Gaming has come far from its infancy and as more and more characters celebrate their 20th birthdays, the differences between gaming then and gaming now become more and more obvious.
Sonic the Hedgehog, rescuer of cute fluffy animals who've been turned into robots, is the latest to celebrate his china anniversary and Sega have decided to honour their flagship character with a game encompassing his past and present.
In Sonic Generations, some evil bad dude has torn a hole in the sky and caused problems with the way time operates, and to save the day the current Sonic must work with his younger self.
Though it's not quite clear how a hedgehog can survive to the grand old ago of 20 when their average lifespan is around 7 years, how Sonic works with his younger self is a fantastic way to honour his contribution to gaming.
Every level can be played as both modern or classic Sonic with their own unique flavour. In the hands-on demo I got to try out, I went through the Green Hill stage as both characters.
The layout of the classic Sonic stage to start was exactly how I remembered it in terms of layout from the original Sonic game - though a few differences began to appear the more I played the level.
To start with, Green Hill classic is the entire Green Hill zone in one level, not different stages like the original. Then there are the chao who will give you tips and hints, something we never had back in the 90s when a game about a humanised hedgehog jumping on robotic animals wasn't questioned.
The graphics have obviously also had a touch-up from the Master System/Mega Drive days, and while Sega has consistently pushed to have the games have more of a 3D feel, on the classic platforming levels the background scenery is more than a bit disorientating.
These layouts work for modern Sonic though, whose levels play almost like the bonus levels of old. Sonic runs along and the player is tasked with jumping, boosting and flitting left or right at the right times to reach the end. Not much more to it than that, but the pace makes it insane. We all know Sonic can run super fast and these levels are a reflection of that, make no mistake.
I have played the recent Sonic games off and on, but have felt a bit disappointed by their focus on things like the chao or random storylines and new characters. This brief sitdown time with Generations was enough to tickle my nostalgia bone though and get me curious about it.
- Dylan Moran, 3 News