A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Sonic's friends are kidnapped and held in other worlds, and Sonic puts his personal interests aside to save them. This speaks to the value of friendship and selflessness in helping others first.
Positive Role Models
Sonic treats his friends respectfully and puts their needs ahead of his own. While there is not a lot of dialogue in the game, what there is carries that theme.
Ease of Play
The control scheme is easy to understand and use, and the menus are kept simple making navigation through to the game's action very easy. When the challenge pops up is in the actual game, Sonic moves very fast, and there are areas where he is zipping through tunnels and across twisting bridges that make it hard to visually track him. The jumping controls have to be precise at times to move from one area to another -- either from one rail to a side rail, or up and across platforms.
Violence & Scariness
Sonic uses his spinning to attack enemies that will explode in a puff of smoke or fall apart. Enemies that are destroyed disappear quickly. When battling bosses, Sonic finds their weak spots and rams into them. When Sonic is hit (or if he drowns in some areas where there are water levels), he will flash and drop rings that he has collected. If Sonic has no more rings to drop but has lives left, the level will restart from the last save point. If he is out of lives, then players will have to restart from the beginning of the level. While most of the enemies will simply fall apart or explode, in the longer battles, there can be cries of pain when Sonic hits the monsters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sonic Generations is an arcade-style game that features side-scrolling levels and 3D levels. It features a character that moves very quickly and that requires some quick reflexes to get through the levels. There is some minor violence as Sonic runs into characters and fights in Boss battles. Players receive scores at the end of each level (which has things factored in such as the number of rings collected and how fast each level is navigated) that grade the effort from "A" to "D," giving the game replay value as kids attempt to get a better score.
Is It Any Good?
Sonic is one of those characters that was great when he first arrived on the video-game scene, but who then struggled through lackluster game releases. But the Sonic that appears in Sonic Generations is a return to the exciting character of old, as this game has the elements of speed and arcade challenges that made the original fun. This new Sonic Generations provide eye candy for Sonic fans with vibrant, exciting graphics. The homage paid to past games is worthy of several smiles and should please veteran gamers as well as make new fans among younger gamers. The replay value is centered on improving scores, but each level can be warped through quickly enough that players don't have to feel they are investing major portions of their day inside this world. Sonic Generations is fun, challenging at times, and a nice comeback effort for the video-game icon.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.