I’ve grown up through a number of generations of Sonic The Hedgehog, seeing him move from the 2D platforming style of games I grew to love into speed based 3D games. Needless to say, Sonic Generations is one of the titles soon to be release that really has me excited. Being a big fan of the original series, and having been disappointed by a few of my favourite hedgehog’s recent metamorphoses, I was very excited to hear about Sonic getting back to his roots. At this years Tokyo Game Show, I was lucky enough to have a hands on play through of the Nintendo 3DS demo for Sonic Generations.
I’ve always felt a bit of the charm behind Sonic has been his pixilated form, and haven’t really enjoyed any attempts to bring him into the third dimension. However, Sonic generations, within the short span of 10 minutes changed this. The graphics are clean and crisp, with some of the most impressive 3D I have seen on the 3DS to date.
The demo only had four levels, two with the older sonic, and two with the newer. Time only permitted me to play through one of each, which was enough to impress me. The older side of Sonic Generations stays rather true to the original games, in terms of character design, game play and level design. While I must have played through countless Green Hill-esque levels in my time, it was refreshing to see some of my favourite Sonic memories so beautifully crafted using the latest gaming technology. Sonic himself was still very much the same: he can spin, jump and collect rings. Just the way I like him.
The newer side of Generations brings a few features of more recent Sonic games into the level design of older Sonic. High speed boosts and automatic targeting for enemies are so pretty handy features that make it really easy to just burst through a level. As you might have seen through the art design that has been released, the playable Sonic in these levels is a little taller and thinner than he used to be. Never the less, it’s pretty interesting to see these new game play elements come to life in older levels.
After playing the demo, Sega let me have a second hands on play of a level Emerald Coast as it’ll be in the finished game. In each level you can play as either ‘new’ or ‘old’ bringing two very distinct feels to the same level. As some may know, Emerald Coast is a level from the Dreamcast version of Sonic, Sonic Adventure, which has now been redesigned into a 2D platform based level. After playing through the game twice, It’s apparent that there is an emphasis on the game as a platformer, rather than just a speed based game where you race through. A few other features included in the game will be the use of Shadow as a rival, and exclusive environments for two player verses mode. Sonic Generations will be released for the 3DS, PS3 and Xbox360
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