Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sonic Generations - First Impression

So in a first for me, I actually sat down for more than thirty minutes today and got wise on a couple of gaming reviews/articles and related comments (pfft, and I call myself a gamer). Immediately after reading a poorly written opinion piece about Square Enix (to be fair, the article brings up some good and entertaining points), I came across a trailer for the upcoming game, Sonic Generations:

In celebration of Sonic's 20 years of going from a renowned Blue Blur into a regularly anticipated disappointment, The Sonic Team is conjuring up another way to get back in touch with their audience by literally throwing the "Classic Sonic" that everyone screamed for into their faces. The premises of the game? Via Sonic Generations official Sega site:
"Sonic’s universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power creates ‘time holes’ which pull him and his friends back through time. As a result, he encounters some surprises from his past history including Classic Sonic, Sonic as he was in 1991. 
Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic must defeat this strange new enemy, save their friends, and find out who really is behind this diabolical deed…"
Now, I'm not bashing on a game that hasn't come out yet, but there are a couple of things already that irk me. First off, from just looking at the video and seeing the transition from Classic Sonic gameplay to Modern Sonic gameplay I stared at the screen for a few seconds and said, ".....THAT'S your selling point?" I might have had a different reaction if this was a collection of mini-games or time-trial stages, or even if it was two separate stories rolled onto one disc. Instead I find out that the game intends to share Sonic's newest adventure...with himself. Maybe it's not a bad thing, I can't tell for sure yet but I'll be damned if it's not an awkward concept to think about, not to mention it automatically raises red flags, given the Sonic Team's failed attempts at applying unique ideas for the past 6 years or so (though I suppose at this point that fate is inescapable, regardless of what they do).

For other things that bother me, I could go into technicalities and nitpick at how much of a "surprise" Classic Sonic would be to Modern Sonic, given it's his own "history" (I mean, he goes BACK IN TIME. Could you expect not to meet your old self in that scenario?) or I could mention how there's not too many consistently appearing, egg-shaped, long-limbed candidates in a red coat and machine goggles in the Sonic universe who could be behind anything "diabolical" that Sonic gets himself thrown into.

Aside from that, it's a game and it's Sonic, so it doesn't have to make sense to address the aforementioned concerns, but I still feel that the Sonic Team is addressing their "problems" in an awkward manner with this project. With all the fan-groaning that Sonic should have a "classic" game to counteract the stream of poorly-received newer titles (looking at you 2006 and Black Knight), it feels like this title may be overcompensating at an attempt to appeal to their fans.

From a first-glance perspective, I am actually pleased to see that whether you're playing Classic or Modern-style stages, you'll be getting blazingly fast platforming action we all know and love in Sonic's better games WITHOUT all the "creative" bullshit from the worse ones (shoutouts to Sonic Unleashed's night time stages).  For want of not falling into a vicious cycle, though, I'll hold my breath and see how the development plays out.

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