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Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations

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Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3)

Sonic Generations (PS3)

In the world of gaming there are a few key franchises which everyone who wants to call themselves a gamer must have played at some point. Mario is one, Zelda as well… Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy are also right up there as is Sonic. This reviewer can remember playing Sonic way back on the Megadrive (Genesis) and Game Gear and since then we have seen the games develop from their original side scrolling roots to mind warping 3D environments. Along the way the platform based games have, for the most part, been playable with particular highlights being games such Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast and Gamecube as well as Sonic Advance.

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The first thing which is clear from the outset of Generations is that this is a title which very much tries to please long term fans of the franchise. The menu music for example harks back to the original theme on the Genesis/Megadrive and the nods to the past come thick and fast after that.

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Best Buy Resume Application Nyc Both modes must be completed to pass the level which seems a basic and simple premise but from there the game gets much larger and more complex. After we complete the third zone for example the first Boss level becomes available however to access this we must go back through the initial 3 areas completing new challenges, such as racing our double through the level, to unlock Boss keys. Gather all the keys, fight the boss and the next batch of levels are unlocked.

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When first starting Sonic Generations it takes a little while to adjust to the graphical style as modern systems allow a lot more detail than the minimalist style which very much benefited the original platformers back in the late 80s and early 90s. Once we have become accustomed to the bright, vibrant and packed levels the game looks impressive though, especially when the side scrolling acts spin out to 3D during fast paced sections. That said there are some issues with framerates, especially when large Havok based physics explosions are taking place. Water and smoke effects look nice though.

Audio in Generations is decent, for example there is a bit of voice acting which serves its purpose. The classic Sonic sounds are all here and a nice remix of the theme is present too. There isn’t anything out of the ordinary though, Generations is very much a visual rather than aural experience.

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For Team Sonic the concept of being able to delve back into previous games and build the latest title from them must have been a fun experience and thankfully they deliver a great experience for long term fans of the franchise.

Those who have played since the early 90s will be immediately familiar with the classic level styles and the reappearance of key characters is nice. Unlockables will also send us on a trip down memory lane but it is often the little touches which are most appealing. As an example classic Sonic never talks, occasionally uses hand gestures to communicate whereas modern Sonic is voiced.

When playing the game initially comes across as surprisingly simple with basic gameplay only set apart from other platformers by the ability to play in side or 3D mode. Once we complete the first three levels though the game (1.5hrs in) very much takes off and there are countless hours of challenges and levels to take on. Level design is also spot on, always intuitive and fun throughout with graphics that look great , in both modes. The classic full of bright vibrant colours and the modern a complete thrill-ride as the familiar environments fly past.

The instant pick up and play style of gameplay will appeal to many but for those who don’t like to complete the same areas several times there may be an issue with repeating areas to gain the boss keys after our initial play though has been completed. A decent amount of variation is involved though, multiple paths, racing, collecting, beating the clock and so on.

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Repeated content isn’t the only issue Generations has though. We had the game crash on us, though this will no doubt be patched if required, and the framerates as noted earlier can occasionally dip. Homing attack sometimes makes the wrong choice too, sending us falling to our death but on the whole instances of these are few and far between. Boss battles are a little simplistic too, and the mini-bosses (fought for Chaos emeralds) are rarely an interesting challenge but these are minor quibbles.

Key to making a Sonic title that works though is the speed and on that front Sonic Team have delivered. The classic mode is fast as we spin through loops, tubes and the like. Modern Sonic with his streamlined physique is a speed demon and those levels we are incredibly destructive, blasting through environments as fast as Sonic has ever been, taking on everything in our path.

In the end both styles of gameplay complement each other making a game which is a must buy for Sonic fans and overall one of the best games in the franchise.
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About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.