On April 7th, 2011, a teaser trailer for Sega's newest Sonic game was revealed on Sega's official Facebook page for Sonic, which fans assumed to be titled Sonic Generations due to Sega registering the name as trademark a while ago. If for some reason you haven't seen the teaser yet, you can check it out here:
The teaser showed Sonic running through what appeared to be Green Hill Zone without some of its color. And then who should be running along side him but Retro Sonic, the incarnation of Sonic we've known from the Mega Drive/Genesis days. This was of course met by praise from the fans who love Retro Sonic as well as other Sonic fans, and of course, it was also met by rage and nitpicking by the Sonic "fans" who LOVE to complain about anything.
I personally was excited. I was expecting this game to have classic Sonic levels from the Mega Drive days, but to play hopefully like Sonic Colors. I was also wondering if the story would be multi-dimensional or involve time travel, and I was wondering who would voice Retro Sonic since this is a 3D Sonic game. Like would it be an older voice of Sonic from the games, such as Jaleel White who voiced Sonic's retro design in the DIC cartoons, or someone completely new? Well, as of today, we got a new trailer that showed off some gameplay, and it turns out that I was right; the game is going to be like Sonic Colors. It also turns out that the assumptions on the name were also correct; Sonic Generations is the official title. You can see the new trailer here:
From what appeared in the trailer, it seemed that Retro Sonic's gameplay would be mostly 2.5D so to resemble the classic days more, and Neo Sonic's gameplay would be more in 3D, as in some sections of Sonic Colors and a lot of sections in Sonic Unleashed. I also heard both Sonics speak a bit, and it sounds like they may have Roger Craig Smith voicing both of them. I was hoping for an older Sonic actor to voice Retro Sonic, such as possibly Jason Griffith or Jaleel White (especially Jaleel White considering how Sega hired Lacey Chabert (the voice of Eliza Thornberry on The Wild Thornberrys) for Princess Elise in Sonic Next Gen), as it's Sonic's 20th anniversary. But even so, I'm actually also kind of glad that Roger is voicing both Sonic's, because it helps further show fans that both incarnations of Sonic are the same character, just with a different look. Not to mention, I really enjoyed Roger's performance in Sonic Colors along with that of Kate Higgins as Tails and Mike Pollock as Eggman.
Now, as well as this new trailer popping up, a few articles also turned out that revealed even more information. According to Gamespot, the trailer apparently shows Retro Sonic to be 2.5D Classic side scrolling Sonic gameplay with the Spin Dash and Spin Attack Jump, and Neo Sonic's to be 3D styled with the trademark Homing Attack and Dash Boost. That's actually a really good idea so to appeal to the older fans such as myself who know and grew up with the old Mega Drive games, and the newer fans who are more familiar with the recent 3D games. Another detail that Gamespot revealed was that there are multiple paths in completing a Zone, which is good so to add more proper replay value, and it can also help the game possibly get more positive reviews. You can read Gamespot's full article here:
According to a second article on Joystiq which had very few additional details to add, the head of the Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka said that this game is being given some additional development time to make sure the game is in overall excellent quality. Obviously, this is really good, because it means that we will less likely face the same disaster when Sonic Next Gen was rushed out in 2006. You can see the article here:
According to Sega themselves on a blog they wrote, it turns out that there's some kind of new interactive menu system. I have no idea what they could mean, since the point of a menu on a game or DVD is to be interactive, so this appears to be redundant. However, more understandably was the mention of "favorite" characters and hidden treasures. By favorite characters, I'm hoping that means we can see Retro Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and possibly a few others. I know for a fact that we will see Retro Eggman. As for Sega's so-called "unlockables," that could mean a number of things, like hidden movies, images, music tracks, CG model stills, concept art, or even unlockable mini games. We'll just have to wait and see as more details are revealed. You can see the article here:
Finally, according to several articles, it appears there will be a full story, and I got to say that if you were expecting there not to be for a 3D Sonic game, then you're extremely optimistic. From how it sounds on Sega's article, the game has to do with time travel, which would make this roughy the 4th game in the franchise to feature a time travel concept. The first game to feature it was Sonic CD, the second was Sonic Adventure if you include Tikal's magical vision trips to the past, and Sonic Next Gen which had the cliche plot of an apocalyptic future with answers lying in the past. How this version works is that there are some rifts in the space time continuum called time holes and they send Sonic and his friends (unknown which buddies at this time. Though one of my friends said that a interview that was translated to Spanish mentioned Tails, Knuckles and Shadow) back in time to the Mega Drive days and up to the Adventure days. Apparently, the past and present have to work together to find out who's responsible. I'm honestly hoping it's Eggman, because he was the main villain in Colors, and I would like him to stay that way. I will also accept Metal Sonic since he was the main villain in Sonic Heroes. In a way, it sounds iffy, but considering an article on TSSZ that also states that the writers are the same as those who worked on Sonic Colors, I'm not that concerned either, because Sonic Colors had a surrealistic story that was almost iffy, but these writers got it to work. You can see TSSZ's article here:
Now, on a personal level, if the reason for Sonic's design change is Sonic aging as this time travel concept is proving, then I have a gripe on one thing, and that's Sonic 4. I don't mind Neo Sonic; in fact, I do actually kind of like him. However, I am someone who also prefers Retro Sonic's design, and considering how Sonic 4 was originally advertised by Sega, I thought that design would be used one last time for this type of game, but instead it was Neo Sonic. If some of you remember, I talked to Ken Balough at E3 2010 in order to get information for any Sonic fans who watch my videos so they could know what to address to Sega and why since Sega said they were taking fan feedback into consideration for Sonic 4, and Ken said that Retro Sonic wouldn't be used as Sonic is always evolving and it would be like Iron Man going back to the grey suit. My complaint with that statement is that I think the grey suit was Iron Man's original suit before he changed it, so it's something in the past, and Sonic 4 takes place IN THE PAST before all the 3D games and JUST after Sonic 3 & Knuckles. So if time is the reason for Sonic's character design change, then he shouldn't look like Neo Sonic in Sonic 4. And I think Iizuka made it a bit worse when he said the reason Neo Sonic was used in Sonic 4 was because it was a New Sonic game. Which yes, it is, but its setting and time period was supposed to be retro. To me, it's like saying that a midquel was made for a game that takes place between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, but it's going to use the modern designs just because it's a NEW game even though the reason for the design change as Generations is now proving is age, not a graphical thing; it just makes no sense what so ever. Now I have nothing against Ken Balough or Takashi Iizuka; Ken was really nice when I met him at E3 2010, and I'm pretty sure Iizuka is a really nice person too, but I strongly disagree with their statements.
The final thing I want to state is listening to the music in a second video. It seems Classic Sonic gets either the Mega Drive original tracks, or a recomposition of certain game tunes that sound heavily identical to their Mega Drive counterparts, while the Neo era Sonic gameplay has more up-beat remixed versions of these classic tunes, and from what I heard, they both sound good. I was hoping for remixed tunes of these zones, so that's a big wish of mine that's been happily granted. To see this video and listen to these tunes, please click on the following:
So far, I'm really looking forward to this game. Sonic Unleashed was okay, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing are actually good, Sonic 4: Episode 1 was decent, and Sonic Colors was awesome. Considering that this game is being given extra production time, I'm actually excited! So keep a look out for more information and let's hope we get to see some more zones and see a few additional details or goodies.
That's all for now, till next time game and toon fans!