I was pretty indifferent when Sega announced Sonic Generations, their brand-new game celebrating Sonic‘s 20th anniversary. The so-called return of classic Sonic seemed to me like a cheap cash-in, a shallow way to get old fans of the series to buy into yet another new game. Sure, I liked Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors decently well, so I wouldn’t say they’re still beating a dead horse or anything, but I know a marketing stunt when I see it.

Nonetheless, I am curious, at least, and so when Nintendo Power confirmed that the game will be coming to 3DS in addition to its HD editions on PS3 and 360, I decided to investigate further and came up with some info that was revealed in an interview the magazine had with Takashi Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team. Check out the details below (stuff that stuck out to me is in bold).

  • The Nintendo 3DS version is being co-developed by Sonic Team and Dimps.
  • The director of the 3DS version is Tetsu Katano, who directed Sonic and the Black Knight.
  • 2D side-scrolling gameplay for both Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic.
  • Momentum based gameplay and platforming are fully featured in the Classic Sonic gameplay.
  • Modern Sonic plays a lot like the Sonic Rush games and Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colours.
  • Nintendo 3DS version will have exclusive stages and boss stages.
  • Green Hill Zone will be the only shared stage across all versions.
  • Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is confirmed for the Nintendo 3DS version.
  • Story has some differences between the console and Nintendo 3DS versions, but will be fundamentally the same.
  • Console version will have many characters, but the Nintendo 3DS version will only feature the ones who are integral to the story.
  • There is no Wii version. Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka says this is because “The primary goal for the console versions of Generations was reimagining the series’s classic zones in vivid, high-definition graphics.”
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s Launch Base Zone ‘Big Arm’ boss fight is in the game, which suggests that stage is also in the game.
  • Classic Eggman appears in the above mentioned boss.
  • Exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS version are challenges that you can unlock via StreetPass or Play Coins.
  • The game also features an exclusive two-player race mode via local wireless connection.
  • Modern Sonic stages take advantage of the 3D feature more than the Classic Sonic stages. An example shown and detailed is a part in the Green Hill Zone where Modern Sonic smashes through the bottom of a giant totem pole. The camera then moves to the front of Sonic and lets you see the rest of the pole collapse behind Sonic as he escapes.
  • The 3D depth is also highlighted when Modern Sonic occasionally moves between the foreground and the background.
  • Jun Senoue and his music team are working on the music for the game.
  • Nintendo Power thinks the handful of tracks they’ve heard so far are “fantastic”.
  • Special Stages are confirmed and are designed in Sonic Heroes style. As expected, you earn Chaos Emeralds from these stages. Whether or not Super Sonic will be your reward for earning all Chaos Emeralds is unclear right now.

From what I’ve seen of the gameplay on Youtube (this is for the PS3 version; we’ll see how the 3DS edition compares soon enough), I can’t say I’m in love (where the heck are the enemies and the platforming?), but after the positive steps taken in Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors I still think this is worth watching out for. Consider me a confused, part-skeptical, part-hopeful Sonic fan of old who wants to see where this one goes but also wants to reserve judgment, at least for now.

Source: Nintendo Power, via Sonic Stadium

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