Sonic has had a difficult time of his career as Sega’s mascot. Initially a fun and incredibly fast take on 2D platformers, he’s been transformed into a really disturbing fanart subculture. The games, however, have been less than substantial. The focus has moved away from what made the Sonic titles great, and moved toward a generic platforming experience.
Sonic Generations is slated to hit on November for the PS3, PC, Xbox 360 and the 3DS. Generations has managed to do what it was believed that could not be done: be a potentially fun Sonic title. Even Project Needlemouse failed at this.
Generations has two modes of play. First, there is a 2D mode that recaptures the madcap action of the original titles with nicely-rendered 3d graphics. The level does possess three dimensions, and Sonic can bounce into the background or foreground in places. The gameplay was nice and tightly built, and extremely fast. One could play the same level a dozen times and not hit every platform. And abilities are stripped down to a dash and a jump, forcing players to prioritize looking for enemies over rings.
Secondly, there is a 3D mode that relates to more recent releases. Sonic has been amplified with some extra abilities, namely the ability to slide under low obstacles, a homing attack and a boost that blows through enemies. This plays largely in a 2.5D view, switching to an over-the-shoulder view for some sequences. The sequences are very slick and fun to play. The controls here are a little less focused than their 2D counterpart, but never does it feel too awkward.
Visually, the title is very slick, though it can be a bit too busy at first to really focus on what one should be doing. After a few playthroughs, however, it becomes very easy to navigate. The character models look great, and fit in well with the stylized Sonic aesthetic.
Overall, the title looks promising, and without any of the subplot or secondary characters, it seems like maybe another good Sonic game is finally going to be released. We shall see.
Spokanites can check our more about Sonic Generations at Sega’s official Generations mini-site.