Sonic Generations 3DS
The little blue hedgehog has been with us for the last 20 years and it is fair to say he’s had some ups and some downs. So when SEGA told us that they were producing an almost “best of Sonic” game, the world took notice. Details quickly emerged that this was a marriage of the old school two dimensional Mega Drive Sonic with three dimension Sonic from the noughties and when Sonic Generations was released on the home consoles it proved that the combination of two Sonics could work in almost perfect harmony.
SEGA decided to bring the game to Nintendo’s newest three dimensional console to give gamers who enjoyed the console version to take the two Sonics on the road and from a first glance everything seems eerily similar. Sonic Generations for the 3DS starts off like it’s bigger console counterpart – the Blue Hedgehog’s having a surprise birthday when a mysterious demon shows up and pulls the entire party into a white void. Even the first act of the game is the classic Green Hill Zone complete with retro music and its nostalgic throw back look.
From there however the differences between the home and portable versions appear in droves. There are seven acts, cut from nine. Each has two acts and a special stage to run though. Each stage gives both Sonic’s a chance at playing through it. Young Sonic as he shall hence be known, looks as cute as ever and can perform the spindash, a staple attack from Sonic 2. Granddad Sonic has the typical homing attack and boost moves, enabling him to “grind” on rails.
Blasting through the levels are as easy as ever and will provide little in way of a challenge for anyone who is able to press right and the jump button at the appropriate time. Which is such a shame when it is compared with the levels from the PlayStation & Xbox variations of the game. While the game itself looks great in 3D – especially Mushroom Hill Zone – the game can still be finished in around 4 hours if that.
However, such a down point in Sonic Generations, although a big one, is redeemed in how hard it is to actually earn top marks in the Acts. Unlike the PS3/360 versions, where you can still gain an S rank even if you stop half way through a level, have a cup of tea, and have a bath then return to complete the act, on the 3DS effort and skill is required. Which seems pointless considering there are no trophies to be earned from doing so.
There are missions to be unlocked, which sort of replace the trophy aspect and give the game legs, so to speak. 100 missions await, that have varying levels of difficulty and annoyance. One challenge could be so easy it takes three and a half seconds to complete and another take multiple restarts and potentially a new handheld as the temptation to throw the console at a large hard object becomes uncontrollable. Some of these missions will be unlocked naturally as the game progresses with the rest being made up from StreetPassing other Sonic Generations players or using Game Coins.
If running missions and trying to get S rankings on all the Acts has you yawning in the face of the fastest blue hedgehog in the world, then SEGA have you catered for too! Online leaderboards challenge every player on every act to either clear it as fast as possible or with the highest score. As well as this, there is a huge amount of extras to unlock, in fact it has just as much than the home console variants.
SEGA has stripped other areas back, replacing the fully animated story down into a manageable cartoon pop up book style animation and toned way down even more on the use of Sonic’s so called friends – in fact only the trusted Tails the two tailed fox, well four tailed foxes in this outing is a serious secondary character in this game. Others just fall by the way side as they are not needed in any way what so ever.
The overall package of Sonic Generations may be condensed to the size of a Nintendo 3DS cartridge, but for all the cut backs in main levels and trophies, SEGA have provided a neat little game that does the legacy of Sonic justice. Yes it’s a little short on the main story mode, but the missions more than make up for this. This is a different experience than the bigger daddy version on the TV screen.
What SEGA did well with the PS3 and Xbox versions in terms of gameplay mechanics is still present. What was created story wise is still the same. But yet, this version of Sonic Generations is more aimed at short bursts of play. Encouraging you to play it on the way to work or school, have it with you for the day and pick up those extra missions when you get home in the evening. It is a far more social game than its bigger brother, and this time you have to actually work hard at the game to finish it and unlock everything.