While I won’t turn this post into a therapy session for a “Sonic Annonymous” group, it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all been burned by the blue hedgehog at some point in the past few years. With every new Sonic game announced by Sega, a wave of quiet hopefulness of a return to the past glory days is usually replaced by fear and disappointment. It’s with these same emotions that I downloaded the new demo for Sonic Generations.
Right off the bat, the start menu does a great job in alleviating your fears as a modern yet still retro version of the old Sonic theme song from the Genesis days blares over your speakers, complete with the heavy bass lines and all. The nostalgic wave doesn’t end there as you’re thrown in the old pudgy Sonic’s red shoes as you navigate the Green Hill zone in glorious side scrolling action with 3D enemies and loops. It’s really well done and more importantly, fun. Better yet, the classic Green Hill Zone music is blasting in the background, with a modern edge to it.
The controls feel just as you’d expect in a Sonic game. All the familiar gameplay elements are here with loops, corkscrews, swinging ledges, crumbling bridges, and the spikes. For those that haven’t taken Sonic for a spin, your goal is to get the little blue guy to the end of the level as fast as possible, avoiding traps and collecting golden rings. The level had many different paths you could take so you could argue that there’s some replayability there as well.
Overall, Sega has unleashed a wonderful demo full of promise. The sense of speed is back the way you remember, and it’s just plain fun. The demo will run you about 5 minutes in total and only features that one level unfortunately. Part of me is also a bit wary about not being able to check out a modern Sonic level, similar to them hiding the “Werehog” levels in the Sonic Unleashed demo. Still, it’s a great start and one I’m going to keep my eyes on as it nears its release later this year.