Old School collides with New School to create one of the very best Sonic experiences ever.

User Rating: 9 | Sonic Generations X360
It's easy for one to begin a review on a new Sonic game without first pointing out the series' more rotten titles like Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and how there hasn't been a good game in the series since 1994 or 2001. It's also very easy for one to first state their warm and fuzzy nostalgia for the series (namely the older titles). It's also a simple fact that the Sonic fan base is incredibly hard to please. Sonic Generations' goal is to please both ends of the spectrum, all while being the ultimate tribute to the past 20 years of the franchise. Is this game sure to please the fan base? Well, maybe not as a whole, but it most certainly will please many longtime fans. Sonic Generations' combination of the old and the new come together excellently and help create one of the very best games in the series.

The story, much like the previously released Sonic Colors, is very light. It is Sonic's birthday. All of Sonic's pals come together to throw him a relaxing celebration of cake and chili dogs. However, the party is instantly crashed by a new mysterious force known as the Time Eater. This large demonic creature of gears and smoke creates time holes that suck up all of Sonic's friends and send them flinging through time. Sonic tries to stop it, but is knocked unconscious. He later wakes up to find himself in a world of pure white, which happen to contain empty structures of familiar worlds of his past. Along the way you team up with Sonic's younger, chubbier, "classic" self (as well as Tails' classic self) and you go off on a grand adventure through the series' famous locals to save your friends and defeat this new menace.
Not only will Sonic be visiting familiar worlds, but you will be seeing in-jokes and references to everything Sonic related. Some jokes are rather subtle, while others are more obvious. Nonetheless, if you are a fan, you will instantly be hit of tons of nostalgia and perhaps get a few chuckles. Unfortunately, there were a few missed opportunities for not only great jokes (when will somebody finally make a comment about the moon?), but there could have been a bit more to the stage selection.

The game is split up into two different gameplay styles: Classic gameplay and Modern gameplay. As the younger "Classic Sonic" you will be fixed on a 2-D plane the entire time (though the camera will occasionally shift and pan, making the levels feel more dynamic) with only a jump and spin dash to help you overcome obstacles. The classic gameplay offers a heavy focus on stop-and-go platforming and momentum-based physics. The physics, while not absolutely spot-on, certainly get the job done in emulating the old-school feel of the original Sega Genesis Sonic games, even when you travel to the more modern levels.

Modern Sonic's gameplay continues with the successful, incredibly fast 3-D/2.5-D gameplay style used in HD Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. You will be doing plenty of boosting, homing attacking, and performing the occasional mid-air trick. However, unlike Sonic Unleashed's "Boost to Win" design and Sonic Colors' heavy emphasis on 2-D over 3-D, the 2-D and 3-D portions are more evenly placed and as you progress to later stages, the 3-D sections get more platform-heavy, reminding you that even Modern Sonic still knows that it's a platformer. While the Modern gameplay does have its fair share of control quirks, the controls still work as they should most of the time and actually show some improvement upon the controls of Unleashed/Colors. When you complete a stage as either Sonic, you will be given a rank and earn skill points, which you can spend on added attributes for both Sonics.
One's preferred gameplay style will most likely depend on what era that person has grown up on. Regardless of one's preference, both gameplay styles are still incredibly fun, fast, and exciting.
Hidden within each level for both Modern and Classic Sonic are five red rings, like the ones found in Sonic Colors. However, rather than helping you obtain a chaos emerald (which you obtain as you progress through the story), they instead give you unlockable art work and music tracks found in previous games that you can use in stages.

Each world you go through is accessed via a 2-D-styled hub world. Everything starts off white and empty, but as you progress you will begin to bring color back to the worlds and rescue one of your friends. Along with the main stages come mostly optional challenge missions (you only need to complete one challenge mission per level, whether with Classic or Modern Sonic). These added challenges not only add some replay value, but they also offer more cool unlockables. Some challenges vary from world to world. They can range from doppelganger races, to one ring survival, to racing against a friend, or having a friend help you out. Both Classic and Modern Sonic offer their own unique sets of challenges and most are quite fun to go through and are sometimes rather challenging. Despite the game's terribly short length of five hours, the game's levels and challenges offer more than enough reasons for you to replay them.

It, of course, wouldn't be an ultimate celebration of the series if it didn't include its iconic boss battles. There are four major boss battles and three rival bosses. The rival bosses (Metal Sonic, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Silver the Hedgehog) have you running on a set path and dodging their attacks, waiting for an opportunity for you to strike. The major bosses (Death Egg Robot, Perfect Chaos, Egg Dragoon, and, eventually, Time Eater) are much grander in scale and are certainly more involved. However, while both the rivals and major bosses are fun to go through and exciting to look at, they are also not all that difficult to defeat.

Each of the newly designed environments are incredibly stunning to look at. If you thought Planet Wisp from Sonic Colors looked stunning before, it practically bleeds with gorgeousness in Sonic Generations. The worlds are incredibly colorful, excellently detailed and feature a mostly smooth framerate. The level designs are top notch and the dynamic camera works most of the time (though, again, it can have its quirks when playing as Modern Sonic). The classic and modern remixes of each of the levels' music tracks are simply fantastic and the voice acting and dialogue are pretty good for the most part.

To sum things up:

-Beautifully recreated levels
-Superb remixes of old soundtracks
-Full of nostalgia
-Good voice acting and dialogue
-Two great gameplay styles
-Cool unlockables
-Fun challenge modes

-Some control quirks
-Very short game
-Easy bosses
-Some missed opportunities for jokes and levels

The good aspects of Sonic Generations greatly outweigh the bad. This game not only serves as a fantastic celebration of the past 20 years of Sonic history, but it is quite simply one of the very best in the series.