Sega's new Sonic Generations for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC is good. Really good. Great, even. It's the most fun I've had with Sonic the Hedgehog since the Sega Genesis era. That's why Sega has promised never to make a Sonic title that's as much fun ever again. I kid, mostly; Game Informer has a quote from producer Takashi Iizuka regarding what comes after Generations is relegated to a Greatest Hits edition in the bargain bin.
“I would like to make a new standard Sonic, a modern Sonic if you will, in 2012 and beyond.” Iizuka later went on to say that he thought that the recently released Sonic Generations was a good look at the highlights of Sonic’s 20 year history, but he doesn’t feel like that title represents the character’s future.
Here's the thing: Sonic has had to deal with many missteps in the past decade. Everything from Sonic Adventure through Sonic Unleashed experienced diminishing returns in various ways. While Sonic Generations incorporates aspects of those games, Sonic Team picked the strongest parts of those lamented titles to revive for the twentieth anniversary celebration (Speed Highway: yes; fishing with Big the Cat: no). Even without the fan service, however, Generations would be a wonderful game. The mix of 2D and 3D action is what a modern Sonic title needs to be. I'd hoped that now that Sonic Team has found the perfect formula, they could create more games in the same style with totally new content rather than a nostalgiafest. Don't misunderstand me; the nostalgiafest is the point of Generations and a fantastic experience, but it's not a theme that I feel the need to revisit next time. There's no need to reinvent Sonic for his next adventure when Sonic Team has just now finally found the perfect incarnation of the character's last reinvention.