Official Xbox 360, PS3, and PC cover
Devil's Details (PC)
|Director(s)||Hiroshi Miyamoto Console/PC
Tetsu Katano 3DS
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Engine||Hedgehog Engine (graphics)
|Genre(s)||Platformer, Action Adventure|
|Distribution||Optical disc download Requires Steam, cartridge|
Sonic Generations (ソニック ジェネレーションズ Sonikku Jenerēshonzu ) is a platform video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo 3DS platforms. Released in 2011, it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game's release. On July 2, 2012, the game was made available for digital download on PlayStation Network, and was made available on the Games on Demand service on October 16, 2012. It is also available on the Nintendo eShop.
The Japanese releases are each given subtitles: the Xbox 360/PS3 version of the game is given White Spacetime (白の時空 Shiro no Jikū ) while the 3DS version is given Blue Adventure (青の冒険 Ao no Bōken ).
Sonic Generations is a platform game in which players control the titular Sonic the Hedgehog in two forms: Classic and Modern, in which they must collect the seven Chaos Emeralds, free their friends and stop a mysterious entity from creating time holes. The game features levels derived from 20 years of Sonic history, spreading across three eras, each having three stages and two bosses from previous games: Classic, Dreamcast and Modern, which are played as either Classic Sonic or Modern Sonic. Classic Sonic's levels are strictly two dimensional side scrolling stages, using classic moves like the Spin Attack and Spin Dash, while Modern Sonic's levels follow the 2D/3D style gameplay of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, featuring techniques such as boosting and homing attacks. As well as classic power-ups such as Invincibility and Speed Shoes, certain levels have unique power-ups, such as skateboards in City Escape and Wisp powers in Planet Wisp.
Classic and Modern Sonic begin the game with six lives, which are lost when they suffer any type of damage with no rings in their possession, or fall into a pit. More lives can be earned by getting 100 rings or finding a symbol to collect their lives. If the player runs out of lives, the game is over. However, the game can be continued by selecting "Yes" at the "Try Again" screen.
Each zone consists of a main act for each Sonic, as well as 10 challenges such as beating an opponent to the goal or finishing a stage with limited rings. A Skill Shop allows players to use points earned from high scores to unlock upgrades such as abilities, shields, and even the original Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis game.[Note 1] Completing challenges, as well as finding Red Star Rings hidden in each of the main Acts, unlocks additional skills, as well as bonus concept artwork and music. The music can then be played in any stage, challenge, or boss fight. There are also online leaderboards for two modes: Ranking Attack, which challenges players to obtain the best time and score on each level, and 30 Second Trial, which challenges players to see how far they can get through a level in 30 seconds.
The 3DS version follows similar gameplay to the Sonic Rush series for Modern Sonic, and features a different set of levels to the console and PC versions, some of which directly recreate the layouts of classic Mega Drive levels. As opposed to the Skill Shop in the console version, abilities are unlocked as the game progresses, with Classic Sonic learning a Homing Attack and Modern Sonic learning a stomp. Exclusive to the 3DS version are Special Stages, similar to those of Sonic Heroes, in which players must collect spheres in order to gain boost to chase after a Chaos Emerald. The game features 100 mission stages that are unlocked either by progressing through the game, meeting other players on StreetPass, or spending Play Coins, as well as both wireless and online multiplayer modes, in which two players can race against each other.
Aside from the original Green Hill Zone, both the 360/PS3/PC version and 3DS versions of the games feature their own list of stages, taken from the games of the main series. The classic versions of the first three 3DS stages are faithful recreations of the original Genesis levels. The game contains the following stages:
|Stage||Original Game||Stage||Original Game|
|Green Hill||Sonic the Hedgehog||Green Hill||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Chemical Plant||Sonic the Hedgehog 2||Casino Night||Sonic the Hedgehog 2|
|Sky Sanctuary||Sonic & Knuckles||Mushroom Hill||Sonic & Knuckles|
|Speed Highway||Sonic Adventure||Emerald Coast||Sonic Adventure|
|City Escape||Sonic Adventure 2||Radical Highway||Sonic Adventure 2|
|Seaside Hill||Sonic Heroes||Water Palace||Sonic Rush|
|Crisis City||Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)||Tropical Resort||Sonic Colors|
|Rooftop Run||Sonic Unleashed|
|Planet Wisp||Sonic Colors|
|Boss||Stage||Original Game||Boss||Stage||Original Game|
|Metal Sonic||Stardust Speedway (Bad Future)||Sonic the Hedgehog CD||Metal Sonic||Casino Night||Sonic the Hedgehog CD|
|Death Egg Robot||Death Egg||Sonic the Hedgehog 2||Big Arm||Launch Base||Sonic the Hedgehog 3|
|Shadow the Hedgehog||Final Rush||Sonic Adventure 2||Shadow the Hedgehog||Radical Highway||Sonic Adventure 2|
|Perfect Chaos||Station Square||Sonic Adventure||Biolizard||Cannon's Core||Sonic Adventure 2|
|Silver the Hedgehog||Crisis City||Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)||Silver the Hedgehog||Tropical Resort||Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)|
|Egg Dragoon||Eggmanland||Sonic Unleashed||Egg Emperor||Final Fortress||Sonic Heroes|
|Time Eater||Center of Time||Sonic Generations||Time Eater||Center of Time||Sonic Generations|
The game begins in the past. Sonic's past self, "Classic Sonic", is exploring Green Hill Zone when a mysterious entity known as Time Eater suddenly appears, erasing the area. Meanwhile in the present, Modern Sonic celebrates his birthday with his friends only for the Time Eater to destroy the party and suck everyone through various "time holes", scattering them across different points in history. Sonic tries to stop him, but the monster easily knocks him out.
After regaining consciousness, Modern Sonic finds himself in a strange void known as White Space, a realm where time and space end up after they have been 'erased' by being drained of color and life. Curious, Modern Sonic explores the erased Green Hill which is then restored of color and life, and Sonic rescues his best friend Tails. Together, Modern Sonic and Tails continue to search for their friends. Elsewhere, Classic Sonic defeats Eggman when the Time Eater appears and abducts the doctor.
Modern Sonic and Tails soon meet Classic Sonic, as well as a younger "Classic Tails". The two Tails soon realize that the Sonics speed has the ability to restore time and space. After a brief run-in with Perfect Chaos, the gang later learns that the Time Eater's weaknesses are the Chaos Emeralds. Classic and Modern Tails realize they need to collect all seven emeralds to defeat the monster. After restoring the worlds and rescuing the rest of his friends, Modern Sonic fights Eggman but the Time Eater takes him once more, leaving the gang confused as to how Eggman was kidnapped twice.
After collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds, they discover that the mastermind behind the now perfected Time Eater is indeed Eggman, and his own classic self. It is revealed that while drifting through space following the events of Sonic Colors, Modern Eggman discovered the Time Eater and decided to join forces with his past self to harness its power, complete the Time Eater Robot and erase his past defeats from history. Although the Time Eater manages to overwhelm the two Sonics, the support of their friends and the power of the Chaos Emeralds allow them to transform into their Super forms and confront both versions of Eggman. Despite attacking with missiles, warping arms and slowing down time, the Sonics penetrate the Time Eater's core, destroying it. The heroes return to the present and continue celebrating Sonic's birthday. After the party, Classic Sonic and Classic Tails travel back to their own time as everyone says their farewells. After the credits, both versions of Eggman find themselves stuck in white space with seemingly no way out.
The game was first revealed on April 7, 2011, when Sega posted a teaser trailer on their Facebook page. The teaser depicted both modern and classic interpretations of Sonic the Hedgehog running alongside each other. The game was officially unveiled as Sonic Generations on April 18, 2011, along with the first gameplay trailer. The game's plot was penned by Ken Pontac and Warren Graff, who previously worked on Sonic Colors. Sega's Community Manager Aaron Webber revealed that Classic Sonic would be mute, and that both Classic and Modern Sonic have their own sets of physics, the former of which Webber claims is "closer to the classics than anything since, including Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I." Producer Takashi Iizuka confirmed that although other characters will be part of the story, only the two Sonics shall be playable. Iizuka also confirmed that each returning level shall feel familiar but will also feature a new visual element like the caves seen in the Green Hill stages. Iizuka stressed that the return of Classic Sonic would be a one off for this game. The game also features boss battles against foes from past Sonic titles, including Metal Sonic, Shadow the Hedgehog, Perfect Chaos, and Silver the Hedgehog, among others. Fans who attended a "Sonic Boom" event in Los Angeles on June 8, 2011 or the "Summer of Sonic" in London on the 25th of June were able to record a birthday message that appears at the end of the game.
A financial earnings report posted by Sega Sammy Holdings listed versions of the game for Nintendo 3DS and PC, though a revised version of the report no longer listed either version. The game was eventually confirmed in Nintendo Power to be coming to the Nintendo 3DS, being co-developed by Dimps. Other than Green Hill Zone, the console and 3DS versions of the game feature completely different sets of levels. Sega officially announced a PC version of the game on October 11, 2011, which was released digitally on November 4, 2011, with a retail version released in Europe shortly afterwards. The PC version was outsourced and developed by UK company "Devil's Details". All versions of the game support stereoscopic 3D. A downloadable minigame based on Sonic 2's Casino Night Zone was available for the console versions as a pre-order bonus from GameStop in the USA and from Game in the United Kingdom; the content was released for PC via Steam on January 19.
A Collector's Edition was announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, containing the game and manual with limited lenticular box art in a steelbook case, special booklet containing never before seen pictures, a documentary disc about the history of Sonic with never before seen footage, a music album containing many tracks specially picked by Sonic Team, a limited and individually numbered gold ring, a voucher for downloadable content, and a figurine of both classic and modern Sonic striking a pose on a ring. The Collector's Edition was only made available in Europe and Australia. The original Sonic the Hedgehog game can be unlocked in the console versions of the game. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic 3D were also offered as free bonuses for people who preordered the PC version on Steam.
A time-limited playable demo of the game containing Classic Sonic's Green Hill Zone was released on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network between June 23, 2011, and July 12, 2011, when downloaded copies were disabled. A second demo for PSN and Xbox Live, which also contains Modern Sonic's Green Hill Zone, was released on October 18 and the 19th for Xbox Live Gold members and the European PSN respectively. The demo was also released on the North American PSN on the 25th.
To commemorate Sonic's 20th anniversary, several soundtracks have been released. The first, titled "History of the 1st Stage" was released as a pre-order bonus for Sonic Generations in Japan, with separate White and Blue editions bundled with the console and 3DS versions of the game respectively; these discs have 12 tracks each, which are taken from the first stages of multiple Sonic titles along with a company intro call as the opening track. The second album, "History of Sonic Music 20th Anniversary Edition" was released in Japan on December 7, 2011, and includes 43 songs from the series as a whole split between two discs. The official Sonic Generations soundtrack, "Blue Blur", was released in Japan on January 11, 2012, and spans three discs, containing 90 total tracks from both versions of the game.
Sonic Generations has sold 1.6 million copies worldwide as of December 31, 2011, and it has received generally positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 79.29% and 76/100 the Xbox 360 version 78.67% and 77/100, the PC version 78.43% and 77/100, and the Nintendo 3DS version 69.50% and 66/100. IGN gave the game a score 8.5 out of 10 and an Editor's Choice award, praising the overall gameplay and the level design, while criticising some occasional control issues and limited boss battles. Computer and Video Games gave it a 7.5/10, praising the balanced design but criticising the framerate of the graphics. 1UP.com gave the game a "B" score, praising its variety, fun-to-play levels and interesting set-pieces, while criticizing some on-rails sections and occasional frustration.
PlayStation Official Magazine gave it an 8/10, calling it "a masterpiece of platform game design." GameTrailers gave the game a score of 8.1, calling it "the best Sonic game in over a decade." GamesRadar gave the console version 8/10, calling it "the best Sonic game since Sonic 2," while they gave the 3DS version 7/10, praising its level design and optional missions but criticising its short length as well as the fact that modern Sonic is restricted to a 2D plane of movement. Eurogamer, however, was less enthusiastic, writing that "Sonic Generations still doesn't do much to dissuade us that the hedgehog's best days are distant memories, but at least it is a worthy tribute to them." The most positive review on Metacritic is a 9.5/10 from PALGN, which argues that the game is significantly better than Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Game Informer's Tim Turi was more critical of the game, criticizing Sega for "...shoehorning recent Sonic games, no matter how awful, into the 20-year timeline." He felt that such stages served "...only to remind you of how far the series has fallen from its original form." Famitsu praised the speed and addictiveness of the gameplay as well as the bonus material, while emphasising that "you do need a certain amount of ability to play it the way it was meant." Empire gave the game 4/5 stars, saying "Generations is a nostalgic joy that captures the dizzying speed and psychotic pace that made Sonic's original romps console classics." GameSpot's Nathan Meunier praised Generations for its "impressive level designs," "gorgeous" visuals, "epic boss encounters," and high replay value.
Official Nintendo Magazine gave the 3DS version a score of 85%, calling the game "hugely rewarding" for "high-score chasers" but did comment on the main game's short length. However, it concluded that the game was "an essential purchase for Sonic fans."  GamingXP gave the 3DS version 84 out of 100, stating "Sonic's debut on Nintendo's 3DS is a real success. The combination of the two different hedgehogs in the colorful 2D and 3D environments is pretty cool. The game is a little too easy, but there's tons of Sonic flair and enough content to truly satisfy the player." IGN was slightly more mixed when reviewing the 3DS version, giving 70 out of 100, commenting that "Whereas the console version of Sonic Generations is a blending of old and new mentality in a fast-paced speed fest, the 3DS version is mostly just a Sonic Rush game where both playable characters happen to be Sonic." Game Informer gave the 3DS version 58 out of 100, calling the platformer's level design sloppy, making the whole product feel like a rushed tie-in with the console version". There was however praise for the games music, 3D visuals, special stages and simple fun levels.
Nintendo Power magazine editors gave Sonic Generations 3DS the "Best Retro Revival" award for the Nintendo Power 2011 Awards.
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