I have some pretty fond memories of Sonic the Hedgehog throughout my life. Whether it be the first game back on Sega's Genesis console or a more recent outing like Sonic Colours on the Wii, the blue blur has always been a big part of my gaming life. So when Sonic Generations was announced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sega's mascot, I had to check it out.
The game opens with all of Sonic's friends throwing a huge party for his birthday, but of course things don't stay peaceful for long as a new enemy known as the Time Eater bursts crashes in and kidnaps all of Sonic's friends before knocking him unconscious. He wakes up in a mysterious white void and begins exploring, only to discover a few familiar areas. Time and space have been torn apart, and places from Sonic's history are all showing up. To restore colour, save his friends and find out just what this Time Eater creature is up to, Sonic has to race through areas from his past games, spanning through three eras.
The huge drawcard of this game is that during this adventure, Sonic meets up with a younger version of himself. Both Sonics are playable, which means two completely different playing styles for each level. Classic Sonic plays as a 2D platformer that needs a combination of careful jumps and breakneck speed to get through. Modern Sonic, on the other hand, is more about the breakneck speed thing, playing in a 3D perspective with the occasional platforming segment thrown in.
You'll need to master both play styles to get through the levels, and while each level has one linear path, there are always a lot more ways to finish a level than first meets the eye, and these hidden paths don't go unrewarded. As you progress through the levels, you can hunt down red rings to unlock bonuses like concept art or new pieces of music to play in the background as you race through a level.
The game also has challenge modes, with each level having a total of 10 challenges (five modern and five classic) to complete. These could be things like racing to the goal against a doppelganger, or finishing the level with a certain power up. They're a tonne of fun to do, a great little distraction from the main game and, like the red rings in the stages, always reward you with some neat artwork or a great little piece of music to play in the background.
The soundtrack to this game is fantastic, with all the main stages having remixed versions of their original tunes, with separate versions for both Modern and Classic Sonic, and the unlockable music is all original tunes from older games, which can bring on a pretty powerful sense of nostalgia.
The whole game can do that, really. The graphics are also stunning - I've found myself stopping on occasion just to take in the scenery in Green Hill Zone or to have a look at all the little bonus details, in-jokes and references to once-forgotten details of the Sonic Universe.
The only thing to fault about this game is that occasionally the physics will be a little bit dodgy, certain moves might not work and I've found myself running through walls or dying cheap deaths that are caused in part by bad level design.
But overall, this game is a brilliant way to celebrate the Blue Blur's 20th birthday. If you love Sonic, you need to own this game. Even if you're new to the world of Sonic, this is probably the best introduction you could ask for.
4 out of 5.
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Articles Written by Grace H
Reviews written by Grace H
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