Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

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Susan Arendt:

BlueHighwind:
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.

Because I don't have an X-Box. I do have a DS. That's why. Screw the X-Box. The DS is where its at!

Well, if you HAD played the older Sonic games you'd know that this game controls like a friggin' brick covered in molasses compared with Sonic 2 and 3 and that most of those are just re-hashes of bosses from old games. In fact, the final boss you showed in the video is ripped straight from Sonic 2.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting this to be a revolutionary creative effort or anything. I can even live with the recycled bosses and designs. I was expecting good gameplay out of it if nothing else, but the controls are just.. too awful for words. I played it back-to-back with Sonic 2 and Sonic Rush, and something about the physics of this game just feels really, really wrong.

CTU_Loscombe:

The chase bit isnt from any of the older ones and so is brand new

Actually, there is a chase boss in Sonic & Knuckles (at the end of Mushroom Hill Zone).

Sonic 4 was fun for me eventhough it is short compared to the others and this installment is an HD bite of Sonic 1 and 2 plain as day but I kind of figured that when I downloaded the demo. You have to love it for what it is, I would be surprised if Episode 2 bites some elements from S3&K and Sonic CD, if you beat the game with all the emeralds then you will understand why I included Sonic CD. Eventhough I don't like where the franchise has gone up until this point, I'm still a Sonic fan and this game took part of me back to the glory days.

Woo lot of rhetoric in here already. Sonic fans are a tough bunch. I'm a pretty hardcore sonic fan but it looks good to me. The old gameplay I liked is back and it's got a nice new coat of paint. I'm thinking that, like some other posters mentioned, they might mix it up in upcoming episodes. That being said, I just played the demo of the Sonic Fan HD Remix and holy crap. Sega, the gauntlet has been thrown down. See tralier.

It may be a redo of the original game. But at least it's better than the 3D games. :-)

CTU_Loscombe:

The chase bit isnt from any of the older ones and so is brand new

Uhh, there was a chase boss in Sonic & Knuckles. Mushroom Hill Zone.
Chasing Robotnik through the forest, jumping over spikey balls, trying to hit him a few times.

I'd say the chase boss resembles that.

I loved Sonic 4 for its throw-back to the original Sonic games. The only problem i had with it was the length, and more importantly the Story. Considering the game is a direct sequel to Sonic and Knuckles there was no apparent relation in this one at all. It could have easily been the first in the series.

It seemed a bit wierd for Robotnik/Eggman to just do the usual tricks of Sonic 1 and 2 after everything that had happened. Heres hoping episode 2 amps up the story a bit.

I more or less agree with this review. Yeah, I grew up with Sonic, so I got way more of the re-hashed ideas and designs than the reviewer did of course, but it never felt like Sonic with a HD lick of paint, it feels more to me like they took Sonic Advance, Mixed it with Sonic 3 & Knuckles and refined the hell out of it.

I just don't understand why they took this long to make the game, and then just give us 5 zones, Sega has this game written well, all it needs is more levels, with fresh and enjoyable ideas. I don't understand why they can't do that as a stand alone game rather than a Download.

But I didn't feel cheated by the quality, just the length.

Some people will never be pleased no matter what. I honestly cannot see all of the "failure" being talked about in this thread. You pick up the controller, you start the game, and it feels like the original Sonic games. Where is the failure? The stuff that was taken almost verbatim from Sonic 1 & 2? So what? Nintendo does this all the time with Mario. Sega's been adding gimmicks non-stop to Sonic these last few years and those games were horrible for veering too far from the basics of what made Sonic enjoyable in the first place.

The obvious nods to the early games were done on purpose for nostalgia's sake to strike a cord with the older players. It was done blatantly so that you think to yourself "Hey I remember that from a game I loved years ago!" This was 16 years coming after all.

It's a chronological sequel to Sonic & Knuckles and is only the first part so far. I think we'll see more elements from Sonic 3 and S&K in future episodes as well as new things we've never seen before.

Also what the reviewer failed to mention is that when you have to fight all of the Boss forms over again, they're a little harder with new moves added in. And the Giant Robot fight is taken from Sonic 2... except for the part where it goes bat shit crazy and hops around like a jack rabbit after you've jumped on it enough times. Yeah, I died a lot. Apparently I don't have the focus and reflex I had 16 years ago.

Am I the only one having a deja-vu here?
I mean, that final boss is an exact copy of the one from 3, what the hell. Oh and Robotnik is swinging a ball at you? Never seen that before. I think a chase scene pretty much exactly like that was also in one of the Advanced games. Levels look like a complete rehash from older games.

You know SEGA, when we asked for games like the old ones we didn't mean that we wanted those exact games with a graphical update.

finily, back to the real gaming

SilverUchiha:
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.

The reason, as far as I'm concerned, why fans knock this game is because they changed the physics in a weird way, and the controls are no where near as smooth and fun to play. The animations also look wrong... they just don't have the smooth flow that the original Sonic games had. A new person might not notice this, but to me, I don't care what they do to the levels, but the actual action should not have changed that radically.

EDIT: Crap, I quoted the wrong person somehow. Sorry. Probably the person I intended to see this won't now :P

Each level, you can also unlock secret stages if you get to the end with over 50 rings. These little mini-levels were clearly designed for the accelerometer of the iPhone but they offer a small reward of some different gameplay if you are Sonically skilled.

Without having seen what the special zones look like, I can't really judge this, but I'm more inclined to think they were designed with the Wii version in mind...

After all, Sega and Nintendo are pretty cozy these days...

BlueHighwind:
Why exactly is this NOT on the DS? This title is perfect for a handheld.

Because the DS has already had old-style sonic games.

(Eg. Sonic rush).

Not to mention, if you have an older DS, you can play GBA games...

Which leads to Sonic Advance 1, 2 and 3...

Which all play quite similarly to this really.

It should be pretty obvious that Sonic 4: Ep. 1 is just a experiment by Sega to test the waters for the commercial viability of a 2D Sonic game in the current market. That's probably why the level design seems a little rehashed, to cut down on costs. If this game is successful, expect to see newer level design.

Staskala:
Am I the only one having a deja-vu here?
I mean, that final boss is an exact copy of the one from 3, what the hell. Oh and Robotnik is swinging a ball at you? Never seen that before. I think a chase scene pretty much exactly like that was also in one of the Advanced games. Levels look like a complete rehash from older games.

You know SEGA, when we asked for games like the old ones we didn't mean that we wanted those exact games with a graphical update.

YES YOU DID! IT'S WHY YOUR CREAMING YOUR SELF OVER THE FAN REMIX, WHICH IS EXACTLY THAT!

I am so SICK of everyone's constant whinging!

Finally a good sonic game. Haven't seen a decent sonic game since sonic adventure on dreamcast

When the reviewer described that he's never played a Sonic game before, I thought it'd go this way.

Though it's a major re-hash, depending on cost, it could fill my afternoon. It looks good enough.

Greg Tito:
Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

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

Read Full Article

Anyone else think this is like Gabe telling Tycho how awesome Counter Strike is?

Greg, m'man, the game I just watched a video for, and the game I played on my sega way back when? Look almost identical :P. Better graphics, but pretty much all the same concepts. Simple and slick, lots of speed, etc.

Even down to your description of the boss battles. The final boss, by the way, is the same from sonic 2 (or at least, it was looking pretty darn similar).

Tim Latshaw:

theaceplaya:

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.

That's exactly what's happening here. They are rehashing old levels and designs? Why are they doing that it couldn't have been because we ASKED THEM TOO.

I liked that Greg hadn't really played before, a fresh perspective. Having said that, I read a review by someone who had played other Sonic games and he said he was let down due to lack of pace.

Speed is one of the things that made Sonic so exceptional.

No doubt there will be a bundle when all episodes have been released, I'll probably get it then.

mjc0961:

First of, the physics engine. If they were going for a game that's supposed to be like the old games like they said multiple times in press statements for the game, you do not change the physics engine so it plays like some other IP with Sonic having a cross-over appearance. That is called failure and SEGA was piling as much of it onto this game as the could.

Good videos, thanks, saves me the trouble of typing it all out. Yeah, "Sonic 4" feels all wrong to any fan of the old games. And don't even me started on that retarded homing attack! Part of the game is aiming your jumps, not turning Sonic into a homing missile, what the fuck were they thinking. Don't claim you're making another "retro" Sonic game and then mess up so much! Try again SEGA, I'm STILL waiting for a worthy successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Sonic is back in 2D, I can physically hear the halleluja music in the background...

Susan Arendt:

BlueHighwind:
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.

Well like most people, I have a lengthy daily commute. I suppose on the list of "things to do to kill time", playing Sonic would be a pretty awesome addition to that list.

Doesn't require heavy thinking (for those of us riding around long before the sun) but is still a challenging puzzle/platform game.

So at least from my perspective, its just a missed opportunity. (but whatever, there will be MORE sonic games)

wtrmute:
I mean, Sega's done all kinds of attempts to update the formula for Sonic games, and it's a running joke that every Sonic game has been terrible since Sonic 3. Then they cave in and do a game that is just like the early, good games, and everybody hates it anyway because it lacks "creativity". There's just no pleasing the Internet.

There isn't an inconsistency between not liking the new, terrible Sonic games and not being impressed with a rehash with suspicious amounts of direct cribbing. You're creating a false dichotomy.

daxterx2005:
Its interesting all the professional reviews I've seen praise this game. All the fan reviews hate it.

Well, that'll be because all these so-called "fans" are for the most part serial whiners who don't actually know what they want when it comes to these things.

Anyway, I personally really enjoyed episode 1. So what if the levels are similarly themed to ones we've seen before or the fact that some of the bosses are more or less identical to ones from the previous games? It's not the first time they've re-used boss designs after all.

I hope they continue with what they're doing here when Episode 2 appears. Just ignore all the serial moaners. They'll probably never be happy with anything they do with regards to Sonic. Best just to leave them to it, while the rest of us who aren't ungrateful cynics can just enjoy the games.

Let's get the facts shall we?

Sonic 4 Episode 1 is what again, or better said what SUPOSSED to be? A Sequel. What does a Sequel or is it SUPOSSED to do most of the time? Build up on it's predecessor. Does Sonic 4 Episode 1 such a thing? NO! and shut up.

Rehashed levels which to be honest does have little innovations but that alone doesn't sell me on something that I could get for way less), rehashed badniks, rehashed bosses (and excused with an horrible story. Visiting his FAILED old designs? That gotta work!)

The using of Sonics redesign, (not the eyes, he looks like some kind of weird monster in the title screen that could easily be the badguy.) instead of his classic designs (remember, sequel to the old times.) http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/038/5/f/Classic_Modern_Sonic_4_Logo_by_SonicToadstool.jpg

Not to mention that he looks compared to the level art like something fastly done in MS Paint.

Homing Attack which fucks ab gameplay because you can just boost yourself with it right away unlike Super-Peelout or Spin Dash where you have to stand completly still to gain speed.

Shitty physics and overdone speed boosters, this is Sonic 4 Episode 1 in an nutshell.

Conclusion: Sonic 4 Episode 1 is the best Sonic game to date. Which doesn't say much.

roostuf:
Yup the best way to make a character interesting is to go back to the roots of it.

I agree with your statment, but while i haven't played this yet, it literally looks like a remake of sonic 2.
the bosses are almost the fucking same with minor variations and hell even the massive robot at the end of Death Egg Zone is present. The only difference is they've given you rings this time, making the battle far too easy, imho.
The levels apart from the ripoff of sandopolis zone from sonic 3, looks almost identical to the zones in Sonic 2. I highly doubt I will bother with this one...
I give up.. poor little guy, the blue blur has had his day...
I'm all for companies going back to their roots, but this is just patetic... They've remade 2 in HD (which still doesn't look as good as Sonic 2 did). the animation's all weird and jerky. 2 apart from slowdown at times was very smooth and franticaly paced.
i wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of the 10 minute time limit too...
-Tabs<3-

Scrumpmonkey:
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.

The same argument can be made about New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It's based on a game that's over a decade old, and yet no one complained about it being just an HD version of Mario 3 or Super Mario World, aside from Yahtzee's review of it.

wtrmute:

Tim Latshaw:
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.

This. I mean, Sega's done all kinds of attempts to update the formula for Sonic games, and it's a running joke that every Sonic game has been terrible since Sonic 3. Then they cave in and do a game that is just like the early, good games, and everybody hates it anyway because it lacks "creativity". There's just no pleasing the Internet.

MarsProbe:

daxterx2005:
Its interesting all the professional reviews I've seen praise this game. All the fan reviews hate it.

Well, that'll be because all these so-called "fans" are for the most part serial whiners who don't actually know what they want when it comes to these things.

Anyway, I personally really enjoyed episode 1. So what if the levels are similarly themed to ones we've seen before or the fact that some of the bosses are more or less identical to ones from the previous games? It's not the first time they've re-used boss designs after all.

I hope they continue with what they're doing here when Episode 2 appears. Just ignore all the serial moaners. They'll probably never be happy with anything they do with regards to Sonic. Best just to leave them to it, while the rest of us who aren't ungrateful cynics can just enjoy the games.

I'm glad to see some folks understand what the general mentality of all the negative feedback is. Having played the Sonic Remix demo recently, the only things that make it stand out are the activity in the background as you're playing, and the ball form having more momentum.

That's all it has so far, and yet it is praised over Sonic 4. That kind of mindset boggles me. It's nearly the same, yet the indie game is liked more than the professional one. Maybe it's because the demo is free at the time.

Also, here's something else to think about: If this game were truly as bad as people think, why is it that this game can be seen as both a self-contained game and a part of a larger one? Think about it. If you get all seven Emeralds, you can see a teaser for the next Episode, yet there's enough of a good feeling that you have truly beaten the game when you fell the final boss and see the classic outro scene. In short, SEGA and Sonic Team are making several full games that play into one another, all with the same classic gameplay and some tweaks in the gameplay between each one.

That's a VERY smart way to make a game in my opinion, and they should be praised for that along with the fact that they made such a good game.

AgentBJ09:
That's all it has so far, and yet it is praised over Sonic 4. That kind of mindset boggles me. It's nearly the same, yet the indie game is liked more than the professional one. Maybe it's because the demo is free at the time.

Do you notice something?

AgentBJ09:

I'm glad to see some folks understand what the general mentality of all the negative feedback is. Having played the Sonic Remix demo recently, the only things that make it stand out are the activity in the background as you're playing, and the ball form having more momentum.

That's all it has so far, and yet it is praised over Sonic 4. That kind of mindset boggles me. It's nearly the same, yet the indie game is liked more than the professional one. Maybe it's because the demo is free at the time.

Also, here's something else to think about: If this game were truly as bad as people think, why is it that this game can be seen as both a self-contained game and a part of a larger one? Think about it. If you get all seven Emeralds, you can see a teaser for the next Episode, yet there's enough of a good feeling that you have truly beaten the game when you fell the final boss and see the classic outro scene. In short, SEGA and Sonic Team are making several full games that play into one another, all with the same classic gameplay and some tweaks in the gameplay between each one.

That's a VERY smart way to make a game in my opinion, and they should be praised for that along with the fact that they made such a good game.

There's a theory which I can think can explain why people may praise the indie game over the official game. I haven't dabbled in the Sonic Remix, so I can't personally comment on it's quality. But anyway, say you're a (self-professed) "hardcore" Sonic fan and you hear about both Sonic 4 and this fan made Sonic Remix. Now, you could get excited about Sega finally making a proper 2D Sonic game with no superfluous extras, but on the other hand, there is this fan project going on as well. So, you want to appear as cool and hardcore as possible, so it therefore makes sense for you to go totally mad for this fan project, and disregard Sonic 4. That way, everyone will marvel at what knowledgable and discerning person you are with your keen eye for quality.

Anyway, I just got all the emeralds in Sonic 4, so saw the full ending. Curious is all I shall say. It got me wondering about episode 2 while I was there. Given that we have collected all the emeralds in episode 1, will that be it for the emerald gathering in the series? I suppose they could have us going after the super emeralds. I'm also going to have to start trying to guess what stages episode 2's zones will be based on, if they chose to continue on in that manner. Given that they have mined the first 2 Sonic games in episode 1, will they chose other games for episode 2. I'm still hoping to see a rework of Starlight Zone, so fingers crossed.

Time will tell, I guess.

Dr. Wily III:

AgentBJ09:
That's all it has so far, and yet it is praised over Sonic 4. That kind of mindset boggles me. It's nearly the same, yet the indie game is liked more than the professional one. Maybe it's because the demo is free at the time.

Do you notice something?

You left out, "Sonic Fan Remix never called itself an Sequel unlike the "profesional one" did, it gives you what you expected."

If you're trying to convince me that the Remix is superior to Sonic 4 because it's an HD update/remake instead of a sequel, I'm not convinced. (Emerald Hill didn't have three acts.)

Besides, I already own the Ultimate Genesis Collection, and I've said why Sonic 4 is a good game. An HD remake is fine to a point, but it's a remake, not a new game. Sonic 4: Episode 1 is a new game and self-contained, so the 'Episode' bit just means more full games are on the way.

AgentBJ09:
You left out, "Sonic Fan Remix never called itself an Sequel unlike the "profesional one" did, it gives you what you expected."

If you're trying to convince me that the Remix is superior to Sonic 4 because it's an HD update/remake instead of a sequel, I'm not convinced. (Green Hill didn't have three acts.)

Besides, I already own the Ultimate Genesis Collection, and I've said why Sonic 4 is a good game. An HD remake is fine to a point, but it's a remake, not a new game. Sonic 4: Episode 1 is a new game and self-contained, so the 'Episode' bit just means more full games are on the way.

Yeah, sorry, didn't though that would sneak trough when I remembered that with the third act. By the way, I bet you mean Emerald Hill.
Sonic 4 Episode 1 is not in anyway more new than the fan remix, look me in the eye and try to tell me that Splash Hill doesn't look like Green Hill, Mad Gear reminds you of Metropolis, Lost Labyrinth... well Labyrinth, and Casino Street Casino Night (and a little Carnival zone)(Even though some innovations like the cards or the minecart sequence were nice to see that they weren't totally lazy)
Badniks were already there and seen before, bosses too (excused with an horrible story) and so on.

I don't say the remix is superior but we still have the problem that two dudes (If I remember correctly) can pull of something on the same level what paid professional ones do, that's why it's probably praised more than Sonic 4 Episode 1. (Yeah, yeah, people keep yelling at me: the next episodes will be soo much better!!!11111 (nice time machine, can I borrow it?) but it doesn't matter because there isn't some fairy coming and pissing all over episode 1 to make it automaticly better.)

it's not a remake? I never had a genisis but my sister got me to buy sonic 2 on the wii and it's the same goddamn thing! i don't blame mr. tito he's just probably never played sonic 2, but seriously fuck sonic

Wow, that's good to hear, hooray they didnt screw it up.
One problem I have is that two of the bosses were directly from Sonic 2. which is kinda cheating.

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