Sonic Generations

Sonic’s been around a while. Once upon a time, the blue hedghehog, mascot of Sega consoles everywhere, went head-to-head with Nintendo’s Mario. Each had their proponents, and each espoused opinion with merit; depending on your preferences, both series were worth playing.

There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since those heady days, however, and while Mario took bold strides into 3D with Mario 64, one of the best games ever made, Sonic stumbled with Adventure before landing squarely on his face. Showing no signs of consciousness since, Sega has nevertheless continued to drag him around and, Weekend at Bernie’s-style, convince us that he’s still alive - despite obvious signs to the contrary.

 
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So here we are, yet again - a new Sonic game. The timing for this one is perfect - for you. For Sonic? Not so much. You see, the latest Mario game - Super Mario 3D Land - just hit this very same console. This is the perfect time to assess its merits as a platform game, with the review of that game fresh in our minds.

The concept of the title is simple; two versions of Sonic - one old, one new - collide in a game that alternates levels between the classic-era Sonic gameplay and the more modern version. Unlike the console versions of this title, the modern sonic levels are still of the side-scrolling variety, however the camera does give you some new angles to show off the boost and attack options that Sonic now has at his disposal.

So how is it? If you haven’t already guessed from the score, or picked up on the thinly-veiled hint a couple of paragraphs back, the answer is... not so great. In fact, there’s little redeeming this game, and we can only therefore recommend it to hardcore Sonic fans. After all, they’re used to being disappointed.

So what’s so bad? It’s got some cool new stuff, including an online battle mode where you race through levels against people around the world. That bit is even pretty decent, in it’s own way, even if it’s still affected (albeit, less so) by the game’s biggest flaw: the level design.

Occasionally good, typically poor, all too often horrible, the levels have either been randomly generated or designed by someone who’s as determined as anyone else out there to bury this franchise once and for all. Too often you find yourself repeatedly attempting sections of frustratingly badly laid out level elements as you attempt to find your way forward.

This frustration is helped in no way by the awful controls. While in full flight, in the better levels, the way sonic (old and new) handles is fine. But when you have to traverse a tricky platform section or perform some tightly-timed jump, it will be hammered home to you how clumsy the ‘hog is when faced with anything that requires precision or resembles the more laid-back, Mario-style level traversal.

It’s also short - although, if you’re being forced to play it, this will be a blessing.

But none of those are the most frustrating aspect of the title. The worst thing about the game, believe it or not, is that it’s occasionally good - great, even. These fluid, good looking levels that let the blue blur get into full flight and challenge you to make decisions at 900 miles an hour remind you of just how good the gameplay can get. But, without exception, they’re bracketed by stupid, clumsy, un-fun frustration-a-thons that will have you wanting to hurl your 3DS at the wall.

You’ve had your shot Sega. Like Lucas and the Star Wars franchise, every touch you make seems to destroy what little grip we have on our pleasant memories of what once was. Please leave us with the fragment that remains.


Sonic Generations
"Another average attempt at breathing life into roadkill"
- Sonic Generations
6.0
Average
 
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (3)

 
ChatterboxZombie
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Monday 12 Dec 2011 11:10 AM
1
Nice screen-shots there.
I like the Japanese boost gauge.

Seriously, try taking your own sometime.
 
 
 
Killjoy
Posted by Killjoy
On Monday 12 Dec 2011 5:10 PM
1
A 6? wow didn't expect that. I own this game and I'd rate it an 8/10, I respect the fact everyone is entitled to form their own opinion but I'm not a hardcore Sonic fan and I think its a solid game and have no regrets paying full price for this as I'm still having lots of fun playing it.
Each to there own I guess but for me its the best Sonic game since Sonic 2, and yea those pictures above look like they're from a PSOne it certainly looks nothing like that.
 
 
 
twisterjamz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by twisterjamz
On Monday 12 Dec 2011 7:06 PM
2
12 December 2011, 05:10 PM Reply to Killjoy
A 6? wow didn't expect that. I own this game and I'd rate it an 8/10, I respect the fact everyone is entitled to form their own opinion but I'm not a hardcore Sonic fan and I think its a solid game and have no regrets paying full price for this as I'm still having lots of fun playing it.
Each to there own I guess but for me its the best Sonic game since Sonic 2, and yea those pictures above look like they're from a PSOne it certainly looks nothing like that.
This review is for the game on 3DS so that could be why it got a 6 instead of an 8