Sonic The Hedgehog

One thing we need to own up to with all these video game icons coming up on 15, 20 and 25 year anniversaries is that we're getting older, too. Just yesterday, Crecente was talking about all the trouble he has peeing lately. Poor guy.


With that aging comes memory loss, so you might need a refresher on how Sega's spiky blue mascot came to be. Or, maybe the young'uns amongst you need to learn it for the first time ever. This video in support of Sonic Generations rounds up the folks who where the creators and decision makers behind Sonic's debut and explains how the speedy icon came into the world. Blast processing!



You can contact Evan Narcisse, the author of this post, at evan@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Sonic Generations Collection - Valve
Sonic Generations is Now Available on Steam!

The ultimate celebration of 20 Years of Sonic gaming, Sonic Generations delivers the definitive experience for Sonic fans new and old.

Sonic’s universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power comes into force, creating ‘time holes’ which take Sonic and his friends back in time. Whilst there, Sonic runs into some very familiar characters from his past including a younger version of himself! Now they must team up to defeat their enemies, save their friends, and find out who is behind this diabolical deed.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in Circles Desperately attempting to please two different sets of fans on Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary, Sega has crammed two different types of hedgehog gameplay into Sonic Generations, a formula that never fails to create entertaining game reviews.


What else can Sega do? Some fans hate 2D Sonic, other fans hate 3D Sonic. They've tried making different games for different fans, but one group or the other always feels alienated, or something isn't quite right, or the stars are knocked out of alignment. They just can't win, so they've just crammed the whole history of the series into one title with two very different types of gameplay and called it a day. Here's your damn Sonic game, thanks for playing.


So tell me, assembled video game reviewers, how does that make you feel?




Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesJoystiq
Revisiting two decades of games, Sonic Generations is pitched as a celebration of Sega's previously pudgy mascot and the timeless appeal of blue skies, checkerboard loops, and things that go "boing." But much like the one Sonic receives in the opening, Generations is closer to a lame birthday party that you attend out of courtesy.

That feeling you get from playing every Sonic game after Genesis brews as disappointment and eventually becomes sympathy, mostly for the branded custodians at Sonic Team. They can't seem to please anybody, can they? Oh, Sonic's jumping feels wrong. The momentum is messed up over here. It's about exploration, not speed! Guys, the physics of my anthropomorphic blue hedgehog is inaccurate within this segmented fantasy landscape! Even when they make a game — well, let's say half a game — dedicated to capturing Sonic as he was, before vocal chords and a third dimension, they still can't win. Why?



Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesGame Informer
The quest begins with side-scrolling tributes to memorable Genesis-era stages as classic Sonic. These levels rekindled the magic of being a wide-eyed kid seeing Sonic's world for the first time. Platforming is slightly tighter than in Sonic 4, which makes landing precise jumps easier. Tearing through loop de loops in Green Hill and bouncing across clouds in Sky Sanctuary are among my favorite Sonic moments, and they translate perfectly. Unfortunately, the good times fade when Sonic begins cruising through 2D versions of levels from post-Dreamcast Sonic games. Traversing the burning ruins of Crisis City from the awful 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog reboot is an exercise in frustration packed with unfair drop-offs and annoying gales.



Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesOfficial Xbox Magazine (OXM)
The 2D levels feel as close to the original Genesis games as ever, and their use of old-school moves and physics was a smart call. But even the 3D takes on Sonic's oeuvre do the franchise justice, as they avoid most camera-based frustrations of early 3D editions. The two takes on nine different stages actually benefit from being based on the same template: seeing a 2D version of a modern enemy or hearing an updated version of Green Hill Zone's iconic theme makes you want to try both stage types.



Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesComputer and Video Games (CVG)
After each of the worlds has been restored by playing both acts, five challenge maps open for each world, each playable as - and completely different as - either Sonic. New Sonic has friends along to help, Amy helping him jump with her hammer, Knuckles digging for treasure, and (shudder) Cream providing a limited number of rings in otherwise ringless levels.


These are 90% optional - you only have to play one of each of the world's ten challenges to grab the boss keys and move on, but they're also where you'll go to get your money's worth, when your relatively short minimum obligations end.



Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesGames Radar
But when you put the past to one side and look at the new game in isolation, there are essentially two games on show here - and I don't mean the classic/modern divide. The first is the one that stumbles on the things that Mario does so well. The attractive yet haphazard experience ridden with missed platforms, unexpected deaths and awkward low-speed movement in 3D space.


Then there's the other game. The one that's cruising by on the grind rail above it all, pulling tricks through bonus hoops with stars in its wake, locking onto secret ziplines and waiting for the split second where Sonic completes an aerial somersault to face the next platform before boosting away for another S grade. The one that's everything fans have wanted for so long. You can guess which one I've been playing.



Sonic Generations Has Game Reviewers Running in CirclesIGN
It feels refreshing to be able to say that Sonic is good again. His upward trajectory over the last year continues and he's only gaining momentum. Sonic Generations is largely a game for the most hardcore of Sonic fans, but for the millions who have fond memories of narrowly dodging spikes, grinding on rails, or even that time he was a pinball, Sonic Generations is a game made for you.



My suggestion? Find a friend that likes the Sonic you don't.
You can contact Michael Fahey, the author of this post, at fahey@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Sonic Generations Collection

Earlier today I was wondering what qualified me to review Sonic Generations, beyond my capacity for saying "god dammit." Yet after a solid 24 hours with this game not only are my eyeballs properly tracking its sidescrolling motion, I've recovered my innate understanding of the technical requirements of a solid speed-run through a Sonic world.


Sega is looking to reward that with a speed-run contest through the 3D version of Green Hill Zone in Sonic Generations, and you don't even need a full copy of the game to participate. Just go get the game's demo, and then practice, practice, practice (and say goddammit, goddammit, goddammit) until you get that time below 1:50. The video above (which is fun to watch even if you don't have the game) breaks down the optimal path with protips to help you get it perfect, but it still looks like it will take a lot of patience, practice and retries.


Capture your performance, upload it to YouTube, and you'll be eligible for some Sonic-themed prizes from Sega, but the bragging rights are the real reward. See the link for details and rules. The contest is open from today until Nov. 9.


Speed Your Way Through Green Hill for a Chance to Win! [Sega Blog]



You can contact Owen Good, the author of this post, at owen@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Sonic Generations Collection - Valve
Pre-Load Sonic Generations now and be ready to play when it releases!

Sonic 3D Blast™
Sonic Generations
For a complete genetic freak of a hedgehog (he’s blue!), Sonic’s not done too badly. His latest adventure - Sonic Generations - sees the speedy erinaceinae travel through time with his mates and hopefully revisit the period of history before Sonic titles became a bit poo.

Pre-order the title on Steam and you’ll get Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic 3 and Knuckles chucked in, gratis. If you weren’t alive in the 1990s, 3D Blast is the uncontrollable isometric one, but Sonic 3 and Knuckles still stands up, with Knuckles as a Moriarty to Sonic’s Holmes.

That’s on top of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which is an unlockable within Sonic Generations itself. That’s like meta-meta textuality.

Generations runs and rolls onto Steam on 4 November for £19.99.
Sonic Generations Collection - Valve
Sonic Generations is now available for Pre-Purchase on Steam!

Pre-Purchasers will receive a copy of Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic 3 and Knuckles to play now, and if you already own one of those games, you can give your extra copy to a friend!

The ultimate celebration of 20 Years of Sonic gaming, Sonic Generations delivers the definitive experience for Sonic fans new and old.

Sonic’s universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power comes into force, creating ‘time holes’ which take Sonic and his friends back in time. Whilst there, Sonic runs into some very familiar characters from his past including a younger version of himself! Now they must team up to defeat their enemies, save their friends, and find out who is behind this diabolical deed.

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