Release Date: 11/3/2011
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Sonic has seen so many rough years since its 3D outing in Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast. It has never had the same sense of smooth speed in 3D and it seemed for years Sonic Team and Sega just couldn’t get it. There were a few lights in the dark with some good GBA games, Sonic and the Secret Rings for Wii, as well as the last Sonic Colors being pretty decent, but all the rest were total crap. Sonic finally makes a 2D return with the ability to play as both the original and the new Sonic, but this also means each level has two different ways to play. The story is pretty thin with a Time Eater and Doctor Eggman screwing time up and wiping the color away from the land. It isn’t much and can be easily ignored as well as the most awful voice acting.
Playing as the original Sonic brings back great memories when you step into Green Hill Zone and start flying around the level in 2D (with 3D graphics) like the grand days of old. The graphics are amazing with great lighting, high-resolution textures, and great-looking models. This is the best-looking Sonic game to date, and Sega finally got the game up to speed with today’s graphics. Previous Sonic games had hideous visuals and tons of glitches, but you won’t find that here. You die and collect rings to stay alive the same, but you can use cards that give you both offensive and passive powers that help you along the way.
Playing as the new Sonic puts the camera back behind Sonic with the homing attack, but calm down! The game actually works now and flows great with some awesome cinematic moments and the speed stays fast. You can use a boost that fills by collecting rings, and the homing attack can actually make you get through levels faster as well as flying through rings, but I found doing the flips in the air was pretty useless. Overall playing at each Sonic gives you a rewarding experience with memorable levels. Only two are from classic Sonics, and the rest range from terrible ones from Sonic Adventure, Shadow the Hedgehog, and even the failed Sonic the Hedgehog reboot from 2006. The levels are recreated in a fun way and are tons of fun to play.
There are a couple of boss fights and I’m disappointed with how easy they are. There are three with Metal Sonic, Shadow, and Silver to get Chaos Emeralds, and three with Eggman. You have to find keys to unlock the boss stages and then move on to the next levels. In between, you can do side missions that range from a multitude of different goals and ways to play. Each can be played as either Sonic and they are a blast. However, the last two levels are poorly designed and just feel slow and difficult. Puzzle-solving? That shouldn’t be in a Sonic game. The last two levels will take you about ten minutes to complete and that is way too long for a Sonic level. If you can ignore these last two the rest is a blast. Repetition does set in from doing so many side missions because they start to feel the same after a while. Only hardcore fans will stick around and collect all the stars and get S ratings in each mission.
Sonic Generations does a good job redeeming the failed series and pulling it out of the sewer. Fans of the old can return with a smile, and fans who have stuck with the series will finally get a game that isn’t a piece of crap. With an online mode, tons of extra activities, and amazing graphics we can finally say Sonic is back!