What’s better than one Sonic? Two Sonic’s of course. That’s the philosophy behind SEGA’s newest Sonic game. This is where the old Sonic meets the new generation Sonic and we end up with one hell of a kick ass game. It’s fun, fast and highly addictive. This is the old Sonic you know and love, but with a new twist. There is a lot here to keep any gamer entertained, and since it’s in 3D, it looks better than any handheld version you have ever played.
Your enemy, once again, is Dr Eggman and his latest world destroying plan is to use the Time Eater monster to bring doom and death to all. The nature of this beast causes shifts in time-lines and therefore Classic (slightly chubby) Sonic has been mixed in with New Sonic (taller and slimmer) as well as Tails and the evil Dr himself. The story is not highly original, but it works. The way the story is told is in cut-scenes where each character has a few phrases and the actual story is told in subtitles; which is a decent enough way to go about things. Although, I have to say, if you’ve already played Sonic Generations on any other format, then the storytelling here will probably be a bit of a letdown.
Most of the game plays like old Sonic games, that is to say, from the side to side across the screen. However, during new Sonic’s levels you get some over the shoulder and behind the head angles which make the gameplay varied and insanely good fun. I have to say, it feels old but also fresh. Each of the stages has three versions: Classic Sonic, New Sonic and a Special Stage. The Classic Sonic stages are remakes of the past and perfectly bring back all the memories of past gaming sessions. The New Sonic stages are very much like the newer Sonic games and they play very well, with you boosting your way around and performing homing spin attacks on the enemies to pass. The Special Stages see you running through tubes with lots of enemies and pitfalls with the ultimate aim of collecting Chaos Emeralds. They feel fast and are insanely good fun, and as your go deeper in the game they get a lot harder.
The 3DS shifter needs to be on full here to let you truly enjoy this game as it’s beautifully done, with the background and foreground switching to allow new routes to be opened up during play. The boss battles also use the 3D to switch between planes and they are tricky to beat. During gameplay, I did actually stop a few times and just look around, it’s that pretty. The controls are the normal ones for a Sonic game, with rolling, spin attacks and jumps. There are also numerous rails to skate on and hills to jump over. The enemy AI is also not that bad and the enemy placement is actually very good – by which I mean it’s very bad, as every time you jump you need to watch where you land because they are there.
The music in Sonic Generations is just sublime, all the old levels have the same sounds and music in the background, the ring beeps are the same and the jumping, and rolling is dead on. The character voice acting is generic as hell, but we have gotten used to this from Sonic games. The menus have nice music, and altogether the music, voices and sound effects do actually add a lot to the game itself. There is also a lot of replay value here as the main campaign will take you only 3-4 hours but the challenges you unlock flesh out the experience.
These challenges range from destroying ‘x’ number of enemies in a certain time, to collecting ‘x’ number of rings, and, using just one ring to beat bosses, and they get harder and harder as you move along. As you complete levels you gain ranks, S being the best. Believe me, getting an S rank is very hard. There are also 100 missions to unlock which increase the game’s longevity even further, as does the online multiplayer. It’s great fun and a good addition.
Overall, Sonic Generations is a good mix of old and new, it has the classic Sonic stages and the new high octane Sonic levels. The 3D environments and character models are pretty nice to look at and they make the game much better. The level design in the new Sonic stages is especially clever in the use of the 3D graphics to switch between planes. The moves are all the normal Sonic moves, but when they are this enjoyable to perform, it’s no problem. The main story mode is rather short, but the missions and multiplayer will add a good many hours to this game. To summarise then, two Sonic’s are definately better than one.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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