Review by Pikachu1918
"An Exceptional Title, 20 years in the making."
Hey gaming fans, it's your old pal Pikachu1918 here, and look what the fine people at Sega have left us at the end of 2011, it's Sonic: Generations . In a nut shell Sonic : Generations is the history of the Sonic franchise over the last 20 years wrapped up into one game. If you've played Sonic recently, you'll find stuff you know, if you were there when Sonic didn't have a voice, and just one villain you won't feel lost at all.
In many ways this game serves as a way to recap all the great times Sonic has had, where he's been, where he's going, and inviting you as a player to come along. In an era when Mario is re-inventing himself, it's nice as a reviewer to see Sega take a different approach to the Sonic brand growing older, but not slower.
Given how you have two Sonics here, one from 20 years ago, and one current. Sega had more than a few ways to go with the story. They chose to keep it simple. Start in the present, and run with it. Leave Sonic as our fast running hero who's trying to save the world, while Tails can play the perfect side kick to figure out how Sonics are doing it.
Clearly there are other characters in this game, besides Sonic and Tails, and they all have roles to play, but you won't feel lost for the most part on the story if you haven't played Sonic in a decade. Sega was smart in two ways, making it so either Sonic could play the hero to unlock Sonic's friends, and to include and easy to access bio on all the characters.
My system is a bit behind the recommend specs for this title, and I felt by nearly maxing out the graphics I might have problems. Sorry, answer is no. I have no problem. All I have is pure Sonic speed, half surprised my monitor wasn't blown away as Sonic zips from end to end taking down enemies. The old levels from 20 years ago have been updated, and not in that cheesy sense, but in that sense that someone at Sega wanted you to feel like you were playing what could've been made if the power we have today was around 20 years ago.
Sonic started off as a side scrolling video game, get from end to end, beat the level. Yes, the touch ups are there, monsters have a bit of reflective surface to show the lighting. There are more shades of a color so the world seems more real. What helps drive the new/oldness home is the 3-D environment that our original Sonic inhabits. Hit a circle, and it's not a straight up and around, it can lead in a new direction, and you may see where you were behind you.
They even applied this touch to levels that are found in more recent Sonic content, and when the older Sonic goes back in time, the level style is configured to fit his play style. I am forced to give Sega full marks , excellent graphics, excellent control of it. There are times when developers go too far to develop graphics, and forget that players need to guide their characters though this environment. I can see how Sega could've gone over the top, but didn't and for that I am pleased.
Sonic traditionally has been a console based franchise, you think Sonic you think of a console with a preset control mechanism. The PC has a much more diverse way to control a game. You have the mouse and keyboard, and a load of joystick and controller types.
Sega more or less ignored the mouse when it comes to the default controls. The keyboard and the 360 game pad are different horses. Sega pre-programmed it, has in game prompts . Yes, you can program any controller you want, the only flaw I feel is that once it tastes that 360 pad, you'd better not lose it, or odds are you will have a hard time getting this game to accept your commands.
Game Play: 8/10
Sonic The Hedgehog, when the saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same, they must have been thinking of you. Sonic's only real contemporary is Mario, when it comes to long lasting franchises. The rules of Sonic haven't changed one bit, you collect the rings, you get hit you lose them all, and you'd better grab one, or next time it's game over for this life.
Yes, the two eras of Sonic play a role on how you'll play the game. You've got to be ready to change your approach to how you play the game depending on which Sonic you are, since you need to master both to beat this game.
As with every game these days, Sonic does have an achievement system. I've got mixed feelings about this since with most games this is secondary. If you do something great, hey get a pat on the back. With this title, you have to do certain great feats to move forward in the game. I am not saying games should be easy, but I feel the achievement system is overly tied into the game progression.
This entire title is about comparison, and Sega could have gone with a 16-bit sound track for old Sonic, and with a top end one for our modern Sonic. Instead Sega chose to use the best sound they could, and include tracks from games that Sonic has been in, but won't make a real appearances in this title.
Sonic's traditional movement, and reward sounds are classic in the good sense no real improvement. The fact that you can unlock soundtracks and then play them on a level of your choice is a great idea. Every level, if you have a sound track you love, go ahead, play it. As someone who's always been pro-choice for gamer selection, I am all for this ability, and the great music that comes with this game.
Since Sonic 2, there has been a limited multi-player component to Sonic games. Considering how Tails is here, I half expected to see a way to play with both Sonic and Tails at the same time. Sadly, nope, no dice on that ability gaming fans.
What we have is a leader board system, which is based online. One the idea is how fast can you go in a level in 30 seconds. The other is how fast can you beat a level. Sega's hands were tied with Sonic in a sense here, and in another this is one of the few weak points I can see in this title.
FINAL CALL TIME
Well gaming fans, we're down here in the FINAL CALL bunker. Where we can take all the arguments and come up with one clear question. Do I buy Sonic: Generations or not? I am please to say BUY IT NOW!
Both new and old Sonic players will find something the like if not love in this title. It goes anywhere from $30 or less so you're getting your full money's worth with all the challenges, music, and levels. It's got a nice progressive curve on the hardness scale so you can get a feel for the controls. Yes there are downsides like the controls and limited multi-player, both which are debatable.
Sega has done a great job in creating this title, you have the speed of Sonic, along with great graphics that only a solid PC can deliver.
Words fail me on how impressed I am with this title, considering how long it's been since I was shocked with this quality of title based on the Sonic the Hedgehog. This is Pikachu1918 signing off by raising a glass, and saying, "Here's to the next 20 years Sonic, since a game like this makes it worth it"
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/12
Game Release: Sonic Generations (US, 11/03/11)
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