Looking Back: Sonic Generations

It only took several years, but we finally got a truly great 3D Sonic in the form of Sonic Generations. And yes, we mean that Sonic Generations was the first properly good 3D Sonic. The Adventure games had awful cameras, Heroes had the same issues and wonky gameplay, Shadow the Hedgehog was a grossly misjudged move into maturity, Sonic 06 was a bag of shit, Unleashed had the awful werehog sections and Colours suffered from some hideous difficulty spikes and dull powerups.

It's ironic then, that Generations, a game bent on looking back to Sonic's side scrolling roots should be such a full and joyous experience. The first modern Sonic game that encourages you to blitz through the levels without punishing you with a bad camera or hidden chasm. 

Generations tells the timey wimey tale of Sonic of the past (basically megadrive Sonic), a mute hero meeting the loud mouthed Sonic of the present (basically Adventure onwards). It's a wonder Past Sonic didn't catch a glimpse of Sonic 06 and hang himself. The story itself is standard stuff, and it shoe horns in far to many of Sonic's "friends" from over the years, which only really serves to highlight one of the main problems with the Sonic franchise today... that he has too many cuddly buddies. 

Besides that though, we're given a chance to play through old levels in two distinct ways. Past Sonic plays though classic 2D levels with no fancy moves or tricks. Think Sonic 1, 2 or 3. These are fine, and good fun to play through. The Modern Sonic levels however, are an absolute blast to blitz through. You can boost, grind, home attack, dash attack, and speed your way through levels listening to awesome music from Sonic history. There's no broken camera. It just works, and it is bloody wonderful. 

There's a real joy in playing though megadrive sonic levels in 3D. They're given a new depth, and the remixed takes on classic tunes will put a smile on any old fan's face. Whether your first experience of Sonic was the original, Adventure, or even heroes, there is a level here for you to put a nostalgic pang in your heart. Hell, even the Sonic 06 level manages to be decent fun to play through (that was our last dig, promise).

Every level looks gorgeous too, not that you'll spend much time stood still. You can easily spend hours trying to get the best time possible on a level, as you slowly develop a muscle memory that could get you through a course with your eyes close. It's this kind of dependence on knowledge of a level that 3D Sonic has always relied on that often sets people off from it. We love it though. Of course, getting to know a level better should aid you. You might die a lot before you master the right path, but that's a good thing! 

If you haven't played Sonic Generations and you love Sonic, please God, get this game. It is honestly the most satisfying and well rounded Sonic adventure since the Rush games for the DS. Sonic might have slowed down for Lost World, but this game is proof that Sonic can be the speedy blue blur he was intended to be, and not suck.