Speed and Green Hills – Shot of Sonic Generations

I have a little bit of a confession. I haven’t really enjoyed replaying the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on PC. It made me wonder whether I ever enjoyed the game or just remember with rosy tinted glasses because it is a classic.

Playing Sonic Generations reminded me what I love about the series. Speed.

With my Xbox 360 boxed up for a week, my PS3 was given an opportunity to be more than a noisy DVD player (at 7 years old, it isn’t all that healthy). Spotting my unplaced copy of Somic Generations seemed like a great choice for a quick arcades gaming session.

I’m going to gloss over the awful voices and annoying tutorial character (“what could be the harm in getting button reminders?”. Fool.) and get to raw gameplay.

At first I was frustrated. With my brightness set too high and moving so quickly it was a challenge to spot enemies but it was made more annoying by the loss of speed. As a basic jump here, jump there platformer, it was sub par. Getting going after a mistake was slow and cumbersome. This was the same thing annoyed me with the PC port I have. It wasn’t fun. I found myself doubting that I could have ever enjoyed the series.

Then came the more 3D level where the camera moved position drastically throughout. At times the was very little control as you bounced and went speeding through the level. I loved it. Whether I was actually playing the game or spectating I’m not sure but it was fast and fun. After completing the level (and an awful cutscene) I wanted to play again. Then I replayed that frustrating “classic” style level. That was fun too.

I’m not entirely sure why but I needed that high speed 2D level to remind me why I loved Sonic. Perhaps it got me thinking and playing in the right manner as I smashes my previous score and time.

I’m glad I played Sonic Generations tonight[*]. I’m not sure if the on rails experience got good reviews (and I can’t be arsed googling) as combined with the auto lock it might be considered to be dumbing down by critics but personally, it was a bit of a buzz.

[*] This will probably get posted a week after being written.

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