Preview: Sonic Generations 3D

Fearing the latest Sonic release bucks traditional Sonic conventions yet again and opts for a newer, “cooler” look, complete with cheesy rock and terrible mechanics? Get outta town, guy. This is the most “classic” Sonic adventure yet. Sonic Generations 3D, which I happily devoured in the comfort of the sprawling Sega booth, will thrill both old-school and new-school fans of the fastest thing alive. I took a seat at the PlayStation 3 complete with 3D glasses (more like goggles if you ask me, with the way the cord had to be banded around my head) and strapped myself in for a remixed Sonic stage, side-scrolling deliciousness, and a remixed and remastered stage from Sonic Adventure.

Goggles on and ready to go, the first things I noticed were the crispness of the 3D, interesting perspectives on a familiar game, but also the slightly choppy frame rate which I did attribute to the addition of 3D. Jumps that would have been simple had they remained on the Genesis were suddenly much harder ordeals, so much so that I had issues making even the simplest platforming work. Over and over I fell onto the waiting spikes below, mistiming every single jump, getting Sonic over the edge, and desperately snatching up rings in an attempt to keep the game going.

But when Sonic’s fast, he’s REALLY fast. The sense of speed long absent from recent Sonic outings is back, and in a big way. Even with the occasional choppiness I could practically feel the wind blowing through my quills. Obviously this is quite significant, as you’ve had to stretch a bit to feel even slightly as if you were going as fast as it felt when Sonic was first introduced. Rather than being forced to make detours here and there in order to progress, these remixed levels feel much more like a cohesive effort designed to get you from beginning to end as quickly as possible. It’s true. Sonic Colors truly was one of the first steps in the right direction.

Eye-popping colors, remixed familiar tunes, and a selection of familiar stages ensure that Sonic Generations will certainly turn out to be one of the better attempts at bringing Sonic back to his roots – how could it not be, seeing as these are all levels we’ve seen before? In addition, attendees to Sega’s Sonic Boom E3 party will be featured at some point (perhaps during the game’s opening) shouting “Happy birthday, Sonic!” of which yours truly was one of the contributors, which is just one more reason to check out what could be a major turning point for Sega and our favorite hedgehog when Sonic Generations races onto the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and even Nintendo 3DS later this year.

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