Sonic Generations Review
People have a go at RAGE for sacrificing too much at the altar of sixty frames per second - but if there's any game that needs to be a slick and greasy as possible, it's Sonic. The reason for the immortality that possessing rings gives you in Sonic always felt like an apology for the potential for cruel and crafty deaths. After all, part of the Sonic experience is that you're travelling too fast to really be able to react properly, and part of avoiding the spikes is to know they're coming in advance.
But when you spend your level points on the Mega Drive controller and unlock the original Sonic, it's a shock how much easier on the eyes it is, with it's thumping great pixels and velvety-smooth parallax scrolling. Incidentally, you can also buy infinite continues on the original Sonic game, so I might put aside a weekend to finish it.
Thankfully, this is much less of a problem in the fully 3D levels. There's so much action going on in every direction that jerkiness in a single plane is far less noticeable. The level of effort creativity that's gone into these levels leads me down the unexpected path of preferring new Sonic. So, if Sonic Generations has achieved anything, it's that tiny impossibility.
The level design going on here is immense. There are so many potential paths and bonus areas that you can finish a level with feeling you've scraped the surface, and the five red bonus stars that come with every act frequently sit tantalisingly close but unreachable, a great psychological needle that makes you want to try again.
Losing your rings to a cheaply positioned spike-pit is always momentum-breaking and annoying, but when you noticed that there was another, probably superior path that you might have taken, if you'd just jumped over that red spring, our bounced off that creature's head, that's how to needle the perfectionists.
Don't kill us. Make us miss a red star, an extra life. Make us live with our mistakes. Sonic Generations is full of those moments, where you'll end up on a slightly more perilous, and less reward-heavy lower route, swearing to yourself that next time you'll remember.
The difficulty level seems pitched about right, with the first six levels being easy to finish, the middle three being tough to master, and the final three just being outright ballsy.
Crisis City will take more than one attempt, and you'll learn to hate Sonic's slow initial acceleration all over again. Rings don't save you from drops, and it's very easy to drop here - but hey, at least you don't have to start again from Green Hill Zone. Count yourself lucky.
With other fan appeal and Chaos Emeralds coming from showdowns with Sonic's rivals - Shadow, Silver, and Metal - and familiar bosses like the Death Egg Robot and the rather-too-similar Perfect Chaos - Generations is a great game for pressing out the fluids from a hyperactive nostalgia gland. Sonic Generations hits its target well - with the genuinely bruising qualification that it can frequently be difficult to look at.
She almost cannae take it
- Long, complex levels
- Terrific fan service
- Miles, Rouge, Knuckles
- Amy, Cream, Crush 40
- 2D Sonic's frame rates can't keep up
- Xbox 360
- Adventure, Platformer