Sonic The Hedgehog has become a character that many have grown up with and played throughout their lives. He started on the Sega Genesis back in 1991 and still in 2016 is seen on game consoles and television screens all over the world. I personally have always loved Sonic games. I find his speed to be one of the most exciting features for his character. The mechanics behind the game itself are not too complex, that also may be another reason I have always loved Sonic. Something that did catch me off guard was being able to play Sonic on a newer console, The PlayStation 4. I originally played Sonic on the Sega Genesis so you can assume that I was in aw by the more extensive mechanics and features of the game.
So, as I previously stated and you all most likely know Sonic The Hedgehog is a super fast video game character. This feature of the game is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in the sense that you can attack enemies quickly and you can outrun almost any other character. The curse portion of this feature would have to be combining it with other mechanics. In order to move Sonic the player must move the left analog stick left to right and forward. In order to make him run faster the player must hold the square button. Now throughout the different levels the player is forced to hold down the square button in order to take on loops but then in the blink of an eye is asked to jump to another rail or loop using X or attack an enemy by double clicking X. These quick movements from square to X can be difficult for beginning players. To give you further insight, trying to combine this mechanics caused me to die a total of eight times in a two day span.
Other mechanics of the game I found to be quite stressful and merciless on my Sonic lives would have to be the attack mechanics. In order to attack an enemy Sonic must either jump on their heads, spin into them, or full speed head butt them. These controls are all completed by using variation of the X button. To jump and to spin into your enemies you simply press X once. I thought this mechanic was the simplest it got but apparently not. When jumping or spinning and trying to attack enemies I felt as though the game was lagging behind. I had to press X multiple times in order for my enemies to actually die which in turn injured Sonic having him lose numerous rings collected throughout the level. As for attacking enemies head on the player must double tap X. This mechanic was irritating because you must be very patient in order for it to work. Once Sonic is in the air and enemies are below him the player must wait until a target forms around the enemy to double tap X to attack. While playing this game I became very eager so this mechanic did not work well for me. I consistently pressed X too soon which got me no where especially if you need to hit these enemies in order to make it over to the next landing because if you do not successfully hit your mark you fall and die.
Falling and dying seems a little harsh so let us focus back on the positive and very efficient mechanics of the game. I said it before and I will so it many more times, Sonic is super duper fast! The different terrain and obstacles throughout the levels challenge the gamer but the mechanics of gliding left and right as well as gliding under things helps to maneuver Sonic swiftly through each level. While holding square and going top speed Sonic is able to glide left and right in order to collect rings or dodge enemies by using L1 and R1. L1 is used to glide to the left and R1 is used to glide to the right. I found these mechanics to be quite efficient and timely. The goal of many levels in Sonic Generations is to collect as many rings as possible and with the mechanic of gliding left and right Sonic is able to collect the maximum amount of rings. In addition to gliding left and right Sonic can also glide under things by pressing the O button. I also found this feature to be very useful and timely when running at high speeds and making your way through the course.
The last mechanic that I would like to discuss is a bonus feature that doesn’t really effect the levels of progression of the game but it can definitely positively influence the player’s score, lives, and ring count. Throughout the levels in Sonic Generations Sonic flies through the air onto different platforms after running full speed off of loops . While flying through the air for about five seconds the player is given the opportunity to do some tricks in order to gain points and rings. These tricks can be single or combo mechanics. I have provided a video above to show you the different controls that will pop up in order for Sonic to complete combo tricks and obtain a better score. These tricks normally involve the L1, R1, and left analog keys. By successfully landing these combinations and finishing the level you may find yourself earning an S (the best rank) on any given level!
As we discussed earlier Sonic has been around for a long time. He has made some good and bad impressions on many video game goers. I have read a few reviews about this newer release of Sonic and the critics seem to be pleasantly surprised. The critics and I do share common thoughts when referring to the jumping mechanics of the game but we all do agree that Sonic The Hedgehog has made a comeback and is doing better than ever. I have provided two reviews of “Sonic Generations” below so you can see for yourself how the critics and gamers feel about this 2011 version of Sonic and the 1991 Sonic differ.