Sonic Generations Preview Round-up, More Info & Gameplay Footage

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It appears SEGA’s embargo that IGN mentioned before has now lifted, as gaming websites SPOnG, CVG, Videogamer.com and GamesRadar have all just unleashed new previews of a near-final build of Sonic Generations, which give us some new nuggets of information. CVG has also provided new gameplay footage of Classic Sonic’s Sky Sanctuary Zone stage.

SPOnG’s preview is written by this website’s very own Svend Joscelyne/Dreadknux and tells us more about the game’s missions. Two new Speed Highway screenshots are also included.

Inbetween these stages, you’ll get the opportunity to play optional missions. There are five missions for both Classic and Modern Sonic in each zone, and will mix up the core stage in some form. Other characters will take an active role in helping you out, but for now we only know of Tails’ involvement in these levels. A mission called ‘Way Past Fast’ sees you race against the Tornado plane, piloted by the two-tailed fox

Other missions include Doppelganger races, against another Sonic, and a mission called ‘Look Out Below’ which challenges you to complete a remixed Green Hill Zone stage with breakable platforms. In each of these, the main elements of the core stage remains the same, but enemy placements will change and you may even explore completely different looking areas than you would in the main level

In Videogamer.com’s preview, there is an example of what part Sonic’s friends play in gameplay:

You don’t actually play as, say, Knuckles, but in one mission you can take advantage of the red echidna’s fists, where a tap of the button sends him burrowing into the ground for rings. As well as this there are time attacks, high speed challenges and doppelgänger races, which has you racing against the ‘other’ Sonic. Considering modern Sonic has homing attacks and the such, the odds are always stacked against his older, squatter counterpart – which is half the fun.

GamesRadar gives a bit more information about the opening of the game’s story:

The game’s plot is told through deliciously self-referential cut-scenes. Sonic eats chilli dogs while holding Amy at arms length literally with his whole hand over her face as she runs on the spot trying to get to him. But just as it’s getting all cosy, a vortex opens up in the space/time continuum and all of Sonic’s buddies (which include some Chaotix members) get sucked into it. Some cynics would likely be happy to leave the game there, having solved the most irksome problem of the past 19 years, but they’d be missing out on some gorgeous gameplay, so let’s carry on.

GamesRadar also previews the 3DS version and praises the 3D effect:

The 3DS version of Sonic Generations is very different compared to the ‘big’ game, but at the same time very similar in that the more platform-centric Classic Sonic levels are countered by faster, more dazzling Modern Sonic levels. But they all look great in 3D. I played for a long while with the 3D slider up full and it didn’t feel strained on my eyes, which was good. It can look a little simplistic in the over-the-shoulder Modern sections, but that’s to keep the speed and fluidity up, which is obviously vitally important.

All four previews are extremely positive, which is very good to see this close to release when reviews will soon be due. Will Sonic Generations be critically acclaimed? We’ll have to wait and see…

To read the full previews, head over to the links below.

Sources: SPOnG, CVG, Videogamer.com and GamesRadar [PS3/Xbox 360 & 3DS]

Thanks to SSMB member ForgeCircuit for the heads up!

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Videogamer.com on Sonic 4: “I think I enjoyed Sonic Colours more”

Videogamer.com’s Jamin Smith has posted up a preview of his play test of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 at SEGA’s recent press event in London. While some fans in the Sonic community have found a lot to complain about in Sonic 4‘s mechanics, Jamin Smith thinks the homing attack is the only real change.

This is the only fundamental change to the core mechanics of the game; everything else is pretty much how you’d remember it.

Smith has taken note of other new elements in the game though, such as Lost Labyrinth Zone’s torch mechanic and feels new ideas like this make the game live up to it’s title.

Of course there are new features to make it worthy of the number four in its title, and the few I saw were fairly well sewn into the experience. The second act of the Lost Labyrinth Zone, for example, is completely bathed in darkness. Thankfully Sonic is sensible enough to have brought a torch with him, which illuminates the area immediately around him. It’s also used to light candles, which open doors and raise platforms around the level.

An interesting puzzle with the torch is mentioned about that same Act of Lost Labyrinth too, one that Smith seemed to have some trouble with.

There was a particular puzzle late in the level that involved lighting candles in the right sequence so that the correct platforms are raised in the correct order to progress. This stumped me for some time, however, and I actually managed to reach the ten minute time limit that each level has in place. I’ve never quite understood why this would kill Sonic, but it does, and I died.

Overall, Smith thinks the game is a good platformer and looks great, but had much more fun with Sonic Colours.

I’m slightly concerned that with Sonic 4, my judgment has been clouded somewhat by the mists of nostalgia. If I’m honest with myself, I think I enjoyed Sonic: Colours more than Sonic 4, which isn’t at all what I would have predicted a few weeks back. Don’t get me wrong, Sonic 4 is a very competent platformer, paying homage to the originals whilst bringing something new to the series at the same time. It looks great too, with gorgeous 2.5D visuals and slick new animations. Still, I couldn’t help thinking it should have offered something slightly more, but quite what that ‘more’ might entail I have no idea. The only thing that will prove or soothe these worries is playing the full game, and despite a few reservations, I’m very much looking forward to doing so.

Do you agree with Jamin Smith’s thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1? Discuss in the comments.

For the full preview, head over to Videogamer.com