Sonic Generations Review

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For a good few years now, many have been yearning for a return to past glories for Sonic. With the release of Sonic Generations has Dimps managed to help the blue hedgehog break the sound barrier, and finally produce a game worthy of the iconic character? Read on to find out.

Game: Sonic Generations
Developer: Dimps
Publisher: SEGA
Reviewed on:


STORY

Playing a Sonic game has always been about the thrill of the race more than anything else, so it would be a bit unfair to expect an epic story to all of sudden turn up in this latest addition to the series. It is a good thing too, as the reasoning behind Sonic’s latest adventure is far from mind blowing.

The fabric of space-time has being corrupted by a time eating monster, leaving destruction in its wake and our blue hero finds himself smack in the middle of it. With time overlapping onto itself, Sonic, Tales and even Robotnik (aka Eggman) run into past versions of themselves, resulting in some occasionally funny moments.

Most of the story is presented to you via 3D models with limited animations and sound effects on offer. As a result, the majority of the story related speech is presented via text bubbles. With the story being quite limited this works reasonably well, especially through Sonic himself, as you’ll more than likely find yourself charmed by his silent gestures.

GRAPHICS

Sonic Generations is a bit of a mixed visual bag on the Nintendo 3DS. With the 3D turned off, the game can look quite average with textures appearing pixelated, and character models suffering from a severe case of the jaggies. However, once you turn on the 3D effect, Sonic Generations jumps out at you in all its vibrant recreated splendor. Turing the 3D on hides the majority of jagged edges and pixelated textures that make you want to burn your eyes. Sadly, with this new found graphical splendor (at least for a 3DS game) comes inconsistent frame rates in places which may be considered a punishable offense in a Sonic game by hardcore fans. Thankfully, these instances don’t pop up often enough to totally ruin the experience, but still manage to grate when they do.

SOUND

Audio in Sonic Generations verges on the amazing and will most likely give fans of the blue hedgehog wet dreams. The majority of Sonic’s most memorable zone music has been brought back, hitting you full in the face with a thick slice of nostalgia. On the other hand, if you were never a big fan of Sonic back in the day, then the lack of new content in the music arena may begin to frustrate after a while.

GAMEPLAY

Taking the lead from its older brother, Sonic Generations on the Nintendo 3DS puts you in the running shoes of Sonic past and present. From the moment you lay the 3DS in your hands you feel like you are in control of a proper Sonic game, and it has been a while since anyone has been able to say that. However, before you run to the shops and pick yourself up a copy, there is a very obvious reason for this.

The first four zones available to you are direct translations of previous Sonic zones, ranging from Green Hill Zone to Sonic and Knuckles’ Mushroom Hill Zone. Those not in the Sonic fanboy camp might find this approach lazy and the complete oposite of value for money, whilst veterans will relish the chance to revisit spruced up zones, trying to better their scores in the process.

Over the course of the single player mode you will be tasked to take on the various zones with each version of Sonic. Classic Sonic by far presents the best experience during the rather short campaign spanning eight zones. Levels feel and play exactly as you remember them, leading you on a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane. This abruptly comes to a screaming halt when classic Sonic is introduced to the homing jump half way through the campaign. You’ll find yourself randomly jumping into areas you were never meant to go, smashing head first into enemies and missing jumps that require perfect positioning. This all but hampers the later zones where more freedom seems to have been given to recreating zones from Sonic Adventures all the way to Sonic Rush.

Generation’s second acts revolve around modern day Sonic, and whilst the feeling of speed you get in this part of the game is great, it essentially boils down to you traveling in a straight line for a minute and a half. The level design leaves something to be desired as well, as you are abruptly stopped every now and then by a random obsticle that appears as if from nowhere after spending the majority of the level holding down the boost button. 3D also hampers these stages, making it harder to locate the dangers while traveling at break necks speeds. Saying that, however brief they may be, the modern day Sonic sections do consist of some fun boss battle races with familiar characters, and these serve as a welcome break from the general blandness found in the normal levels.

Third acts bring the return of the beloved Sonic 2 bonus stage, which is just as fun as it always was. Tasking you to chase down a chaos emerald while avoiding bombs and other obstacles. However, it would’ve been nice if these stages had a multiplayer component, with the second player using modern Sonic.

To buff out the campaign, mission stages have been added to the tried and tested formula, allowing you to hop online with a fellow Sonic fan and race through one of the games eight stages. Online races can supply short bursts of fun, but due to the limited amount of zones they won’t keep you interested for long.

LONGEVITY

Sonic Generations on the Nintendo 3DS clocks in at around 3-5 hours long at best, making it a very short game. Online play and background music unlocking gives the game an extra jolt of life, but nothing more than an hour or two at best.

VERDICT

The memorable music and a chance to relive some of Sonic’s past glories will undoubtedly be a massive draw for fans of the blue hedgehog. However, the game is not without its problems, and can’t really be recommended to anyone who isn’t a big Sonic fan.

If you’re looking for quick bursts of platforming fun whilst on the go, then you could do a lot worse than Sonic Generations on the Nintendo 3DS. On the other hand, you could probably do a lot better too.

6.5/10

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