Pinch me now, I must be dreaming

User Rating: 8.5 | Sonic Generations PC
Ever since I was young, I've loved Sonic the Hedgehog. Something about that awesome, speedy jackass got to me. I pretty much indoctrinated Sonic 2, 3 (and Knuckles) into my memory, mastering each stage in the respective games. I also really enjoyed the Saturday Morning cartoon, but now we're getting off topic...

So yeah, we all know the story after this. First off, 3d Sonic comes out. Looks promising and all but the infamous 'camera angle/ cheap death' problems start popping out. Also, the games start getting worse...not better. More furry friends (and not cool ones. Get that Sega? NOT COOL). More ridiculous gimmicks (were-hog, some...sword thingy, navi sidekick, human girl that you make out with). Hookay. Anyways, moving on..

The maturity of the series was also a lost cause from the get go (and became even more apparent with introductions to characters like 'Big the Cat and pals'). Pulling off an aura a la Zelda was pretty much impossible at this point. But oh well, one can dream.

So I enter this game getting that familiar sense of dread as Sonic makes his typically -terrible- jokes with his hoard of animal atrocities. Luckily however, this is where things started turning around. Someone tell me I'm dreaming. Actually, don't, cause this is amazing! The first Sonic game that I'm actually completely content with since the Sega Genesis era. I mean, wow.

How did they pull this off? Well, it took a myriad of factors, as this was no easy task. See, the game reintroduces old-sonic into the universe. Even behind the nostalgia goggles, one can see how well-crafted the levels are. Finally, 2d sonic was back in all his glory, not gimped at all by the passage of time.

But it doesn't end there. For some reason, the 3d sections were just as enjoyable. It seems like Sonic Team is finally starting to get its act together. Yes there are still cheap deaths/weird design choices here and there. But they are so far and few inbetween that they can be easily overlooked. After some practice, you can legitimately gain mastery over these levels, both 2d and 3d. It's a hell of a lot of fun; you actually blaze through like Sonic!

And yes, while the story was still far from great, we need to keep in mind relativity here. In comparison to Sonic's recent failures, the story actually wasn't half bad. First off, Sonic's 'friends' are kept mostly at bay, with the exception of Tailes (whom I've never had a problem with). This was an excellent idea, and I'm glad they made this crucial choice. No annoying high-pitched freaks like that floating furby from Sonic Unleashed. Just good ol' Sonic and Sonic teamwork. Nothing is really overdone to the point of getting distracting. The game knows it's basically a homage to Sonic's past, and doesn't pretend to be anything different.

And ultimately, this package comes together nicely and succeed where past games have failed. Will this signify hope for the future? Honestly, I don't know and don't really care at this point. I'm still gawking over the fact that I've written a positive Sonic review.