Jun 28, 2011

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Hands On: Sonic Generations Demo

Hands On: Sonic Generations Demo

The other day, Sega announced an exclusive, timed release of the Sonic Generations demo. The demo will only be around for 20 days, so I made sure to obtain it as soon as possible. With similar ideas and concepts being applied to Generations as say, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Part 1, it was hard to say if this title would hit or miss. Upon playing the demo, I got a very strong impression of the game.

Generations is basically a throwback in honor of the 20th anniversary of the original title, and is another one of Sega’s attempts to re-establish the series. With the 660 megabyte demo size, you would think there is a lot going on, but you are only given one stage. Naturally, you play Green Hill Zone, and the references to history are abundant. Just about everything is a throwback to the original game, up to and including the soundtrack.

The level, however, is different; rather than duplicating the original layout, instead it offers a similar feel. Just about everything has been redone, which sounds better from a graphic standpoint, but manages to lose some of the original charm. For example, the crabs have additional animations before attacking, bees lasers charge, fish jump in the background. These are easy to ignore, as the game focuses on being fast. Sure, it is Sonic, though that can only go so far. So much of the demo is seen for split seconds, and moving at that speed will take some getting used to, especially for fans of the old Sonic.

Currently, the demo feels like they are going to make the same flaws they made with Sonic 4. For anyone who did not play that game, it was fun, but took too much from the originals to excite anyone. The biggest worry I have is the speed. I can see that being very bothersome for many and causing serious problems in more platform-based stages.  The other disappointment was the fact that this demo only illustrated the “old” Sonic portion of Generations, which is supposed to be a blend of both the old and new.  Perhaps they will release a second demo later to show off how the “new” Sonic levels will play, but for now, Sonic fans will have to live with this tiny taste.

For those of you who got a chance to play the demo, what were your impressions? Does Generations look to be heading in the right direction, or has Sega taken another Sonic misstep? Let us know in the comments.