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LTTP: Sonic Generations - Never Up to Speed


Oct 25, 2017

Finally bought it on Steam since I've been Nintendo-only until my 2016 PC could finally pull off 7th gen graphics reliably.

The good:

-Variation and tasting the gimmicks of each of the games you're passing through. A small taste of Wisp power, a little bit of wall-jumping or light-speed dash. Part of classic Sonic's appeal, to me, was gimmicks that came and went before they outstayed their welcome. You missed the depth of a really refined system that way, but polish was *never* the franchise's strong suit, even if the early games are largely very sound, and you have fun constantly experiencing bits of new things, mastering them over the course of a stage before you move on to the next thing.

-Reinventing the modern stages in the Genesis style. This feels like the most original contribution of the game, while the Genesis-era Act Two stages are just okay, the post-Genesis Act One stages take the greater scale of the 3D games and throw them into a the 2D space creating something that feels very fresh. Getting chased by the truck in City Escape Act 1 had a certain thrill to it that went beyond mere nostalgia.

-The adventures of Eggman and Eggman.

Whatever they pay Mike Pollock, it's not enough.

The middling:

Stage choice. It's going to be a magnet because everyone's going to have their own Sonic Generations Choice lineup. There are some great choices, but the game's tendency to lean on early-game stages holds it back, notably City Escape *and* Seaside Hill being back to back raises an eyebrow, especially when both games have a few stages that are more iconic. I give them props for Crisis City (for giving you just the taste of Sonic '06, lord knows that's all you need), for Planet Wisp being beautiful and clever, and for Sky Sanctuary being one of the underappreciated Sonic 3 & Knuckles stages (though not the best choice).

For my money:
Sonic 1 - Green Hill
Sonic 2 - Chemical Plant
Sonic 3 & Knuckles - Flying Battery
Sonic Adventure - Lost World
Sonic Adventure 2 - Green Forest
Sonic Heroes - Bullet Station
Sonic '06 - Crisis City
Sonic Unleashed - Chun-Nan
Sonic Colors - Planet Wisp

The extra challenges: these are scattershot. Some like the elemental shield challenge or the one where you chase Espio around Speed Highway were inventive and fun, some are just there, and the doppelganger races have no element of interactivity to them, disguised timer challenges.

The bad:
The running theme of this is that the game is undercooked.

Most of us were around to see the decline and fall of Sega, but the fall was a long fall and in several phases, from the end of the Dreamcast they still trucked along as a broad-based publisher with a lot of good ideas through the end of the 6th generation, but then the 7th gen dawned and there was the disaster of Sonic '06. Okay, they right the ship with Sonic Unleashed, a big-budget game with a repetitive Werehog mechanic and thrilling if kind of shallow daytime stages. But along came Sega's financial straits of 2011, the one that got Bayonetta 2 initially cancelled where Sega cut back drastically on their publishing business. This game was probably far enough along the pipeline that it shouldn't have been effected by that, but it clearly was.

It's just too short, and other elements of it come up skimpy, like the weak bonus content (the art gallery is egregiously bare-bones compared to what it could have been) a short game, and a number of stages befitting a Genesis game, and you have to wonder if the game's anemia in so many respects is due to a lack of budget.

But it's odd in that regard because other post-Unleashed games feel meatier, like Sonic Colors or even Lost World. More well-realized and whole. What made it into the game feels complete, but the game itself feels like a shadow of what it could have been. To speak to the thread title: it feels like right when you're getting in the groove of playing the game, around Planet Wisp and the Egg Dragoon, it's over. Sonic does not have enough runway.


Oct 25, 2017
I have to agree it felt too short. There weren't too many activities to do after you finish the game. Also, the final boss is underwhelming. It doesn't even have a good music track to begin with. That said, I still loved it.

If you play in PC OP, there are mods that add many new elements like play with Shadow for example, or add new maps. In fact, I recall playing a mod that brings most of HD Unleashed day stages to Generations. Think they also added later Eggman Land.


Oct 22, 2018
a sunken pirate ship
I will never be upset that the presentation is lacking when the things that I play Sonic games for were mostly all extremely well realized (I'll not get into a debate about this game's hard-coded slope physics. They are acceptable for what the game sets out to do in my opinion, even if they by nature cannot feel like a replication of classic Sonic). Putting as little between the stages and me is something I think ought to be celebrated, though I agree that the minimalism is quite stark after something as big as Unleashed.

And, yes, I wish they'd drawn from a broader range of stages. I personally might well have preferred Frog Forest or maybe even Mystic Mansion for the Heroes representation.


Oct 30, 2017
Lost world did not feel more substantial c'mon. They're both short, they both have side content and red rings but Generations is much more fun to replay than Lost World was.


Oct 25, 2017
All these Team Sonic Racing threads recently made me want to replay some other Sonic games. With SASRT beaten I was thinking to follow it with Sonic Generations. I loved the game back then besides that awful final boss. It was short, sure but I spent several hours getting S-ranks and replaying the levels just for pure fun.

I still don't know why Sega didn't re-release Generations on this gen in that gigantic window between Lost World and Sonic Forces.

Okay, they right the ship with Sonic Unleashed, a big-budget game with a repetitive Werehog mechanic and thrilling if kind of shallow daytime stages. But along came Sega's financial straits of 2011, the one that got Bayonetta 2 initially cancelled where Sega cut back drastically on their publishing business. This game was probably far enough along the pipeline that it shouldn't have been effected by that, but it clearly was.
Yeah. Generations, Lost World and Forces feel like they were developed with 1/5 budget of Unleashed. I hope next main 3D title have a reasonable budget


Oct 25, 2017
Generations is dandy and a better game overall, but Sega never came close to the highs of Unleashed with any of the other boost titles, or Lost World for that matter. For one thing the 2D creeps more and more into the formula until you have Forces with its like twenty minutes of 3D gameplay, most of which might as well be on rails anyway.

It’s a shame that game’s main gimmick is so egregiously stupid and off-putting, even though its execution could have been a lot worse. The Werehog read as just another jump the shark moment in a franchise that already had several.

I will say the gimmick for Generations is kind of ingenious in that you can’t really argue with it. In other Sonic games, you stop playing Sonic to go treasure hunting, or fishing, or nighttime brawling. In Generations you stop playing Sonic to... play more Sonic. The classic levels are clearly designed to squeeze more gameplay out of the assets, but it’s all good because you’re still playing as Sonic doing Sonic things. It was also the best approximation of classic gameplay at that point in at about a decade, and it took until Mania to beat it. Certainly better than either part of bloody Sonic 4.

Anyway it’s a cool, solid 7-8/10 game that I revisit every now and again. The sheen has come off a little, especially with Mania coming out and being the first game that’s truly great with no hesitation, though Generations is at least good with only a few minor flaws relative to its predecessors.
Oct 25, 2017
I was literally just playing this like an hour ago on the Xbox One. Last time I played it was when it came out.

So far I still think it’s a pretty great game, but I do remember the final boss kinda souring me on the whole experience back when I played it years ago. I also am not of a fan of some of the stage choices, Sonic 06 did not deserve any representation whatsoever.


Dec 3, 2018
Sonic Generations is definitely too short but what it has is really good. I do feel like the game got rushed at the end (either for budget or time constraints). If I remember right, the original concept also had Adventure Sonic and Storybook stages which would have been awesome. What my stage selection would have been:

Sonic 1 - Green Hill Zone (You need to have it in the game. You just need to)
Sonic 2 - Chemical Plant Zone (Most iconic zone in the game)
Sonic 3K - Sky Sanctuary (It was a good choice. Got nothing against it)

Sonic Adventure - Emerald Coast (It's iconic and we need a beach level)
Sonic Adventure 2 - Final Rush (Level variety with a space station)
Sonic Heroes - Hang Castle (Who doesn't love a spooky level)

Sonic 06 - Crysis City (A good choice)
Sonic Unleashed - Dragon Road (Or Savanah Citadel. I understand going with Rooftop Run due to how iconic it is tho)
Sonic Colors - Tropical Resort (Eggman base representation)

Had they represented more games:

Sonic CD - Stardust Speedway
Sonic and the Secret Rings - Night Palace(That stage in HD would be the dream)
Sonic and the Black Knight - Deep Forest (Forest stage)

Soo many good stages and they couldn't all fit in one game unfortunately. I recommend modding Generations for maximum fun. People have ported the Unleashed daytime stages and even made some of their own levels that are pretty good.

Big Yoshi

Nov 25, 2018
City escape honestly might be the second most recognizable sonic level, and ifnit isnt its definatley 3rd. (Green hill being 1 and chemical plant being 2).

If ghere was a sequel Id rather they just make levels out of all of the weird ass spinoffs than the same games again
Something Like

Sonic CD: Stardust Speedway
Sonic R: Resort Island
Sonic Spinball: Toxic Caves
Sonic Riders: Garden of Babylon
Shadow The Hedgehog: Westopolis
Sonic The Fighters: River Run



Oct 26, 2017
I don't think it's that short more than the side gameplay (Classic) stages are completed faster, the Werehog. Remember the Modern Sonic stages are huge so they take a lot of time to create.

Virtua Sanus

Nov 24, 2017
At the time my only real major complaints were the huge missed opportunities with dialog and storytelling they had. The writers for this were the same for Colors and it shows in the worst way.

The game itself has a ton of weird and unfortunate choices, but the dumbest ones for me are the focus on city themed levels and having a BS one zone per game rule. Sonic 1, 2 and Adventure should've gotten at least one more zone each, Sonic 3 and CD being skipped for trash like 06 is irredeemable. Colors honestly should not have gotten a level either considering how new it was at the time and how it was not even on Xbox, PlayStation or PC. Rush being the only handheld game repped is also lame.

On top of that they seriously missed their chance at DLC! Sonic fans at the time woulda paid out of the wazoo for even halfway decent extra levels. Hell, they coulda been based on stuff like Riders or Shadow's game and they would have all been a hit. I remember at the time having a dream about a 'spinoff expansion pack' with Lava Powerhouse Zone from Spinball, Reactive Factory Zone from R and a boss based on Shuffle. Still sorta bummed it was just a dream! That would have been wild even if those are super weird choices.

Gotta give the devs credit though. They had balls even considering Sonic 06 content. And they did such an excellent job with those levels, they are some of my favorites!

Mr Swine

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
I love Generations but I wish the story was set up differently with both Eggmen bickering on how to fix the Time Eater during the game.

Instead we get 2 scenes with both of them at the end of the game. So much potential wasted 😭😭😭


Jan 31, 2018
I can't say I was the biggest fan of Generations. The level design was often lacking after Sky Sanctuary, ranging from the boring (Seaside Hill) to the downright annoying (Crisis City with its platform stomping or Planet Wisp with its love of bottomless pits). People also tend to forget half the game consists of little mini challenges that no one would actively choose to play over the main modes.

Still, the soundtrack was indeed amazing. That Door Into Summer remix in the collection room? Perfect.


Sep 4, 2018
Stardust Speedway WAS represented, it was the Bad Future version used for the Metal Sonic battle.


Oct 25, 2017
Lost world did not feel more substantial c'mon. They're both short, they both have side content and red rings but Generations is much more fun to replay than Lost World was.
When I reached the end of Sonic Lost World, I didn't go "that's it?" like I did with this game. Although Lost World's final boss felt anticlimactic after you fight that red guy from the Deadly Six. That was an epic encounter and did a better job of the same concept than Nintendo did with the final boss of New Super Mario Bros 2. Then you fight an endless-runner Eggman boss where he shoots at you or something?

The finale was the only part of that game that felt unfinished, whereas the austerity of Generations is felt throughout.

(I stan for Lost World. It was the way forward, damnit).