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3DS

North America

Sonic Generations

by Josh Max - December 13, 2011, 8:30 am PST
Total comments: 18

8.5

Is this the game that Sonic fans have been waiting for or just another "Black Knight"?

Sonic has seen some ups and downs in his life. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as Sonic and Knuckles, experienced a lot of success and are beloved by most who play them. Recently, Sonic has hit a bit of a slump with games like Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and The Black Knight. Fans have been calling for a game that reminds them of the games of yore and believe it or not, Sega listened.

Look at me! I'm gorgeous!

The story is a simple one: Short and stubby Sonic and modern long-legged Sonic get taken from their respective times into a mysterious white void by a mysterious enemy. The story is told through dialogue, simple animations and little voice acting (which is a good thing). Once these two meet, the game begins at the classic Emerald Hill Zone. The game has several classic stages, like Mushroom Hill, as well as more modern stages like Radical Highway. Each level has one Classic Sonic stage and one Modern Sonic stage. Classic Sonic’s stages are entirely 2D and play just like the original Sonic games, while Modern Sonic’s have a slightly 3D feel to them and capture the feeling of classic Sonic games. There are multiple ways to finish every level, with secret routes littering each stage.

The game isn’t just a race to the finish, though. There are also bonus stages and boss gates. Each of the levels comes with a bonus stage where players can obtain Chaos Emeralds. The levels are reminiscent of Sonic Heroes and require players to chase after a Chaos Emerald down a long tube. Boss Gates are another part of the game that offer more fun than I initially expected. The boss stages are split between a race with an old enemy (like Metal Sonic) and a Robotnik-esque battle where players have a limited number of rings.

There are also 100 missions available via Play Coins, Street Pass and completion of the game. These missions vary between racing against the clock, completing stages without losing lives, destroying a certain number of a certain enemy, and collecting rings,, among other missions. After completing these missions players are rewarded with a piece of art, a model, or a music track. If the mission is too difficult players can also pay five Play Coins for an instant completion.

The controls throughout the game are pretty basic, but in the best way. Players can use either the D-Pad or the Circle Pad to navigate their way through each stage, along with the “A button to jump” and “B button to roll” dynamic that has been with Sonic for as long as he’s been on a console. With these controls, it’s easy to pick up and play the Blue Blur’s latest game.

Everybody's Super Sonic racing.

Personally, I thought the game was a lot of fun. It’s a little on the short side, but the game has such a great replay value that I really didn’t mind. There are just some stages that are worth playing over and over again. The music is a wonderful mix of classic sounds and revamped songs from recent games. There’s also a new mix of “Super Sonic Racing” that I can’t stop listening to, but that’s just me. The game gave me everything that I wanted. Granted, it’s no Sonic 2, but it’s still pretty damn fun.

Summary

Pros
  • Awesome music
  • Fantastic level design
  • Great replay value
  • Tons of unlockables
Cons
  • A little short
  • Unlocking missions can be a hassle

Images

Talkback

CericDecember 13, 2011

Are there any Gyro controls?  As one of the 2 people who like Sonic and the Secret Ring I wouldn't mind playing any running down a tube levels with the Gyro.

Fatty The HuttDecember 13, 2011

How many actual "levels" are there, not counting the missions, which I assume just have you re traverse levels to do specific tasks?

SilverQuilavaDecember 13, 2011

Now, can somebody compare this to the ps3 version? I know its a nintendo based site, but someone's already getting me the ps3 version for christmas. I have to know if I'll end up regretting it or not, like the rest of sony.

SilverQuilavaDecember 13, 2011

And is chemical plant from sonic 2 on SG3D? With a great remix to the song and everything? If it is, it has to be on the ps3 version.

NinSageDecember 13, 2011

I've been playing Sonic games since his first blast was processed and my top three are (in no order) Sonic Colors, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight.

I loved the setting/design of Secret Rings, but I really didn't like the controls.

So, Josh wrote a great review and I'm glad he enjoyed the game.  But taking a needless shot at Black Knight? Not cool. Completely forgetting Sonic Colors for the sake of harping on "ups and downs"?  Sloppy.

NWR_JoshJosh Max, Associate EditorDecember 13, 2011

Hey all, first off I wanna say that I actually really enjoyed Sonic Colors. It was a really well done game. I do, however, stand by my opinion that Sonic and the Black Knight along with Secret Rings, weren't done well. But I'm not here to bash Sonic. I was a huge fan for as long as I can remember and I'm happy to see him in another great game.


There isn't a Chemical Plant level in the 3DS game, I'm sorry SilverQuilava. . .


There are 11 levels with 7 of them being traditional race to the finish levels split up between the two Sonics, giving a grand total of 14 "traditional" levels.


And there are no gyro controls, sorry Ceric. . .

leahsdadDecember 13, 2011

Quote from: NinSage

I've been playing Sonic games since his first blast was processed and my top three are (in no order) Sonic Colors, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight.

Ha!  I'm sure everyone's thinking it, but I'll say it-- best reference to early 90's technobabble ever!

CericDecember 13, 2011

Sonic and the Secret Ring is one of the those games that the controls need to click.  I'm sure you can find if you dig post from me before and after the controls clicked.  When I started the game I wanted to rip it a new one for while then I woke up one day and I had gotten the controls.  At them point it was very fluid and Sonic felt more or less like an extension to myself.  I know that won't happen with everyone but it is a good game once it does.

NinSageDecember 13, 2011

@Josh

It's cool, buddy.  I think 98% of this review shows what a good writer you are.  But why completely ignore Sonic Colors in your review's first graph?  Especially since it came out after SR and BK.

Also, I apologize for singling you out on this, I am only doing it to illustrate my philosophy about game journalism as a whole.  That said, don't you think you could have written a subtitle and left BK out of it?

Why not "Is this the game that Sonic fans have been waiting for or just another false start?"
A line like that plays on both Sonic's favorite method of transportation and the idea that Sonic fans are prone to being let down - without jabbing at anyone's preferences.

To use BK as a synonym for is a bash whether or not that was your intention.  I'm sure you have a game you like that doesn't get a fair shake - think of that game - now, would you like to see someone using it in this fashion?

Again, my apologies for singling you out on this minor, yet widespread practice.  For all I know, this is the first and last time you were ever going to make such a choice! ^_^

*handhsake*

@Ceric

You raise a good point.  I can't tell you how many Wii games I've started playing and been like "uh... this kinda sucks" until I "get it" when it comes to the controls, and then my opinion does a full 180.  I think I spent enough time with SR to know that, for me, the controls weren't what I was looking for.  But who knows, maybe if I return to it after all these years I'll approach them in a better way and things will CLICK.

@leahsdad

I do what I can.  Also, I like your signature.

Quote from: NinSage

I've been playing Sonic games since his first blast was processed and my top three are (in no order) Sonic Colors, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight.

I loved the setting/design of Secret Rings, but I really didn't like the controls.

So, Josh wrote a great review and I'm glad he enjoyed the game.  But taking a needless shot at Black Knight? Not cool. Completely forgetting Sonic Colors for the sake of harping on "ups and downs"?  Sloppy.

People who would put Sonic Unleashed ahead of the Genesis games are in no position to criticize other people's opinions of Sonic games.

NinSageDecember 13, 2011

@Insano

Does a laugh track come with that one?

Anyway, that was a critique on writing style, not opinions. Pay attention.

This game does nothing to shake that the only Sonic game I ever want to play again is Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and maybe 1, 3, Knuckles, and CD.

I'm glad people derive enjoyment from the later games, but I do not. I feel nothing but rage and unhappiness. There are two exceptions. I actually kind of enjoyed playing Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and Secret Rings was mildly enjoyable. I have yet to play Sonic Colors on Wii. I'll admit that might be good, and I've heard very good things.

NinSageDecember 13, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

This game does nothing to shake that the only Sonic game I ever want to play again is Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and maybe 1, 3, Knuckles, and CD.

I'm glad people derive enjoyment from the later games, but I do not. I feel nothing but rage and unhappiness. There are two exceptions. I actually kind of enjoyed playing Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and Secret Rings was mildly enjoyable. I have yet to play Sonic Colors on Wii. I'll admit that might be good, and I've heard very good things.

Hidden beneath your rage and unhappiness there seems to be an open mind and heart.  I think you're doing just fine if you can say you like the old games and at least SOME of the new ones.  The only problem is when people completely shut their mind to one or the other.  Which you have not done.

And for everyone, remember that liking or disliking is different than shutting one's mind.  There's nothing wrong with people saying "I tried the new games, they weren't for me."  The problem is with anyone thinking "Sonic can't possibly be good unless it's 16bit!! RAWR!!"

The funny thing is, for me, they've proved that Sonic can be bad if it's 16bit (or rather, limited to the 2D plane). Outside of the earlier Sonic Advance games, I haven't enjoyed any of the 2D attempts.

Honestly, after putting an hour into the review copy before shipping it to Josh, I'd rather just play Sonic 2 when I feel nostalgic. I don't need to play any new Sonic games.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 13, 2011

You guys know my history with the Sonic franchise... I freaking love it. Yeah, I am very well aware that many of the games suck a big one, but I just can't help but love the little hedgehog. I write a long blog post about it a year ago, but the short version of it is that both Sonic and Mario represent my gaming childhood.

I like to think I am more open minded that most people are when it comes to modern Sonic games. Yes, Sonic Riders, Shuffle and 2006 were awful. Sonic Unleashed stands as both the best and worst Sega can do for the series. Like, you have the daytime stages which are a thing of beauty and showed that Sega CAN make a competent Sonic game, but then they decided to add the Werehog stages and HOLY SH*T ON A BAGEL THAT STUFF WAS AWFUL!

But Sonic Colors (which I reviewed last year), proved that there is a lot to like about modern Sonic. It focused primarily on Sonic platforming, kept the story to a bare minimum and actually poked fun at itself rather than trying to be all legit (aka Sonic 2006), and it looks like Sonic Generations is doing the exact, same thing, with the gimmick this time being a second Sonic speed character.

Finally, I think the problem most players have with Sonic is that they expect each new game to "return" Sonic to his "former glory". Like, each new game that comes out HAS to play like Sonic 2 or else it will suck. If the game is awful it is because the game was horribly designed, NOT because it wasn't exactly like Sonic 2. Sega could create the GREATEST SONIC GAME EVAR MADE, featuring the talents of Shigeru Miyamoto, the graphical design of Retro and the difficulty of Platinum Games, and fans would STILL deem it as a crappy game because the Sonic cycle is just too damn powerful.

I think that's why Sonic 4 largely failed in the eyes of many because Sega was trying to pander to the fanbase with a game that was sold as a genuine sequel to the Genesis games. Fact is that NOTHING WILL BRING BACK THE JOY OF THE GENESIS GAMES. Cruel and harsh? Maybe, but we have our nostalgic goggles in this situation. Think of it this way... why did Nintendo call the modern 2D platforming Mario games NEW Super Mario Bros rather than SUPER MARIO BROS 4? Because even if they played like the old games, they are NOT the old games. And people enjoyed them because it was a new spin on the old gameplay.

But maybe it's just me and I am incapable of properly judging a Sonic game, who knows...

SilverQuilavaDecember 14, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Josh

Hey all, first off I wanna say that I actually really enjoyed Sonic Colors. It was a really well done game. I do, however, stand by my opinion that Sonic and the Black Knight along with Secret Rings, weren't done well. But I'm not here to bash Sonic. I was a huge fan for as long as I can remember and I'm happy to see him in another great game.


There isn't a Chemical Plant level in the 3DS game, I'm sorry SilverQuilava. . .


There are 11 levels with 7 of them being traditional race to the finish levels split up between the two Sonics, giving a grand total of 14 "traditional" levels.


And there are no gyro controls, sorry Ceric. . .

That's too bad. Oh well, hopefully the ps3 version will have it, and I'll remember all those times going at full speed down into the Chemical plant on S2 and hearing that catchy as hell song.

NinSageDecember 14, 2011

Quote from: NWR_pap64

I think that's why Sonic 4 largely failed in the eyes of many because Sega was trying to pander to the fanbase with a game that was sold as a genuine sequel to the Genesis games. Fact is that NOTHING WILL BRING BACK THE JOY OF THE GENESIS GAMES.

Precisely.  It has always been a foolish move on SEGA's part to try and pander to a group of folks that are un-panderable.  In other words, the only thing that would make them happy is to physically go back in time and be given Sonic 2 for the first time.  And, powerful as they may be, SEGA can't do that.

It's as Neal said above, if someone wants to play Sonic 2, they can just pop in the cartridge and do it!!

Long live the blue blur.

SilverQuilavaDecember 23, 2011

OH my god. I just finished playing the PS3 version of Sonic Generations. Talk about a great Sonic game. I can't believe the game was only 40 dollars. BUT I guess that's why there are just 3 areas. Other than that, this game is a marvel. It even had Chemical Plant! MAN did it have Chemical Plant!

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Genre Action
Developer Sega

Worldwide Releases

na: Sonic Generations
Release Nov 22, 2011
PublisherSega
jpn: Sonic Generations: Ao no Bouken
Release Dec 08, 2011
PublisherSega
eu: Sonic Generations
Release Nov 25, 2011
PublisherSega

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