Sonic Generations

User Rating: 7 | Sonic Generations PC

At Sonic’s birthday party, a monster emerges from a portal and kidnaps his friends. The portal seems to bring retro Sonic and Tails along with it. So old Sonic and modern Sonic team up to restore the timeline and save their friends.

I’m not a Sonic fan by any means: I tend to find the 2D Sonics overrated, and the 3D ones I have played have been plagued with issues; poor level design, obvious bugs, terrible camera and woeful voice acting.

Generations is a celebration of all things Sonic, but it does so by taking the best elements and improving on the general gameplay. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the better games in the series.

Each stage is split into 2 acts; the first is played with classic Sonic, and the second is played with modern Sonic, but you can do them in any order. The first act has moments where you can go fast, and some visual spectacles, but there is a higher focus on platforming. The second act has plenty of opportunities to go fast, and lots of visual spectacle. The second act does have some 2D sections which is probably an admission that Sonic tends to work much better in 2D.

The different Sonics have slightly different abilities which can make it slightly confusing. The modern Sonic has dash, can slide, quickstep. He also has his homing attack, whereas you need to spin into enemies manually with classic Sonic. Some levels have unique mechanics for modern Sonic, so there’s one where you can do the dash through certain lines of rings, and another allows you to wall jump.

Each level is a reimagining of a level from the old main-line console games. So there’s one level from each game. I only recognised a few moments, like the Sonic Adventure 2 level where you are fleeing from an out-of-control truck. I felt the improved control, camera and new ideas made it much more fun this time around. The levels are actually really well designed with lots of branching paths to encourage you to replay them to discover everything the level has to offer. It’s generally quite easy though. Like many Sonic games, the final levels get annoying. They seemed longer and had a few moments where it wasn’t clear where to go.

There’s loads of challenge levels where you have different objectives. Racing your doppleganger can be quite tense, then there’s treasure hunts, collecting a certain number of rings, and more. You are forced to play a selection of these in order to unlock a battle with a boss, which then leads to the next set of levels.

The boss battles aren’t that great - most of them seem boring and sometimes it’s unclear what to do, even if Omochao is giving you tips. The final boss is very boring since you mainly just keep taping to boost and randomly move about.

I felt it was awkward to recollect your rings. They seem to have an awkward bounce to them, and disappear quite quickly. There are several red tokens to find which unlock concept art and other bonuses. You are scored which gives you skill points to unlock extra perks in the shop. Some perks are for both characters, but many are for a specific Sonic.

You can also buy extra lives in the shop, earn them by collecting over 100 rings, or finding them in the stage. The life system seems pointless anyway. When you lose all lives then you are given 5, so if you start a new level with less than that, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

The voice acting is much better than the Sonic Adventure games I have played. There’s also some funny self-aware dialog .

The graphics are bright and colourful, the gameplay contains great variety and plays to the series’ strengths. It definitely has the best 3D Sonic gameplay I’ve seen. There’s not many levels compared to other platforming games, and it does seem to be padded out with the challenge levels. So overall it is decent, and I’m sure will please Sonic fans.