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Sonic Levels That Had Our Hearts Racing

Sonic Generations  - 869848

Sonic Generations is just a few weeks away, teaming up both classic and modern Sonic for an adventure that is sure to please fans of all generations (see what I did there). It will take our beloved stages and remix them in ways that will make fans squeal like little school girls. The classic Sonic will feature the 2D gameplay that fans have been clamoring for, while the modern Sonic will feature extremely fast, 3D gameplay that will forgo the lame exploring and instead focus on pure, gut-wrenching speed.

Join us as we take a fond look at Sonic levels that had our adrenalin pumping, toes tapping, and hearts racing!

Star Light Zone

We kick off our trip down memory lane with one of the latter zones of Sonic the Hedgehog. This level was not only one of the most intricate in Sonic the Hedgehog, it also lived up to its name. In the background, the twinkling of the cityscape would shine through as you sped through it, eventually getting higher in the level where only the stars would shine. This zone would no doubt look fantastic if it was given the modern treatment.

Chemical Plant Zone

Just listen to the awesomeness that is Chemical Plant Zone

Sonic 2's first level was great, but Chemical Plant Zone is where I remember not only being excited by that very first glimpse of it, my ears were loving the beat. This zone featured all sorts of twists and loops, as well as a quick and painless water section. The blue goop enemies also stood out to me at the time, since they looked a lot different from the other enemies in the game. It was one of the first levels where I sped through the loops so fast, the screen had a hard time keeping up. This level was confirmed to appear in Sonic Generations, so I'm quite pumped to play through the modern remixed stage and see how it holds up, not to mention hear how the original song sounds remixed, as well.

Casino Night Zone

This zone was a no brainer. Easily one of the most innovative levels in Sonic 2, not to mention the biggest time waster when it came to all the extra minigames that you could play. You could have Sonic partake in a game of slots, which could net you a good amount of rings (or of course lose them all if you match up three Robotniks), or play around on the many pinball tables, flipping Sonic through the level in order to collect every ring. The starry night sky mixed in with some crazy neon signs truly evoked that Vegas style. This was yet another level announced for Generations, though players will have to purchase this level extra, as it will come as DLC.

Stardust Speedway

This level has by far the biggest WTF level design of Sonic levels to date. Sure, it was confusing, but that didn't mean it wasn't awesome! Whether you were in the post-apocalyptic bad future, or the much more pleasant to the eye good future, this level is a total mind-f*ck. It also finished off with an epic race between Sonic and Metal Sonic, which fans can look forward to experiencing once Sonic Generations makes its way to store shelves.

Emerald Coast

Sonic moving into 3D space was a risky move, and one that wasn't always fully embraced by fans. Not because it didn't look great, in fact it looked pretty fantastic back when it first appeared on the Sega Dreamcast, but controlling Sonic while zipping through levels in three dimensional space didn't always feel right. Though there is no denying that when players first got to control Sonic in Sonic Adventure, Emerald Coast was quite the introductory level that had players in awe. And that whale scene! Outrunning that giant killer whale was super exhilarating. Though this level will not be appearing in Generations, a 2D level that had you constantly outrunning a giant killer whale would be...well...killer!

Speed Highway

Remember that awesome city level which had you speeding across the sides of towering buildings? Speed Highway was that awesome level. It was mostly made up of twisting and turning stretches of road that were suspended high in the air. How did Sonic get from one to the other? By hanging off of a freaking helicopter! Oh, as if that wasn't enough, he also hangs onto a rocket that propels him onto the next stretch of highway. Thankfully, this level is announced for Generations, and I cannot wait to give this level a spin in classic mode.

City Escape

Sonic Adventure 2 took everything great about the first game and made it better . It also took everything bad about the game (Big the Cat) and threw it out the window. What better way to kick off the game than with Sonic snowboarding down a concrete hill while the officials are out to get him. Not only was the level design kick ass, the City Escape song playing throughout had me singing along due to its incredibly catchy tune and lyrics. I got to play both the classic and modern versions of this level on Generations at Pax Prime this year, and I can assure fans that they will definitely not be disappointed.

Final Rush

If you ever wanted to know what grinding, twisting, and turning on rails in space would feel like, Final Rush gave you that answer. In a time where grinding on rails wasn't automatic and actually took some skill, this was one exhilarating level. Taking place right above the planet, one wrong move could send you falling down through the planet's atmosphere--talk about pressure. Being one of the final Sonic action levels in the game, what came after was one of the most epic boss fights in Sonic history (I know, debatable). Both Sonic and Shadow turn super and you take on a giant lizard/space station, dashing through space in attempt to destroy it. Epic!

Dragon Road

Rooftop Run was admittedly a great level in Sonic Unleashed, with its Italian inspired level design, but Dragon Road took the cake. One second you were zooming on to what essentially was the Great Wall of China, the next you dashed through Snake Way (Dragon Ball Z reference), and the next you sped through various oriental architecture while dodging some deadly traps. The level also closed with Sonic outrunning a Robot Mech spewing laser blasts in attempt to make some Hedgehog Roast.

Asteroid Coaster

This level opens up with Sonic riding a freaking roller coaster...in space! With wisp powers, speeding along planetary rings, death defying coaster to coaster jumps, and gliding through an asteroid field, this level had the right ingredients to not only make it fun, but brilliant, as well. Asteroid Coaster didn't quite make the cut in Generations, and instead went with Planet Wisp, which to its credit, is a great level, but Asteroid Coaster provided far bigger thrills.

 

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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Games: Sonic Generations

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