Sonic Generations Preview

Tubby Blue Blur vs. Lean and Mean: Pick A Side!

Sega has caught some flack for their 3D Sonic titles over the past few years. Shadow the Hedgehog was universally panned and Sonic on PS3 and Xbox 360 was even worse, but it seems like Sega can't go too far wrong with the classic side-scrolling formula. That track record is going to be put to the test with their new retro mash-up, Sonic Generations.

[image1]As far as a storyline, from the little clues I can gather, but it looks like a general "the universes have merged" situation. There's Classic Sonic - portly gut and all - running and zooming alongside the new-school, lean Sonic to stop a so-far-unnamed enemy that's responsible for merging the two… well, generations. As a result, both hedgehogs will have to blast through both 2D side-scrolling and 3D open stages to, y'know, save the day and all.

Only two levels were playable, recreations of the first Green Hill Zone stage and the first level from Sonic Adventure 2, but they played well enough to get me excited. I didn't play much SA2, but I played the hell out of the original Sonic and that first level had me flashing back to sitting on the floor in front of the TV as a kid. For a side-scrolling Sonic, that's about the best we can ask for.

[image2]The best part is that the 3DS version is different from the console incarnations. The only levels available to demo were the same the console versions offered, but the information I was given was that it will be an entirely unique experience. I'm hoping that means that the 3DS will re-vamp and re-imagine portable levels while the consoles go back to the bigger worlds and stages. And… it supports StreetPass. It's totally up in the air as to what that means - probably ghost and time data - but there's no way to tell definitively right now.

Sonic Generations is scheduled to drop by the end of 2011, and I for one want to see how this shakes out. Bringing back the stages I adore to this day, make them prettier and let me play as the chubby little 'hog? I'm listening...