From here on out, I will no longer be giving any new Sonic game a chance. Sonic Generations drives the final nail in the franchise’s coffin, and if it were any series other than the blue blur’s, this would have come much sooner. I guess, for me, I always held out hope that if Sega truly returned to what made Sonic games fun over a decade ago, they could re-ignite the excitement and fun I once experienced with their iconic mascot.
If you remember back a year or so ago, Sega was proclaiming “Sonic the Hedgehog 4″ to be the long-troubled franchise’s return to the basics. But gamers were not fooled or impressed by the very pathetic title Sega produced. Basically, the very craptastic playing (and looking!) downloadable game gave Sega a very public black eye – in fact, the game was such a dismal failure “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1″ never even got an Episode 2! Ha! (Edit:After this review, Ep. 2 did eventually come out)
But after a very exciting fan-made version of Sonic was made in 2010, Sega seemed to finally do what gamers wanted all along and give Sonic a proper “throwback” installment, just in time for his 20th birthday (my God, I’m old!). And that’s where Generations comes into play – a game that was supposed to blend the best of side-scrolling Sonic gameplay with the Sonic-only 3D levels from newer games.
This would have all worked out well, if it wasn’t for one problem:
This game is a piece of crap and I can’t believe it was even released. Just as buggy and retarded as 2007′s disaster Sonic the Hedgehog (the first of many disastrous attempts to reboot the series), Sonic Generations inflicts hour after hour of pain on the player just because it can. Sonic fans (I’m sorry if you even classify yourself as that in this day and age) will no doubt try their best to find redeeming aspects in the game (a few decent 3D New Sonic stages, an occasional decent song here and there, etc.) but there’s no escaping the harsh reality: Sonic is a series that simply cannot be saved. Sonic Generations is indisputable proof of that.
The thing players who are dumb enough to play it for more than an hour (like me!) will notice is that it’s very possible no game developers now can ever duplicate what Sega had done in the 90s. Whatever Sega “got right” was lost long ago, right around the time Sega exited the console business.
The 3D levels feel chaotic, confusing and poorly designed. The controls constantly change from stage to stage and the gameplay mechanics seem to be determined by an evil roulette wheel. Even the ear-bleeding violin renditions of Sonic music in the overworld kills your soul a bit each time you hear it.
Even the “should be easy to reproduce” 2D side-scrolling levels feel off. Here’s the perfect example of what I mean: As you go through loops on the Genesis games, holding “down” would make you into a ball, have you go even faster and protect you from damage should an enemy appear ahead (most types would get killed). It was a great way of giving the player a sense of speed but in a controllable, rather safe way. But in Sonic Generations? If you try to remain in a ball as you travel through loops, you actually lose momentum to the point where it’s significantly faster and easier to NOT be in one. In fact, most places where this is an issue won’t even allow you to go into a ball – you’ll have to settle for this new way of moving Sonic, where he moves at a snail’s pace and is vulnerable to everything.
By far the worst aspects of the game are ANY of the game’s half dozen or so boss stages. Whether you’re racing against an asinine Shadow the Hedgehog or trying like hell to maneuver through the molasses crap storm known as the Egg Dragon boss, you’ll be hating this game more and more with each successive non-traditional stage. At the end of the game when you face the Time Monster thingee you’ll simply not give a flying you-know-what in trying to decipher what the hell was going on and what you have to do. I just went online, found the solution and finished the game. It was a tedious pain in the ass even with the help, but I was sick and tired of trying to figure out what I had to do in any given boss encounter. If this game is made for kids, I believe Sega is probably responsible for hundreds of child suicides around the world because of this atrocity.
And don’t even get me started on the inconsistent framerate, getting stuck in objects (forcing you to restart stage), falling through floors (forcing you to restart stage) or being involved in a multi-part boss battle and the game failing to transport you to where you can actually proceed (forcing you to restart stage). I’m not convinced this was ever playtested.
In short, this is one of the worst games I’ve ever played in recent years, Sonic or otherwise (although I could at least complete it, unlike 2007′s buggy-to-the-point-of-not-working installment). Don’t ever play this game, even if a few levels here and there bring back okay memories of a series that was much better a decade ago. You know a game sucks when, as the credits roll, you realize the best part of this game is watching the video footage playing of previous games in the series.
Graphics: 4 | Sound: 4 | Play Control: 3 | Fun Factor: 2 | Final Score: 29%