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Sonic Generations: Different Playstyles and Their Appeal

Updated on February 15, 2015
2 eras, 1 game
2 eras, 1 game

The Old and the New

Sonic the Hedgehog was an old video game developed by Sega in 1991. Due to its initial success the franchise resulted in sequels, comics, and even movie appearances. The video game Sonic Generations lets the player play with the original 1991 incarnation of Sonic and the modern incarnation of Sonic, which represents Sega's attempts at making games that were 3-D as opposed to 2-D like the old games. Sonic Generations presented players with the choice to play the levels of the old Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic and Knuckles games with the super-fast modern game mechanics recently developed for the modern Sonic or play with classic Sonic's constant platforming in the levels of the new Sonic the Hedgehog like Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. As a game commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise the basic story revolves around both versions of Sonic teaming-up and saving their world from Dr. Eggman, Sonic's longtime nemesis. For players who have played with the Sonic the Hedgehog games since 1991 Sonic Generations is a very exciting game because it allows players to either play as the old Sonic and relive any and all forms of nostalgia regarding the franchise and it allows new players to enjoy a well-made game featuring the modern incarnation of Sonic and have what is basically a shortened history lesson about the character. Sonic Generations served as a game that acknowledged both the good and bad points of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, but managed to make an amazing game for fans of all ages.

One Dangerous Birthday Party

As a game celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary Sonic Generations takes place during the modern version of Sonic's birthday. But to appeal to the player's sense of nostalgia, the game begins with the player playing through a high-definition version of the 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog's first level with an improved version of the classic 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog character. After playing through the level both Sonic and the player are introduced to a giant monster that players of the modern Sonic the Hedgehog games would know is one of the main antagonists of the game. Next scene actually involves the modern 1998 Sonic the Hedgehog celebrating his birthday with his friends. Unfortunately the giant monster from before shows up, kidnaps Sonic's friends, messes up reality to the point where all there is is a completely white landscape, and Sonic has to save his friends and find some way to fix everything. There is not much of a compelling story and the levels all start and end the same way of playing the level as both incarnations of Sonic the Hedgehog, saving whoever requires saving, and occasionally defeating some boss. While the plot may seem simplistic and at times nonsensical, Sonic Generations emphasizes better gameplay over coherent storytelling. The player feels nostalgic about playing through classic levels of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, there are jokes that reference various gimmicks about certain levels that longtime fans would find hilarious, and the classic soundtrack offers improved and revamped versions of popular level music. Sonic Generations celebrated Sonic's 20th Anniversary and does it in a way older fans would find both respectful and awesome.

Spoilers: Sonic is actually younger than what his games imply
Spoilers: Sonic is actually younger than what his games imply

Different Gameplay Options

The appeal that Sonic Generations had with players was the opportunity to use the modern incarnation of Sonic in the levels of older games and the classic incarnation of Sonic in some of the levels in more recent games. Players were able to see all of their old games redefined in high-definition. Run through Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in an actual factory filled with fire, twists-and-turns, and alternate passages, traverse through City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2 via 2-D platforming, or listen to all of the music used in all Sonic the Hedgehog games prior to Sonic Generations get re-recorded to match which version of Sonic is playing through the level.

As shown by this trailer showcasing the levels both classic and modern versions of Sonic the Hedgehog are forced to play through levels from all of their past games. What most players were most excited about this aspect of the game is the re-imagining that Sega devoted to the levels to fit the stylistic differences between classic and modern Sonic's mechanics. For classic Sonic all of the levels have been adjusted to emphasize his old platforming mechanics. So when classic Sonic has to outrun the giant truck from the City Escape level from Sonic Adventure 2, he mostly does that by using platforms, jump pads, and maneuvering through different passages. And when modern Sonic goes through Sky Sanctuary from Sonic and Knuckles this level from the old games gets re-imagined into a level where Sonic has to rely on high-speed movement, zip-lines, and quick-time events to get to the end of the level. This is awesome in the eyes of older players because now the player gets the opportunity to see and play through all the old and new levels in ways that were not previously thought of.

Fighting Bosses

During both classic and modern Sonic's adventures to fix reality they will come cross beings who want to impede their progress. These bosses served as endgame bosses or rivals from previous games, but now they are the bosses the player has to fight to reach the end of the game. Other than the redesign of old and new levels and the alterations to the music within the levels in the game, Sonic Generations offers the player the opportunity to fight most of the old bosses and rivals from older Sonic the Hedgehog games in new high-definition graphics and redesigns.

This trailer gets straight to the point. Fight old bosses. Fight old rivals. Fight all your old enemies in improved high-definition and fight them in ways not presented in previous games. For example, in one of the boss stages you have to fight another giant monster, the water entity Perfect Chaos from Sonic Adventure. One interesting change Perfect Chaos underwent during the last thirteen years was the alteration to look less like a being comprised almost entirely of water, but in Sonic Generations Perfect Chaos gets a more reptilian skin and a more armored appearance. And what makes Perfect Chaos even more awesome is that in the original Sonic Adventure game it served as the end boss and you had to fight it as Super Sonic, a super form used in previous games. In Sonic Generations Perfect Chaos is the second boss. This means the player does not get to see any super forms to defeat it. The player now gets to defeat a giant water entity with only Sonic's normal, but recently introduced, abilities like the lock-on feature to defeat it. Which can be seen as awesome for people who played the original Perfect Chaos boss in Sonic Adventure.

Funny how much 13 years can do to a guy.
Funny how much 13 years can do to a guy.
I mean seriously.
I mean seriously.

Play This Game

Sonic Generations introduced the idea of letting both classic and modern incarnations of Sonic the Hedgehog to meet and work together. Thanks to twenty years of improvement, this game allowed players to replay classic levels in new and interesting ways. Even the bosses got improvements that made their fights arguably better than in their original games. Basically Sonic Generations took all of its original material, and made redesigns which made both old and new players appreciate how much Sonic the Hedgehog has improved as a game. Which was awesome.

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