Supported Controllers (hover for description)
In something of a break from gaming tradition, Sonic Generations actually opens with a level. Dropping you straight into the grassy fields of Green Hill, if you've ever played the original Sonic, it's a stage that should be instantly recognisable, as it's actually exactly the same as in the original, just remade with fancier graphics. With the ever helpful small robotic blue cute thing Omochao on hand to help you out, you should have no problems getting to grips with the game, as one button does pretty much everything anyway - and Omochao's there to explain anything new players may not have come across before. What follows is a 2D side-scrolling level that'll see you speeding through green fields, looping through loops, springing from platform to platform, collecting rings, and destroying the evil robotic monsters that lurk in the long grass as you whiz to the finish.
In traditional Sonic style, there's something of an odd storyline here. Once you've finished the stage, you'll be presented with a cutscene that fills you in on the plot. It opens with Sonic and friends having a nice picnic in a park as a surprise birthday party for Sonic (after all, he's no longer a teen) when all of a sudden, a vortex opens in the sky, and sucks Sonic and friends into it. Stuck in a strange rift in time and space, Sonic finds himself coming up against levels from the games of his past, from Sonic the Hedgehog way back in 1992, all the way through to the Wii's fairly recent (and really rather good) Sonic Colours. With nine Sonic games represented in total, and a level being taken from each, there's effectively 18 levels for you to play through here, as you can choose to play through each of them in one of two modes, each of which offers an entirely different perspective on the stage. Quite literally.
Playing as old-school Sonic (who's smaller and fatter), the levels are 2D, side-scrolling affairs with a gentler pace. Letting you take things as steady (or fast) as you want, you'll be bouncing off springs, rolling around loops, and dodging various moving parts as you try to reach the finish. Meanwhile, new Sonic (taller and with more attitude) is all about speed, and zips through the stages in 3D, making things a little bit trickier than they really should be. Of course, with one being 2D side scrolling, and the other 3D, playing as both types of Sonic offers an entirely different perspective on the level, letting you see things you've never seen before, and reach parts you haven't reached before - it's much more than just a different viewpoint.
Apart from taking different routes through the stages, and seeing entirely different sections, each of the Sonics also have their own distinct powers, too. Actually, come to think of it, bar being able to curl up into a ball and spin really fast, old-school Sonic doesn't exactly have that many abilities to help him through the levels - but new Sonic's tricked out with a homing attack, which lets him zoom into enemies from a distance, and the ability to dash - helpful for clearing large gaps, and, er, running on water.
In order to progress through the game, you'll have to clear each of the nine levels (divided into groups of three) as both Sonics - and upon doing so, you'll unlock a boss fight. These are usually fairly simple affairs which see you facing off against the impossibly moustachioed Sonic baddie Dr. Robotnik/Eggman's latest giant robot contraption, and usually follow a fairly straightforward pattern of chasing down the dastardly Doc, before jumping into his creation's inevitable weak spot. As you may imagine, Dr. Robotnik does play a somewhat central role in the plot, but we'll leave it up to you to find out what...