SONIC GENERATIONS (2011) – SONIC TEAM
The Sonic series has always struck me as a curious oddity – I started playing games a bit too late to experience of the glory days of Sega’s famous mascot in the early 90s on the Mega Drive/Genesis, and growing up with a PlayStation meant that I had a litany of other characters to worship instead. Then as time has progressed, Sonic has always been in the background more as a running joke (no pun intended) than a character to take seriously – the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 and the most recent games, Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric & Shattered Crystal, while extreme are also prime examples of a once proud franchise falling on particularly hard times. However, even my unfamiliarity and large indifference with the series didn’t stop me snapping up a bunch of Sonic titles on the cheap during a Humble Bundle sale last year, one of which was Sonic Generations.
The 2011 entry, which combines the gameplay styles of both ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ Sonic into one package, proved to be a handy entry point into everything I’ve missed over the years – both for better and for worse. Continue reading Two Worlds Collide, Rival Hedgehogs… – Sonic Generations Review
Good day everyone – I’m currently in a library and taking a break from my work; time for a news update on all things gaming methinks.
- We start with a game that has been anticipated for quite some time now – Batman: Arkham City. As I write this article the game has become available on European shores, and if the reviews that have been flying around for it are any indication, it may well be sold out by the end of the day. It currently holds an unbelievable average score of 95 on Metacritic, four points ahead of its nearest competitors this year (in the form of Gears Of War 3, FIFA 12 and the ICO/Shadow Of The Colossus HD Collection) – all the more stunning when you realise that Arkham City is only the third game that Rocksteady Studios have ever produced. It may well be the case however that it soon gets knocked back a peg on the Metacritic scale – early reviews for Uncharted 3 have hinted at 97%, and The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword has earned a ridiculous 98% in a Nintendo publication. Seems I might have to readjust my scoring system again soon to deal with such high figures of praise.
- Bioware confirmed via its Twitter account today that Mass Effect 3 will be getting a demo in January 2012, showing off both elements of single and multiplayer action. It will be nice to see how the new multiplayer modes work before committing oneself to the purchase of the full game, and it has been heavily hinted at a beta as well. Considering the recent success of the Battlefield 3 open beta test, EA would be fools not to implement it
- The Soul Calibur series is well known for allowing characters from other series into its fighting action – Link turned up in Soul Calibur 2, and Yoda & Darth Vader showed up to kick ass and take names in Soul Calibur 4. And now, Ubisoft have got in on the action by letting Ezio Auditore of the Assassins Creed series make his way into the upcoming Soul Calibur 5. You can watch Ezio pull off some sweet moves in this official trailer video.
- A while back, I did a quick and informal review for the Sonic Generations demo that was available for a limited time on both PSN and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Well, now Sega have come back with a new and improved demo, that not only allows you to play as Classic Sonic in the Green Hill Zone again, but offers a new 3D take on the level as well as Modern Sonic rips up the course.
- Early sales reports show that FIFA 12 has outsold PES 2012 by a factor of 25 to 1 on a like-for-like opening weekend. How the times have changed…
- Guess what PS3 fans? You have ANOTHER HD collection coming your way! Confirming the rumours floating around, the Devil May Cry series is to indeed get the now standard HD update with trophy and achievement support. I guess this is as much to drive up anticipation for the series reboot, DmC, as it is to make profit. And while it will be nice to play DMC3 again (the only one I ever got my hands on), the more collections get confirmed the more I lose my faith that there is a sense of originality currently floating around the industry – the PS2 – (and only God knows how) isn’t even out of production yet, and yet we are getting so many remakes. That said, I would pay good money to have Vice City updated….
- Finally, to all those who were perhaps a bit unsatisfied by the storyline in Gears Of War 3, here is some news that might perk you up – the first piece of campaign DLC takes place before the original Gears Of War, and you get to play as General RAAM – you know, the ugly bastard that took so long to kill on Insane mode, with Kryll shields and all. I’m easily impressed, and have to say that this sounds like an ace proposition. ‘RAAM’s Shadow’ will be available exclusively on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 points on December 13th 2011.
That’s your lot for now, and if you have picked up either Arkham City or the newly released Football Manager 2012, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. I leave you with the 1960’s Batman theme as celebration. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA…….
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011
Today marks the day when one of the icons of the gaming industry celebrates its 20th anniversary. Yep, its time to wish a happy 20th birthday to Sonic The Hedgehog; he’s almost as old as me, and a damn sight more successful as well. It seems ridiculous that it was so long ago (June 23rd 1991 to be precise) that gamers were first popping the Sonic The Hedgehog cartridge into their Mega Drive’s and hearing the Green Hill Zone theme for the first time, but time stops for no man…or hedgehog.
Although I cannot consider myself a true fan of the series (my boyhood mascot was another marsupial, Crash Bandicoot), I can at least appreciate the impact that SEGA’s mascot has had on the gaming world; it was due to the impact of Sonic in 1991 against Nintendo’s Mario that we got the fantastic Mega Drive vs. SNES battle in the early 90’s (which led to the production of some of the finest games ever made and the advancement of the industry as a whole), and over the years he has come to represent all that is good (and bad as well it must be said in recent years) about SEGA. And to celebrate in style, SEGA are giving the world Sonic Generations, a game which aims to recreate the classic Sonic experience and mesh it together with the modern Sonic game that started with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast.
Now I’ve covered Sonic Generations before on my blog, because it interests me whether or not SEGA can truly bring back the glory days of the franchise; Sonic The Hedgehog 4; which also promised to do the same thing, left a bitter taste in many gamers mouths. Happily, a demo of the first stage (a remake of the iconic Green Hill Zone) was released today for a limited period of 20 days on both Xbox Live Arcade and the PSN Store, and I have had some hands on time with it to see what’s up.
- First things to notice; the classic menu music is present and accounted for, and there is an option for changing the camera for 3D televisions. Since I still live in the world of 2D, I’ll pass this over for now, but its nice to see they have already incorporated it for a demo. Time to start methinks…
- The loading screen, which is heavily reminiscent of the original, comes on and boldly states ‘Green Hill’. And we are straight into the action, and they’ve left the classic music! This already improves my opinion of the game (the trailers showed had dance music and stuff).
- You take control of Classic Sonic for this demo, and the controls are as beautifully simple as they always were: the A button lets you jump, you can spin dash by repeatedly pressing the X button and you move left or right. Everything that was present in the original is here: the rings, the crab and bees that serve as enemies, the bridge with the jumping fish, the spin dash tunnels and those loop-the-loops which stunned people 20 years ago, but then there’s lots more added. There are platforms to jump across which help to break up the level a bit, dynamic camera views on certain parts of the level (including a circular passage of a mountain and a big jump across land), and they even threw in a corkscrew from the Emerald Hill Zone right at the end. If you played the original, I can only think you will be experiencing an acute sense of nostalgia when you play this level.
- The best thing about the gameplay though is that it feels fast, and that has always been what Sonic should be about. It’s a breakneck run through the level, and at the various checkpoints you get a time for the section that you just passed, encouraging faster runs through the level. If you remain stationary, Sonic will even start looking at the screen and tapping his foot, ready to get going like he did in the originals. A fantastic little touch.
- There’s only one stage to look at, but my word this game looks good. The backgrounds are fully 3D, and full of colour and animation; you can see the water trickling along in the background as well as the trees swaying in the breeze. The foreground where you do the running also looks pristine as well, the aforementioned dynamic cameras are unobtrusive, and the game manages to keep looking good when Sonic is flying through the tunnels and loop-the-loops. I would be very impressed if the whole game looked like this.
Unfortunately you only get the one stage, but it was enough to leave me coming away with a smile on my face. I went back and played the level a few more times to explore what I had missed, and there’s a lot to look at. I think those who were sceptical of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 will be won over by this. Let’s just hope the rest of the game, and in particular the ‘modern’ stages, don’t let the game down.
So 20 years after its birth, it looks like SEGA have finally got it right again with Sonic Generations. Download the demo now (remember, it’s a limited trial demo) and see for yourself; I would be interested to see what people make of it and you can of course comment on this post to let me know what you think. And if you want more Sonic action, check out my post from yesterday which outlines details of the upcoming deals promotion that will be running on PSN and Xbox Live.