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djnealb avatar 8:52 AM on 03.21.2012  (server time)
Disappointment: Sonic Generations

It's been a while since I've done a blog post, but I think the most recent Bloggers Wanted is a good chance for me to dip my toe back in to the c-blog waters. Especially since I disappointing game experience very recently. FYI, this is going to be a bit spoiler-y, so if you're wanting to keep the ending to Sonic Generations a surprise, you may want to finish it first and then come back. Don't worry, it won't take you long.

Before Generations, I probably hadn't really played a Sonic game since Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sure, I had played 3, and even bought 4, but 2 was the only one that I really put a lot of time into. The game was just pure fun. Gameplay was fast and responsive. The levels were varied and interesting. And the music: Oh God, that music. Seriously, I could probably listen to Metropolis Zone on an endless loop for hours. But most importantly, the game was just satisfying. The difficulty progressed at a great pace and you felt accomplished upon finally beating the game.

I never paid attention to the 3D Sonic games, but Sonic 4 caught my attention and resparked my love for the speedy blue hedgehog. Based on that I downloaded the demo for Sonic Generations, which contained the opening level, Green Hill Zone, of both classic and modern Sonic. The classic level was great. It reminded so much of what I loved in the Genesis days. The controls were responsive, the colors were bright, the level was detailed and offered several different routes, and even the music sounded like I was 7 years old again. However, it was the modern version of Green Hill Zone which really caught my eye. I know a lot of people loved the game for the return of the classic gameplay, but it was the speed and newness of the modern levels that really hooked me. What can I say, I'm a sucker for shiny, new things.

So yeah, I loved the game and bought it soon after that. First thing that I learned was this Sonic game had a story. I had always heard of the crappy stories in the new Sonic games, but I had never really experienced one before. And yeah, this one was pretty crap-tacular. Something about Robotnik (or Eggman, whatever) doing something and all of Sonic's friends (who the hell are all these...things...that aren't Tails and Knuckles?) disappearing and a whole lot of whatever. Once I start actually playing the game, I just don't care. I'm Sonic the Hedgehog, the Blue Blur, racing towards the end of each stage.

Seriously, I don't know about 95% of the characters in that picture.

Anyway, the game is great. I'm having a blast in all of the classic and modern levels. The boss battles are great. I even enjoy all the little side missions (except for that fucking crocodile which can just go fuck itself). It's not long before I realize that the goal of the game is to actually get all the Chaos Emeralds. Okay. That's a little weird since it was always a cool little option in the prior games, but whatever, I'm enjoying myself. It turns out that the emeralds are used to unlock the final area. I'm expecting the final area/boss battle to be a two-parter: one with classic Sonic and one with modern Sonic. Nope, instead I get what can only be described as the most boring boss battle of any game that I can remember playing. Ever.

So some stuff happens and both Sonics end up turning into Super Sonics. In my mind, I'm thinking that this is awesome. My thinking is that I'll get to play through two more levels: one as classic Super Sonic and another as modern Super Sonic. Nope. The final level is nothing more than an on rails section in which you move Sonic around a tube, avoiding objects flying at you, and try to run into the giant robo-monster thing that the classic and modern Robotniks (I'm sorry, but Dr. Eggman just sounds stupid to me). You can switch from being modern Sonic to classic on the fly, but all that does is switch you from a 3D over the shoulder perspective to a 2D sidescrolling perspective in which you move up and down in that tube (which is essentially just a big alley in 2D). What's worse is that all of those unknown animal friend things keep shouting the same God-damned things at you over and over and over and over. It basically ruined what was a pretty fun game and turned it into a chore. You can see it for yourself here.

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