June 22, 2024

Sonic x Shadow Generations Preview – It Is Better To Have Lived And Learned

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Sega

Developer:
Sega

Release:
October 25, 2024

Sonic X Shadow Generations brings one of the most well-liked Sonic games of the last decade and a half forward to modern consoles. What was essentially a “greatest hits” compilation of remade levels from throughout Sonic’s history to serve as a celebration of the Blue Blur’s 20th anniversary is being remastered for current technology, but that’s not all: As part of the package, players can engage in a standalone campaign starring Shadow. I went hands-on with two stages of each character to see how the anticipated definitive edition of the 2011 title is coming along.

I started my playthrough on the Shadow side of the package. I have two selectable stages from Sonic Adventure 2: Space Colony ARK Act 1 and the Biolizard boss battle. Both do precisely what the Sonic stages did when the base game originally arrived in 2011: They provide high-speed strolls down memory lane but with various improvements. Speeding through Space Colony ARK immediately brought back memories of my repeated playthroughs of Sonic Adventure 2 on Dreamcast, but in Sonic X Shadow Generations, Shadow also has new powers at his disposal.

As part of Shadow’s introduction to players at the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2, we saw him use Chaos Control. That power is at players’ disposal in Sonic X Shadow Generations, allowing him to freeze various stage elements. During the Space Colony ARK stage, Shadow could freeze incoming missiles and then use them as steps to reach higher areas. It seems like it will come in handy and help players discover fun and unique ways to discover the series’ trademark branching pathways.

Additionally, midway through my run through Radical Highway, Doom’s Eye, a part of Black Doom from Shadow the Hedgehog appeared and interrupted the stage. The entire level morphed around Shadow in what could only be compared to something straight out of a Doctor Strange movie. I don’t know if more levels will utilize this stage-altering feature, but I’m excited to see what Sonic Team has in store.

The Biolizard fight was a more difficult venture but equally as fun. The fight starts off on a circular platform where the lizard chases you with its tail and mouth before blasting energy balls at you. If you can dodge them, you can grind up the rails and hit his core. Then, he grows massive arms, and you have to dodge not only them, but the shockwaves they produce. Finally, the Biolizard blasts a massive energy ball at Shadow and he must use Chaos Control to freeze the ball and blast it back at the boss, then bounce off a barrage of bubbles to deliver the final blow. Shadow plays similarly to Sonic but with special powers and several exclusive stages highlighting the edgier hedgehog’s history; I can’t wait to see what this package has in store.

The Sonic side isn’t as compelling since it’s all content players have sped through before, but it’s still great to see it running so smoothly without needing to play the Xbox 360 version with the Xbox Series X’s FPS boost. Even though I only had a chance to play Green Hill Zone’s two acts, it felt like a fun homecoming to one of my favorite Sonic games of that era. 

“One of the biggest improvements for console players is being able to play a super high-speed game at 60 frames per second because the original was at 30,” creative officer Takashi Iizuka says. “For those who have played Sonic Generations before, a reason to replay it is we have a Chao Rescue feature. Chao are going to be hidden in Sonic Generations and you’re going to have to find them all. That’s a gameplay feature to keep those who are really good and know the levels to go in and find the Chao.”

Sonic X Shadow Generations is a game I will relish revisiting when it arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 25.

PurchasePlatform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Publisher:
Sega
Developer:
Sega
Release:
October 25, 2024

Sonic X Shadow Generations brings one of the most well-liked Sonic games of the last decade and a half forward to modern consoles. What was essentially a “greatest hits” compilation of remade levels from throughout Sonic’s history to serve as a celebration of the Blue Blur’s 20th anniversary is being remastered for current technology, but that’s not all: As part of the package, players can engage in a standalone campaign starring Shadow. I went hands-on with two stages of each character to see how the anticipated definitive edition of the 2011 title is coming along.

I started my playthrough on the Shadow side of the package. I have two selectable stages from Sonic Adventure 2: Space Colony ARK Act 1 and the Biolizard boss battle. Both do precisely what the Sonic stages did when the base game originally arrived in 2011: They provide high-speed strolls down memory lane but with various improvements. Speeding through Space Colony ARK immediately brought back memories of my repeated playthroughs of Sonic Adventure 2 on Dreamcast, but in Sonic X Shadow Generations, Shadow also has new powers at his disposal.

As part of Shadow’s introduction to players at the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2, we saw him use Chaos Control. That power is at players’ disposal in Sonic X Shadow Generations, allowing him to freeze various stage elements. During the Space Colony ARK stage, Shadow could freeze incoming missiles and then use them as steps to reach higher areas. It seems like it will come in handy and help players discover fun and unique ways to discover the series’ trademark branching pathways.

Additionally, midway through my run through Radical Highway, Doom’s Eye, a part of Black Doom from Shadow the Hedgehog appeared and interrupted the stage. The entire level morphed around Shadow in what could only be compared to something straight out of a Doctor Strange movie. I don’t know if more levels will utilize this stage-altering feature, but I’m excited to see what Sonic Team has in store.

The Biolizard fight was a more difficult venture but equally as fun. The fight starts off on a circular platform where the lizard chases you with its tail and mouth before blasting energy balls at you. If you can dodge them, you can grind up the rails and hit his core. Then, he grows massive arms, and you have to dodge not only them, but the shockwaves they produce. Finally, the Biolizard blasts a massive energy ball at Shadow and he must use Chaos Control to freeze the ball and blast it back at the boss, then bounce off a barrage of bubbles to deliver the final blow. Shadow plays similarly to Sonic but with special powers and several exclusive stages highlighting the edgier hedgehog’s history; I can’t wait to see what this package has in store.

The Sonic side isn’t as compelling since it’s all content players have sped through before, but it’s still great to see it running so smoothly without needing to play the Xbox 360 version with the Xbox Series X’s FPS boost. Even though I only had a chance to play Green Hill Zone’s two acts, it felt like a fun homecoming to one of my favorite Sonic games of that era. 

“One of the biggest improvements for console players is being able to play a super high-speed game at 60 frames per second because the original was at 30,” creative officer Takashi Iizuka says. “For those who have played Sonic Generations before, a reason to replay it is we have a Chao Rescue feature. Chao are going to be hidden in Sonic Generations and you’re going to have to find them all. That’s a gameplay feature to keep those who are really good and know the levels to go in and find the Chao.”

Sonic X Shadow Generations is a game I will relish revisiting when it arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 25.

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