While the punchy, speed-driven gameplay keeps Generations upbeat and flowing, it's the impressive level designs that really seal the deal. Outside of the hub world, all of the main areas you explore are updated re-creations of stages pulled from a handful of past Sonic games. Multiple paths are the order of the day here, and obstacles like moving platforms, springboards, spikes, water areas, foes, lasers, and tons of other varied challenges are sprinkled generously throughout each branching route. Levels are also a real visual treat. Regardless of whether you're playing as old or new Sonic, the bustling background scenery shifts and pulses with life beyond the chaos erupting in the foreground. There's a ton of detail crammed into every area, and though much of it speeds by at a breakneck pace, it's gorgeous when you spare a second to notice. More deliberate transitional sections where Sonic gets chased by a rampaging truck armed with whirling buzz saws, hops across the noses of leaping killer whales, or rides a missile skyward really add some stellar flourishes too. Though few in number, the epic boss encounters showcase a similar pizzazz.
The collection and speed-run-focused vibe in Generations naturally encourages replay, but there are also a lot of minigames and content to unlock. Some are integral to progressing deeper into the game as well. After completing the main acts in each section of the hub world, you have to collect three keys to unlock the door to the next boss encounter. Gaining access to the key requires completing a series of minigames, such as racing duels, rival battles, and score challenges. Some are more enjoyable than others, but you can pick and choose which ones you want to play to unlock the key. With the main stages, the optional minigames, and the desire to go back to get a perfect score, there's enough content to chew on for a long time if you feel so inclined.
Switching from 2D to 3D offers a nice change.
Mixing the best elements from old and new Sonic games together into a seamless experience works out amazingly well. It's clear the Sonic team went above and beyond this time around to spit shine this game into a thing of beauty. It may have missed a few warts here and there, but Sonic Generations doesn't skimp on the speed or the fun.