It's rare that the word pathetic can be used to describe a video game character. Most of the time when a developer starts to realize when one of their franchises has started to receive an extremely poor outlook by critics and fans alike they either fix it or trash it. That's what makes sega and sonic such a rarity, instead of investing their time and what little money they have to develop quality products such as the Valkiriya Chronicles franchise. They are dead set on trying to fix a franchise that has been at deaths door for nearly a decade as well as mercilessly teasing their fans with promises of spoils and treats and goodies beyond their wildest dreams. Like Shenmue 3 and the idea that someday they will grow a brain-cell large enough to help them realize what they need to do to help themselves out of their crisis.
Sega's latest vein attempt to pump life into the comatose blue blur or should I say blurs is Sonic generations an attempt to bring together all of Sonic's greatest and worst moments together in one game featuring the Sonic we know now with the Sonic of yesteryear. As much as I'd love to see an hilarious fourth wall breaking story about these two going on a genocidal rampage at Sega for what they've done to him Sega seems to be under the illusion that all the games that they've created over the past decade are great.
Even going so far as to have Sonic say to his past self "Hey sonic enjoy your future it's gonna be great". Now that's flat out dishonest The first thing that you will notice rite off the bat is the stage design the graphics are so low resolution that you may think that it was originally a prototype game for the turbographix 16 which are made even uglier if your playing it in 3d. The backgrounds don't fit the look of the foreground whenever your playing a 2-d sonicstage and are made even worse by the lack of activity, even the fan made demo sonic Mega mix which came out back in 2010 had prettier colors and more activity going on in the background than sonic generations.
Also if anyone remembers the green hill zone in Sonic Adventure 2 that can be unlock by collecting all the emblems, then you might be shocked by how lazy the design here feels in comparison. That 3D version of the green hill zone was better designed and had more charm, fluidity, and diversity in its overall design then Sonic Generations version of the 3D green Hill Zone, and that game came out back in 2001.
The only thing more horrible to look at then the stages in this game is the hub world that connects them. This may just be the worst hub world in video game history it's a simple cut and paste job anyone can do it. You Photoshop an image of an existing sonic level that looks horribly out of place with the white background. I wouldn't be surprised if Sega hired a 10 year old kid to design this games hub world using Little Big Planet 2, or the Starcraft 2 world emulator both these things are possible. The hub world does nothing but serve as a means to poorly connect levels from Sonic's past games into an incoherent mess. Now I'm all up for taking levels from Sonic games that were actually good and revitalizing them with a modern twist.
I was really excited at the possibilities that could come from both 2-d and 3d versions of classic and new sonic games That's when Sega decides to throw the dog a bone and just when he thinks he might get some meat to go along with it they kick Fido across the face into a gas chamber and tell him that he was only adopted to be turned into a pair of nice hiking boots. If you haven't played Sonic Generations yet then you will have no idea how disappointing this is but the people at sonic team thought that they could save money by only updating one level fro each main series Sonic game. Green hill Zone fromSonic 1, Chemical plant Zone from sonic 2, Sky Sanctuary from sonic 3 and knuckles. etc etc.
They even had the balls to completely abandon the idea of making a level based on Sonic CD. despite having metal Sonic as one of the games bosses. And sonic 3 doesn't even get a mention. I guess that Sega thought that since S3&K was supposed to be one game anyway that they didn't need to work on a level for sonic3. What's even worse is how short and easy these levels are. Sure you can challenge yourself on hard mode or replay them to try to collect every red ring hidden throughout each stage, but the levels are so short that they barely make up half of the games length.
You might spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours tops beating all the sonic levels the rest of the game is just filler. Navigating through the uninspired hub world to collect chaos emeralds and gate keys to unlock the next part of the game, which guess what, require you to perform at least 9 meaningless tasks throughout the game in order to falsely lengthen your play time. Instead of oh I don't know making more levels. The game thinks that revisiting all of these levels with a new objective that's clearly just filler will somehow make it more enjoyable.
The only side quest I actually liked was one that had me using Rouge the Bat as a sex doll to distract enemies by blinding them and then using Sonic's homing attack to kill them afterward. Why do Sonic's friends want him to perform these heinous tasks why are Silver and Blaze in this game even though their supposed to be dead or trapped in another dimension or something. Well who the @#!*% cares that seems to be the attitude at Sega. Let's face it; consistency in Sonic games are about as abundant as straight people in a pride parade.
To add to the inconsistency at certain levels in the game you will unlock power ups that you can use for that level and all the levels after that but not the levels that came before it. This can become incredibly confusing when you just finished crisis city keeping in mind your ground stomp attack then playing a previous level without the ability. This can even get you killed. If you don't remember exactly when you can use your power ups then you might try and perform a technique like the light speed dash to dive through a line of rings on an earlier stage where you don't have the light speed dash and you will fall and die. The floaty controls make the game even more difficult then it should be. The games controls are the worst when your trying to perform a precise jump while in the middle of a spin dash. For some reason when you press the jump button while your in the middle of a spin dash while in 2d mode the game takes about half a second to respond.
In 3D mode the controls are even worse. Sonic controls like a race car sliding on Ice. sure you can compensate for this by using the boost mechanic, but why should I rely on one mechanic to fix another. If the controls were halfway decent to start with, then the boost mechanic would feel like a cool added bonus rather than a necessity.
The final boss is a prime example of why Sonic games have been failing so bad over the past decade. No instructions are given on how to beat him Sonic's friends are annoying and useless and to add insult to injury Omochao the annoying bugger who does nothing but give useless instructions throughout the entire game isn't apparent when he might actually be useful. So the one and only time that Omochao might actually be considered useful he's nowhere to be found.
Sonic generations is the poor mans version of how to celebrate a legends 20th anniversary. Instead of giving us dozens of levels based on classic Sonicgames and filling it with as many stages as possible Sega has given us the bare minimum of what we've come to expect. If the game was three times as long and offered four times as many stages got rid of the hub worlds and Sonic's annoying friends then this game would have been one of Sega's best.
The game thinks that by making fun of itself by having Sonic and his friends tease some of his past follies that this game can be forgiven, but just because they joke about them doesn't make it any less true. 4.3/10