I’ve been playing at this game since launch and finally I have finished the game with all side-levels done. So I can now officially give a valid opinion on the game.
Coincidentally it went on sale this week from Steam.
So before I start a little story.
When I was a kid I had a Nintendo. It was cool. But by the time I got a Nintendo, the Sega Genesis was already out. A few years later I would get the Super Nintendo… but the Sega was always cooler.
The cool factor came from one character, Sonic the Hedgehog. I never played many Sonic games.. as a matter of fact I have played one other than this and this is largely because Sonic was always Sega exclusive. Until now…
History of Sonic
Nintendo broke through the mold and created the first successful console with its hero at the front, Mario. The Mario branding gave Nintendo the power to sell millions of Nintendo consoles and in turn sell other games. The Mario franchise is by far the best selling franchise in entertainment with over 100 titles to his name.
Other console developers were having issues. Atari consoles were still around but the company that makes them was bankrupt. Other console developers made games that were Atari compatible so with the Atari crash went the crash of these systems.
Nintendo started a push to create unique mediums. Nintendo placed a Nintendo power chip in all of their games that would allow the cartridge to play on their console.
Sega, wanting to get into the console market would not be able to make a cheaper Nintendo and sell it. Instead they would have to create their own branding and their own games. Since Sega first pushed into the console market there has been a ‘race’ between console developers. In the mid 90s it is PSX and Nintendo 64. In the 2000s it is PS2 and Xbox. In recent years it is between the Wii and the Xbox 360.
Sega started a line of gaming feuds, and it did so with the SEGA GENESIS!
The Genesis, also known as the Sega Master System or The Mega Drive was slightly more powerful that Nintendo’s Entertainment System and would be more powerful that Nintendo’s Super Nintendo they would release to try and compete with.
But Sega was missing something.
Sega wanted a Mario, a side scrolling adventure featuring a hero that would sell their systems. Bonuses were given for the best design. What was selected was a hedgehog who after development would get the name “Sonic” as in faster than light.
On debut Sonic would be faster than Mario, would take more skill than Mario and would be cooler than Mario. While Mario was this humble plumber, Sonic would have attitude. If you didn’t pause the game Sonic would actually just jump off the screen and the game would turn off.
Sonic is so popular that an animated character walks the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
The Sonic franchise would continue at pace with the Mario franchise. When Mario Brothers 3 is released in the US it is met with Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
It is argued that Sonic the Hedgehog would be the only thing to sell any Sega consoles. Sega had a large number of flop consoles they tried to release on the market to compete with the Playstation and the Nintendo 64. The first attempt was the Sega CD attachment for the Genesis which came with Sonic CD. Available for CD was Sonic and Knuckles and Hedgehog 3.
When the Dreamcast was released it came with Labryinth. But also they would put out Sonic R, and Sonic Adventures.
The Dreamcast was a last straw for the Genesis console market… they could not compete. With Xbox coming out with a sleek green and black box they knew they had no place in this market. From here on out Sonic games would be developed for Nintendo systems releasing hit after hit after hit.
It’s not to say that Sonic has not had some abuse. There are tones of Sonic puzzle games, strategy games, racing games, and party games that just… suck.
Sonic would not have a single good game during this period. Every single game released for Nintendo was pure crap. People kept buying these games being left disappointed time after time.
People had lost faith in Sonic Team, a specialized division of Sega created after Sonic the Hedgehog’s first release to make only Sonic franchise games.
Sonic Generations was a huge project as Sega announced it would be available for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS and Windows. It was initially announced as an “Anniversary” edition of Sonic Adventures but eventually the development moved around to make a far improved game.
This game offers two different games modes aptly called “Act 1″ and “Act 2.”
Act 1 is the traditional mode from the 80s. You play in a side scroller format. If you want to run fast you have to charge up your run and then go, just like in the original. The Sonic in this is distinguished by being younger. This is generally regarded as the easier mode of the game.
Act 2 is the newer “Sonic Adventures” style play. This is a combination of side scroller with 3D action. You are constantly twisted between 3D action and side scroller precision. This also offers you an instant speed mode called “Boost” and the ability to target things in mid air to immediately jump to next.
These two ‘modes’ offer the stories main arch involving a time destroyer capturing all of your friends and locking them in time. You have to join the Sonic of past with the Sonic of present to beat this menace.
Sonic comes with a huge cast of friends, 28 in total. That is 14 from the past and 14 from the future, of the same person. Each of these characters offers a different style of a race that usually involves interacting with them. The ninja Rouge for example will stop you from winning the race unless you can uncover his stealth and attack him.
In classic Sonic the score was tallied up based on ring collection and time. This game is entirely based on time with the coveted S ranking being the highest.
The game has no shortage of enemies, along with standard Egghead and some Dinosaur thing there is also the Doppleganger (yourself) and Shadow. Shadow the Hedgehog is Sonic’s ultimate enemy and to get to these races you will need to figure out minor puzzles.
The game has 90 missions total each on average 2 minutes long putting the average play length at 3 hours. Each area has two main missions (Act 1 and Act 2). Each time you complete a mission you will unlock access to a large number of side quests. After you beat side quests. One out of the side quests give you access to a key, the others give you access to unlockables.
Three keys unlock a boss battle. Boss battles are all different and all involve different mechanics that you have to learn on the spot.
The game also features an equip. This gives you the ability to choose powers that will help you in your levels. An example of this might be the Take two hits before dying perk.
- Fast paced
- Non-linear side-scroller experience
- Interesting twists on old formula
What do Sonic the Hedgehog and Neutrinos have in common? They both move faster than the speed of light. Just kidding neutrinos
have been proven to be the same speed as light.
This game is fast. Maybe too fast for its own good. The game makes up for being too fast by giving you a lot of flashy indicators to tell you what to do ahead of time. If you don’t follow them and you don’t get around fast enough, you will lose. Everything about this game is based around speed. Even in the underwater levels you are forced to try and get out of water as fast as possible since you cannot hold your breath for very long.
This fast paced play leads to some amazingly fun play. You can be supersonicing your way through, fly off a ramp and in a split second you have to make the decision whether to jump again when you land, or blaze your way across. The game offers a rating system to encourage you to play better, something that few games have these days.
The levels are distinctively non-linear. In an average side scroller you go from point A to point B the exact same way every time. In this game you have 3-4 paths to get to the same place. In a 2 minute level there may be 42 permutations for how to beat it. The permutations that win are the ones that get the S rank at the end.
The permutations allow for a skillful player to navigate through the levels with quick reflexes to get that extra advantage. The newer less skilled players will run along the bottom and slowly learn and get better and hitting timings.
The best part of the game is all of the side missions you can do… this is also the bulk of the game. There are a tonne of modes in here. Most importantly is the companion missions. Compansions will either work with you or work against you. Some of these are actually REALLY hard to get an S rank with because you have to rely on the speed of your enemies.
I’ve beaten this game with all missions S rank putting in multiple attempts to beat the same level. Very few games challenge you to hit perfect like a Sonic title.
- Client crashes
- Low content
- No Multiplayer
After an hour of playing the game, my client crashed. This is a common problem that has not and will not be fixed.
The problem deals with the speed of the game. At certain points in certain levels there will be a FPS (frames per second) drop because the game engine cannot handle the effects it is making. If there are two of said effects in a row the game crashes.
Another major problem comes in with exactly how open the Sonic levels are. There are so many places you can get stuck in. Imagine you are running up a ramp and you are stuck running in place upside down. Yep, that happens occassionally.
The bugs do not break the game completely and are merely nuisances.
The game also does not have a lot of content. It is a game that you playthrough once in 3 hours and that is it. The ‘challenges’ are what you would normally just call Levels in any other game. Unfortunately it only has about 20 missions that are connected to the main story that you have to do which accounts for maybe 50 minutes of play. This means you can finish this game in 50 minutes. That other 2 hours is the ‘bonus content.’
How many games can you think of that ship with one hour of play?
The other problem is that there is no multiplayer. The game supports a doppleganger mode which allows for two shadows to exist in a level as well as the option to switch between two characters. Yet it has still not managed to find a way to make a multiplayer experience where two friends can play a mission together or compete with each other directly using attacks and level elements to strike your opponent down.
When people picked up this game they all screamed “holy crap a good Sonic game.” Not only did they say that, but they also (sometimes) were happy they had picked up a good Sonic PC game. Rarely do games from consoles play well on PC, but this one did.
The game currently goes for $29.99 for roughly 3 hours of play. If you have played Sonic games in the past you should pick this up if you enjoyed them. The fast action packed gameplay has me yelling WAHOO and COME ON! If you are new to the franchise you will get a far better bang for your buck.
If you were fortunate to hit this up during the sale consider yourself lucky, Sonic Generations is a smash hit worth picking up at 50% off.
My only concern is you will need a gamepad for this game, otherwise it is pretty horrible to play. So if you have a gamepad, definitely pick this baby up.