Sonic Generations Review

Sonic Speedster

Roughly speaking, all the players in Sonic Generations can be divided into two groups. The first group includes gamers who shed tears of joy in the first few seconds of the Chemical Plant Zone level and for whom the rest of the game is just a bonus. The second group consists of all the others who, for various reasons, do not succumb to nostalgic charms. The pleasure derived from each new Sonic game has long been categorized as “irrational,” but the first fifteen minutes of the latest big game about the blue hedgehog set a truly positive tone. Could it be that you can play Sonic Generations for more than half an hour?

I would like to compose an ode to my love for the Sonic series, but after the line “and after Dreamcast there was…” nothing good comes to mind. In other words, nothing good or kind comes to mind. Sega could have unquestionably played on the bright childhood memories of avid gamers, but for some reason, they decided to thoroughly delve not only into the gameplay mechanics but also into the Sonic universe. Over the past decade, our blue comrade has managed to establish himself as an ideal – children, cover your ears – fool, despite saving presidents (no comments), princesses, medieval kingdoms, and who knows who else. The constantly revolving colorful crowd around Sonic didn’t help the banquet much either. And they continued to pedal the hot dog theme! Okay, there were some good moments in the cartoons, but why bring hot dogs from there?

And so Sonic Generations begins. The colorful crowd celebrates Sonic’s birthday by eating hot dogs in nature when suddenly something happens. The company gets sucked into some incomprehensible time vortex, where the young sausage eater meets his past self from the 90s. The past Sonic, no matter where you look, is better than his older self. Despite his belly, the old-good hedgehog is not seen indulging in fast food, making foolish self-assured speeches (he didn’t even talk back then, and as we found out, he was right), and having a whole trail of unknown characters behind him, except for one short-sighted but still beloved Tails.

Dr. Robotnik is not the main villain again, which means the plot can be ignored altogether. And that’s good. The main thing is that we have not one but two blue hedgehogs, one of whom doesn’t spout nonsense every five seconds, and many, many levels to complete.

Classic Sonic Adventures


The main attraction of Sonic Generations is the ability to play each level twice, while experiencing completely different journeys and stunts from the old and new school. For example, you can run through Green Hill in the best traditions of Sonic Adventure 1-2, or take a side view of City Escape, a la the very first Sonic the Hedgehog. The bait is irresistible, what can I say.

As much as the gameplay disco bothers, the levels themselves bring joy. For once, Sega, with strange enthusiasm, has finally delivered exactly what everyone has been waiting for – classic worlds in a new graphical wrapper. It is categorically not worth discussing the idea behind this approach to the game’s content, as it is only a desire to make money from fans. If you missed the last few Sonic games, know that they were all experiments in different directions, and in most cases, unsuccessful. Moreover, in an anniversary project, riding on old rails is completely justified. Just look at how they painted them!

And so, we rush through the classic game zones and cry with happiness. The stages that have been teleported to us from the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis era are instantly recognizable, especially if you play them first as the past Sonic. All these loops, bridges, forks, traps, enemies, secrets – it takes your breath away, as if two decades haven’t passed!

However, if you look closely, no, it has indeed passed. Both the new 3D standard and the 90s-style races have undergone seemingly insignificant but critical changes. At first, you don’t even notice it, but now the “2D” Sonic runs closer to the screen. It may not seem like a big deal, but everything is relative, and in numerous restarts after deaths because it is impossible to see what will be on the right in a second without riding the track ten times, it becomes impossible in principle.

Retro and Modern Sonic

In general, unexpected deaths are the main scourge of both Sonic veterans and fast food enthusiasts with a protruding belly, and, if you will, all games about the blue hedgehog in the last ten years. It’s strange to see how developers always add something quirky to each new game in the series and at the same time refuse to fix glaring flaws that scream “fix me!” They gave us a variety of interesting mini-challenges based on large stages, with a soundtrack that unfolds as you progress and bonuses, even giving the gamer red and white sneakers for merciless tuning, but our poor Sonic still flies off somewhere a kilometer down because he literally missed the villainous bending rails by a millimeter. It doesn’t matter that he bought all sorts of super jumps and other supersonic accelerators.

By the way, about millimeters. If you want to play Sonic Generations on a computer, get yourself a good gamepad. I mean, a really good gamepad, with at least one real analog stick. If a game, originally designed for use with modern console controllers with sensitive analog sticks, has navigation problems on a toy (square) stick that cunning Chinese people spoil gamers with (I won’t even mention the keyboard – this option is not considered at all, it’s better not to even try), everything will be absolutely terrible. My personal recommendation is the Razer Onza Tournament Edition, with customizable sticks. The only drawback of the Razer gamepad is the wire that the controller will be tied to the computer/console with. After the native Xbox 360 gamepads, the wire looks like an incomprehensible relic, although in the case of a PC, this drawback is still negligible.

High-Speed Action

PC and SEGA only and forever

The second problem with the new “Sonic” on PC is poor porting. The game has a habit of starting to lag without any objective reason. In these unpleasant moments, along with the dropping frame rate, that magical feeling of speed, which is still alive in the series, disappears. And, of course, the annoying “glitchy” spots on the stages during the “lag” moments are twice as frustrating.

In general, this combination of frame rate drops plus unpleasant surprises on the turns could easily bury the game, but: firstly, no matter how unpleasant it is for the ideologists of the “PC only and forever” movement to admit it, gamers should be grateful to Sega for the fact that the anniversary “Sonic” was released on their favorite platform, and secondly, the magic is still there. The “right” Sonic magic that even the most disappointed fans of the hedgehog games keep looking for in new projects of the series. And, by the way, they are starting to find it more and more often.

It’s hard to say whether Sonic Generations will appeal to people outside the ancient video game cult of colorful Sega creatures. If you think about it, the game has little to offer to minds unclouded by decades of super-fast runs. The soundtrack from the old games of the series, the decorations from the legendary past, the overall atmosphere where everything is essentially “for the fans” – everyone knows Sonic, but those who actually don’t know the hedgehog or his story… not that they “won’t understand,” they simply won’t need it.

For someone, the bonus track Toxic Caves, discovered in the music library, is just an uninteresting artifact from the past (not Vampire Killer from who knows where), and for someone else, it’s almost half an hour of memories about Sonic Spinball. How unusual, strange, and devilishly difficult it was, try to at least get past the second level, and there are such intricate levels and swimming in barrels of acid, and then you end up in a volcano and so on.

And so it goes with each new discovery.

Sonic's Time-Traveling Journey

If we’re being objective, the new “Sonic” is a passable project, especially if you play it on PC. But if you’re a gamer with a rich console past, SG is an 11 out of 10 after Green Hill Zone, 12 out of 10 after Chemical Plant Zone, and so on, despite anything.

Moreover, our beloved sick TV show has started showing signs of recovery, which is definitely a cause for joy.

Sonic Generations
3DS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Sonic Team
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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