Thursday, November 10, 2011
Sonic Generations Review
Unlike most fans, I grew up in the 3D era. My first Sonic game was Adventure 2 Battle for the Gamecube, and I went from there. Heroes, Riders, 06, Unleashed, and Colors. Don't misunderstand me though, I have a great appreciation for the classics, thanks to Ultimate Genesis' Collection. Those were such fun games, I understand how legendary they are. The majority of fans constantly bash post Adventure 2 era, and I mean really bash. (You should see all the hate coming from the forums.) I don't agree with most of it, I have enjoyed every Sonic game I've played. (I can't speak for Secret Rings though.) I do understand where they're coming from, a lot of the newer games are lacking the "fun" that made the classics so enjoyable. Sonic Unleashed was a good game.....besides the Werehog. Apparently Sega decided it was time for a revamp, I remember in an interview they said that they will not make "any more bad Sonic games." I still think they they were just saying that to appease the fans, but I got it. They were going back to basics. Colors was released just last year, and has been universally accepted as very good. I myself greatly enjoyed the game. For Sonic's 20th anniversary, Sega wanted to something really special, and Generations was born. This game was meant to bring back the fan's lost faith in the franchise, to rekindle the lost fire. Well, I've had the chance to play it, so let's hear my take.
The story follows Sonic and friend's celebrating the blue hedgehog's birthday. The party is interrupted when a giant dark monster called the Time Eater appears and grabs all of Sonic's friends! Sonic attempts a rescue, but is slapped aside like a rag doll by the monster. It disappears into a dark void. Now Sonic has to journey through time to rescue each of his friends. Along the way, he gets help from a rather familiar figure.....
Yes, I thought Sonic 06 was a good game. However, I could see why fans dislike it so much. It was definitely more story-based, with the gameplay becoming a bit more like an RPG. I don't think the game deserves all the hate, but Sega really needed to bring something from the past back. After the failure that was Unleashed, (thanks to Werehog) Sega did a little revamp, changed the majority of voice actors, and unleashed Colors. That game was the start of how it was going to be, more lighthearted, less story-based, and supremely fast gameplay.While I do miss the good stories of the past, it's good to see the gameplay back to being less RPG and more Sonic. Generations improves ten-fold upon it, it might just be the greatest Sonic game ever released.
I don't even know where to begin in saying how great it is. Right when you drop into Green Hill Zone, you know you're in for a treat. Classic Sonic plays EXACTLY like the classic games, just with beautiful HD graphics! This is probably my favorite representation of Modern Sonic, his gameplay is so much fun, it's a blast. (No pun intended.) Seriously, I don't think I've ever had such fun pressing the square button. Classic Sonic is definitely harder in difficulty as it should be, such nostalgia playing through Chemical Plant Zone. However, the stage that really made me think of the old days was the City Escape stage, it was awesome how they re-made it, brought back such fun memories. (The modern remix could use a little work though.) But playing as Modern Sonic riding the sled down the street was just awesome.
Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Sky Sanctuary, Crisis City, Planet Wisp, the fan favorites from each Sonic game are here. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't include more than the one from each game. (Doomsday? Death Egg?! Where are you stages?) Each stage is rendered wonderfully, with such precise detail. It matches the ones they're based off perfectly, but different enough so it feels like you aren't essentially re-playing old stages. The rival boss fights, (Metal Sonic, Shadow, and Silver) were very good additions, but I would have liked them to tie in to the story more. I especially liked the Shadow battle, brought back memories of the battle against him in Adventure 2 Battle. (I just love how the music changes, first you got a remix from Adventure 2 Battle, then when Shadow gets powered up, All Hail Shadow Plays, while when Sonic gets powered up, Live and Learn plays. It's a fan's dream!)
The soundtrack is a huge part of what makes this game so enjoyable. Here we have remixes of all the favorites, it's truly a trip down memory lane. Hearing the City Escape theme in Classic mode is truly a treat, battling Perfect Chaos hearing Open Your Heart is also awesome. Honestly, this is probably the best soundtrack in any Sonic game, triple A plus right there. Hearing all the new voices makes me miss the old ones. I've gotten use to Sonic's and Tail's, but the rest need help. (Rouge in particular.)
The only major criticism is the length. I beat this game in three days, and that is unacceptable. Adventure 2 Battle, Heroes, 06, those games at least take about a month to complete. For $60, Generations is too short. After I beat the final boss, I felt disappointed that there wasn't any more new stages. Speaking of bosses, there only four in the game. (Not counting rivals.) We have two Eggman robots, Perfect Chaos and the Time Eater. There should have been more, I mean, with all the games, they should have included much more. (Biolizard, Dark Gaia, Solaris, etc.)
The concept of time travel is a cool concept, but underused in my opinion. I would have liked to see the old version's Knuckles for example, since he was a villain back in the day. Also, where is multiplayer? This is the big Sonic game, and there's no multiplayer? I mean, it would have added extensive replay value, to play over the stages with another person would have been supremely fun. Wow, now that I think about it, no inclusion of multiplayer is really, really disappointing.
Overall, Sonic Generations is more than a game. It's a tribute to one of gaming's greatest franchises. With the best Sonic gameplay I've seen, triple A plus soundtrack, and fun characters, Sonic Generations is a must buy. The only things holding it back from getting a perfect is the short length, only four bosses, and no multiplayer. Besides those things, Sonic Generations is the definitive Sonic game. While Adventure 2 Battle will always be my personal favorite, Generations is definitely the best Sonic game to come out in the last twenty years.