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  • 8.8:
    • Game Informer's review for Sonic Generations gave it a 6.75 — equal to Sonic 2006. One YouTube reviewer went so far as to call Game Informer out on their opinions in the middle of his own review. Game Informer drew in even more hate when the reviewer responded to people complaining about said review by insulting them in the letters section.
    • While IGN's review gave the game a fairly good score otherwise, the reviewer going out of his way to pan the music accompanying Modern Sonic's stages and questioning those who do like it caused a significant amount of backlash regardless. It doesn't help that IGN has had a history of badmouthing Sonic games, no matter the actual quality or general perception, which continues in full swing to this day.
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: While the game is more or less very well received by fans from other countries, the Russian Sonic fanbase loathed it. One YouTuber from Russia even called it Sonic Degradations.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • Omochao is back, and he's as annoying as ever. Thankfully, the main menu contains the option to turn him off.
    • The entire cast during the final battle in the console version. Not only is the Time Eater also That One Boss, but the one hint you really need, namely "aim at the core and boost" gets drowned out by a dozen repetitions of "that looks like a homing shot". Equally useless is the final instruction, which tells the player to press two buttons at the same time to combine the two Sonics' power. You are actually supposed to keep holding them until the cutscene ends in order for it to work.
  • Ass Pull: Classic Tails randomly shows up out of nowhere without any explanation after you finish the battle after Death Egg Robot/Big Arm. Word of God is they tried to make another cutscene earlier on to give him a proper introduction, but ran out of time.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: The finale of the game established once and for all, in-canon, that Dr. Eggman's real name is still Dr. Ivo Robotnik, intended to curb the fandom debates about which of them was his real name or not. The good doctor humorously notes this when addressed as his real name by Tails, saying "Nobody calls me that anymore."
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • In the Console version, Shadow for being filled with fanservice to Sonic Adventure 2 fans, Silver for being genuinely enjoyable to fight despite his infamously bad boss level in Sonic 06, and Perfect Chaos because it shows Sonic's growth by having you take him on without the assistance of the Chaos Emeralds.
    • The 3DS' Egg Emperor is considered an improvement over its original boss fight, due to having a fair attack pattern and lacking the massive health bar it had in Sonic Heroes. The Time Eater, unlike its Console counterpart, has also received praise, due to its varied attacks, good use of both Classic and Modern Sonic and the absence of the secondary characters' commentary.
  • Best Level Ever:
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    • More or less the whole point of the game, as it was pretty much meant to reimagine some of the series' best levels ever, and suffice to say it succeeds with some really great level designs and absolutely beautiful Scenery Porn. Special note goes to Classic Green Hill, Speed Highway and Rooftop Run, and Modern Sky Sanctuary, City Escape, and Seaside Hill.
    • The Modern Era is generally seen as the highlight of the 3DS version, due to challenging but fair level design, good integration of Wisp powers, and creative new gimmicks like the underwater chase in Classic Water Palace or the meteor shower in Modern Tropical Resort. It's also capped by a boss battle against the Egg Emperor that improves upon the original in pretty much every way.
  • Breather Level: Rooftop Run is sandwiched in between Crisis City and Planet Wisp. Unlike these two levels, which punish the player's mistakes and have long sections of fancy platforming, Rooftop Run is a fairly straightforward level that strongly encourages the player to abuse the Spin Dash/Sonic Boost and has only a few easily avoidable obstacles.
  • Broken Base:
    • The entire game itself can qualify with fans claiming that its a good game despite its obvious lack of a plot, while others claim that the lack of one really drags it down.
    • The amount of content in the game has become a point of contention in the years after its release, as the game only has 18 main stages evenly divided between the two gameplay styles, and they range from 4-7 minutes long your first time through. Some believe that the amount of content wasn't enough to justify the game's price considering the length of previous Sonic games (even Colors which wasn't that long itself), and that the game should have had more stages or more meaningful replay value. Others believe that the large amount of alternate paths in each level provides enough replay value on its own, and also point out that Sonic Unleashed was criticized for having the Werehog take about 2/3 of the game in total playtime. Many were hoping that there would be Downloadable Content that would add more well-loved stages to the game later on such as Ice Cap Zone and Egg Fleet, but were disappointed when it was revealed that the only DLC would be a Casino Night-based pinball minigame.
    • The decision to represent Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) with a level and a boss fight in this game. Some fans would prefer that Sega call complete Canon Discontinuity on Sonic 06 and pretend it never existed, and that it has no place in a game celebrating Sonic's history. They often also add that, because the plot of Sonic 06 ends by erasing itself from existence, referencing its events creates a Continuity Snarl. Others argue that despite the poor reception of 06, it is still nonetheless part of the series and that its representation in this game allows some of its better elements to finally shine through. The facts that Crisis City turned out to be a Best Level Ever and Silver the Hedgehog had a much better battle in Generations have greatly helped the latter case.
    • For Classic Sonic, does making the spin dash activate with a single button that also gives you a fully charged spin dash speed turn the spin dash into a glorified boost button? Or does it make more sense to have it mapped to a specific button instead of requiring a series of button presses to reach max spin dash speed, helping to better keep the flow of Classic Sonic's stages? Considering what counts as 'boost to win' is one of the biggest gameplay related things fans can't see eye to eye on...
    • The Biolizard boss battle in the 3DS version. On the one hand, it's probably the most climactic fight in the Adventure era other than Perfect Chaos (which was already taken by the Console version), and the circular arena it's fought on matches the design of boss battles from previous portable Sonic games. On the other hand, the Biolizard was really Shadow's nemesis in Sonic Adventure 2, making this encounter with Sonic seem forced at best. Also, the battle has been heavily watered down from the original version, as a result of it being demoted to only the second boss in this game.
    • Silver being the Rival Race for the Modern Era in the 3DS version. Given that the two preceding levels drew heavy inspiration from the DS games, many feel that Blaze would have been a much better choice for a boss. Others are fine with Silver, as the character is pretty popular on his own.
    • While the Console version treats Sonic Heroes as a Dreamcast Era game (for the sake of having each era have an even number of levels), the 3DS has it be a part of the Modern Era. The main point of contention is the Egg Emperor being the third boss in the 3DS version. Some find it a perfectly fine battle by itself, while others wish it had been replaced by a boss from a handheld title or from a more recent game, such as the Egg Wyvern.
  • Disappointing Last Level:
    • The final boss fight in the HD version has received its share of criticism, with the primary complaints centering around the incessant and annoying voice lines from the supporting characters, the visual design being very confusing, and overall vagueness about how to beat it.
    • The last part of the game has levels that take a huge spike in difficulty, and both Classic and Modern Sonic have to drag themselves through really long levels at the end.
    • Whereas most levels are actually expanded upon, making them more grand and interesting, it can be said that Planet Wisp (the last proper level before the final boss) suffers from the opposite. Wherein Sonic Colors, most stages had two to three different Wisp powers on average, each stage (Classic or Modern) only uses a single Wisp power-up. If that's not bad enough, the levels are also some of the longest in the game, making sure to overuse the gimmick Wisp power well before you reach the end.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Comic Book Writer Ian Flynn believes that Sega intended to imply that the Time Eater was leftover matter of Mephiles. As such, he stated that the Time Eater is an alternate state of Mephiles that "slipped through a crack in time". This could explain their purple aura and similar ability to travel through time. However, this has yet to be confirmed in-universe or by any material produced by Sega.
    • The mystery surrounding the Time Eater's origin and nature has led to many fan theories of what it is and why it is cooperating with Eggman. One of these theories proposes the Time Eater was born from the overload of dark Wisp energy at the end of Sonic Colors, given that the Doctor met it shortly after the events of that game, as well as due to the creature's physical similarity to Purple Frenzy and its ability to create black holes like Violet Void.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The infamous tendency for SEGA to reuse Classic Sonic and older zones for the sake of pandering to nostalgic fans over moving the series forward can be traced back to here. However, at the time Generations was released, Classic Sonic had not appeared in a mainline Sonic game in a very long time, and the remixed zones were seen as a fun way to celebrate Sonic's long history. It wasn't until Classic Sonic began returning without the novelty of seeing him again after a long time and many more games that consisted mostly of (often the same) reused zones came out (mostly notably, 2017's Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces both featured Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant, with two-thirds of Mania consisting of reused zones while 3 of the 7 regions of Forces are old locations, and even Classic Sonic's levels for the new regions homage classic levels) that it became a problem.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Classic Sonic's Spin Dash is ridiculously overpowered in the Console version, covering a huge distance, giving a massive boost of speed and obliterating almost every enemy on his path. Also, unlike Modern Sonic's Boost, there is no gauge to limit its usage. Careful usage of the Spin Dash makes beating the classic stages in seconds a breeze.
    • There are several others which are mostly context specific. For example, Classic's Flame Shield skill neuters almost every obstacle and enemy in his Crisis City level aside from bottomless pits, and the jump dash you get from it has ridiculous range. Classic's Homing Attack is also pretty intense because it removes the challenge in trying to aim for an enemy to bounce on to reach higher places. It does have one obvious drawback, though: you don't obtain the same forward momentum you would by doing a regular Spin Jump. Relying on Homing Attack might result in you missing a higher route due to not having enough air.
    • Just like in the Classic games, Super Sonic is this. You get this power-up immediately after beating the final boss, and while the cost is very high (it fills the entire slot of powerups which can normally fit 4 or 5 on it's own), upon using it by getting 50 rings, you become completely invincible (except for pits), have double speed, and the Modern Sonic version can fly while using Boost. Skilled players can easily S Rank all stages using this powerup.
  • Goddamned Boss: The Egg Dragoon takes 8 hits to defeat (or 10 in hard mode), and Eggman will often fly out of reach, making the fight much longer than necessary.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At one point, when Modern Sonic leaves to his original timeline, he tells Classic Sonic "Enjoy your future, it's going to be great!" Considering the franchise has gone under a perceived Dork Age since the game's release, it's safe to say his future hasn't exactly been great.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The last line of the game, with Modern Sonic saying to Classic Sonic "Hey Sonic! Enjoy your future, it's going to be great!" was met with immediate derision amongst the fandom, both due to some of the rougher moments the Hedgehog himself faced throughout the franchise and the intensely-debated quality with almost every game getting savaged by critics and at best very mixed reviews by fans. Then SEGA made the decision to split the "Classic" and "Modern" continuities from each other, making Classic Sonic not Modern Sonic's past self, but an alternate universal version. And the first major game for Classic Sonic after Generations (Not counting Sonic Runners)? Sonic Mania, which received high praise from both fans and critics alike. Suddenly, "Modern" Sonic's words to his "Classic" self take on a whole new meaning.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Backlash: On its release date, it was largely considered the greatest 3D Sonic game ever. While the backlash is not as significant as, say, Colors or especially Adventure 2, the praise for the game has waned somewhat over the years due to such factors as being too short, having no real plot, and/or being too much of a nostalgia trip (to the point some people have accused SEGA of relying on Classic Sonic a bit too much in more recent years, especially during the franchise's 25th anniversary). Quite a bit of people feel that Generations is still the best 3D game in the series, but feel that it is only the best by comparison to the divisive 3D titles that came before and after it.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!:
    • The boss battles against the Death Egg Robot and Big Arm received considerable amounts of flak for being greatly toned down from their original versions in order to provide an appropriate challenge for the first boss.
    • The Biolizard faced similar criticism for reducing the difficulty of its fight, though in this case it's because the original battle is one of the biggest cases of That One Boss in the entire franchise.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The main campaign has been criticised for this. The game only contains 18 stages (14 in the 3DS version), they are evenly divided between the two gameplay styles, and all but two of them are only 3-4 minutes long even your first time. To be fair, the game is filled with optional missions, but all of them are just shortened Remixed Levels. Depending on who you ask, the large amount of alternate paths for each level either helps by adding a ton of Replay Value, or are a wasted opportunity due to only a select few of them containing any secrets of note.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The game's very existence has spawned a minor meme called "X Generations", where other series are put into a similar concept to this game, including Super Mario Bros., My Little Pony and even Looney Tunes. Even 22 Jump Street features "Jump Street Generations" (featuring the movie pair teaming up with the originals) as part of its Credits Gag.
    • Silver's giant trash ball has been compared to Katamari Damacy.
    • On the Sonic Stadium Message Boards, Rooftop Run has received some flak for having a tree on its rooftop, meant to mock the sentiments of the fans. A tree on a rooftop!? It's been ruined forever!
    • Prior to the release of the game: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY RINGS! and any variation of it.
    • It's often joked or speculated that the Time Eater is the personification of the Sonic Fanbase. It was also joked that Time Eater's true identity was the infamous barrel platform from Sonic 3. A trap that is very well known for eating up time.
    • Modern Sonic's last line of dialogue ("Enjoy your future, it's going to be great!") is easy Snark Bait. Variations include Modern Sonic appending a warning about 2004, 2005, and 2006; a Gilligan Cut of Classic Sonic going through said rough years; or another character lampshading the use of a little white lie.
    • ↑ & ↓ & ↻ (The music for Speed Highway includes the repeating line "Up and down and all around;" the meme itself coming from the original Speed Highway from Sonic Adventure.)
    • From the battle with the final boss, "That looks like a homing shot!" "Be careful, Sonic!", and all variations thereof.
    • "DAT VIOLIN!" for the fantastic remixes of Crisis City and Rooftop Run.
    • Classic Rooftop Run is frequently used in mashup remixes, effectively becoming this game's most popular track.
    • Like all of Eggman's repetitive quotes in battles, "Time for a change of pace!" is quite popular in parts of the Sonic fanbase.
    • "You've got thisssonic!" from Shadow.
    • That tornado's carrying a goalpost!
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • "Time for a CHANGE of PACE!" Eggman will say this damn phrase constantly in the Egg Dragoon boss battle. Grinding on the rails so you can get to Eggman? Pace change. Getting OFF the rails? Thy pace hath changed. Spawns the wall-jumping part of the sidescroll fight? Change of pace.
    • Sonic's friends during the Time Eater battle. The worst part probably being that, while they talk constantly, none of them seem to think it'd be smart to say something helpful until the last attack on the boss, which is the only part that tells you what to do anyway. So while you're sitting there pressing buttons to figure out what they do, they're all standing there telling you that "It looks like a homing shot!" over and over and over again. This is not present in the 3DS version.
  • Narm:
    • When the Time Eater has Sonic at its mercy, all of his allies appear to help... by spouting encouraging quotes. This includes Shadow, who sounds more annoyed than anything.
    • The 3DS version doesn't have this cutscene, but is narmy nonetheless because it portrays the battle with still images, cheap visual effects, generic sounds, and random dialogue.
    • Due to a programming error, the final boss in the 3DS version has Eggman saying his Spanish quotes instead of his English ones. It's quite amusing to hear "No ha estado mal!" instead of the expected "Not bad!" after each hit.
    • Modern Sonic telling his past self to "Enjoy your future! It's gonna be great!", in light of the series' infamous case of Sequelitis.
  • Never Live It Down: For fans who are disgruntled about the supporting cast's reduced role in the series, the final boss fight is usually held up as the prime example of their irrelevance. When Sonic Forces revealed that characters would be talking to the player throughout the stages, a lot of people started cracking jokes about hoping that the characters would actually be allowed to do something, instead of just sitting on the sidelines shouting warnings about homing shots.
  • Polished Port:
    • The PC version, which reduced the loading times significantly and allowed the game to achieve 60fps on a PC with good enough specs. The PC version's popularity is also due to the modding possibilities... Unfortunately, the PC version does not have the ability to play the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the uncovering of the half-broken remains of the graphics rendering engine of Sonic Unleashed during the creation of the Generations Unleashed game mod. After fixing it up, it enabled a lot of extra features that were disabled in all versions of the vanilla game, such as directional shadows, light shafts, more dramatic lighting effects, and a more advanced speed blur system. On top of that, thanks to its unfinished nature disabling certain functions, it actually gives the game a significant boost in FPS. The difference that the rendering engine makes, especially in stages like Sky Sanctuary, Speed Highway, and Seaside Hill, is absolutely jaw dropping. Unfortunately, the renderer doesn't work with weaker graphics cards, instead causing the game to look as if you were playing it with a thick layer of Vaseline on the camera. This is because the "Unleashed renderer" applies heavy motion blur in an attempt to mask low frame rates. It can easily be enabled with the SonicGMI tool.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Silver the Hedgehog went from one of the cheapest and most aggravating boss fights in the series back in his debut, to this game, where he gets a very enjoyable rival boss fight with a considerable amount of HSQ. Basically, what Sonic '06 did for Shadow, Sonic Generations did for Silver.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Black holes, during versus matches in the 3DS version. There's a reason this is the only instance this gameplay gimmick appears.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The 3DS version gets this reaction from most. The game is derided for its even greater lack of content (even compared to the console version) as well a wasted opportunity with not representing the handheld games save one. However, the game is still considered to be perfectly enjoyable with good level design (when not recycled from the originals), with a few even considering the 3DS version to be an underrated gem with a few advantages over its console/PC cousin, most notably the Final Boss.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • After the level list was leaked, some fans were disappointed by the lack of variety between them. At least, until it was shown that some levels will be radically different from the originals. Takashi Iizuka saying that the 3DS version will ignore levels from the Game Gear spin-offs didn't help much either.
    • The reveals of Shadow and Silver as boss battles. Then it turned out that both Rival battles were incredibly fun to play, and have been a considerable boon to the popularity of the characters ever since, particularly Silver's.
    • The Death Egg Robot has been subject to claims of It's Easy, So It Sucks!, though it is the first proper boss in the game. Big Arm also was subject to this, also having been nerfed from its Sonic 3 appearance.
  • That One Boss: The Time Eater in the Console version. Awkward controls, lack of clarity on what exactly to do, a cluttered screen, the standard ring-draining mechanic as the rest of the series, and Sonic's friends never shutting up.
  • That One Level:
    • Crisis City for being much more punishing and unforgiving towards mistakes than the previous levels, as pointed out by fans and many reviews. The tornado stealing the goal post in Act 1 doesn't help.
    • Planet Wisp Act 1 is also this for many people, for a combination of its incredible length and the clunky mechanics of the Pink Spike Wisp. Not the best of combinations. Act 2 also gets this, but not quite as badly, as the Orange Rocket Wisp is devoid of any control issues the former has.
    • Radical Highway in the 3DS version. In both acts, getting to the upper parts of the levels involves chaining Homing Attacks into a Gold Beetle. Said enemy is only on the screen for a split second, and if you are not quick enough, you will be forced to take the lower routes to the goal. Said paths are littered with slow-moving platforms over bottomless pits and enemies that appear out of nowhere, almost ensuring you will lose a life or two before you make it past those sections. Oh, and the remix that plays during Modern Sonic's act is considered by many to be the single worst song in the game.
  • That One Sidequest: Vector's character mission in Rooftop Run. His challenge involves you ping-ponging musical notes with him, which requires you to move toward and away from the screen in third person view. Unfortunately, the camera system was not built with going backwards in mind, making this battle an incredible pain in the ass. Then the musical note becomes even faster after hitting it around several times.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The Biolizard battle in the 3DS version received plenty of fan complaints for its changes from to the original, such as the lighting being way brighter, Sonic fighting the boss instead of Shadow, the reduced difficulty (though some didn't mind, compared to the original), and the lighter, more intelligible remix of "Supporting Me."
    • The infamous drowning song is strangely absent in the 3DS version, being replaced by a generic sound effect as the clock ticks down.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • No Classic Amy, Knuckles, or the Chaotixnote  despite being characters from before the Art Shift. There's no Modern Metal Sonic either, despite him being the only other villain besides Eggman to be prominent before and after the Art Shift.
    • Orbot and Cubot, both of whom were shaping up to becoming Eggman's primary assistants in the games at this point, both only have a 3-second cameo near the end. The duo returns in Sonic Lost World, however.
    • All of Sonic's friends simply stand around and do nothing for all of the game (aside from participate in one-off minigames/missions). Even Shadow and Silver just show up to spar with Sonic... and then do nothing else; not even helping the Sonics by going super alongside them and helping defeat the two Eggmen in the Time Eater. There's a reason that it was with Generations many fans felt the sting of having only Sonic(s) playable.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many fans feel the plot was too thin, the linking between events could have been done better, and had many missed opportunities regarding character interaction and more nudges or references to previous games in the series. This is especially true after the two previous anniversary games had far more engaging plots (although the latter isn't considered very good either for different reasons).
    • Many fans were expecting the 3DS version of the game to celebrate the lesser-but-still-fun handheld platformers in the franchise, as the 3DS is a handheld itself. However (probably because Dimps is no longer allowed to make their own games anymore), it turned out that it would just use different levels from the games the "main" version already represented, only representing one handheld game out of many.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Sonic Lost World and Sonic Forces, while not bad, are still compared negatively to Sonic Generations in terms of gameplay, level design, and (for the latter at least) use of Classic Sonic stages.
  • Woolseyism: Dr. Eggman's Western name of Dr. Ivo Robotnik which was incorporated as the character real/birth name to make the transition to the original Japanese name Dr. Eggman as his nickname/alias, was lampshaded by Classic Eggman himself, who derisively tongue-in-cheek notes that nobody calls him that (Robotnik) anymore.


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