Sonic is back. Again. This time, however, a new affection for the old blue soul appears to be leaving game journalists everywhere with a little more enthusiasm toward the franchise than they possibly ever thought they’d regain.
Sonic the Hedgehog had faded from my recent gaming memory and settled himself quite comfortably into the rose-tinted recesses of childhood nostalgia, only to be recalled in situations where I found myself having to confront a once treasured past being violently thrust into the future, such as recoiling at posters for the Transformers movies or being asked for money by homeless men insisting they used to be famous.
Indeed, the level of respect for Sega’s mascot dropped significantly once he entered the third dimension at the turn of the century (although, admittedly, I was a rather large fan of both Sonic Adventure games), but now Team Sonic has the discovered something of a remedy: reliving the past.
Sonic Generations is a celebration of twenty years of Sonic the Hedgehog and sees a selection of classic, sidescrolling stages returning in full high definition glory, as well as a host of other levels from Sonic’s history, 2D or otherwise. Indeed, as early reviews seem to be suggesting, Sonic Team’s reworking of a more core level of gameplay could possibly be just what the franchise has needed all along.
IGN gave the game an 8.5, citing its wide appeal as a highlight, along with a great hub world, a huge amount of unlockables and an enjoyable, if insignificant, storyline. Other reviews have paralleled these comments, with Games Radar even going as far as to call it the best Sonic game ‘since the hog’s Sonic 2 glory days’.
Amongst the most widely highlighted criticisms were the clunky boss battles failing to miss the mark and, unsurprisingly, the quality of the game being reflective of the franchise; both GameInformer and OXM appeared unsatisfied with the latter half of the game, preferring a focus on Sonic’s earlier console ventures.
All in all, however, Sonic Generations appears to be hitting a fairly high mark with the critics. Now it’s down to the fans – what will you make of it? The game hits the shelves on Friday and we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Watch this space for our upcoming review.