Preview: Sonic Generations

Preview: Sonic Generations

During the great console wars of the 16-bit era, I proudly proclaimed myself a Sonic man (or boy, rather, given my age at the time). I sat in front of my Genesis for hours on the classic Sonic games, and even found appreciation in some of the finer modern Sonic games later on down the line. Truth be told, though, the last Sonic game I was excited about was a bit of a disappointment. I’ve kept my skepticism levels fairly high going in to Sonic Generations because of past burns (sorry, SEGA), but after yesterday afternoon, I think SEGA has returned the ball for a hat-trick home run (I don’t watch a lot of sports) with Sonic Generations.

I already knew a little about Sonic Generations going in to yesterday’s SEGA press event from the content that had been released to date, but what I was actually able to touch and play was nothing short of satisfying. It felt like home, and I said as much to Patrick Riley, Senior Producer on the title. The sense of speed and acceleration that I found lacking in Sonic 4 Episode 1 has absolutely been corrected in Sonic Generations. Sonic is about speed. I don’t know how to say it any more simply than that. Sonic without speed is just not Sonic.

The level available for play was a remake of the classic Green Hill Zone with a remix of the original zone music (which was…music to my ears). From what I understand, each level will have two available gameplay modes to choose from: Classic and Modern. Classic gameplay uses, as you may have guessed, classic Sonic with 2-2.5D platforming. Modern gameplay uses, again as you may have guessed, modern Sonic with a mix of 2-2.5D and 3D platforming and play. From my conversation with Patrick, I discovered that a large portion of the game can be played using only one mode, but unlocking the next group of levels does require some levels being played in both ways. The estimated split, if you wanted to play mostly in one mode, would be about 80/20. If you’re not a fan of the modern gameplay elements, you can manage to go through about 80% of the game using the classic gameplay, with about 20% done in modern for the sake of unlocking upcoming level groups. Again, that was a general estimation, and may not be entirely accurate.

While I was re-re-playing Green Hill Zone, Lindsey was interviewing Patrick with glances at my screen. Check out the video to get some great information about Sonic Generations, and some great views of a beautiful new Sonic game in action.

Sonic Generations is currently slated for a holiday 2011 release, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it again.

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