If you ever want to find me at a trade show, your best bet to set up camp near the SEGA booth, as there's always a good chance I'll be swinging by. Like clockwork, my presence was felt at PAX this year, where I got further hands-on time with some of the company's promising offerings.
Sonic Generations was my first port of call, and after playing both acts of City Escape, I am utterly convinced that the game is some sort of cruel trick. If the game is actually this consistently good when it releases, I fear it'll come attached to an extravagant Saw-style trap!
As expected, I really dug the 2D "Classic" take on Sonic Adventure 2's beloved City Escape stage. It played significantly faster than the Green Hill Zone stage that SEGA released a few weeks ago, but it didn't suffer anything due to the fact. It was swift, but there was still plenty of solid platforming. With a variety of jumping sequences and well-placed enemies, there's a fine balance between speed and challenge, so you're not just "Pushing right to win."
The GUN Truck that chases Sonic through the level is used particularly well in the Classic stage, as it weaves in and out of the stage, smashing through platforms and deforming the scenery. Depending on how quick you are, the truck can alter the way you progress through the stage.
Like his modern counterpart, Classic Sonic gets a skateboard for one portion of the level, and I did notice an unfortunate issue -- he can't seem to change direction when he's on the thing. Somehow I ended up going backwards and wasn't able to shunt Sonic in the right direction until he bounced off a spring. It's a minor issue, but hopefully one they'll fix.
As for the Modern level? I ... liked it. Fenrir take my wretched soul, but I actually enjoyed the bloody thing. Sonic felt controllable in the 3D environment, didn't take any cheap pitfalls deaths, had a homing attack that actually worked, and even the occassional shift to 2D perspective was enjoyable, with the physics feeling far more solid and nowhere near as "floaty" as Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Colors.
Like the Classic stage, there was a savvy mixture of speed and solid platforming. It was also full of truly impressive visual moments, with Sonic jumping from high ramps and getting a huge view of the titular city, or boosting down a ramp while the GUN Truck speeds behind and attacks with a variety of mechanical weapons. Oh. and I got an S-Rank on both stages ... not showing off!
I absolutely refuse to be excited for the game until I played the whole thing, but I can say that I've played four stages to date, and I've been confidently happy with three of them (I'll need to play the Modern Green Hill Zone again to properly gauge it). The City Escape levels are plenty of fun, look gorgeous, and have been tightly designed. With everything else looking promising, this could be a good one, but I'm not willing to discount the fact that this is a big prank yet.
The game is out November 1, so I guess we'll see what the final verdict is in the near future. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because if there's one thing that's absolutely certain, it's this -- I want to love it.
|11:00 AM on 03.20.2013|
Sonic Generations 'Unleashed' mod is a great idea
Sonic Unleashed had a lot of potential, and some individually terrific stages, but the overall project was a bit of a letdown. SEGA wouldn't perfect the 3D Sonic gameplay -- after so many attempts -- until Sonic Generations,...more
|3:00 PM on 01.04.2012|
Review: Sonic Generations (3DS)
Full disclosure: before playing Sonic Generations (3DS) for review, I had never finished a Sonic game. I bought all the collections and rented or bought used copies of all the Wii titles because I love the series in theory. S...more
|3:45 PM on 11.04.2011|
A good Sonic game, you guys! Oh my God!
What!?!? Sonic Generations is not total garbage!? We have to let the world know! Four out of five! Four out of five! Four out of five! Busted Pixel: Sonic Generations (A New Beginning) [YouTube]more
|2:00 AM on 10.31.2011|
Review: Sonic Generations
Sonic the Hedgehog has not had the most celebrated of careers. While his early games are regarded as iconic and influential, an amazing run of mostly bad games in latter years reduced SEGA's mascot to little more than an irre...more
|1:00 PM on 10.30.2011|
SEGA has 'no plans' to resurrect Classic Sonic for good
Despite making a huge deal out of "Classic" Sonic's appearance in next Tuesday's Sonic Generations, SEGA has stated there are no plans to bring him back full-time. However, European brand manager David Corless has told fans t...more
|10:30 AM on 10.28.2011|
Sonic Generations is the most pre-ordered Sonic game ever
SEGA has boasted that Sonic Generations is the most pre-ordered Sonic game in history, hinting at major anticipation for the upcoming anniversary celebration. "Sonic Generations is the ultimate title to cap of...more
|8:20 AM on 10.24.2011|
This post has Sonic Generations screenshots in it
SEGA has kindly shared ten new PS3/360 Sonic Generations screenshots. They show off some more of Seaside Hill and I'm hoping the shots will look nicer once they've been reduced in size, since SEGA blew them up to hideous, pix...more
|9:00 AM on 10.23.2011|
Original Sonic game unlockable in Sonic Generations
At a recent Sonic Generations panel during Paris Games Week, Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka revealed that the original Sonic the Hedgehog will be available in the upcoming nostalgic platformer as a full unlockable game...more
|1:45 PM on 10.20.2011|
Sonic Generations 3DS dated, arriving November 22
SEGA has announced the North American release date for Sonic Generations on the 3DS. Arriving a little later than its console brother, the handheld version will drop on November 22. Designed by Dimps and taking several ...more
|6:30 PM on 10.17.2011|
Sonic Generations getting a second demo October 25
SEGA has today announced that Sonic Generations will be getting a second demo on October 25. A while ago, a twenty-day demo was released for "Classic" Sonic's Green Hill Zone level. This time, Modern Sonic gets a turn an...more
|11:00 AM on 05.17.2013|
Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
I remember where I was when Donkey Kong Country Returns was announced for the Wii. I was in the E3 press room during the Nintendo conference, and I shouted a few obscenities at the screen after the surprise trailer, garnering...more
|9:29 AM on 05.17.2013|
New Super Luigi U release date, standalone ver. revealed
Luigi is rockin' it hardcore! The upcoming New Super Mario Bros. U expansion, New Super Luigi U, is ready to drop on eShop on June 20 for $19.99. Not only that, there will be a special standalone disc, which doesn't require y...more
|9:25 AM on 05.17.2013|
New Sonic game coming exclusively to Wii U and 3DS
During today's Nintendo Direct, it was announced that a new Sonic game is coming exclusively to the Wii U and 3DS, called Sonic: Lost World. This is part of a worldwide partnership that Sega and Nintendo have entered into, so...more