Sonic Generations for the Nintendo 3DS is the portable compliment to the HD game released in 2011 commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog series (sonic can almost drank ya'll!). Although it takes the same basic concept, classic and modern Sonic must defeat a villain that is causing havoc amongst the series timeline, the game feels very different from its Hi-Def cousins in ways other than graphic fidelity.
The gameplay in Sonic Generations is pretty similar to the gameplay in the Sonic Rush titles, which kind of brings the gameplay from previous entries full circle: many of the gameplay changes in recent titles have originated from the Rush series. But here, the game feels like a total reskinning of the Rush titles. There's a big emphasis on using the boost attack, and Classic Sonic gains the ability to do the homing attack pretty quickly (to compare, it was only available as a hidden extra in the HD version). Both playable characters feel the same, aside from the fact that Classic Sonic cannot boost. The level design also doesn't seem fluid compared to the HD versions. I reached Game Over in the Emerald Coast level quite a few times before I got it down. The other version made levels easy to get through, and replay value came in the form of perfecting the level and getting through it faster. Here, it's evident that Sonic Team's fetish for bottomless pits came back just in time to grace this version. It's not bad, just a completely different feel than the HD version.
The graphics in the game look a bit sharper than in Sonic Rush, but not as good as other 3DS titles. If Dead or Alive, Super Street Fighter IV, and Super Mario 3D Land can come out looking great, then Sonic should have no problem with jaggies. Everything has a really jagged look to it, and there's no improvement to the graphics when turning 3D off. Some of the levels look kind of dark compared to the HD version, and even when compared to the originals on the Genesis and the Dreamcast.
Presentation-wise, Sonic Generations is definitely the way to properly commemorate a series 20th anniversary. Menus are bright, colorful, and look like a classic sonic level. The soundtrack is filled with remixes of previous tunes from the series, and in addition, there are plenty of other songs from other games not represented that are unlockable to play in the background of each level. In addition, the game has a few features that allow use of the unique features of the 3DS. Street Pass is used in the form of player cards that allow plays to exchange profiles with information such as how long you've played the Sonic series and unlocked missions. There is also a two-player mode available over Wi-Fi that allows players to race through levels against one another.
Aside from gameplay, graphics, and the 3DS features, there are a few questionable things in the 3DS version of Sonic Generations. The boss battle from Sonic CD is in this version also, but it's set in the Casino Night level instead of Stardust Speedway. The inclusion of Mushroom Hill is really not of note, except that it's the start of a frustrating set of levels in the game, and it’s strange that the gloomy part of the level was included over the brighter part of the level. The ability to equip skills on the different Sonics is gone, and the Missions used to unlock other things in the game appear at seemingly random times.
Overall, Sonic Generations on the 3DS feels more like an extension of the Sonic Rush series than a version of its HD cousin. The game has the same difficulty curve of the Rush series, and it does not show too much of a difference between the Classic and Modern Sonic gameplay mechanics. The only thing it arguably does better is the missions used to unlock things, tying nicely into the portability of the 3DS system.
GameDynamo's Score for Sonic Generations (3DS)
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