Sunday, November 13, 2011

What This? A New Hedgehog Game From Sega???

Sick and tired of hearing about Battlefield 3.
Sick and tired of hearing about Skyrim.
Sick and tired of hearing about Zelda.
Sick and tired of hearing about (how everyone hates) Modern Warfare 3.
Sick and tired of hearing about Skyrim (again).
Sick and tired of hearing about Skyrim (ZOMG BEST GAME EVAR).

What the hell happened to Sonic Generations???  It's two weeks old but don't gimme that nonsense.  I really ought to stop reading Reddit Gaming, that website sucks.

It's an ode to Sonic.  It has both Sonics, both Tails, and both Eggmans.  Plus every other Sonic character.  Thereby proving that in Sonic games, more characters =/= worse game (but you already knew that).  It also has the original Sonic the Hedgehog game playable as well as unlockable trophies and music (Smash Bros. anyone)?

Reviews for the game are good.  Most are in the 8.0 range.  It's great but not excellent.  In all honestly, I didn't expect the pro reviewers to come out and say "YEAH!!!" over the game.  They'd save 9's and 10's for games that actually make them piss themselves, like Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.  But I played the demo and thought it was really good.  Eff the reviewers.

BTW, looking at that review list again, I see GameInformer gave Sonic Generations a 6.75 out of 10.  Am I surprised?  No, because GameInformer blows and everyone knows this.


But it's not my job to come on here and tell you every minute detail of the game cause that's dumb.  And I haven't played the game...well, I don't have money or time for new games.  This is just me telling you what I see and what's so interesting.  And I'm looking at this Sonic Wiki page here for most information.

First of all, I'm looking at the stage selection and they're different for both the console and 3DS versions.  I'm always intrigued by stages, maps, levels...whatever.  I was a CS 1.6 Mapper in the past.  I even made maps on Space Colony Ark, Mushroom Hill, and Hydrocity Zone so I clearly know what I'm talking about.  Let me tell you what I see.  You can read this SEGAbits article as an opinion piece.

Console Stages (asterisk denotes boss stage only)
Green Hill (Sonic 1)
Chemical Plant (Sonic 2)
Sky Sanctuary (Sonic 3&K)
Speed Highway (Sonic Adv. 1)
City Escape (Sonic Adv. 2)
Seaside Hill (Sonic Heroes)
Crisis City (Sonic '06)
Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed)
Planet Wisp (Sonic Colors)
Stardust Speedway*** (Sonic CD)
Death Egg*** (Sonic 2)
Station Square*** (Sonic Adv. 1) EDIT: Destroyed, of course
Final Rush*** (Sonic Adv. 2)
Eggmanland*** (Sonic Unleashed)

3DS Stages
Green Hill (Sonic 1)
Casino Night (Sonic 2)
Mushroom Hill (Sonic 3&K)
Emerald Coast (Sonic Adv. 1)
Radical Highway (Sonic Adv. 2)
Windmill Isle (Sonic Unleashed)
Tropical Resort (Sonic Colors)
Launch Base*** (Sonic 3&K)

First of all, the levels are great but complaints are to be expected.  Let's look at the console versions alone.

Green Hill is a gimme.
I think Chemical Plant is interesting, but I would've preferred Casino Night instead.  Just because many Sonic games have that night-time casino level so I'm a bit shocked it was second tier to Chemical Plant.
Sky Sanctuary is a cool level and they certainly did a beautiful job with it, but I wish there was one more Sonic 3&K stage they could've put in there.  Something "Eggman-ish" like Flying Battery or Death Egg Zone.
Speed Highway is the token night-time stage.  Shame there was no Mystic Ruins stages seeing as the ancient Central American motif was so vital to that game.
City Escape is awesome though I would've killed for a one more Sonic 2 stage.  Space Colony Ark.  Yeah sure, Final Rush makes a great boss stage but I want MORE!!!
Seaside Hill is good but another bright "first-level" stage.  Eh, I don't know.
Crisis City, disregarding how terrible Sonic '06 was, is fine by me.  Token hellish lava stage.
Rooftop Run and Planet Wisp.  Just strange that, like Seaside Hill, it's another standard green stage.  Not that I have a problem with that but come on?  Where's the snow levels?  Or where's the desert levels?

Now looking at the 3DS stages.

Green Hill, again.
Casino Night, here it is.  Wish it was in the console versions instead.
Mushroom Hill, one of my favorite levels.  Too bad they couldn't bring back Hydro City, Ice Cap, or Lava Reef.  Geez, you could make a 3D Sonic game based on the Genesis Sonic games alone.
Emerald Coast.  Surprised they didn't go with a Mystic Ruins level.
Radical Highway.  Just like Speed Highway.  Come on, a Prison Island, Pyramid, or Space Colony Ark level would've been tight.
Windmill Isle, another blue city level.  Not much else to say.
Tropical Resort.  Night-time stage in space.  Pretty cool.

So anyway, those are my opinions on the stages.  Someone did say that the reason there were so many "blue" levels is because Sonic Team was able to recycle stage assets.  Well, what can you say.  No use nitpicking because everyone is going to disagree with the stage selection.  Nonetheless, the game is very good and it shouldn't be too big of a deal.

Strange there was no Shadow the Hedgehog stages.  Or Sonic Adventure/Rush stages.  And only one Sonic CD stage.  Oh one cares about those games, lol.


I'm also going to point out the game's plot.  SPOILER ALERT FOR MANY SONIC GAMES!!!

Now the final boss is called the Time Eater.  You fight him in a stage called the Center of Time.  Why does Sonic Team continue to pull these absurd climaxes out of their ass that have villains with dimension-shattering abilities?

Like let's take a look at previous Sonic's.  Every Sonic game before Sonic was Eggman's up to no good, Sonic stops him.  In Sonic Adventure 1, Chaos becomes a big monster and floods the city then Super Sonic defeats him.  Plus not to mention the burning town, the dead chaos, and Tikal says "Oh no, how could this happen???" or something like that.  Pretty deep.

In Sonic Adventure 2, Eggman accidentally sends Space Colony Ark flying into the Earth but Sonic & Shadow stop it from doing so at the last minute.  Then there's the whole thing about Prof. Gerard and Maria dying.

Then there's Shadow the Hedgehog (I completely skipped Sonic Heroes because I forgot what happened) and it's all fudged up.  There's Black Doom and the aliens which kill everybody.  Then there's the profanity, the guns, and Shadow kills Eggman (in one ending).  Then in the final ending, Black Doom gasses everyone to death except for Shadow who is the only one able to save mankind.  Ooooooookay....???

Now Sonic 2006.  First, Sonic "dies."  Then Elise kisses Sonic and everyone shouts "BEASTIALITY!!!"  Then Sonic, Shadow, and Silver uses the Chaos emeralds to fight Iblis, a revived deity who is able to alter and destroy time itself.  Eventually, they save the world and send Elise back in time who forgets all memories of Sonic.

I don't even know what happened in Sonic Unleashed or Colors.  I'm not saying those games are bad but why can't we leave the world/galaxy/universe destruction to Final Fantasy or Zelda?  Like whatever happened to Eggman capturing innocent animals and putting them into robots?  I don't know, that's just my two cents.  The plots have become too ridiculous for Sonic, that's all.  Well, this Time Eater guy serves as an alibi to get Classic & Modern Sonic in the same game and I guess I'm cool with that.  As long as they don't descend into Shadow/Sonic '06 territory.


EDIT: I'm going to give an addendum to this post.  A few days after I made this post, I watched someone play from start to finish for a few hours.  Game seemed a bit short going in a straight line from start to finish.  Bosses didn't seem that hard.  The end fight against the Time Eater is another cheesy Super Sonic in space "touch the bad guy in the weak spot" thing.  Also, why isn't Big the Cat in this game?????  And why no Chao Garden?????

All the levels were gorgeous.  The visuals alone can sell the game.  Seaside Hill is a good substitute for a "water level."  Planet Wisp is a good substitute for an "Eggman level" although it's really damn damn long and annoying in terms of difficulty (SPIKES!!!  ROCKETS!!!).  Rooftop Run has strangely addicting music.  Anyway, Sonic Team must have taken the whole "omg too many similar levels" thing into consideration because they tried to differentiate them with different colors and stuff since even though there were four city levels (well, three, since one of them is nuked), they each had different stuff.  Like I spotted a fitness club in Speed Highway (treadmills, wtf).

I also like how in areas where you can fall to your death, you see the red sign.  Really helpful.  Worth giving props about.

Seriously, Sega must've poured a copious amount of effort into stellar visuals and audio, they should be commended for this.  Also worth saying many, many times.

And HAHAHA at these FOUR Spoilers Specific To Sonic Generations: Chaos in Space Pt. 2, the goal post sign blowing away in Crisis City, beating the crap out of Shadow and Silver for not showing up at Sonic's birthday party, and both Eggmans getting "stuck in time" in the ending.  GETALOADOFTHIS...

On a positive note, I really like the job they did with Classic Sonic.  I especially like his walk cycle. Kind of funny cause his feet look like a bicycle spoke.  He looks funny.  He's doesn't even talk, he makes funny noises like *bwoop!* and stuff, rofl!!

Secret Sonic Generations Easter Egg:

Hey, check it out guys, I found all the game's cutscenes!  Please do not remove for copyright infringement, Sega!!!

And Sega has yet to release the Sonic CD port for consoles.  So Sega is not resting on their laurels.  You shouldn't either.

Well, let's end on this.  Sega recently held a skateboard competition in Venice Beach, CA.  And Venice Beach is the mecca of Skateboarding.  Atta boy Sega, Sonic is BACK, BABY!!!

1 comment:

  1. Spoilers/reminders for plots of previous games to increase gaming knowledge and stuff:

    Heroes: Metal Sonic turned against Eggman in his obsession to destroy Sonic.

    Unleashed: I don't remember much here but Eggman splits the world open and awakens Dark and Light Gaia, the latter who takes the form of a fluffy animal thing. Only Super Sonic can save the day.

    Colors: Actually it was here where they returned to the simple formula of Eggman causing trouble with Sonic and Tails saving the day. Guess Sega had paid attention to complaints about too many characters adding nothing to the story, fighting godlike creatures, and Eggman not being the final boss (which he is here). Same guys did Generations, glad the Time Eater wasn't just another random monster.

    I thought Generations was good but because it was Sonic that got me into playing games, to me a lot of Classic Sonic just feels off or I felt they missed the mark on some things like his boss battles. I'm not one of those guys who demand the controls and physics be exactly as they were over ten years ago (though I'll never understand why it's been difficult for Sega to it pull off), but some things still leave me scratching my head. Not able to run through loops without an assist, and why they decided certain paths can only be accessed by using enemies as "platforms" to reach them. Once you're on a certain path, you're stuck on it. Stage design is good, has a lot of paths, but can be quite restrictive if you want to explore.

    On the other hand, Modern Sonic's formula, which I can't say I enjoyed in Unleashed or Colors, they finally got down for the most part. I'm no longer moving on a straight X or Y axis or trapped on a rail, there's now some decent platforming and it encourages some exploration, if not for the purpose of speed-running. Sonic's still a bit stiff on moving around, but it's still an improvement.

    I wish they included Hydro City and Final Rush/Chase. And about some concerns you had, they turned Classic Sonic's Seaside Hill into the token underwater level, and Planet Wisp serves as the trap-ridden Eggman Base level for the game.

    Well, I enjoyed it, and while I didn't expect it to be perfect, and while it's definitely worthy of being considered the 20th anniversary game, I can't help but play it thinking about what could've been done different or better. The effort is certainly there, especially with the challenge acts, the soundtrack is great, the unlockables... depends on your flavor.