Sonic The Hedgehog has been around for quite a while. Twenty years, to be exact. So, it’s only natural for Sega to want to celebrate this auspicious occasion, with the recently announced Sonic Generations marking the event.

Promising to be a crossover between the classic version of Sonic from the 90s and the modern-day Sonic, the game showed off the combination of 2D and 3D platforming with the initial screenshots of the game. Now, the first video of actual gameplay footage has been released.

The video shows both the 2D and 3D parts of Sonic Generations in action, both taking place in that iconic first level of Sonic history, the Green Hill Zone. Both do a good job of capturing the proper moods for their respective sections, the 2D feeling just like the old Genesis Sonic games, while the 3D was very similar to the Sonic Adventure titles for the Dreamcast. The “Speed Boost” feature for the 3D might not be from the Adventure games, but it should do its job of separating the two sections properly.

Have a look for yourself at this bit of gameplay footage:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdID58d0A6o

What really shows just how much effort was put into this is the little things, the details. For example, during the 2D section, the music was incredible. It sounded so much like the original Green Hill music that, for a moment, I thought it was the exact same music from the Genesis game added in by the creator of the video. Then I noticed the sounds of running water and birds chirping and realized that it was brand new music, yet incredibly similar.

The level design was also well done. The 2D level initially played almost exactly like the original Green Hill Zone, yet enough of it was changed to make it its own area. The 3D level also felt like the original Green Hill Zone in basis, but went out of its way to differentiate itself from its 2D counterpart.

What are your thoughts of the gameplay? Does it do a good job of creating compelling 2D and 3D levels as promised? What other levels from the older Sonic games do you want to see appear?

Sonic Generations is set to release this holiday season for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

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