E3: Sonic Generations Debuts

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The hedgehog is back! ComingSoon.net got a chance to check out a behind-closed-doors preview of Sonic Generations from SEGA today at E3.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the debut of the speedy little blue hedgehog, and this game is a celebration of the event. It’s also a bit of a love letter to long time Sonic fans, allowing you to play as both classic 1991 Sonic and the more modern version he’s become. (He’s gotten taller…they grow up so fast, don’t they?) The game is set across three defining eras from past games and lets you play an updated 2D side scrolling version as well as the 3D levels. (Please note: When I say “3D,” I’m talking about an environment that allows you to move in any direction, not the 3D that requires glasses and nausea pills…though it will be available for the 3DS.)

They showed the classic Green Hill Zone on the show floor, but we got a look at City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2 for the Dreamcast! In the first stage, you play as classic Sonic, side scrolling through the city. The GUN truck…remember the GUN truck? The truck barrels through the streets, trying to get you. If you beat him, great. If you don’t, he destroys some of the game geometry, changing your direction and gameplay.

What really stands out here are the graphics. You’re playing this game you remember from days gone by, but it looks like it should have! Like you wish it had. There is something very satisfying about that. In the second stage, you skateboard all over the dynamic 3D environment as modern Sonic, down streets and up ramps, all the while, listening to the music you remember…

We were told that the classic music would make a return, but before release, it would be remixed to suit the new gameplay. Now, if you have a preference between classic Sonic and modern Sonic, we were told that you could base about 80 percent of gameplay in the area you like best.

A few more things. You will encounter many different characters, but you can only play as the Sonics. We learned that all the game platforms would have different stages apart from Green Hill. There were a few in-game disruptions of time and space that we can only assume have something to do with a certain Dr. Eggman…

Sonic Generations will be released for Holiday 2011 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS.