PS3 Reviews: Sonic Generations Review

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Sonic Generations Review

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Replay Value:



Overall Rating:       8.3



Online Gameplay:

Not Rated





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There was a time when Sonic was king of the world. …okay, he was sort of the prince while Mario was king. But nevertheless, we’re talking about a timeless hero, one who has delivered countless hours of entertainment over the past twenty years. During the latter 3D period, the fleet-footed mascot fell on rough times, and fans have been begging – in fact, demanding – for a return to form. Well, maybe the best idea is to relive the good ol’ days while refining the modern-day approach.

Sonic Generations features a blend of high-definition old-school overhauls and current full 3D palette. Both styles look pretty damn good, and I have to say that the design in the up-to-date Sonic levels is fantastic. Basically every area is a reimagining of sectors found in past installments, but this series has never looked so good. You’ll love the colorful, vibrant atmosphere infused with a surprising amount of detail and attractive special effects. There’s also a ton of variety in both the landscape and enemies, and you never conquer the same background twice. This production is just crammed with pretty goodness.

The sound is vintage Sonic, with all the familiar audio you know and love. From snagging those golden rings to launching yourself off multiple springboards, the sound never falters. The soundtrack can get a tad repetitive but then again, we’re dealing with a few older albeit revamped adventures. It’s all about bolstering the gameplay and from that perspective, the audio does its job. Rushing at top speed through yet another impressively designed level always benefits from top-notch arcade-y sound accompaniment.

The game doesn’t have the same Sonic flying through both classic and modern levels; in fact, there are two versions of our hero that somehow inhabit the same universe simultaneously. Something dark and evil sucks up all of Sonic’s pals and in the ensuing chaos, the current Sonic meets his 16-bit ancestor and the two team up in an effort to find their lost friends. The idea is that you have to beat every level twice: first you tackle the classic iteration and then you must conquer the fresh 3D version of that same level. Don’t worry; they aren’t similar at all.

The “old” Sonic will do what he always did— zip along a side-scrolling 2D world (with a few 3D brush-ups), collecting coins, avoiding numerous perils, and armed with only the spin dash. Then, “new” Sonic takes over when the level becomes a 3D recreation, and both the viewpoint and mechanics change. You also have access to a few new skills; the homing attack lets you target enemies in midair and a speed boost is a spinoff (get it?) of the original spin dash. Most of it works exceedingly well.

As usual, though, there are a few minor control drawbacks concerning the 3D levels. They’re the most imaginative in terms of design and diversity, but they also feel a little less stable and focused. The camera isn’t as big of an issue as it has been in other Sonic games (primarily because these are linear levels and it's not an open world of any kind), but the perspective sometimes leaves something to be desired. Also, because it can be so difficult to follow the amped-up speed, you often lose track of where you are or what you’re doing.

I’m also not sure Sonic always had those same momentum physics in the 2D levels. He may have; I might not be remembering it correctly. At any rate, I really liked how both revamps of the same level would often switch back and forth between 2D and 3D, and you always want to complete the current stage and check out the next one. There’s also a lot of extra content, with a bunch of mini-games to unlock, some of which are actually essential to your advancement. Not all the mini-games are great but they really flesh out the experience.

There are all sorts of things to collect and unlock and once you dive in, you’ll probably want to keep playing. The speed is intense, the color and detail is really great, the level designs throughout are impressive, and the control is about as good as we’ve seen from Sonic. I’m not sure there’s enough here to lure younger gamers but for the hardcore fans, this is a rock solid blend of new and old. And thankfully, although a few problems still remain (maybe they always will), the new parts are actually fun to play.

‘bout time they got that right.

The Good: Very attractive visual package. Fantastic level design. Plenty to unlock. Variety of locales is appreciated. The mix of 2D and 3D works very well.

The Bad: Small lack of stability and focus in the 3D levels. Speed can be utterly overwhelming.

The Ugly: “Sorry new Sonic, old Sonic still has the edge.”

11/15/2011 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (17 posts)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 12:38:18 AM

i love this game!
EXACTLY what all the sonic games should of been!
well, kinda.....
only thing that needed improvement was theres still allot of 3D platforming levels when your playing as the old sonic.
SEGA STILL dont get it!
SONIC is all about speed, the way the camera and controls are setup its IMPOSSIBLE to judge distances and thus impossible to platform accurately.
i keep dying because its so hard to judge how far away you are from a swinging platform because the cameras so far away it totally destroys your depth perception!
not to mention, its not exactly fun.
the whole fun of the old sonic games were the speed.
its kinda hard to keep up speed when you have to say oh i have to stop here for 30 seconds to wait for the chain to swing back.
please SEGA bring back the old sonic, but completely remove the platforming puzzle sections!
there for modern sonic because the controls suit it and the camera, for old sonic its just a mess!

Last edited by ___________ on 11/16/2011 12:39:12 AM

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 8:22:45 AM

I thought you were saying this is like the second coming of gaming? You did... the other day... when the rest of us were pining away at Uncharted 3. Now you're saying Sega still doesn't get it.

Make up your mind, man!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 8:37:56 AM

since when does saying sega still does not get it mean the games bad?
hell, sega even said it themselves, enjoy sonic generations while you can because old school sonic is not coming back.
when thats exactly what fans want, everyone hates modern sonic!
christ, do you deliberately nitpick to piss me off, or truly enjoy it?
or both?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 9:36:13 AM

He means saying "Sega doesn't get it" is kinda drastic when you admit the game came out great.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 3:50:26 AM

While this is a step in the right direction I still have a few major issues with this title. I love how they have tried to re-introduce '2D Sonic' I have no problem with that style of gameplay (Even if I actually do prefer '3D Sonic' mission if im honest.), But what I don't like about Sonic Generations is how they have re-hashed all the old Sonic themed levels. I understand that they had releated it into the story, but I just wanted some new themes, I could accept a Green Hill Zone level for nostalgias sake, but every level! thats just an overload.

Other than that, the game looks great. I love both styles of gameplay and I am glad they have not tired to compromise the game with added lenght. Oh how I hated visiting them bland towns in Sonic Unleashed, I wont even mention the Wherehog or the last level taking 70 minutes to complete!

I just completed Sonic Adventure 100% on my PS3 and recently bought Sonic Adventure 2 on my Dreamcast, I'll probaly be playing that whilst waiting for this to drop down in price, as I definatly intend on buying it soon.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 11:23:48 AM

I Don't think they are piece for piece the same levels, but I haven't played the DC versions in a long time. I bought this full price because I wanted to support Sega finally making a good sonic game that capitalizes on his blistering speed.

I too prefer the 3D stages, but I think mostly because I prefer modern sonics skill set. I think you can unlock it so you can play modern sonic in the 2D levels but I havent figured that out yet.

All in all Sonic fans should really pick this up and support Sega making a good sonic game after a decade of mostly failures.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 3:51:00 AM

So it's actually, really, truly good (for the most part)? I must say that I'm shocked. So... where does Sega take the Blue Blur from here? I might get this BTW after a few price drops. Diversions are always good.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 6:14:16 AM

I've tried the demo and I can say that the controls need an adjustment other than that the camera is too close; there should be an option to control it.
I've been a big fan of sonic especially sonic2 and sonic and knuckles so i'm thinking of buying this game for the sake of old times.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 6:24:07 AM

Really? I felt the camera fo the '2D Sonic' levels was too zoomed out if anything, sure you could see ahead of you more but the composition just looked incorrect... maybe I am just being TOO fussy :P

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 9:25:01 AM

There's no way on God's green earth you'd be able to control the camera and Sonic at the same time. It'd be a chaotic mess.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 1:59:41 PM

I think Castlevania Harmony of Despair has this option of zooming in and out with ease, but I say, make the option in the settings where you choose how you prefer the camera. Or maybe I'm wrong coz I played it on a big tv and I got dizzy :S

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 7:10:19 AM

great! i was worried that you might score it lower then an 8. i have been on the fence about picking this up. i think this game has more replay value then most titles coming out this fall. now the only question is, do i spend money on the game or wait about 2-3 more weeks for my works annual walmart gift card for $50 bucks...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 12:23:15 PM

I'll get it eventually.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 5:31:57 PM

I actually prefer the 3d levels over the 2d ones...
Great review though.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 2:39:01 PM

I have pretty much all the Sonic games and game collections available on most if not all consoles lol.

Now for those saying Sonic is all about speed...its kinda wrong. Some sections are really fast in Sonic 2 and 3 but some you are barely even running and just killing stuff, taking elevators riding trolleys etc...

Also Boss fights in the early sonic were fought in 1 fixed screen area, so no speed there.

In essence, Sonic CAN go fast, its his special perk. BUT its not all there is to the game.

Platforming and speed dont always mix well. Now go play the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis and compare the speed to the new ones and you will understand what im saying.

Now finding secret passage and area as well as playing the Chaos emerald minigame was also part of the fun.

I really enjoy what they did with Generations and they have succeeded but there will always be people complaining no matter what they do but hats off to satisfying almost everyone with such a great enjoyable game.

I'm a long time fan of Sonic as Sonic 2 was a game i played so much when i was young and i learned english thx to the Sonic SatAM tv show.
I am not biased as i know when they make crap, like Sonic Underground...damn lol

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Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:35:57 AM

This a fantastic game for the fans of the first games of sonic. Best sonic since the early days.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:35:58 AM

This a fantastic game for the fans of the first games of sonic. Best sonic since the early days.

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