Now I know this game is pretty old and has been reviewed by many people a while ago, but when I played the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations earlier on this month I just had to do a review on it to express my thoughts on it.
The story of Sonic Generations 3DS is the same as that of the home console version. It involves Sonic and his friends are celebrating his birthday when a mysterious dark entity shows up and creates holes in time, sucking up everybody into different dimensions and tearing time apart. Sonic attempts to take on the beast but is knocked unconscious, Sonic then awakens to a white dimension where everything is lifeless and lacking in colour, he then travels through the different worlds, restoring colour to them and freeing his friends along the way and even running into his former self too. Eventually both Sonics along with both versions of Tails work together and figure out who is behind the whole time collapse in the first place.
The story is presented through models of the characters talking via text bubbles, this sucks when compared the console versions that have actual cut scenes. Now I know the 3DS isn’t a graphical powerhouse, but the Wii was able to give us down scaled versions of the cut scenes from Sonic Unleashed and from what I hear the 3DS’s graphics are equal to that of the Wii, so there really shouldn’t be too much of an issue with give us cut scenes in my opinion. The story was alright in the console version but it really did suck when compared to Sonic Colours and on the 3DS it comes across worse because there’s a lack of voice acting and proper animated cut scenes.
When it comes to gameplay it comes in two flavours, 1) Classic Sonic has the old school 2D platforming levels similar to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and 2) Modern Sonic who has very similar to the Sonic Rush games on the Nintendo DS.
With Classic Sonic you’re playing through 2D left to right stages with you jump, spin dash and speed just like the 90s. The physics for Sonic in this game are actually more accurate than the home console version which is good for people who really care about that kind of thing; it is too bad that most of Classic Sonic’s levels are pretty boring for the most part. All of his levels are 2D recreations of their originals, in the Classic Era it feels horrible because all of the levels feel so confined and squashed together. However in the Dreamcast Era things get interesting with Emerald Coast, but then get ugly with Radical Highway and then from there in the Modern Era I just wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. One of the real killers is the fact that Classic Sonic gets the homing attack, it breaks the “classic” element completely and later levels are structured around it so it’s MANDATORY and it just feels wrong.
As for Modern Sonic his gameplay resembles that of Sonic Rush, so Sonic has a boost button, homing attack and few of the other moves he got from Unleashed like skidding, wall jumping and foot stomping. Since I enjoyed those games a lot I thought the same would apply with this game and it does to a small degree. I had way more fun with Modern Sonic’s levels when it came to some of the levels in Classic and Dreamcast Era, but as soon as Radical Highway came everything went downhill. I just found the level design to be unfair, bizarre and hardly fun.
The boss battles in this game were just tedious, painful and lame. The major boss fights range from incredibly short and simple to long and annoying! Like the battle with Big Arms from Sonic 3 is easy because the boss movements are predictable, but the battle with the Biolizard from Sonic Adventure 2 is even worse than the original, his movements are harder to read and it doesn’t flow like the original. The worst offenders are the rival races with Metal Sonic, Shadow and Silver, there’s nothing to them. All you do is hold right and hope for the best. The problem with these races is that they’re completely erratic when it comes to difficulty, there are moments when you’ll outrun your enemy with ease only for them to appear ahead of you out of nowhere with no way for you to catch up. If you make a mistake just once the AI characters jump ahead of you by miles! Once you memorize the level layout then you should be able to complete the level. I spent too many minutes trying to beat these guys because of the horrible level layout and erratic AI character movements (Fuck you Silver!), and that’s why I hate them.
Graphically the game doesn’t look that bad, they have so lovely use of colour and some interesting levels of detail, but I can’t say I was overly impressed though. The best way to describe it would be a much sharper and fancier version of the Sonic Rush games. I just don’t like how squashed everything looks in Classic Sonic’s levels especially in the Classic Era levels. Also I feel like I’ve seen much prettier 3DS games so I guess I expected more. Sound-wise the audio quality of the game isn’t that bad and is tolerable (though that’s mainly because of the soundtrack). Most of the sound effects are good and match the home console version, though I’m not too keen on the way the homing attack/air dash sounds in this game, it just sounds weaker in this game. The soundtrack for the game is great with Jun Senoue along with the other game composers really finding a lovely way to upgrade some of these other songs and breathe new life into them.
When it comes to replay value I have to be honest, it is very little. This game is incredible short and features seven stages with two acts in each, but that’s two less stages than the console versions! There’s the same amount of boss encounters and there’s also a challenge mode and online compatibility too, but unless you’re interested in that other stuff your time with this game will be incredibly short. As for me, besides replaying some of Modern Sonic’s levels, I had no reason to revisit any of the other levels. What’s really bad was that I never even bothered to finish the game, the last time I did that with a Sonic game was with Sonic Unleashed. I owned the game a total of THREE DAYS before I traded it back into the shop I got it from, that’s how bored with the game I got. This game just had nothing addictive about it, I only played a few of the levels and never played the boss battles more than once and I never even tried the special stages because I couldn’t be bothered. And the strange thing is I would gladly play Sonic 4 Episode: 1 & 2 before picking up Generations on the 3DS again, and that’s saying a lot!
In the end Sonic Generations on the 3DS was a massive disappointment in my eyes, I knew from the footage that I saw online that it wouldn’t be worth my time but I never thought it’d be this lacklustre. Now there are some decent aspects of the game when it comes to the gameplay of Modern Sonic, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to console versions. In truth there’s much better games you could be playing on the 3DS, I’d say go play the Sonic Rush games from the Nintendo DS, they are much better and are worth your time unlike this game.
Rating: 6/10 (I do not recommend!)
So what did you think of the 3DS port of Sonic Generations? Did it fulfil your needs or did it fill you disappointment like me? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and let me know! Until the next time, later on people!