Nostalgia and video games seem to go hand in hand, donâ€™t they? It seems like you canâ€™t go a week without someone bringing back a â€œforgottenâ€ classic from five years ago. Sonic Generations might be touting its 20 years worth of remixed levels as the ultimate tribute for the spiky hedgehog, but Iâ€™m drawn in for an entirely different reason – the never-ending quest for a perfect rank.
Thereâ€™s no denying that the spirit of competition in gaming still burns strong: the countless eSports tournaments, achievement whores, and underage Black Ops teenyboppers all prove that. However, true completion in video games seems to be a lost art these days. People seem to simply play a campaign to get to the end, as if itâ€™s some sort of race to the finish.
Sonic Generations is not like that. Well, it is, but in a more literal sense.
Those looking to breeze through the game will certainly make it in no time. Between the spindash-heavy Classic Sonic stages and the nonstop-boosting Modern Sonic stages, those looking to technically â€œcompleteâ€ it can make a mad dash to the credits in a modest 5 hours.
However, those playing that way are missing the point, and will no doubt feel empty after earning their puny achievement points. Those that play through a level a single time will miss many of the cleverly placed alternative paths, leaving entire sections of levels wastes of programming.
Rather, the fun lies in that elusive perfect run. Sonic Generations lays out its goals, but puts them far out of your reach. Players are judged by time and rings – nothing more, nothing less. However, finding the ideal path with the most rings and least resistance takes practice.
Want to get that coveted â€œSâ€ rank? Better man up and complete the level without biting the dust; checkpoints are for sissies.
Even if you do manage to get high marks on every course, the game still pushes you to find more. Why not collect the five hidden Red Rings in each stage? How about completing the challenge stages, each with their own ranking systems? Is that SEGA Genesis in the store appealing? Better start doing well in the stages to earn some currency.
People wax poetic about the â€œclassicâ€ difficulty in recent titles like Dark Souls, but those can only be played in the most crushing of difficulties. Sonic Generations is a different beast, one designed for both the casual and hardcore. Sure, anybody can make it to the end, but are you willing to go the extra mile and travel in style?
Addendum: It looks like SEGA shares my sentiments, as they are currently holding a contest for those who can clear the second act of Sonic Generationâ€™sGreen Hill Zone in under 1:50. Do you too share that need for speed? Check it out here.
A hardcore gamer with a thing for fighting games and all things SEGA, his wide collection of game controllers and cosplay outfits just proves his fandom.