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Sonic Generations Hands-On

by on September 2, 2011
 

 

I’ve written about Sonic Generations before when the public one-stage demo came out and wasn’t happy with a few things back then, even though they weren’t crucial, but rather little details that needed to be taken care of to make the gameplay experience truly entertaining. I’m glad to say that some of those issues have been looked into and fixed. The game now indeed seems more polished and fun to play as well. I think that slowly we’re getting to the point where most players will be pleased with the overall look and feel this game has and I’m fairly positive that Sonic Generations will surprise both new and old fans alike.

The new Sonic, in 3D levels, is fast. Extremely fast. It’s hard to really describe, but when you play through the Green Hill Zone for the first time, you’ll be blown away. I’ve tried the stage in 3D mode on a 3DTV and it turned out to be one of the most intense 3D experiences on a home console I’ve ever had. The camera is most of the time directly behind you, as you see Sonic’s back, and the faster you move the more focused you become on this single point (Sonic) – which is basically the exact center of the screen. Not to mention that 3D fills you with a feeling that Sonic, including his nearest surroundings, is popping out of the screen right at you. I’m not sure how good that is for your eyes if you play for too long and occasionally I thought I was on a crazy acid trip, but to be perfectly honest I didn’t care. I was more worried the framerate would drop a bit, but it remained perfectly fluid the entire time. I didn’t expect anything else considering speed is the game’s premise, but it’s good to know things have worked out well in this regard – both on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (I personally find the PS3 version visually slightly superior, though we were promised they’d be identical at launch).

Sonic Generations is very addicting. You’ll eventually want to finish it from beginning to end in one breath. Hard to say if the pretty and shiny colors are to blame, but unless you get stuck and bump into something or someone you’ll do just fine. Level sections seem to be logically connected and you will encounter some simple puzzles here and there to spice things up. It’s a similiar case with the storyline – it’s interesting and makes sense, but don’t expect something too revolutionary and complex or you might be disappointed. This isn’t The Lord of the Rings. In terms of what actually happens in the story, it boils down to this… Modern Sonic travels back in time and encounters himself, Classic Sonic, with whom he must fight against a mysterious evil force to fix the time stream. Who or what that force will be is still a mystery – rumours are it might be Dr. Eggman or someone new. I truly don’t know, so please don’t DM me about it 🙂

As for the actual levels at the time I was playing the game, roughly two weeks ago, 9 zones were finished and fully playable. I don’t know whether that is the final number, but I’m assuming so. Count that as 18 stages in total – 9 in 2D (Act 1) and 9 in 3D (Act 2). Expect some from classic Sonic 1 and 2, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes and even Sonic Unleashed(Don’t worry, there won’t be a werehog anywhere in this game)

Now, I’m sure many of you want to know names. Some of you may even want to see screenshots. Well, I’ll be nice. Here’s a few…

Let’s also not forget about the Nintendo 3DS version, which is supposed to have aroud 80% of exclusive content! I might add that it is as much fun to play as the console versions. Check it out below…

If you take a look at the progress the team has made ever since releasing that demo, I’d say people shouldn’t worry too much. Even in its current state Sonic Generations is a very colourful, fast and fun game. At the same time it’s true to its roots and manages to acknowledge them with updated and detailed revisions of the classic environments and gameplay mechanics that made the original games so thrilling and entertaining.

I personally am looking forward to this next installment, because it takes literally the best of both worlds. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be able to meet the blue mascot in November of this year once again – this time in full force! Oh and I forgot to mention one important thing – other characters from the series, like Sonic’s friends, such as Tails and Amy will be in the game. Not playable, no, but they will make a cameo appearance or two 😉

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