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Sonic Generations Review

Beyond a flimsy, bilingual leaflet which reveals where Sonic Generations’ actual instruction manual can be downloaded, there’s something else inside the game case: a heaping pile of vindication. Playing through remixed renditions of stages culled from the franchise’s twenty-year span, gamers are likely to pardon Team Sonic’s past transgressions- forgiving werehogs, clunky playing perspectives, and the gun-toting Shadow in one exhilarating dash through a revitalized Green Hill Zone or Sky Sanctuary. Heck, even Crisis City, a level from 2006’s oft-criticized Sonic the Hedgehog has been transformed into a pleasingly dystopian thrill ride, solidifying Generation’s absolution.

With a story that parodies the contrived plotlines which have shepherded the Sonic series, Generations’ unites the mute, portly hedgehog with his loquacious alter-ego. Despite a similar visual appearance, each Sonic has a distinctive repertoire of moves. Classic Sonic complements his renowned jumping capabilities with a spin dash which now speeds up spontaneously with a press of a button. Traditionalists might dislike the adjustment, but a downward press on the directional pad still allows a bit of button mashing to charge up the blue wonder. Modern Sonic’s augmented arsenal includes homing attacks, wall leaps, and ground pounds- moves made famous by the hedgehog’s post-Dreamcast launch excursions.

Sonic Generations’ nine stages are been plucked from the series’ most memorable locations and offer two variants. For Classic Sonic, there are the principally 2D-based affairs- which sporadically shift perspective to exhibit the power of the game’s graphical engine. The contemporary character receives 3D realms furnished with corkscrews, zip lines, and launch pads capable of sending the player hurtling through the air. With their sharp turns, ballistic speeds, and soaring jumps, these stages can feel like a bullet train skating atop a rollercoaster track. With their vibrant colors and wild architecture, these levels offer some of the most hyperkinetic splendor, contemporary gamers have ever witnessed.

Occasionally, the surplus of visual spectacle can come at a price. The game’s introductory two dimensional stage- a remake of the celebrated Green Hill Zone, flaunts detailed sunflower and palm-lined, checkerboarded backdrops which blur as Sonic hit top speed. Occasionally, the sense of speed can be overwhelming, requiring even veteran players to adjust to the game’s pace, which intermittently gives players a split-second to make a lifesaving maneuver. Players can expect a fair share of cheap deaths, as the sapphire sprinter takes a careless leap, encounters an expected foe, or inexplicably fails to lock-on to an adjacent foe. Despite Sonic’s recurrent ring-letting and plunges, a frequent number of checkpoints prohibit players from becoming too frustrated.

More likely players will take issues with the game’s length; with eighteen stages across the nine environments the game’s main campaign can be completed in about six hours. Fortunately, there is supplemental content including a bevy of challenges, a trio of boss battles, and even rival battles against Shadow, Silver and Metal Sonic. Recalling the contests in Sonic Rivals, these trials task gamers with eluding enemy strikes and delivering a counterattack during key moments of susceptibility. Success if these activities reward players will skill point which can used to augment the abilities of the hedgehog and even unlock the original SEGA genesis title.

For years, SEGA has assured gamers that each new Sonic title would offer a return to form for the exalted erinaceid. With Sonic Generations, the publisher finally makes good on their promises, providing the best jaunt for the hedgehog since the days of lock-on technology. While the title may be on the short side and the new ‘blast processing’ might sear your retinas, Generations is an outstanding return to form. Welcome back, Blue.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. Damn Deagle, you’ve been cooking on reviews!

  2. I picked it up this week on a chance. It was $30 and I heard good things.

    First hour I didn’t like it. Sonic kept dying. I kept trying to lockon when I was old Sonic. Then something happened and I started enjoying myself with it. Now I can recommend it.

  3. Just tell me it’s not like Sonic 4, ok? Because that felt like a bootleg Sonic with half the physics.

  4. Yep, SEGA has cried wolf a few too many times. That’s shy I didn’t buy this one at launch.

  5. Is it true they are adding more stages via DLC?

  6. “providing the best jaunt for the hedgehog since the days of lock-on technology”

    You heard it here first- Knuckles DLC…

  7. “providing the best jaunt for the hedgehog since the days of lock-on technology”

    You heard it here first- Knuckles DLC…

  8. @hitman47 Yeah, it seems with this one they’ve finally made a good game.

  9. I’m just like Sonic. I have a (slightly) skinnier, green-eye twin myself. She can’t spin dash, though. But she is a hell of a swimmer. Sonic can’t even touch water, can he?

  10. Great review, Deagle. Can’t wait to see how they fixed Crisis City.

  11. 9 worlds with 2 stages apiece seems a little stingy. I bet if they offer DLC, they’ll offer additional stages with a same main themes.

  12. Did anyone get this from Gamestop? Can you tell me what the Casino Zone DLC is?

  13. Can you play as Tails? I would at least hope Miles was in the game.

  14. They should give a $15 discount for anyone that bought Sonic 4.

  15. After playing Sonic Adventure on the 360 those graphics look pretty nice.

  16. I’ll be buying this one for sure.

  17. So you gave it a B even though there still instant deaths? That makes no sense.

  18. Samuel L. Asskicker

    Has there ever been a “normal” Sonic game without a Green Hill zone?

  19. Is there still a demo for Sonic G on PSN?

  20. It’s about time Sega makes a good Sonic game. Hopefully they haven’t used all the good faith that exists in gamers up.

    One thing I’ll admit that Colours was pretty good. It’s a shame more people didn’t play it.

  21. Seems weird to have two Sonics, instead on one with both powers.

  22. So this is an apology for Sonic 4? Man, that was a bad version of the game. Digipen could have done better.

  23. So 9 levels are all you get for $50? Even if they are 2D and 3D that’s not enough for levels that are less than 10 minutes long.

  24. So 9 levels are all you get for $50? Even if they are 2D and 3D that’s not enough for levels that are less than 10 minutes long.

    • 9 Acts. That’s 18 levels.

      • One sonic level takes less than 10 minutes to beat. That’s less than 180 minutes of playtime- 3 hours. Throw is a few extra hours of playtime (the reviewer must have been dying a lot to get six hours) and you get 5 hours tops.

        Its just not worth it for $50. Maybe $20.

        • You’re forgetting about replayability. The levels are designed to be played more than once. There’s all kinds of different routes.

  25. I miss they days of real instruction manuals. Downloading a PDF just isn’t the same.

  26. Hey, lock-on technology but no blast processing?

  27. thank you for sharing, Great review, I have heard this but i never thought it was so funny. thank you!