Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Playing a whirling ball of fur is way more fun than I thought.

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Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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If you never played sonic before i guess the weirdness of you basically describing the first sonic game is lost on you. Sonic 4 is really just sonic with a HD coat of paint, i don't see how SEGA need any praise for basically re-making a game that is 20 years old in higher definition. I don't see what it does differently/better at all.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Scrumpmonkey said:
If you never played sonic before i guess the weirdness of you basically describing the first sonic game is lost on you. Sonic 4 is really just sonic with a HD coat of paint, i don't see how SEGA need any praise for basically re-making a game that is 20 years old in higher definition. I don't see what it does differently/better at all.
well aside from nostalgia (which is always fun). Sega is respecting their fanbase and giving them more of what work, if a formula is good why change it, that like going to a bar and asking for a tequila slammer with a tomato instead of a lemon.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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bahumat42 said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
If you never played sonic before i guess the weirdness of you basically describing the first sonic game is lost on you. Sonic 4 is really just sonic with a HD coat of paint, i don't see how SEGA need any praise for basically re-making a game that is 20 years old in higher definition. I don't see what it does differently/better at all.
well aside from nostalgia (which is always fun). Sega is respecting their fanbase and giving them more of what work, if a formula is good why change it, that like going to a bar and asking for a tequila slammer with a tomato instead of a lemon.
In that case they would have done something more in the vein on "New super mario bros Wii" a game that, whist it does draw on nostalgia, has a whole new set of power-up, rules and is really a whole new game.

Sonic 4 does not do this, it is a recycling of the old games rather than a continuation of them. There are no new ideas here, no real new content. It's not just a tribute to sonic 1 2 and 3 it IS those games.
 

DuskTMoon

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I was expecting so much more from this game. Though it might be new and exciting for newcomers to the Sonic The Hedgehog genre, its practically a 3D version of all the other platformers! Hell, the bosses are the SAME bosses you fight in the first three games! For instance, the ball and chain is the first boss in Sonic 1 and 2, the electric casino boss is the same one, on a smaller scale, that you fight in Sonic & Knuckles, and even the running one is a playoff of several fights before.

I would have been happier to see another old graphics game with improved levels and more storyline involvement. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles you get a glimpse into Eggman's deception towards Knuckles, when he convinces the echidna that Sonic stole the Master Emerald. Playing from Sonic's point of view shows Knuckles as an ass until you see him at the end trying to attack Eggman for the Emerald. If you play as Knuckles, you understand that he is simply chasing a blue shadow, which in the end, winds up as one of the most interesting battles in Sonic gaming, where Mecha Sonic is revealed as the true antagonist and Sonic comes to his rescue as the final fortress comes down.

Seriously Sega, what happened?
 

SageRuffin

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Dec 19, 2009
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Scrumpmonkey said:
bahumat42 said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
If you never played sonic before i guess the weirdness of you basically describing the first sonic game is lost on you. Sonic 4 is really just sonic with a HD coat of paint, i don't see how SEGA need any praise for basically re-making a game that is 20 years old in higher definition. I don't see what it does differently/better at all.
well aside from nostalgia (which is always fun). Sega is respecting their fanbase and giving them more of what work, if a formula is good why change it, that like going to a bar and asking for a tequila slammer with a tomato instead of a lemon.
In that case they would have done something more in the vein on "New super mario bros Wii" a game that, whist it does draw on nostalgia, has a whole new set of power-up, rules and is really a whole new game.

Sonic 4 does not do this, it is a recycling of the old games rather than a continuation of them. There are no new ideas here, no real new content. It's not just a tribute to sonic 1 2 and 3 it IS those games.
Well it is a direct sequel of the 2D Sonic games that everyone remembered and loved. If nothing else, this game is a breath of familiar yet still fresh air after the myriad of craptastic 3D games that been made in the meantime.

If you don't like it for whatever reason, that's cool - pack up, play something else that you enjoy more, and no one's the wiser. But I think saying it's a "recycled rehash" is more than a bit off.

---

More to the point, it's nice to see a [mostly] unbiased review for this game. Most of the other reviews I read complained about the game being too hard, since god forbid you shouldn't try to speed run the stages on the very first fucking try, and then sit back in bewilderment when you hit a hazard and lose all your rings - a staple that's been in damn near every fucking Sonic game ever made - because you were too stupid to feel out the level first and learn the fastest/least damaging route.

But I digress. Nice analysis, especially if the reviewer really has played little of the 2D games back in Sonic's heydays.
 

Lord Devius

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DuskTMoon said:
I was expecting so much more from this game. Though it might be new and exciting for newcomers to the Sonic The Hedgehog genre, its practically a 3D version of all the other platformers! Hell, the bosses are the SAME bosses you fight in the first three games! For instance, the ball and chain is the first boss in Sonic 1 and 2, the electric casino boss is the same one, on a smaller scale, that you fight in Sonic & Knuckles, and even the running one is a playoff of several fights before.

I would have been happier to see another old graphics game with improved levels and more storyline involvement. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles you get a glimpse into Eggman's deception towards Knuckles, when he convinces the echidna that Sonic stole the Master Emerald. Playing from Sonic's point of view shows Knuckles as an ass until you see him at the end trying to attack Eggman for the Emerald. If you play as Knuckles, you understand that he is simply chasing a blue shadow, which in the end, winds up as one of the most interesting battles in Sonic gaming, where Mecha Sonic is revealed as the true antagonist and Sonic comes to his rescue as the final fortress comes down.

Seriously Sega, what happened?
The ball and chain wasn't in Sonic 2 at all. Just Sonic 1. The first boss of Sonic 2 was the drill-jeep-thing.

And the Casino Street boss? Turns out he's from Sonic 2. Casino Night zone.

...If you're going to bring these things up please know what game they're from... There's only 4.

Otherwise, yeah, I'd like to see more like S3&K, but it is after the events of that and before anything else in the series... Plus, it's not the same developers. They've just managed to emulate the playstyle.
 

VGFreak1225

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I actually legitimately think that Sega and Sonic Team/Dimps did a pretty good job of making the game a true sequel. The reworked physics and homing attack did well at differentiating Sonic 4 from the other 2D games. Episode 1 may have its fair share of issues, but I thought it was still a strong start to Sonic 4 and provided Sega listens to some of the criticism of the game and takes it into account for Episode 2 (and I have reason to believe that they will), by the time all is said and done, Sonic 4 complete could be one of the finest entries in the franchise.

So yeah. Episode 1 is good, and you should go download it.
 

Merlark

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I have to agree with other posters, if sonic 4 was the ONLY sonic game in existance it would stand on its own merits fine. but its suppose to be the 4th installment, it fails at this. the levels are boring if you played previous sonic titles, each level has its own gimmic to it that gets old pretty fast.

Level 1- vines
level 2- cannons
level 3- lighting torches.

it quickly wears out the welcome of each unique level, which again is mostly a rehash of previous sonic levels. where the epic failure comes in is the boss fights, which is pretty much a copy and past from sonic 1 & 2 bosses with an added attack move here and there.

Wrapping it all together is sonics 4's physics which makes sonic feel 'heavy' when he doesn't have momentum, compared to the loser controls of the previous classic titles. with only a lock on ability added that they copied over from sonic adventure the real 'fans' of the series quickly finds out that the game falls short. heck even the special stage is pretty much the same.

Laying it down, S4 is more a remake then a sequel. which really shatters its whole purpose which is to continue this saga, not RETELL it. each sonic game added good things, sonic 2 added the spin dash, sonic 3 gave us bigger levels and more special stages and more story, sonic and knuckles continued that story with different character paths, more in depth boss battles and a all together larger more polished experience from 3.

Sonic 4 is not a bad game, but the reason why its not a bad game is because it's an old game and that doesn't make it a good game really. for 15 bucks you could get ALLOT more out of buying sonic games 1-3+S&N from the wii store if you have never played sonic games and felt MUCH more satisfied.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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BlueHighwind said:
Why exactly is this NOT on the DS? This title is perfect for a handheld.
Um...why should it be? Not arguing that it wouldn't be fun on the DS, but nothing wrong with it being on the big screen, either.
 

LightspeedJack

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Glad to see this is finally getting a good review. I loved the game too but Gamespot gave it a 6.5!! It deserves at least an 8.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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DuskTMoon said:
I was expecting so much more from this game. Though it might be new and exciting for newcomers to the Sonic The Hedgehog genre, its practically a 3D version of all the other platformers! Hell, the bosses are the SAME bosses you fight in the first three games! For instance, the ball and chain is the first boss in Sonic 1 and 2, the electric casino boss is the same one, on a smaller scale, that you fight in Sonic & Knuckles, and even the running one is a playoff of several fights before.

I would have been happier to see another old graphics game with improved levels and more storyline involvement. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles you get a glimpse into Eggman's deception towards Knuckles, when he convinces the echidna that Sonic stole the Master Emerald. Playing from Sonic's point of view shows Knuckles as an ass until you see him at the end trying to attack Eggman for the Emerald. If you play as Knuckles, you understand that he is simply chasing a blue shadow, which in the end, winds up as one of the most interesting battles in Sonic gaming, where Mecha Sonic is revealed as the true antagonist and Sonic comes to his rescue as the final fortress comes down.

Seriously Sega, what happened?
To be perfectly honest with you, I loved Sonic 4. Ive waited something like 15 years for this game and even though it is just a rehash of a lot of Sonic 1 and 2 levels, I wouldnt change it a bit.
Sonic Team nowadays are not to be trusted with coming up with new ideas, so looking into the past for ideas was their best bet.

As far as the bosses go, you got them abit wrong:
Ball and Chain is Sonic 1
Pinball is Sonic 2
Tetris thingy is Sonic 2 (resembles the Aquatic Ruin boss alot)
The chase bit isnt from any of the older ones and so is brand new
The bit before that with the balloons is Sonic 2 (Metropolis Zone)
Finally, the Egg Walker at the end is Sonic 2

I agree with you on the story though. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is one of my favourite games of all time and was quite possibly the best Sonic game ever made.

Now we gotta wait for Episode 2
I can see it being Sonic 3 style zones with the Shield Power-ups
and Episode 3 being Sonic and Knuckles zones

If you own all 3 parts, you can play them all together under bonus features in Ep 3 much like the way if you own Sonic and Knuckles on XBLA if you have any of the other Sonic games you can lock them on

I just wanna say I CALLED IT
 

s_glasgow99

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Jan 8, 2010
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*Sighs and shakes head*
Greg... if simplicity and great level design is what you REALLY want, stay away from the "hold B and run to the right" simplicity of the Sonic games. The most creative this series ever got was in Sonic 3 when you could race with a friend... and they never went back to that... shame it the most fun I had with the series.

Anyway, if you are looking for simplicity and great level design. Super Meat Boy was just released on XBL and that is a PERFECT example of controls done right, and level design done properly. Check it out if you haven't yet, guaranteed to blow your mind.
 

theaceplaya

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Scrumpmonkey said:
bahumat42 said:
Scrumpmonkey said:
If you never played sonic before i guess the weirdness of you basically describing the first sonic game is lost on you. Sonic 4 is really just sonic with a HD coat of paint, i don't see how SEGA need any praise for basically re-making a game that is 20 years old in higher definition. I don't see what it does differently/better at all.
well aside from nostalgia (which is always fun). Sega is respecting their fanbase and giving them more of what work, if a formula is good why change it, that like going to a bar and asking for a tequila slammer with a tomato instead of a lemon.
In that case they would have done something more in the vein on "New super mario bros Wii" a game that, whist it does draw on nostalgia, has a whole new set of power-up, rules and is really a whole new game.

Sonic 4 does not do this, it is a recycling of the old games rather than a continuation of them. There are no new ideas here, no real new content. It's not just a tribute to sonic 1 2 and 3 it IS those games.
Remember, this is just Episode 1. Starting off with familiar territory is not a bad idea. Remember, it worked great for Super Metroid.

And also, if Sonic 4 is just Sonic with an HD coat of paint that Sega doesn't deserve praise for, why is the gaming community creaming its collective pants over the Sonic Fan Remix? Not saying it doesn't look good (it really does) but how can Sega do the same thing and everyone hates on it? I'm being dead serious, I just don't get it.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
this reviews for this game are so all over the place, it seems like if your new to it then you enjoy it much more then if your an old fan
 
Oct 14, 2010
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theaceplaya said:
And also, if Sonic 4 is just Sonic with an HD coat of paint that Sega doesn't deserve praise for, why is the gaming community creaming its collective pants over the Sonic Fan Remix? Not saying it doesn't look good (it really does) but how can Sega do the same thing and everyone hates on it? I'm being dead serious, I just don't get it.
Didn't you get the memo? The best Sega fans know that Sega is never supposed to do anything right anymore! It's all about complaining non-stop when they try something new, then when they finally cave in and try to provide a nostalgic experience, that's when we change our minds and cry about it being too similar to the old stuff we constantly told Sega we wanted to relive!

I swear it's like some form of reverse Stockholm Syndrome.
 

daxterx2005

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Its interesting all the professional reviews I've seen praise this game. All the fan reviews hate it.
 

SilverUchiha

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I figured this wouldn't be interesting. This is the first Sonic game in years to come out that I didn't really look at and think was interesting. Hell, level design looks pretty much like the old games. Personally, I'm more excited for Sonic Colors. Gameplay videos actually look more entertaining.