…or Sonic Generations, if you prefer to call it by its regular name.
First of all, I have to write some words on the side. There’s this great place on reddit called Pay It Forward. It’s full of a great bunch of people that give games to other great bunch of people and all they ask is that you give a game to someone else for every game you received. It’s there, that I got this awesome game. For now, I won’t name the generous person who gave it to me, because I’m not sure of his wishes, but suffice to say, I am extremely grateful to him/her.
Anyway, Sonic Generations. Is it good? Short story – yes, it’s extremely good. It’s good enough to make me firmly believe Sega is making a comeback. It’s everything that a modern platformer should be.
Generations is split into a total of 9 different zones which have all (I believe) appeared in the previous games. Each zone is split into two acts, one of which you play with the classic Sonic, while the other is played with the modern Sonic. Classic Sonic plays like he used to on the early Sega consoles, or on the handhelds. It’s a 2D platformer, but with gorgeous 3D graphics and fun little parts where the perspective shifts a bit and you jump into another 2D plane, or the whole level rotates 90 degrees. The classic music is there, and the classic controls are there.
Modern Sonic is different, closer to the other newer games with the hedgehog. Most of the time, you are running forward, “into the screen”, using your boost to execute some insane moves and get to the goal as fast as possible. You also have moments of shifted perspective where you move classically sideways, but even there, you still have your boost and other modern moves. The controls can get a bit clunky in the modern acts, but this is offset by the ability to strafe, and more importantly, to home, mid jump, to enemies or gameplay elements such as platforms, sliders, springs, etc. It’s also offset by the absolutely amazing experience you get. You really do feel like Sonic while playing the modern acts. The experience of speed is absolutely incredible.
Nine levels may seem on the low side, but they are lengthy, contain alternative routes and you have to collect five hidden red star rings on each of them, as well as finish fast enough for an S rank in order to get all the unlockables. Additionally, there are 90 different challenges, which, while not as long as a level, mostly still take a couple of minutes to complete. The challenges also give you more unlockables, like music from the old games, character bio, artwork and the most important ones – skills.
Yes, you can unlock additional skills by collecting red star rings and finishing some of the challenges. The skills vary from passives ones like better acceleration or faster recovery from hits, to completely new ones like the water shield which lets you bounce or the fire shield which lets you air dash. You can even unlock the homing attack for the classical Sonic. You can then equip these unlocked skills at the skill shop or before entering a level, and use them to get the secrets, or to break speed records. Both the classic and modern Sonics get 100 points to fill up, with each skill costing between 10 and the full 100.
With all of this, you also get online mode, which allows you to compete with your friends and the rest of the world for speed and distance records on levels. Additionally, if you get the console version (though I’m not sure which consoles have this), you can unlock one of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games for play. Again, I’m not really sure which one it is. As for steam achievements, there’s plenty of those and they basically cover what you need to do to unlock everything in the game. Nothing special, but it serves well as additional motivation.
In any case, if you’re a fan of Sonic, you finally, after to many years, have a great modern Sonic game to play. Go get it! Now!