Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running In Circles

Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running In Circles

Desperately attempting to please two different sets of fans on Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th anniversary, Sega has crammed two different types of hedgehog gameplay into Sonic Generations, a formula that never fails to create entertaining game reviews.

What else can Sega do? Some fans hate 2D Sonic, other fans hate 3D Sonic. They’ve tried making different games for different fans, but one group or the other always feels alienated, or something isn’t quite right, or the stars are knocked out of alignment. They just can’t win, so they’ve just crammed the whole history of the series into one title with two very different types of gameplay and called it a day. Here’s your damn Sonic game, thanks for playing.

So tell me, assembled video game reviewers, how does that make you feel?


Revisiting two decades of games, Sonic Generations is pitched as a celebration of Sega’s previously pudgy mascot and the timeless appeal of blue skies, checkerboard loops, and things that go “boing.” But much like the one Sonic receives in the opening, Generations is closer to a lame birthday party that you attend out of courtesy.
That feeling you get from playing every Sonic game after Genesis brews as disappointment and eventually becomes sympathy, mostly for the branded custodians at Sonic Team. They can’t seem to please anybody, can they? Oh, Sonic’s jumping feels wrong. The momentum is messed up over here. It’s about exploration, not speed! Guys, the physics of my anthropomorphic blue hedgehog is inaccurate within this segmented fantasy landscape! Even when they make a game — well, let’s say half a game — dedicated to capturing Sonic as he was, before vocal chords and a third dimension, they still can’t win. Why?

Game Informer

The quest begins with side-scrolling tributes to memorable Genesis-era stages as classic Sonic. These levels rekindled the magic of being a wide-eyed kid seeing Sonic’s world for the first time. Platforming is slightly tighter than in Sonic 4, which makes landing precise jumps easier. Tearing through loop de loops in Green Hill and bouncing across clouds in Sky Sanctuary are among my favourite Sonic moments, and they translate perfectly. Unfortunately, the good times fade when Sonic begins cruising through 2D versions of levels from post-Dreamcast Sonic games. Traversing the burning ruins of Crisis City from the awful 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog reboot is an exercise in frustration packed with unfair drop-offs and annoying gales.

Official Xbox Magazine (OXM)

The 2D levels feel as close to the original Genesis games as ever, and their use of old-school moves and physics was a smart call. But even the 3D takes on Sonic’s oeuvre do the franchise justice, as they avoid most camera-based frustrations of early 3D editions. The two takes on nine different stages actually benefit from being based on the same template: seeing a 2D version of a modern enemy or hearing an updated version of Green Hill Zone’s iconic theme makes you want to try both stage types.

Computer and Video Games (CVG)

After each of the worlds has been restored by playing both acts, five challenge maps open for each world, each playable as – and completely different as – either Sonic. New Sonic has friends along to help, Amy helping him jump with her hammer, Knuckles digging for treasure, and (shudder) Cream providing a limited number of rings in otherwise ringless levels.

These are 90% optional – you only have to play one of each of the world’s 10 challenges to grab the boss keys and move on, but they’re also where you’ll go to get your money’s worth, when your relatively short minimum obligations end.

Games Radar

But when you put the past to one side and look at the new game in isolation, there are essentially two games on show here – and I don’t mean the classic/modern divide. The first is the one that stumbles on the things that Mario does so well. The attractive yet haphazard experience ridden with missed platforms, unexpected deaths and awkward low-speed movement in 3D space.

Then there’s the other game. The one that’s cruising by on the grind rail above it all, pulling tricks through bonus hoops with stars in its wake, locking onto secret ziplines and waiting for the split second where Sonic completes an aerial somersault to face the next platform before boosting away for another S grade. The one that’s everything fans have wanted for so long. You can guess which one I’ve been playing.


It feels refreshing to be able to say that Sonic is good again. His upward trajectory over the last year continues and he’s only gaining momentum. Sonic Generations is largely a game for the most hardcore of Sonic fans, but for the millions who have fond memories of narrowly dodging spikes, grinding on rails, or even that time he was a pinball, Sonic Generations is a game made for you.

My suggestion? Find a friend that likes the Sonic you don’t.


  • I got all the megadrive and dreamcast sonic games oh and sonic rush. didn’t get the others cause they sucked. I got this last night and its fantastic guys. I’m 24 and have no time for crap and this ny friends is a fine return to form 90% perfect sonic team!

  • Urgh. . . Why is it that the worst ranked review basically said what I guessed they were going to say before Generations was even released,

    “everything past the Genesis era sucks”

    For the love of god people, bar the appearance each level is entirely different to the source the level was made on, but that’s fine since people will continuously bitch about Sonic sucking after the genesis/mega drive era regardless.

    Sonic Generations is a good game, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing each level, even the one based on the more current Sonic games which appear to be most reviewers favourite punching bag.

  • Tell you what, this is an ultimate win for people who’ve liked all Sonic’s outings! Playing this game has been heavenly so far 😀

  • Can’t sya I’ve played the full thing yet, but I really enjoyed the demo. My 3yo went nuts for it too so seems like a winner for the whole family!

  • Absolutely love it! The 2D Sonic levels feel nigh on perfect to Sonic 2 & 3 (only gripe is you need a longer run-up to a loop-the-loop if you want to just “run” the loop), feels great – some people just like to blame the game instead of their lack of skillz…

  • I’ve enjoyed the demo and will wait for it to go down in price before I get it (I very rarely buy anything at full price any more).

    I must admit I’ve bought a lot of Sonic games. However, my least favourite is NOT Sonic 06 (despite that being horrific) but Sonic & The Secret Rings. Just can’t stand the controls in that.

  • anyone who’s played it what is the % of 2d to 3d in generations? I played 1-4+cd+gamegear ones religiously when i was a kid and want more of that. I dislike the 3d sonics very much but i have to admit the 2d parts of gen. looks good enough to look past the 3d parts.

  • I basically love all sonic games, whether its 3D or 2D, they are all amazingly, superlisious superdisiously, epicly, AWESOME!!! 😀

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