Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sonic Generations: Blue Adventure

I'm reviewing a game I finished quite recently, Sonic Generations: Blue Adventure for the 3DS
My first criticism is the lack of fully-voiced and animated cut-scenes. Snake Eater 3D has them, Resident Evil Revelations has them, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance has them, and even Resident Evil: Deadly Silence on the DS has them! What's the excuse to not have them in this game? The only up-side to that is you don't have to listen to too much of Roger Craig Smith's god-awful voice-acting.
Another complaint is that Modern Sonic's gameplay isn't behind the back 3D like the console games, it's all pretty much in 2.5D, except when the angle shifts a bit to show off what you're doing as Modern Sonic.
One more thing I noticed is that they left out a lot of stutff, in no order they've got nothing from the following games:
Sonic CD, Knuckles Chaotix, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic 3, Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Battle,  Sonic Heroes, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Riders, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 06, Sonic Rush Adventure, Sonic The Hedgehog 4 part 1 or 2, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic Free Riders, SegaSonic The Hedgehog, or Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
Since it only includes levels from Sonic 1, 2, & Knuckles, Adventure, Adventure 2, Rush, and Colors, the game is extremely short, I finished it in less than two hours. Half the main bosses are just races between one Sonic and a hedgehog from the rest of the series he fought in a boss-fight, that's not to say those are easy, they're just not what they could have been.
As soon as I get my Xbox 360 fixed I'm going to do an LP on Sonic Generations: White Spacetime, but that's only got two more levels than Blue Adventure. For the classic stages (Sonic 1, 2, & Knuckles) they just remade the stages in 2.5D, when you play them as Modern Sonic they're pretty unique levels. The over-all design of the game is good and its shortness doesn't mean that it's not fun, it's just not worth paying more than ten dollars for.
Now, I was afraid that the level-select wasn't going to be very well implemented, but it was. Now, there's one thing I need to address, in the Colors stage, Tropical Resort, for Classic Sonic they use the DS version as the base and the music from the Wii version, that's fine only Modern Sonic's stage is a side-scrolling version of the opening stage and uses a remix of said music, which despite being absolutely fine, feels like they should have put it on the classic stage beforehand instead of the modern stage. Since the entire game is pretty much in 2.5D I used the D-pad for all the main levels and the analog nub only in special-stages, since that's the only time you control either Sonic in a behind the back 3D type angle. Another thing is that most of what happens isn't explained, even more of the simple cut-scenes would have been good, the only race-fight that gets explained is Metal Sonic, and most of the other boss-fights just happen without any context. I hope that White Spacetime is better with that.
One last thing I need to point out is that A) there's a lives system, and B) you only start out with two, how did they get stuck on only two lives? It was like that with Unleashed too, even the classic games start you off with three!
All in all it's not a bad game, but like I said, it's not worth forty bucks. I enjoyed it, but it should have had more levels, the 3DS game cards can hold 8 gigabytes (a little less than the DVD-DLs used for the Xbox 360) so why is this game so short? Ocarina of Time 3D has the entire world of Ocarina of Time in it with cut-scenes and colorful graphics, Snake Eater 3D is the entirety of MGS3, but with added 3D, FPS aiming mode, and some gyroscope controls, Chrono Trigger on the DS is pretty much the same as the original but with some added dungeons and such. They put A Link to the Past, TLZ, and Zelda 2 on the GBA and they last longer than this game! How is it that Capcom, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Konami manage to use the 3DS like a home console with REvelations, OoT3D, SF643D, Splinter Cell 3D, and Snake Eater 3D, but SEGA gives us a game that can be finished in less than the length of a James Bond movie? Like I said, it's not bad, but it would have been better with more levels from the rest of the games and a bit more context. Even White Timespace is missing a lot of levels from the games, it'd also have been cool if they came up with a few unique stages for the end so they could round it out, going all the way from Sonic 1 to the current game, but alas, it was not to be had. I was actually hoping that when the showed the credits that is was a false ending like in Black Knight or Adventure so that I could keep playing. After I started I was hooked and finished the game in one sitting. Fortunately there are challenge missions, but most are just you going through the stages you've completed in a certain amount of time or killing a certain kind of enemy a certain amount of times, or collecting something. The online mode plays a lot like the rival races, you versus a random opponent through one of the stages seeing who can get to the end first. Before I stop, I also need to address that in Modern Sonic's Green Hill Zone there's a platform that you have to jump on to and then ride to the top, there's a lot of platforms that you have to time your jumps precisely to actually keep going, and occasionally you can over-shoot them and fall. There's one stage where you have to time your boost precisely to keep going, and in the modern stage of Adventure 2 there are rockets you can easily dash by if you're boosting and fall off the edge. Back in Green Hills Zone and a lot of the classic areas there's a place where you have to slide under to keep going, or something that it would make sense for you to go into a spindash for, but since Modern Sonic only spin-dashes in the Special-stages you can only either slide if it's a low thing or boost if you have to go up a hill, but you run out of boost, and if you run out of boost you have to gain momentum by running back and forth between two hills or just by back-tracking a while and gaining speed, both of which add more time to the clock. Occasionally they try to make use of the 3D feature (Which I keep stubbornly turned off) by changing between three planes, a midground, a foreground, and a background, and sometimes (like when the ground in all three planes follows the same path) sometimes it looks like there's a platform where there's really empty space. Now, although it's easy to misjudge the placing of a platform the first time, there are also places where you can jump to attack an enemy, then boost and fall through the platform to your death in sme sort of glitch. Also in the modern Colors stage you can boost past a point where you were supposed to use the Laser Wisp to get past and wind up falling, this is a problem with taking stage layout from one game and using a completely different camera setup and slightly different mechanics, I only did this a couple of times though.
All in all I give it a 5.7* rating, it's too short, there's a lot of context missing, and the lives system shouldn't have been implemented. The game is still fun to play though, if you can find it cheap pick it up, it's pretty good. I hope SEGA decides to re-make the first few Sonic games the way they did the levels in this one, that would be great, even better than the DS collection of Sonic games.

Photo credit Wikipedia

Okay, last edit. A really good thing for the game would have been for them to have a stage unique to Generations and then end with the first stage of the next game so that Generations gets stuff from past, present, and future just to show that they're planning something new and epic, and the ending theme of Generations should have been Sonic Youth by Crush 40, just a LITTLE bit of foreshadowing to keep the buzz going. Can anyone say that that wouldn't have been totally cool?

Okay, this is really the last edit, back at the beginning I said that they had nothing from an entire list of Sonic games. That's not completely true, they just don't have levels from those, Metal Sonic and a few bosses from  the games I mentioned appear, just not any stages.