After the surprisingly fantastic Sonic Colors
, I began to look forward to Sega's newest creative take on their famed mascot. The concept of two Sonics - modern and classic - co-existing was too meta and silly for my tastes at first, but I warmed up to the idea after playing a demo.
What this game easily does right is the two gameplay styles. There's no denying that the Sonic
games played very differently on the Genesis than they do now, and it was great not only to revisit classic Sonic
games, but to take classic Sonic into the modern era. Likewise with the reverse. The reimagining of classic levels in 3D, and modern levels in 2D is very well done. My personal favorites are classic Crisis City, and modern Chemical Plant. I also fully expected to hate Sky Sanctuary (I hated it back on the Genesis), but ended up loving the modern version of it. It's probably my third-favorite level in the game.
Some "modern Sonic" versions of the already modern levels, however, fail to capture their original appeal. As much as I disliked Sonic 2006
, I loved Crisis City. The modern version of it feels like a very different level, with new obstacles like chunks of ground floatining on lava, which need to be pushed down to move on. It's very much not the same level. Likewise, I'm not happy with the new Speed Highway.
Also done well is the differentiation between modern Sonic and classic Sonic. Classic Sonic is less "cool" and more cartoony, with funnier animations and a very different personality. If modern Sonic is a teen concerned with his image, classic Sonic is like a hyperactive kid who puts up an air of "cool" in front of his friends. These are definitely not the exact same character, even though they have a lot in common. I find classic Sonic to be endearing, and would like to see him return for more games.
Unfortunately, what brings the game down for me, is the lack of levels, and the challenges used to compensate. There are 9 settings, with a modern and classic level each. To add extra content, there are 10 challenges per setting, but most of them are short and not that much fun for me. I'd rather have additional levels, like Sonic Colors
did. Do that instead, and I'd easily call this the better game.