By taking the worst parts of the series’ history and improving on them, Sonic Generations – A title from a decade ago – proving that treating an entire team with the same respect without hesitation is the best way to acknowledge Sonic’s long and inconsistent history. And, let’s be honest, some parts of the Sonic canon really don’t deserve such respect.
The more I think about it, Sonic Generations’ respect for the entire series shouldn’t be forgotten Sonic Frontier, anyone. Sega’s upcoming game is set to release in 2022, and the series will ditch its traditional design in favor of a makeover “inspired by open areas.” Generations has managed to showcase the best part of the series’ hybrid history by focusing on the core of Sonic’s design: making the most of your quick reflexes and rewarding you with fluid dynamics and lightning-fast platforming. Frontiers should also contain these elements.
The open world will undoubtedly bring some changes, as level design and movement mechanics (two things that make up a good Sonic game) will move into a whole new environment and setting. Frontiers needs to do better than the hub world of Sega Saturn’s Sonic Jam — the closest thing we can think of right now to Frontiers. But if Frontiers can “unlock Breath of the Wild” and fully realize the dream of the decades-long series — which, in Zelda’s case, is embracing exploration and discovery — we might just have the best Sonic yet. game.
For now, though, Sonic Generations will have to.
Picking the tastiest food from every major entry in the Sonic series until its release in 2011 is the greatest advantage of the generation: you can travel through the ruined future of Sonic ’06 in a minute, and then find yourself on the verge of an adventure with Sonic Perfect Chaos Fight because Crush 40 will tear your ears apart next. This all works. really do.
Every Sega item that Sega mentions in the title has been given the same importance as you play through the history of the blue blur, which contributes to the frenetic and complete feel that Generations achieves as a compiled game. So while you might argue that a select portion of each game glosses over a low point in Sonic history, the final product looks more like a “Greatest Hits” album, even the less popular ones. Can see and remind you ‘hey, it’s a bit of a slap in the face’.
We all have a favorite Sonic game and a favorite Sonic moment: I love the precise milliseconds when the Sonic lands and the music plays in City Escape. The best part of Sonic ’06 was Shadow Roundhouse kicking Silver in the back, not found in Generations. So not all gems pass the filtering process (pun intended). But Sonic Generations wouldn’t be what it is if it were just a flash of these iconic phases.
But on the other hand, just copying and pasting some of the quickest hedgehog’s worst looks won’t work either. The trick to Generations is how it brings everything, including 2D and 3D Sonic, into the game, modernizing each title and unifying them into the gameplay.
Generations is a well-made Sonic game. 2D levels feel like they’ve been ripped from Sega Genesis because of their jumps and focus on dynamics, while the boost mechanics and perspective shifts in 3D levels actually work better in Generations than in some dedicated 3D games Well. Gone are the days of walking across the floor on the Emerald Coast, or hearing the terrifying scream of the tail as he carries his mate like a totem pole .
Yes, all of the unique mechanics in games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Adventure are gone – but that only brings to the surface the best parts of each game, and they’re all backed by Sonic Generations, giving them The unified control scheme and, simply put, make them all feel fun. Cut out some of the gimmicks that make you, instead, look at the level design and say “hey, there are actually some good ideas here”.You just didn’t see them the first time because you were so frustrated that Sonic the Hedgehog was apparently trying a human woman
Moving on to my next part, as it might upset some fans, but I’m saying here the only way I can fully state my point: The Sonic Heroes stage of the generation is the best. Yes, Sonic heroes suck. It’s flawed, it repeats levels, it’s poorly written (that’s what it’s really saying in a Sonic game), it’s built around shallow team-based mechanics, and its levels can last 40 minutes.
Still, the Sonic Hero stage in Generations is incredible. It’s extraordinary. Blending the best parts of the original 2003 game with the powerful Game Generations from bucketful, these levels are reborn in the 2011 game. Seaside Hill and Ocean Palace’s theme songs are certified, and the unique aesthetics of the original levels remain absolutely unchanged after nearly two decades. Heck, I can say most Sonic heroes. I will.
Yes, Sonic Heroes sucks in some ways. But the latter can allow the best parts of the former to shine when it comes to forcing heroes to agree to terms laid out in generational gameplay. Is it weaponized nostalgia? perhaps. But I’d rather do that than go through the original Sonic hero on any given day.
Back to basics with only classic 2D and 3D gameplay, rather than the series’ previous gimmicks raising ugly heads, means Sonic Generations can confidently put aside one-off experiments in favor of more popular games The work in. Generations does a great job of reminding you why you fell in love with Sonic in the first place (nor in the DeviantArt way).
What Sonic Generations got right, then, is bringing all the games together – no matter how received and quality they are – even if it’s usually absolutely pointless. It takes the same approach as last year’s 30th Anniversary Symphony, showing the entire franchise’s history side by side — even if some games aren’t necessarily worth having.
Looking ahead to Frontiers, Sega could easily extract aspects from all games to help its open world feel more unified; maybe we’ll see something from Sonic Adventure here, and a path from Heroes from there. A nod to series history can even be as simple as hearing a Sonic Mania track as you wander into a new area, or recording the burned-out remains of the Mean Bean Machine as you wander off the beaten track in the game’s inevitable final dungeon. Sonic Team has bluntly stated that it wants next year’s Sonic game to be “as impactful as Sonic Adventure” – what better way than to use the series’ complex past to lay the foundation for a whole new era to come? By exploiting Sonic’s history indiscriminately, the Frontiers may just have what it takes to step out of the Generations shadow.