’m not really the biggest Sonic fan in the world. So if you are a huge Sonic nut, you’ll definitely love this one. For more Sonic fun, check out my Sonic 20th Anniversary blog!

Kid Factor:

Kids love Sonic, it’s a fact. Every kid I know does, at least. Whether it’s the fun cartoon characters or colorful worlds to speed through, there’s just something about the blue blur that kids just adore. Violence is minimal, and just consists of Sonic spin attacking robots mostly. Reading skill is helpful, but not required, as picture cues and spoken voice follow most of the text anyway. But younger gamers may find the later levels too tough and frustrating. If you are an older Sonic fan, this may be a great game to share with the younger set, too. Sonic Generations is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence.

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