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Sonic Generations unites an array of styles, times, features from Sonic's 20 year legacy to deliver a game which should offer something for everybody.
It's pretty common to follow the statement "I love Sonic the Hedgehog" with the question: "Which one?" Sonic games have changed over the years as drastically as Mario although not always as successfully.
In Sonic Generations, the cheerful blue hedgehog has the opportunity to wrap up all the elements of his fractured world as present them as a complete package, with inspiration taken from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Adventure and more.
The premise is that Sonic, while celebrating his 20th anniversary, is cast back in time and meets a younger version of himself. The pair team up to restore order and, in doing so, relive classic levels from games throughout Sonic's history, brought up-to-date.
What this means for fans is that many great Sonic the Hedgehog levels (including Green Hill, surely?! -- ed) are receiving a kind of HD makeover; meanwhile, later, more technically demanding games - such as those from the Dreamcast era - are now perfectly suited to the power of the Nintendo 3DS. All of these brought to brilliant life in 3D, of course.
A good Sonic game has always been about the rush of blasting through levels to collect rings and it looks like that spirit is very effectively rekindled here. I remember the forward-facing tube sections in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being some of the first 3D graphics I saw on a home console. I can't wait to relive the moment again in true 3D.
Sonic Generations is currently planned for release on 3DS in November 2011.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: