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  1. #1
    Host of Saturday Night SEGA Gavvie's Avatar
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    Default RadioSEGA Review: Sonic Generations (3DS)

    You might not have known this, but Sonic turned 20 last year. It was a fairly low key affair, not much hype around it or anything. Anyway, there was a game released on various formats for this occasion, called Sonic Generations. The console/PC version was a wonderful celebration of Sonic's last 20 years, and well worth a play if you get the chance. The 3DS version? Well...

    Let's start with the good bits. Storyline wise, it's exactly the same as its big brother. Sonic is captured by the Time Eater and taken into White Space, where he eventually bumps into his younger self etc etc. As with 2010s Sonic Colours, the storyline is there just to be there, and if you were to pay no attention to it whatsoever, you wouldn't find your enjoyment of the game harmed in the slightest.

    To start with, the game does a very good job of holding its own when it comes to the levels. The Mega Drive era is very well represented by Green Hill, Casino Night and Mushroom Hill. Disappointingly, Sonic 3s involvement is resigned to the Big Arm boss fight. It's more than the console got, which was unlockable music, but the fact that there's no levels at all from that game in either version of Generations is a let down.

    At this point, I'm actually struggling to remember other positive points from the game, which is worrying. The only thing that springs to mind is that the final battle against Time Eater is better than the console version, although there is a massively cheap section towards the end of the fight which involves split second timing, something the Circle Pad or D-Pad are not too capable of. Oh yeah, and there's also the music, which most of the time is on a par with the console version. More on that in a bit.

    What didn't I like? Pretty much everything else. As soon as you get to Emerald Coast, Classic Sonic now knows how to do the homing attack. He needn't have bothered. The following five levels have some of the worst level designs known in a Sonic game, with bottomless pits that aren't properly signposted, an over-reliance on the homing attack for both Classic and Modern levels, water sections that are too long with bubbles being few and far between...There's literally no end to the number of complaints that could be levelled at Generations 3DS. What has started off as a good substitute for the console game has now degenerated into something rather shameful.

    It doesn't help that the level choices are a little...odd. As good as Radical Highway is as a level, it was Shadow's level in Adventure 2. Why we couldn't have had any of Sonic's levels is beyond me. It's also a little strange that Sonic Rush is picked, but not any of the Advance games, nor Rush Adventure. I would imagine that size was an issue, but I would have liked to have seen more of a handheld celebration on the handheld version. At least the special stages, ripped from Sonic Heroes, aren't all that bad.

    Some of the musical choices are also a little odd. Whilst the music for Modern Casino Night worked absolutely fine on the pinball table on consoles, it feels really out of place in an actual level, and as such loses its appeal in that environment. I also have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of using Azure Blue World and Windy and Ripply for the Emerald Coast levels, instead of picking one and remixing it. It feels lazy, and almost like music for the 3DS was an afterthought.

    Something else that reeks of afterthought is the Rival battles. No longer battles, they're races a la Sonic Rivals, but using pre-existing stages. Again, it's probably a design issue, but racing Metal Sonic on Casino Night is odd, as is Silver in Tropical Resort. Shadow is the only one who saves face here, as his race is in Radical Highway. The bosses are a good mixture as well, with Biolizard remaining a particular favourite. As noted with Time Eater, Egg Emperor's battle sequences can be hard to dodge due to the Circle Pad not being as precise as is needed.

    And where's White Space? All you get instead is a menu, with no White Space variant music, and no real interaction. The Sonics are supposed to be trapped in this world, and yet on 3DS it's not even a world to speak of. Very lame.

    Just like the console version, there's a variety of missions to unlock and play, and whilst the missions themselves are different, the unlocks gained by beating them amount to the same music tracks (which you can't use anywhere), artwork from various games which aren't labelled correctly, and models of the characters and baddies in the game. There's also a time attack and versus mode, which at the time of writing this review I hadn't played. I imagine they work as you'd expect them to, however.

    And that's Sonic Generations 3DS. Whilst I wasn't expecting a game on a par with the console version, I was actually expecting to be entertained. And I was, right up until Emerald Coast. After that, the game became a repetitive slog of unforgiving level design, questionable omissions and design decisions, and..well, just a repetitive slog. Stick with the console version, because this is one birthday present nobody should be pleased with receiving.

    2/5

  2. #2
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    Blimey - I'm starting to rethink whether to get the 3DS version after that review. Sounds like it's a real disappointment after the highs of the HD version. Nice review though Gavvie.

  3. #3
    ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) Gonic's Avatar
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    Agree 100%. Level design after first three lrvrls is awful. Classic sonic with homing attack is only good for speeding the fat thing up. Also street pass features arnt explained well at all.


  4. #4
    YEAOH. TheChaosBlue's Avatar
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    Personal preference, I enjoyed Generations 3DS for what it was. I agree that I would have LOVED to see the Advance series represented...ironic how the 'Digital Innovators' Dimps would work on those games and yet didn't have some say in coming up with the level choices? Huh.

    Yes, it's not the same as it's console variant. Level design was an issue. But how the Classic (and Modern, if just an improvement over Rush) physics were handled made me enjoy it much more.

    So in my opinion, I'm looking at this in two ways. One - this is just the start of something that can be improved with later Sonic 3DS titles. and second- Dimps aren't as 'innovative as they were in the past....
    Last edited by TheChaosBlue; 16-01-2012 at 02:49.

  5. #5
    Garfield & Sonic Fan crippenstation's Avatar
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    I already decided to get the PS3 game and not the 3DS one before the official release. This doesn't change my mind.

    Nice review though. Respectful, but critical.

    I will add this... I did see gameplay video of the 3DS version of Classic Sonic Green Hill and it seemed to be a direct ripoff of Sonic the Hedgehog '91 (GEN). So that said, your review may have been a little NICE to Dimps...
    Last edited by crippenstation; 17-01-2012 at 05:04.
    Beware of your mind as it proves you wrong...

  6. #6
    Haha. Twinny's Avatar
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    I still have the 3DS version....should I feel different about the game now that I've read the review?
    RadioSEGA member since October 2010 wew


  7. #7
    Garfield & Sonic Fan crippenstation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtwinny View Post
    I still have the 3DS version....should I feel different about the game now that I've read the review?
    It's YOUR opinion on it. If you have a second opinion, why not write a one paragraph blurb about it?
    Beware of your mind as it proves you wrong...

  8. #8
    YEAOH. TheChaosBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtwinny View Post
    I still have the 3DS version....should I feel different about the game now that I've read the review?
    I'm pretty sure since we have this version, we are going to like it regardless. However, there are some things we wished that were changed and/or implemented to make it feel closer to its HD counterpart.

  9. #9
    ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) Gonic's Avatar
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    Something that will later be improved on in later sonic titles?
    Normally I'd agree with you. BUT, because its it was the game to celebrate Sonic's 20th Birthday. They should of gone all out and not just done a half arsed job. Still they shouldnt be doing half arsed jobs on any type of game


  10. #10
    YEAOH. TheChaosBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonic View Post
    Something that will later be improved on in later sonic titles?
    Normally I'd agree with you. BUT, because its it was the game to celebrate Sonic's 20th Birthday. They should of gone all out and not just done a half arsed job. Still they shouldnt be doing half arsed jobs on any type of game
    Yes, major fail from Dimps here...as this point in time, you would figure SEGA/Sonic Team would make the 3DS version, I don't know....extravagant? At least not follow the same formula from benifitting on a much more advanced hardware?

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