Sonic Generations (Xbox 360/PS3) – Best 3D Sonic? – IMPLANTgames

Sonic Generations (Xbox 360/PS3) – Best 3D Sonic? – IMPLANTgames

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sonic
the Hedgehog, Sonic Team released Sonic Generations to the world during the holiday season of
2011. After learning what not to do with Sonic ‘06,
and slowly getting their groove back with Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, Generations
seemed to be just what the franchise needed to regain relevance during the 7th generation
of video game consoles. In addition to the 3D boost gameplay which
had been generally well-received by critics, Sonic Team also added some traditional 2D
gameplay to the mix along with a familiar face, paying homage to the gameplay style
that put Sonic at the forefront of popular culture, 20 years prior. Of course, as the years have passed, the fanbase
has become more divided on this ceremonial outing. Some declare it the high point in the series,
with polished gameplay, excellent level design, and devoid of gimmicks like werehogs, princesses,
hub worlds, and guns. Others have found the game overpraised, citing
the shallow plot, disappointing voice acting, sparse 3D gameplay, and Boost 2 Win mechanics
falling short of the Adventure glory years. So, is Sonic Generations Sonic at his best,
or is Generations all style and no substance? Let’s take a look. Sonic Generations opens with a round black-eyed
Sonic taking a stroll through Green Hill Zone when a loud rumble stops him in his tracks. The rumble is coming from a menacing looking
villain called the Time Eater. Then the scene flips to a gathering of Sonic
all stars getting ready for a surprise birthday party, for a slender green-eyed Sonic. Like before, the mysterious Time Eater rumbles
into view and crashes the party, sucking in all of the characters. Sonic goes in for an attack, but is rebuked
and presumably knocked out. Sonic then awakens to a mysterious world lacking
color. After a meeting of the minds, the team discovers
they are travelling through time and space and are trapped in a mysterious void. The only way to escape is to defeat the Time
Eater so everyone can return to their proper places. It’s not a terribly deep plot but does an
ok-ish job putting the classic and modern characters in the same place so 20 years of
Sonic’s history can be celebrated. This theme of celebration is carried throughout
Sonic Generations, with the player racing through almost 20 years of Sonic history. Rather than new level themes, Sonic Team split
the 9 zones into three distinct groupings, Classic, Dreamcast, and Modern. Each zone is then taken from a different game
from the era. So the classic era features Green Hill Zone,
Chemical Plant Zone, and Sky Sanctuary Zone. The Dreamcast Era features Speed Highway,
City Escape, and Seaside Hill. And finally, the modern era features Crisis
City, Rooftop Run, and finally, Planet Wisp. Generations does a nice job with the game’s
structure as well. Each Era is unlocked sequentially. So, to unlock the next third of the game,
a player will need to beat both Acts of each zone, complete three missions stages to unlock
three boss gate keys, defeat said boss, and then move onto the next area. Nothing here is complicated, navigating to
different acts and missions is easy, and overall the hub offers a nice compromise between large
hub worlds and basic map screens. But let’s move onto the real meat of the
game, the gameplay. As everyone watching knows, Act 1 of each
zone is a romp with Classic Sonic and Act 2 is with Modern Sonic. However this is slightly misleading. Classic Sonic does not control like the Genesis
titles, and Modern Sonic uses the gameplay from Unleashed and Colors. This means true Genesis styled gameplay and
Adventure styled gameplay, is not found anywhere in the game. At its core, Sonic Generations is most definitely
a Boost game, for better or worse. Being a Boost game, Modern Sonic returns with
the stomp, homing attack, air boost, slide, quick step, drift, wall jump, lightspeed dash
and the trademark Boost, with the boost meter being again filled by rings. The gameplay in these acts switches between
behind Sonic, 3D sections and side view, 2D sections, matching the first two titles in
the Boost trilogy. It’s also worth noting the developers utilized
all four face buttons for this adventure. This means no more homing attacks when attempting
to double jump, or boosting when attempting to homing attack. It’s a minor change for sure but makes for
a more comfortable experience. Classic Sonic’s move set is significantly
more limited. Sonic can duck, and spin dash, that’s it. And this is both the main appeal of Sonic
Generations as well as the biggest handicap, and a trap Sonic Team never figured out how
to escape since Sonic’s original 3D debut in 1998. Like the 3D games before it, by offering multiple
gameplay types, Sonic Team is effectively reducing the appeal their games can have. If one doesn’t like one of the elements
presented, then gamers are forced to play through stages they might not enjoy. In the case of Sonic Generations, I accept
the fact there are Sonic fans who aren’t into the 2D gameplay. And for fans of the Adventure series, the
Boost gameplay is significantly different, and might not scratch that 3D Sonic itch they
might have. In fact it’s hard to playthrough Sonic Generations
and not think about all of the changes the series has been through. The classic levels are an awesome blast of
nostalgia, when platformers ruled the world with clever level gimmicks and simple level
geometry. The Dreamcast era levels remind me of Sega’s
final days as hardware company, with their scrappy development teams needing to pour
their heart and soul into games to keep Sega afloat. For Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, a lot of effort
was also put into storytelling. Sonic Team spent time scouting the world,
and pulled a lot of different ancient theologies and myths into epic battles with Eggman. And none of that story-telling makes its way
into Sonic Generations. The plot is bare bones. There is little conflict. There is no character growth. A sense of hopelessness never overcomes the
characters. Sonic Generation barely follows the three-act
structure of story-telling, if at all. But I am not here to judge Sonic Generations
for what it is not. The 2D gameplay does not match the Genesis
titles. The 3D gameplay does not match the Adventure
games. But my preference for what a Sonic game is
or is-not really doesn’t matter. Instead I will judge Sonic Generations on
its own merits, rather than my personal expectations. And with that, Green Hill Zone. Both acts of Green Hill Zone do a wonderful
job getting players acquainted with the controls and general flow of the game. In Act 1, the player will learn to navigate
the 2D landscape with an exceptionally limited moveset and new jumping physics. Gone is the weird jump arc from Sonic Colors,
and in its place something far more natural. Landing on small platforms is easy, as is
bouncing off enemies, which offer a nice vertical lift leading to new areas. In Act 2, the player will learn the general
flow of the 3D gameplay style. This includes boosting during long narrow
sections, boosting up ramps to reach new areas of the level, and homing attacking enemies
and into springs. It’s all pretty straightforward stuff and
should be quick and painless for newcomers and veterans alike. From here on out, Sonic Generations slowly
introduces new mechanics to the player. For Classic Sonic, this comes mostly in the
form of new obstacles like moving and rotating platforms, water, and the frequency of spike
hazards or bottomless pits. For modern Sonic, this includes all of those
fancy moves. The quick step gradually becomes more necessary,
from dodging bombs in Chemical Plant Zone, to smashing into into enemies in Rooftop run. The stomp begins as an easy way to halt momentum,
but is later required to push lava down. The timing and pacing of new concepts are
great, never overwhelming the player with too many skills, but frequent enough to keep
players challenged and engaged. Planet Wisp does deserve a special shout out
however. Two of the wisp powers from Sonic Colors return. For classic Sonic this is the Spike Wisp. This allows classic Sonic to climb up walls
as well as trigger certain switches, opening up new areas of the level. Modern Sonic gets the Rocket Wisp, allowing
Sonic to smash through designated blocks, again allowing forward progression. Graphically, Sonic Generations is a gorgeous
game both technically and artistically. Granted Sonic Team did basically get to cherry
pick their best work from the two decades prior, so it really should be no surprise. Green Hill Zone matches the Genesis aesthetic
with checkerboard patterns and lush greenery, but rather than everything being geometrically
perfect, there is a certain Dr. Seuss or Tim Burton flair to the geometry, making the areas
far more visually interesting than they have ever been. Chemical Plant is another stunner, and the
background detail is outstanding, with intricate structures giving multiple layers of depth,
harkening back the the parallax scrolling of yesteryear. I also really dig the cool refraction effects
when Sonic is travelling through the tubes. The attention to detail is terrific. Sky Sanctuary really shows off Sega’s grasp
of the 7th generation hardware. I love how vast areas of the level are visible
in the background and it’s cool to know the player will eventually be in those areas. But for now, they are out of focus and in
the background. While Sonic Generations does have some pop-up,
it’s pretty minimal and scenes like this are just breathtaking. There is something inherently cool about seeing
old stages reimagined in 3D. But that doesn’t mean the Dreamcast Era
stages don’t offer plenty of wow. Speed Highway demonstrates a massive leap
forward in terms of graphical complexity. Again the backgrounds are deep, with many
many levels of skyscrapers poking around in the background, along with the highway intersecting
with the game path. And I really dig how the ground is actually
rendered. Finally, it doesn’t feel like Sonic is just
bouncing along platforms hovering in space, but actually interacting with a living, breathing,
city. City Escape is actually pretty similar to
the Dreamcast version complete with urban boarding and a truck chase. Seaside Hill really shows just how far water
effect had come since 2004. I mean the water looked nice in Sonic Heroes,
but in Generations, it’s amazing. Even the modern era offers a nice upgrade. While Sonic ‘06 was a nice looking game,
especially with it’s ultra smooth frame rate, it was definitely light on effects. In Sonic Generations, it’s elevated to the
next level. Particle effects are a plenty with glowing
ash floating throughout the stage, and the heat waves looking especially convincing. Rooftop Run on the other hand just might be
the only level not visually improved over its predecessor. That isn’t a problem of course as Unleashed
still looks remarkable even today. Last but not least, Planet Wisp looks terrific
thanks to the hardware boost from the Wii to the Xbox 360. The grass, trees, and shrubbery all look far
more dense and and visually appealing. And something consistent throughout the entire
game is a smooth frame rate, rarely dipping from 30 frames per second on the Xbox 360
version, despite the abundance of realistic shadows, motion blur, depth of field effects,
and destructible elements. About the only effect missing are some of
the awesome reflection effects found in Unleashed, which gave bricks depth and well as reflectiveness. As far as I can tell in Generations, everything
is a little flatter and less shiny. Artistically however, Generations is beautiful. The artists did an excellent job blending
a cartoon aesthetic with real-world touches, allowing the levels to flex their creative
muscles with true fantasy locals, but somewhat grounded in reality, like one could actually
visit these places and they would make sense. Now one might say there are too many city
themes, but I would say this is a nitpick. There is a world of difference between City
Escape and Rooftop Run, one resembling San Francisco and the other being vintage Europe. Same goes for Speed Highway and Crisis City. Speed Highway is alive with neon lights and
traffic, while Crisis City is on fire and mostly dead. In fact, Sonic Generations is just as visually
diverse as the Sonic games before it. Primaries are again vibrant with plenty of
Reds, Greens, and Blues, and each has accents contrasting nicely, creating a game which
is easy on the eyes. It’s not just colors either. The artists did a great job incorporating
lots of patterns into the levels as well. The vast color pallette, great mix of organic
and mechanical level structures, wonderful lighting effects mimicking various times of
day, help to make each of the 9 zones feel completely different from each other, yet
none feel disconnected either. The terrific visual presentation is matched
by an equally amazing audio presentation. Thankfully, while the Sonic franchise has
had its ups and downs, the one constant was amazing music so this should be no surprise. Now I am not one to purchase video game soundtracks
and listen to them outside of the game, so I am sure there are things I am missing. In any case, Act 1 and Act 2 of each stage
features different versions of the classic music. Sometimes these are dramatically different
with new arrangements and all new instruments. Sometimes these are more similar to the source,
or maybe even the same. But like always, they are all brilliant. The Genesis era music is surprisingly good
considering the source material is based on the old Mega Drive FM chip. However it’s the super catchy melodies that
have remained timeless. Speed highway sounds absolutely amazing with
a techno dance groove and a heavy bassline. The remixed City Escape even sounds great,
despite being auto tuned and the genre changing from rock to dance. It’s not as good as the original, but the
catchy lyrics and new beat are a nice twist on the classic. Crisis City loses the violins and replaces
them with electric guitar, yet the haunting notes deliver a similar impact. The wonderful sound effects also return. Sonic sounds like a jet engine taking off
when he enters boost mode and the music starts to fade in the background as he breaks the
sound barrier. Music gets muffled the deeper Sonic gets under
water, giving a sense of being in danger. All the classic sound effects return as well,
including the appropriate jumping sounds, spindash revving, and the perfect smash when
defeating an enemy. There is really nothing to complain about. Like the visuals, Sonic Generations’ sound
design is a cut above most games of the time. The vast array of genres, wide instrument
selection, and catchy melodies still sound every bit as fresh in 2018 as they did in
their respectives years. So, with all of that out of the way we arrive
back to the question asked at the beginning of the video, is Sonic Generations Sonic at
his best, or is this one all style and no substance? Arguably, the two most important aspect of
any platformer are the controls and the levels. And in both of these regards, Generations
absolutely delivers. First, this just might be the best Sonic has
ever controlled in 3D up to this point. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an easy
time maneuvering through 3D space and landing on small platformers is a breeze. I was able to quickly and confidently jump
from platform to platform without having to stop and get my bearings. Sonic at a modest speed handles beautifully,
changing directions smoothly without feeling slippery. He isn’t as floaty in mid-air either, making
the overall experience feel tight and responsive. The other trademark Sonic moves work perfectly
as well. Going from a run, to a jump, to a homing attack
feels smooth and natural and makes the game flow exceptionally well while navigating in
3D. The quick step has returned to the shoulder
buttons rather than the d-pad, meaning it’s easy to maintain speed and step, at the same
time. Even the trick system has been further tweaked. Gone are the quick-time events from Unleashed,
and the button mashing from Colors, and in its place something more akin to an extreme
sports game. Granted wiggling the analog stick back and
forth and then pressing the shoulder buttons still isn’t exactly riveting, but it does
feel like a nice compromise. I will say I still find the light speed dash
to be very finicky, but whatever, it’s rarely necessary so I’m going to let it slide. The 2D gameplay is also excellent. The strange jump arc from Colors has been
replaced with something significantly smoother and more predictable. While not as tight as say, the Genesis games,
the momentum has been tweaked and I found I could land on small platforms with far more
confidence than the previous boost titles. But more impressive than the controls is how
perfectly they work within the levels. The daytime levels in Unleashed, and most
of the levels in Sonic Colors were extremely basic. Sonic Generations’ levels are anything but. Each and every act of each and every zone
feels methodically designed. Every platform, every ramp, every ring, every
enemy, and every spike feels perfectly placed, like someone was actually putting thought
into the placement of every item and obstacle, rather than just scattering them around haphazardly. This means attentive players will rarely be
making blind jumps, running into enemies, or getting surprised by spikes. This goes for both the 2D and the 3D levels. When I would get hit by an enemy, or fall
to my death, it was always my fault for being impatient or not paying attention, and not
misleading design. Even better, shortcuts in Sonic Generations
are more difficult routes, rather than alternate routes. In order to shave off a few seconds in Speed
Highway for example, one needs to time this jump just right, in addition to boosting,
in order to skip the first part of the level. This isn’t just an alternate path for the
sake of an alternate path, skill is rewarded with a faster time to the finish. The tight controls and fantastic levels make
for an experience one will want to replay over and over, and I actually felt compelled
to get an S-Rank and find the 5 Red Star Rings on all 18 acts, twice. And this is where the superb level design
really begins to shine. My biggest gripe with Sonic Colors was the
lack of challenge. Levels were overly simplistic making repeat
playthroughs less and less enjoyable. In Generations, the game gets better and better
with each playthrough thanks to two secondary goals. The first goal is obtaining an S-Rank. This is acheived by racing through the levels
with quick times, with rings collected also giving a slight boost in rankings. However the best a player can achieve through
rings and time alone is an A-Rank. To get an S-Rank, the player must have a clean
run without dieing, which will push an A-Rank to an S-Rank. This gives incentive to exploring alternate
routes which are generally more challenging. The risk of taking more challenging paths
is rewarded with faster clear times. The second goal is locating the 5 Red Star
Rings hidden in each act. It is here where mastery of Generation’s
controls will really come into play. Now, not all Red Star Rings are created equal. Some are very easy to spot and grab. Others will require some exploring. Either by jumping through different rings
to be launched into different areas, or just noticing different pathways. Others will require a little bit of grinding,
which I don’t particularly like. Sky Sanctuary Zone Act 1 for example requires
a full three playthroughs to collect all of the rings for example, which seems a little
silly. However some Red Star Rings are located in
hard to reach places. Some might just need a well timed jump. Others a well timed boost. But where Generation’s shines is when a
number of well executed moves are required to reach a ring. This could be homing into a zip line at just
the right moment, followed by a tricky jump over a pit. The final rings in Planet Wisp require the
player to execute a number of perfectly timed jumps in order to reach power-ups necessary
to snatch the final prize. Fail at any point and the player will need
to restart the level and try again. More is required from the player than simply
noticing a Red Star Ring, a player will need to use their platforming skills, along with
their reflexes and dexterity to be successful. And in this regard, Sonic Generations achieves
something pretty great. It managers to be a modern Sonic game that
dishes out a legitimately good challenge that is both free of frustration, fair, and extremely
engaging all at the same time. However, Generations is not without its faults. First and foremost, there are those pesky
mission stages. At minimum a player will need complete 9 of
these, one for each act, to earn the boss keys needed to gain entry into the boss gates. The quality level of these is all over the
map. The doppelganger races are probably my favorite. The goal is to beat the opposing Sonic to
the finish line. While racing I was familiarizing myself with
the level layouts, or using already obtained knowledge to defeat my opponent. However repeating the same stage a second
time… does feel like padding. Sometimes levels do change layouts, like the
power stomp challenge for example, tasking the player with smashing through crates. However this has the opposite problem of the
doppelganger race, it just isn’t very interesting. The specific skill set here isn’t really
required in the main game and there is little challenge to the ordeal. Again, it feels like padding. And that is my main issue with the missions. The quality is all over the map: missions
are often repeated, and they feel tacked on for the sake of lengthening the game. It’s nowhere near as offensive as say…
playing through the game four times, but the inclusion feels out of place. Thankfully, beating these will unlock new
music tracks in the music room which is nice. Unlocked music can also be played during stages,
which is another terrific bonus, so it’s not a complete time waster. In fact, the game is constantly throwing rewards
at the player. Each Red Star Ring collected will reward the
player with new artwork or new moves. Yeah, Sonic Generations allows the player
to tweak the actual gameplay. These can sometimes be major too, like having
the boost gauge fill up when defeating enemies or increasing the acceleration which drastically
alters Sonic’s mid-air controls. These are each assigned a point value, with
the player being able to equip 100 points, so it’s not too crazy, but I do appreciate
the fact how little actions result in little rewards, rather than nothing. Another fault with Sonic Generations is the
camera. First, the player has no control over it,
which isn’t necessarily the problem. It is very dynamic, zooming in and out, always
pointing the player forward. Honestly, during normal gameplay its rarely
problematic and the lack of manual control isn’t an issue. However, the lack of control does make backtracking
a pain. On at least one occasion I needed to travel
backwards to retry an obstacle. I knew there were some dash pads between Sonic
and the springs, but there is no real way to see them. While backtracking isn’t a normal part of
the gameplay, when going for secondary goals, it can be, and I would have appreciated some
sort of control. There were also a couple of times it was zoomed
in too close in the classic sections, making it difficult to see upcoming enemies. Again, this doesn’t happen often, but the
camera isn’t always perfect. My last issue is with the bosses. There are six main bosses in all and these
are divided into two groups. The first type are character battles against
Sonic’s previous rivals. This includes Metal Sonic, Silver the Hedgehog,
and fan favorite, Shadow the Hedgehog. Against Metal Sonic, the player needs to dodge
attacks and then strike when Metal Sonic gets winded. The Silver the Hedgehog battle is easily the
best. The player needs to dodge Silver’s telekinesis
attacks and then homing attack to do damage. Curiously, this is vastly superior than anything
found in Sonic ‘06. Lastly, the Shadow battle is ok. The player needs to race to some purple orbs,
then smash into asteroids, and then finally, run into Shadow, or something. The next three bosses are all against familiar
foes. In the first fight, Sonic revisits Death Egg
Robot. After smashing into it a few times the action
changes. The player needs to press a switch, to reveal
a bomb, and then lure Eggman into punching the bomb. If successful, the player can then attack
the Doctor. Next is Perfect Chaos. This one is very similar to the Dreamcast
encounter, only the player boosts towards Chaos rather than flying towards him with
Super Sonic. Nothing here is very difficult thanks to the
excellent jumping and responsive controls. Finally, there is Egg Dragoon. This is the sloppiest fight in the game as
it tries to incorporate the most of Sonic’s skillset. This includes rail grinding, wall jumping,
and of course, boosting. The first few attempts are strange, but after
understanding when one can actually strike, it goes a bit faster. Still, this one ranks up there with some of
Sonic Team’s other lesser creations. Beating these six bosses will net the player
six of 7 chaos emeralds. The 7th chaos emerald is a freebie, presented
during a cut-scenes oddly enough. With all seven chaos emeralds collected, the
player can place each in a gear in the final area of the hub world. Placing all seven will kick off the final
plot sequences as well as the final boss fight. It turns out, Eggman, and past Eggman, are
behind the Time Eater. After a quick smackdown, the all stars cheer
the two Sonics on to continue the fight. From here they go super and the final boss
fight kicks off. The boss fight itself… is terrible. Sonic and Sonic go super and then have to
crash into Eggman’s Time Eater before the rings run out. But much like the fight in Sonic Adventure
2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic ‘06, and Sonic Unleashed, the fight is clumsy. The idea is to switch between the two Sonic’s
in real time, allowing the player to snatch rings and dodge attacks with the ideal perspective. Unfortunately everything moves exceptional
slow, Eggman seems to dodge away, and striking the foe feels more like a game of chance than
a game of skill. It’s a rather anticlimactic way to end the
adventure. With the Time Eater defeated everyone lands
back at the birthday celebration from the game’s opening. The Sonics and Tails say goodbye and the classic
characters return to their proper time. Then of course, the credits roll. As an anniversary game celebrating 20 years
of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Generations does fail in a few regards. First, the story feels shoe-horned in, like
a marketing ploy to create buzz, not a well thought out plot written with care. The biggest problem is the Time Eater never
really poses a threat to Sonic. Other than the all-stars being freed from
the statue like state, there is little other conflict in the world. There are no woodland creatures or alien life
forms being harnessed and abused by the villain. In fact, the world is pretty awesome, and
Sonic even has a sweet room to chill out in. Without any true conflict to resolve, the
Time Eater villain never feels threatening, making the second and third acts of the story
feel pretty empty. Honestly, Sonic Team could have scrapped the
story entirely and the game would be no worse for wear. Or of course, fleshing it out and adding some
real conflict needing to be resolved would have been nice as well. Lastly, it is inherently odd to play as the
same character with two completely different movesets. Much like in Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Adventure
2, there is something jarring about having moves yanked away from the player and then
replaced with other skills. Sure one can get used to it, but it’s still
extremely odd to go from boosting and homing attacking, to spin dashing, and then back
again. But other than the inherent problems with
multiple playstyles, a lackluster story, and some quality control problems with missions
and bosses, most of Sonic Generations is a positive experience from beginning to end. The game is relatively free of glitches for
example. During the normal course of gameplay, I only
found one spring that would launch Sonic into danger, instead of forward. And there was also an extra life monitor that
could be destroyed through the wall. Other than these two instances, I could not
find any programming issues. Sonic Generations feels remarkable polished
despite being released just a single year after Sonic Colors. Speaking of polished, Sonic Generations absolutely
nails the core platforming mechanics. The moveset is vast, and every button on the
Xbox 360 controller is utilized in someway, even the triggers and bumpers. But they are introduced at a perfect pace,
allowing newcomers to come to grips with it all, but allowing veterans to take advantage
of them right away. This learning curve is carried over into the
difficulty. Green Hill Zone is a cakewalk for both Modern
and Classic Sonic. Planet Wisp on the other hand offers a decent
challenge with plenty of bottomless pits, a plethora of spikes, moving platforms requiring
perfect timing, and many enemies needing to be dispatched or avoided. But nothing is ever overwhelming or unfair. Sky Sanctuary is relatively friendly when
it comes to missing jumps, but Crisis City is most definitely not. Seaside Hill has a ton of jumping over bottomless
pits, boosting over water and giant boulders ready to crush our hero. The acts offer a nice balance by never holding
the players hand, but never leaving them in the dark either. The level design is also interesting with
tons of new mechanics or unique moments. The G.U.N. chase sequence in City Escape returns,
but now it has saws and takes advantage of the quick step. In the Classic act it’s even better, smashing
through destructible level pieces forcing the player to move quickly. And I love how the scaffolding here is slowly
destroyed as the truck moves back and forth, adding a timing element for the player to
contend with. In Rooftop Run the player needs to get to
the center of the clock, and then spin dash which causes the face to swing open, destroying
one of Eggman’s airships. I also really dig how elements are improved
upon rather than simply copied. Seaside Hill is a great example of this. The buggy segments include ramps to jump on
and bombs to avoid. The classic act also includes an underwater
segment. City Escape includes skateboardings, complete
with ramps leading to Red Star Rings, Crisis City adds a wind hazard, and the Spike wisp
adds puzzle elements on Planet Wisp, forcing the player to move along gears to trigger
switches. And perhaps best of all, the enemy placement
found in Sonic Generations is among the best the series has ever seen. In the modern levels they are expertly placed
to aid in platforming or are used to access shortcuts. The homing attack is also perfect in this
game, always locking on to the most logical target, and never faltering. The enemy placement is even stronger in the
classic acts. Rather than being placed in random gotcha
locations, they are expertly placed as part of a timing obstacle, or more impressively,
used to reach new areas. The way Sonic bounces from enemy to enemy
feels amazing and is something that just might surpass the classic series. There are even moment where they work perfectly
in conjunction with the spin dash to hop across obstacles in short order. It’s seriously good. And I must also give a shout out to the warning
signs over pits. While I never personally found the Sonic franchise
to feature misleading jumps into the abyss, I do find it charming death pits are marked
with a sign, alleviating any questions as to what lies below. It’s this attention to detail I just can’t
get enough of. So yeah, Sonic Generations is a great game
and definitely marks the high point of Sonic’s 3D adventures. While not perfect, the level design, controls,
difficulty curve, and replayability are spot on offering a game that is easy to pick-up
and play, but also offers enough challenge and depth to prevent the game from feeling
stale and repetitive. It’s also is relatively free of glitches and
the padding is kept to a minimum. When recommending Sonic Generations I don’t
have to make any qualifiers about this being a “Sonic Game.” There are no confusing hub worlds, no quality
dips with alternate gameplay styles, no cringy story elements, and no slippery controls. In short, Sonic Generations is an exceptionally
well crafted adventure that not just Sonic fans can appreciate, but rather a game everyone

100 thoughts on “Sonic Generations (Xbox 360/PS3) – Best 3D Sonic? – IMPLANTgames

  1. Extremely fun game and I love all the nostalgic references and throwbacks. But while the game is fantastic and really replayable, I always felt that it doesn't really leave a lasting impression possibly because of how short it is and how little story there is. Still easily my second favorite 3d sonic after colors

  2. I disagree with this video. The thing that bothers me the most is you stating that Generations has the best controls. My boy….what. The Adventure games with all their ups and downs have far superior controls to this game. Everything else I won't even bother to disagree with but the controls is just…I don't understand. Sonic feels so awkward and unnatural. There's no real weight to his movements and an air dash just leads to you falling like a rock unlike in both adventure games and even Sonic 3&k/Mania with the fire shield. You don't dash forward and just….plop to the ground like nothing happened. Sonic can't even turn in a circle without actually looking broken. For boost controls I agree gens is the best but 3D Sonic as a whole? I cannot understand the logic behind that one at all. As far as sa1 goes the controls are near perfect for a 3D sonic and sa2 while it isn't as smooth has the best arsenal of moves Sonic has ever had in 3D. The spindash,homing attack which is fast and smooth without constant pausing to watch Sonic pose and slow the momentum of the game/air dash that has actual weight and makes Sonic continue with his momentum to have a natural feel to the character, roll+flame ring, bounce bracelet and light dash (which I'll admit shouldn't have the same button) and an actually decent turn arc though sa1 does this far better. I cannot understand how you see Generations as the one with superior controls….and even when generations works its best in controls, aka when you're boosting , it's just so limited… I wasn't convinced at all with you saying gens has the best controls.

    I could say a ton more for me to point out why I don't think this game is the best 3D Sonic game….but I'm just going with what I'm certain about. Gens doesn't have the best controls for 3D Sonic. Lol not at all. That's it.

  3. The missions are definitely the weakest part of Generations. I went for an all S-Rank run once and those were easily the worst part. The time requirements on them fluctuate wildly between "really forgiving" and "basically requires flawless playing". They're also just really tedious.

    One thing that I realized the last time I played Generations, is that the boost games are sorely lacking in memorable set pieces. Everyone remembers the Death Egg Robot, the Death Egg rising above the clouds (Really, the entire last quarter of S3&K), the whale from Emerald Coast, the GUN truck, the Egg Fleet, etc. The boost games don't really have many moments like that, the only one I can think of is grinding down the clock tower in Rooftop Run.

    The boost games are easily the best looking Sonic games, but the level design has to accommodate the boost mechanic, so it doesn't really leave much room for interesting set pieces, and it all goes by so fast that you can't really appreciate what little there already is. I've played through Unleashed and Generations multiple times, but I honestly couldn't tell you one interesting thing about any particular level, and I really do like both games.

  4. You sir, have evolved into a legendary reviewer, in my eyes. I really do appreciate all these very in-depth Sonic game reviews. You offer the most detailed game reviews I've ever seen. Just as good video game reviews SHOULD be. You do everything! You go over the music, the art, controls, story…It's great! And I love it. Wonderful work on all of these! You deserve more views and subscribers, honestly. Anyway, yeah, that's all I really wanted to say. This game is AWESOME! I LOVE Generations so much! Almost as much as Colors and Mania! I just love how it respects the history of the series, while also re-imagining key moments like Green Hill Zone, the G.U.N. Truck from CIty Escape, the Death Egg Robot, or the fights against Metal Sonic, Shadow, and Silver! It's by no means perfect, but there's still a lot to love for this one. Now onto Forces! …Or Mania. Whichever you want to do first. Or neither. Can't say I blame you if you wanna take a break from Sonic for a while. Way past cool. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SONIC!! ^-^

  5. Thanks to you, I shall now call Classic Sonic "Round, Black-eyed Sonic" and Modern Sonic "Slender, Green-eyed Sonic". XD

  6. I think it was a well made game. But I have yet to see a perfect 3D game.

    Boost is fun but very compressed in terms of available challenge.

  7. Great game, even if I personally can't stand Classic's gameplay. Here's hoping the next Sonic games will be better!

  8. I'll be brutally honest, I'm starting to get very tired of people who complain that modern Sonic is 2D. The blend of 3D cinematics and 2D platforming is a clever move on Sega's part for multiple reasons, especially after proving themselves that full 3D Sonic games suffer a myriad of problems.

  9. U can also catch the helicopter in speed highway, when the stage starts u go as fast as possible, jump, then u will be able to catch it

  10. Not only it's the best game in the modern sonic era (In terms of gameplay)
    But they really need to port this game for Xbox One & PS4.

  11. This was the boost formula at its best, the triumphant return of Classic Sonic, and an all-around fun time even for non-fans. It's quite a treat and a worthy follow-up to Sonic Colors.

    As for the games since then?
    Just skip ahead to Sonic Mania if you like not needing to justify playing something that isn't fun.

  12. I still find it baffling that Sega relegated this game's director to working on Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.

  13. I agree that Generations is a great 3D Modern Sonic game but it's not "the best", more like one of the best 3D Modern Sonic, the other ones being Unleashed and Colors.

    As facts the game it's too easy and the storyline so short and simple and no struggle at all for ranks :(.

    I don't know about you guys but one of the negatives to this game is that it wasn't worth buying it full price in 2011-2012 if you can just complete the story in 3, 4 hours tops and it doesn't offer you a lot in terms of grinding or collecting or in-game stuff compared with Sonic Unleashed.

  14. I am one of the few people who likes Generations and Unleashed evenly? Personally, the Adventure duo are the best 3D Sonic games in my opinion.

  15. Fantastic review and so well thought out and presented. I like how you covered most of the other sonic games before coming to this one to really appreciate what generations did to the gameplay, style and references. I think this is the best 3D sonic game to date because of the tight controls, the lack of stupid character gimmicks and the levels are so incredible. There are so many branching paths and secrets to find that I am sure I haven't found them all which is what I like.
    This is also one of the soundtracks that I had to buy and even get the special edition with the statue and ring and man. Such a fantastic game and I'm really glad that you liked it and gave it a fair review. I do agree that the missions are pretty bad and overall the game is a little too short but it is still better than the games that have come out since!

  16. Awesome review. Anyone who claims this game is nothing but “Boost2Win” should definitely watch this.

  17. That was the best and most nostalgic sonic you’ve ever reviewed, Implant games, and I like it🤩, hmm… I looked at your playlist of Sonic reviews and you don’t seem to have reviewed Sonic forces yet, will you actually review sonic forces? Its a sonic that allowed sonic fans to like us to create our own custom avatar characters a.k.a Sonic styled OCs, it was an okay sonic game, and I did enjoy the custom character customization addition that sonic team made for that sonic game but the custom character gameplay had some of the same gameplay glitches and control problem like any multiplatform sonic game before it, but I know the character customization idea isn’t a bad idea since the sonic fan base is just a critical paradox of backward judgement These days, so will you review that sonic and tell us viewers out there if the character customization idea could’ve worked in a sonic if it had better control physics and improved gameplay after all (at least by Sonic fan game modification standards, of course)?


  19. Oh man, I absolutely love this game! Even though classic Sonic didn't control like on the genesis, it didn't really matter because it was still good in it's own way. Also unlike Unleashed, here two gameplay styles are different but still similar in a way which gives some variety but isn't a completely different game.

    Oh I also have a question! I remember you mentioned that drifting in unleashed was horrible. What do you think about it in this game. I remember really liking this mechanic in Generations. I also loved how they made Sonic spin dash when drifting in this one.

    And about the story! Even though it was almost non existing there were things i really liked about it. I loved how charming characters were, especially classic Sonic and Tails. There are also some dialogues joking about classic sonic games, like Tailes's comments on purple water in Chemical plant because of him falling and drowning in it all the time in Sonic The Hedgehog 2. But the thing I like the most about the story was that it turned out Eggman is behind everything! It's a great twist build on the fact that in like every newer Sonic game, Eggman is the villain but then it turns out there is even bigger evil so Eggman joins Sonic's side. It's like writers acknowledged how repetetive that story element was and they build that twist based on it.

    Great video as allways. Keep up the good work!

  20. This was one of the first games I picked up for the 360 back when the system was new. Totally agree with you on the bosses. Then again…I wasn't expecting much as, to me, bosses were never all that great in Sonic games. I might just have to go back and replay this, albeit on the PS3 as my 360's disc drive failed and it's now been retired as a Netflix player.

  21. They knew how to make a good Sonic game with Generations. I thought 06 taught them not to make a broken game. And then we get Forces…

  22. I really love this review, you did a great job explaining each and every part that makes this game enjoyable as well as the negatives and neutrals. But my question is, why are you not using the PC version and downscale from 1440p/2160p instead of the limited console experiences, when the game's also on PC? Thanks

  23. Can't wait to see your Lost World review, BTW sonic team has 2 Teams, one worked on Unleashed and Generations, and the other worked on colors and Lost World

  24. @implantgames if you wanna know what a terrible sonic generations would be like please continue reading below

    classic era:
    labyrinth zone
    metropolis zone
    sandopolis zone

    dreamcast/gamecube era:
    all big the cat levels
    mad space
    [insert a sonic heroes level you hate here because i don't know which stage is the most hated]
    lost impact

    modern era:
    watching the kissing scene without stopping for 10 hours
    eggmanland without dying
    tropical resort but you fall through floors and die randomly like you are playing sonic 06

    time eater
    first half of dark Gaia boss
    the silver boss fight from 06 but silver is invisible
    eggman (but all dialogue is the most repetitive lines ever)
    perfect chaos but sonic dies when touching water

  25. Sonic Generations is alright, but loses it's charm after playing it through one time, after which you've seen everything. The mods are what makes this game stand out.
    Sonic Unleashed is still my favorite Sonic game by far, I even love the wherehog sections!

    Also I dislike the adventure style games. Apart from a few standout moments from 2, they are a chore to play through.

  26. Here's a fun story:
    Sonic Generations was being made for XBOX 360, PS3, and actually for the Wii too. But it didn't make it, rather than making nothing for the eii. They decided to use the rests of the game and turn it into what is today known as Sonic Colors/Colours.

  27. I played this when it came out and well to me at least it wasn't really challenging and after the day to two day completion time like 100% I used it for a soundtrack for other games.

  28. This game is definitely one of the better 3D Sonic games, but I personally prefer Unleashed, partly because it's more challenging and also because I don't really like playing as classic Sonic

  29. I say they should of done that the sonics being defeated then more levels/bosses and them getting the super emeralds and vsing the time eater with hyper sonics

  30. This is the best Generations review i've watched. I love how you guys paid attention to little details like the lack of reflections from Unleashed and overall how deeply the review is looked into.

  31. Sonic Generations is pretty damn great. While not my favorite 3D Sonic game (Sonic Heroes is my favorite) I will say it's up there. Anyways, nice one as always

  32. why do people complain about this games story? it's about as simple as the classics! oh, but they are perfect so they get away with it.

  33. Sonic mania took this games place but for a long time I was between this game and sonic 2 as my favourite game

  34. Except nothing for the kids who miss the weight, the dexterity, and the authenticity the adventure games’ control schemes offer 😭

  35. Great review as always. Are there any changes you will review Rodea the sky soldier? Wii version, despite boring story dialogues, is quite interesting.

  36. You should review Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. One of Sonic Team's mostly overlooked games. Though it has flaws, I really think it's more enjoyable than most of their sonic games!

  37. Loved this game. Great for speed running. Mastering them looks awesome. I uploaded a couple of runs a while back. I've been meaning to upload more but when ever I decide to record a run I seem to make stupid mistakes. Now I'm just lazy and don't game as much.

  38. @glitches/problems Sky Sanctuary on the 360, I ran through the floor a few times, because it didn't load as fast as Sonic running through.

  39. Yeah, but generations played it safe, unlike unleashed. That's why I don't like it. I respect your opinion, thought.

  40. "Story is important in Sonic games. Of course you can make a game with no story, where you can just navigate with stage select menus and a bunch of action stages. But I don’t think it [would] make a GREAT game" said by yoshihisa hashimoto, director of sonic unleashed

  41. I'm gonna be honest with you. I find the game overrated. The game is such a step back from every past Sonic game i still can't see how many people like it

  42. This may be my favourite Sonic game ever and one of my favourite games, i love the variety and options.
    Though, i must disagree with you on the missions, while not all of them are great (i don't like the clone races, they are the same exact level and it's hard to get an S rank most of the time) most of the missions are great and can change the, gameplay a lot! Some feel like small and fun obstacle courses and the ones where you can use the abilities of one of Sonic's friends are my favourites.

    I dislike something about the game though and it's the skill system, it feels so limited and fills up extremely quickly, not letting you make some combinations. I really dislike how they turned Super Sonic into a skill that fills 100% when it should become a separate ability. Also i wish you could bring them to the missions, you know, to try more combinations.

    I also love the boss fights but the comment got too long so i won't elaborate.

  43. I’m really sorry but I really didn’t enjoy this game. I thought it was too easy and I haaattteeedddd the time eater. It was tooo boring. Also I hate planet wisp. That level can burn in hell. The only thing that o think is good about this game is the mods. The unleashed or adventure project is really something to be desired. But I just think this game is no where near as good as adventure and unleashed. And again, its myyy opinion. But I think it’s a meh game

  44. This would be a great game if there was no lad between button presses and action, like jumping. I don’t understand how almost no one ever mentions this.

  45. What would you rate this game if it was this ranking system?
    X (Phenomenal)
    S (Amazing)
    A (Great)
    B (Good)
    C (Average)
    D (Not Very Good)
    E (Bad)
    F (Terrible)

  46. Sonic Generations should be a lot easier to complete Boss Wise. The levels should be thus:
    1. Green Hill Zone (same music theme from Sonic 1 Mega Drive)
    2. Scrap Brain Zone (same music theme from Sonic 1 Master System)
    3. Jungle Zone (same music theme from Sonic 1 Master System)
    4. Starlight Zone (same music theme from Sonic 1 Mega Drive)
    5. Hill Top Zone (same music theme from Sonic 2 Mega Drive)
    6. Metropolis Zone (same music theme from Sonic 2 Mega Drive)
    7. Death Egg Zone (same music theme from Sonic 2 Mega Drive)
    There should only be one boss at the end of each level, with the exception of Death Egg Zone.
    Zones 1 to 6: Past Dr. Robotnik with theme from Sonic 2 Mega Drive. Zone 7: original Sonic 2 Boss Theme for Silver Sonic Boss and different theme for Death Egg Robot.
    This game ought to be too easy, otherwise what's the point in buying or playing it? Sonic Says.

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