Yeah I am not sure where dull and lifeless is coming from either. This is a huge step up from what we have seen in recent titles. One of the things that turned me off from sonic advance were the cheesy new gen sonic graphics. It just didn't give the same vibrant feel of the old games. This matches the old games well by keeping things simple and clean.
I honestly don't see how this game looks "dull and lifeless." It doesn't look any different from the classic games except that the graphics are enhanced. HOW exactly does it look "dull and lifeless," anyway?
And I have no idea where people are try to go with the grass/plastic thing. It is fucking grass in a video game, if you are complaining about that then you are a retard.