The Sonic the Hedgehog teaser trailer from last week finally has a little context behind it as Sega has announced the upcoming Sonic Generations for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. Commemorative the character's twentieth anniversary, Generations invokes time travel to bring the classic Genesis era Sonic incarnation together with his modernized counterpart in a game that reworks classic Sonic levels in both 2D and 3D. Essentially, it'll be possible to zip through a level inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog in 3D or a Sonic Adventure-type level adapted into 2D. 3D levels are for modern Sonic to complete, while original recipe Sonic takes on the 2D stuff. Here's some of the press release:
Set across three defining eras from 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog video game history, the instantly recognizable environments of Sonic Generations have been re-built in stunning HD and are now playable in both classic side scrolling 2D from 1991, as well as modern 3D style found in Sonic’s most recent adventures. Each incarnation of Sonic in Sonic Generations comes complete with his trademark special move, Spin Dash and Spin Attack for Classic Sonic, and the Homing Attack and Sonic Boost for Modern Sonic. An innovative new interactive menu system allows for complete immersion in Sonic’s universe with favorite characters and hidden treasures gradually being revealed throughout the game.
Sonic’s universe is thrown into chaos when a mysterious new power creates ‘time holes’ which pull him and his friends back through time. As a result, he encounters some surprises from his past history including Classic Sonic, Sonic as he was in 1991. Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic must defeat this strange new enemy, save their friends, and find out who really is behind this diabolical deed…
Sonic Generations sounds like it offers something for everyone, and like most other modern titles in the series, it looks to hit all the right notes based on early concepts and screenshots. Sonic Unleashed looked like total dynamite until we realized that most of the game was made up of nighttime brawling levels, for instance. It certainly seems promising, and Game Informer, Joystiq, & Kotaku all like it based on an early demo. Here's hoping that it's playable at E3 this year (and, traditionally, Sonic titles are) so that I can get my hands on it and see what all the fuss is about. I've been burned too many times by this franchise to get my hopes up unconditionally. In the meantime, if Sega is looking for some inspiration regarding which stages from the franchise to include in this new adventure, I believe I can offer some inspiration.
Direct from Sega, here's the first look at how the 2D and 3D stages compare.