Sonic Generations is a game of healing. It intends to salve over the wound that has been carved out by Classic Sonic fans and Modern Sonic fans. And it does not disappoint.
Let's just delve right in, shall we?Graphics: 4.5/5
Honestly, if gritty, photo-realistic, brown-and-gray is your thing, you may be expecting the wrong thing from a Sonic game. Generations is (I can't believe I'm about to use this cliché) lovingly crafted
from bright, colorful polygons. It's not totally perfect -- FMV cutscenes seem to be strangely low quality for an HD game -- but it does what it needs to, and, let's be honest, bright, colorful and chipper graphics are exactly where Sonic needs to be.Audio: 5/5
If a Sonic game (yes, even '06) always does one thing right, it's the music. Sonic Generations not only has a magnificent soundtrack of remixed classic tunes, it also has classic-style remixes of more recent tunes, and the original tunes and a whole bunch of other songs from Sonic's twenty-year history.
You can change the audio of any level, challenge, rival fight or boss battle to match your current Sonic-based musical tastes. If that isn't spiffy, I don't know what is. The voice acting is actually decent, though perhaps not phenomenal. It's certainly a step in the right direction compared to some older Sonic games (Sonic Heroes, I'm looking at you!).Gameplay: 4.5/5
I'll be honest: I friggin' love Sonic. I love Classic Sonic, I love Modern Sonic. And both function as advertised. Though upgrades are plentiful for both Classic and Modern incarnations of our little blue speed devil, their base forms are exactly what you expect, exactly what you want, and exactly what they should be. The Modern Sonic levels were actually more enjoyable to me; boosting through Green Hill Zone and laying waste to robots aplenty got my adrenaline pumping. Classic Sonic is still fun, though, as platforming gets a satisfying return. That's not to say the gameplay is flawless, mind you. Classic Sonic has a little bit of an issue keeping momentum when rolling in a halfpipe, which, yeah, isn't that
big of a deal, but it just doesn't feel the same as Sonic 1/2/3/&K. Also, I found that because Modern Sonic has both behind-the-back boosting sections and side-scrolling sections, my brain had a hard time coping with Classic Sonic. I would sometimes jump and then hit the B button in a not-entirely-thought-out attempt to do a stomp, much as I would during Modern Sonic's side-scrolling parts.
Following that, there were a slew of challenges for both Sonics, though some of them felt more tedious than challenging. Unlockables were quite the treat as well, as many Sonic games have been quite barebones in the extras department. A whole catalog of tunes, some pieces of never-seen-before artwork, character biography blurbs and a collection of all of the game's cutscenes are all stored in a convenient lounge where Sonic can hang out. Ten bucks says there are even more unlockables that you have to get to by, oh, let's say, holding the Back button on your controller for five seconds while standing near the Movie collection.Story: 4/5
Whoa whoa whoa! I know what you're thinking. Based on other reviews you've read, the story in Sonic Generations is a nonsense plot, tossed together as an excuse for two Sonics to get together and fool around in a variety of levels.
Yes.And I love it.
Corny dialogue, throwaway plots, and kicking robot butts? Sign me up. Remember when Sonic games' plots were "I was in that level, now I'm in this level?" As far as I'm concerned, simple is better, and absurd is perfect. Sure beats a realistic world where Sonic has to save a human princess and then kiss her, yeah? The banter between Sonic and Tails is amusing, too, when they make references to their past adventures through games like Sonic Colors.Replay Value: 3.5/5
Depending on your desire for collectables, unlockable abilities, and just plain fun, you may be replaying this for a very long time. The only issue is how short the main game is. In fact, I would consider the short length the only downfall of this otherwise fantastic game. As of this writing, I have all but one achievement (to beat the final boss without getting hit), meaning I've collected everything, aced every level, and uploaded time attack scores to Xbox Live -- and this was with me taking huge breaks to play other games in between. Of course, the game is still awesome, but if you need a reason
to keep playing (aside from just fun
), this game may not keep you occupied for months.Achievements: 4/5
Sure, it's not an extremely creative bunch. Collecting all the Red Star Rings, beating the game, and getting a perfect rank on every level will get you the vast majority of achievements. But they're not too tough. Other than one Red Star Ring that gave me issues (in Modern City Escape), I never once got frustrated, and, at the same time, very rarely uttered to myself, "Well that was a stupid thing to get an achievement for." There's virtually no grinding involved, unless you're really bad at the game and need lots of practise. A few tries of any given level is all it takes to remember where the shortcuts are, and man, does it ever feel good to get those S-ranks on the first try.Overall: 5/5
Let's face it: There's no such thing as a perfect game. But as far as Sonic games go, Sonic Generations is getting dangerously close to being that one defining title that everyone talks about. And that's purely a good thing. The only sweeping negative comment that I could honestly make is that Sonic Generations is simply too short, and wanting more of it isn't really that
much of a criticism. This is easily the best modern Sonic title, and is certainly on par, in terms of quality, with the older Sonic games. Some DLC is required to make the package more robust, which I will definitely download, regardless of achievements.
If you grew up with Sonic, even if you were on the Mario side of the fence, this game is a must-have. If you're someone who doesn't know much about the nineties, and grew up on Modern Warfare, then maybe it's time you pick up a Sonic game and see what all us old fogies are talking about.