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Thread: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 - Details and Reviews

  1. #1

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 - Details and Reviews


    Sega has designed all-new 2d Sonic the Hedgehog game. This game will be the first chapter in a larger series, based heavily on the original Genesis games. It is available on the Apple App Store, PSN, XBLA, and via the Nintendo Shop Channel as Wiiware.

    [SPOILER=Full game Review]by Alex St-Amour

    Not since the release of The Phantom Menace has anything with ‘Episode 1’ in the title been so hotly anticipated.

    The year was 1994, Mariah Carey had the number one hit single in ‘Without You’, ‘The Lion King’ left movie-goers amazed, Tonya Harding was caught out clubbing (literally) and Sonic fans enjoyed two of the blue blur's finest adventures in Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and its expansion/sequel Sonic & Knuckles. Sixteen long years and many disappointments later, fans of Sega’s mascot were beginning to give up hope that Sonic would ever re-capture the glory days of speed, fun, and blast processing. Well you can put those fears to rest as Sonic is back in a big way with Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.



    The first thing you will notice about Sonic 4 is how closely it resembles the first two Sonic titles; in fact most of the game is directly inspired from those early games, with all four zones (Splash Hill, Casino Street, Lost Labyrinth and Mad Gear) being re-imaginings of zones from the original Sonic The Hedgehog. However most of these have received enough changes to make them feel fresh, like the Lost Labyrinth’s use of torches to light dark hallways or Casino Street’s crazy slot machines and bonus-supplying poker hands. Still this is a game that is more remake then sequel and would have felt right at home on the Genesis in the mid-90’s.

    Anyone who has played the original Sonic games will be able to immediately pick up the controller and start zooming through loops and spin dashing through obstacles. For the most part, the game emulates the classic Sonic gameplay quite well. The often-criticized (by Sonic purists) addition of the lock-on attack actually improves the gameplay by adding a whole new way to explore the branching paths and to defeat enemies, It’s when things slow down and the game requires some more precise platforming that some control issues make their presence known. The most glaring of these is the lack of control when controlling Sonic mid-jump, which makes for some tricky landings when attempting to get onto a tiny ledge. Issues aside, the game still ‘feels’ like a 2D Sonic game should and captures the play style of the classics in almost every way while adding just enough to keep things from feeling like déjà-vu.



    Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is not a terribly difficult game, mostly due to the fact that those familiar with the series' style of fast-paced platforming will know instantly what the game expects them to achieve and how to reach to the goal. But just like those classic Sonic games from the early 90’s, the game is ripe with cheap deaths and traps that will rob you of your precious collection of rings. I can’t count the number of times I was speeding along, with literally hundreds of golden rings in tow, only to hit a bumper and go careening into a bottomless pit with no warning.

    The second the game loads and the classic ‘SEGA’ chant is heard, gamers will know that they are in for an experience pulled straight from a Genesis cartridge, and Sonic 4 sure does look that way. With an art style that is directly inspired by Sonic The Hedgehog 1 and 2, complete with level introductions and end-of-stage sign spinning shenanigans, Sonic The Hedgehog 4 wastes no time taking the classic Genesis look and upgrading it with high definition flair and polish. Even the Wii version is surprisingly sharp and runs at a constantly solid framrate that never suffered even with Sonic pushing the sound barrier and enemies crowding the screen. The background work also deserves merit. With environments that come alive with all sorts of wacky animations and details (the Mad Gear Zone is a sight to behold) this is easily one of the best looking downloadable games across all three platforms.

    It’s not all roses and rings however -- the music, while inspired by and sounding like the original 16-bit tunes of the Genesis, don’t hold a candle to the classic Sonic themes and most seem to fade into the background and remain unnoticeable throughout the adventure. Also the animation on Sonic is sometimes slightly off, notably when he begins to pick up speed. At this point, his feet seem to be moving too slow for how fast he is going, which creates an odd looking effect, as if he was taking giant strides.



    Every zone in Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 features three acts, for a total of 12 levels (all of which are unlocked after you complete the very first act) and a boss battle per zone once all three acts are completed. Every level has multiple paths for you to discover and the levels are significantly longer than those featured in previous 2D Sonic titles. The game also features a Time Attack mode where you can take your supersonic speed skills (alliteration wholeheartedly intended) online and compete for a top spot in the online leaderboards as well as a few unlockables once you take down Robotnik Dr.Eggman once and for all.

    Despite all these features, Sonic 4 still adds up to being a very short game, clocking in at just less than 3 hours for a total playthrough. While the promise of future episodes (if there’s an episode 1 there must be a 2 right?) is a very positive sign for a series that hasn’t seen many recently, I still wish that more would have been added to help the game justify its $15 price tag. Something like two-player co-op would have gone a long way towards that end, but I’m almost positive they're saving that for Episode 2.



    Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is a fantastic return to form for one of gaming’s most venerable characters. It brings gamers back to a time when the name Sonic meant 2D platforming with attitude while finally giving the series a push in the right direction. I just wish there was more of it, the game feels half finished and to be charged a premium for the first ‘episode’ of a game that won’t last the time between lunch and supper is a definite no-no in my book. Still, if Episode 2 can right these wrongs and deliver both the gameplay and value that gamers expect for their money, then Sonic is definitely a hedgehog redeemed.

    VGChartz[/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=App Store Version Review]Sonic The Hedgehog 4™ Episode I Review
    Beloved hedgehog returns in a brand new side-scrolling adventure

    by James Savage, Macworld.com

    Sonic the Hedgehog was always best when he was flying solo. Before Tails, and Knuckles, and his countless other friends, the original Sonic game was a fast-paced platformer that was an instant classic and tough to replicate. Sega has been trying to mimic the success of the first three Sonic titles for years, but it wasn't until Sega decided to go old school and create a new side-scrolling Sonic game that Sonic returned to form. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 is the first in an episodic series of arcade/action sidescrollers starring the iconic hedgehog. Without Tails or any of his animal friends, you must help Sonic defeat the evil genius Dr. Eggman once again and save the animals he has enslaved as robots.


    Sonic runs, rolls, and even zip-lines!

    Those familiar with the original Sonic games will be spin-dashing in no time. You control Sonic either with on-screen directional and jump buttons or through tilt controls. Episode 1 contains four differently themed zones each with three acts followed by a boss battle. After completing the first level of the Splash Hill zone, you can play the remaining zones in whatever order you choose. These new stages include Casino Street (reminscient of the popular Casino Nights stages from Sonic 2), Lost Labyrinth (an aztec themed level), and Mad Gear (a familiar industrial level likened to one of the latter Sonic 2 missions). Similarly, as in Sonic 2, there are also several special stages you can find (seven in total). A homing attack simplifies gameplay by automatically targeting objects like robotic creatures or power-ups — this comes in handy since the touch controls don’t have quite the precision of a physical control pad.

    Everything that made the original Sonic games great is here. The action is fast and furious with high frame rates and detailed levels offering multiple paths to complete them. Alas, the graphics are also reminiscent of the original games and not up to the resolution iPhone 4 owners have come to expect. Though when Sonic is racing through at breakneck speed, you’ll hardly notice. The retro 8-bit soundtrack can get repetitive, but you are free to listen to your own music from your iPod library. Unfortunately you sacrifice sound effects when you do so.

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 is a solid sequel to a legendary franchise. Fans will not be disappointed and given the title of the game, we will undoubtedly get treated to subsequent episodes. No social networking support is included, but Game Center integration is promised for a future update.

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 3.0 or later.

    --------------
    macworld[/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=Released via Apple App Store]
    This game has officially been released on the Apple App Store. It retails at $9.99 on any iOS device (fw 3.0 or later, minus AppleTV) and has an 88.7MB file size.

    [/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=An interview with Sega manager Ken Balough:]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamespot.com
    The announcement of a new Sonic the Hedgehog game is always news, but with the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, the folks at Sega are taking a novel approach by marrying old-school Sonic gameplay and new-school delivery. Sonic 4 will be a 2D game with 3D visuals for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii and will be distributed as a downloadable game upon its release this summer. To learn more about what to expect from the game, we spoke with Sega associate brand manager Ken Balough.

    High-Def Video Trailer of Sonic 4 Gameplay Here

    GameSpot: Why did you choose to go with a title like Sonic 4?
    Does this mean this is a direct sequel to the Genesis games?

    Ken Balough: I think one aspect to keep in mind is this game is
    truly a labor of love. A lot of us grew up on the Sega Genesis
    console; in fact, I remember vividly the first day I got mine with
    Revenge of Shinobi and Moonwalker. Ever since Sonic & Knuckles,
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has been a game classic Sega fans have
    always wanted to see. It was the right people, at the right time,
    getting together and finally making this game we've all wanted to
    see.

    While the game is a brand-new adventure, it will definitely pick up
    after Sonic & Knuckles. However, what you are looking at is the
    beginning of a new story arc.

    GS: The subtitle is Episode 1. Does this mean it's episodic content?

    KB: As mentioned, I think the best way to view it is as a first part
    in a much larger adventure. When Sega released Sonic 3, ultimately
    it was the part 1 of a story that saw its conclusion in Sonic & Knuckles.
    In that same spirit, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a bigger story, and this
    is that first chapter. I think it's also safe to say that by the end of the
    episode one, fans will be very excited to see what's in store for
    episode two!

    GS: Why did you decide to make this a downloadable title?

    KB: In recent years, we've seen a huge surge of classic game properties
    making a return in this arena. [Downloadable] games offer players
    a chance to play terrific games without breaking the bank. It's also
    a promise to Sonic fans. We're going to deliver a Genesis-era Sonic
    game as if it were created today that goes to the core of what classic
    Sonic fans desire. This means [the fan] gets to judge us on our work
    each step of the way, and we plan on delivering that goal in a big way.

    GS: In terms of graphics, the game appears to use 3D graphics. Why
    take that route instead of an HD makeover or a more traditional approach
    like Capcom's recent Mega Man games?

    KB: One of our goals was to make a gorgeous-looking 2D Sonic game.
    This approach allows fans new and old to see what a 2D Genesis-style
    game would look like today with modern graphics.

    GS: As far as gameplay goes, should we expect classic old-school Sonic
    2D mechanics or something new added into the mix?

    KB: All the Sonic favorites [are] here for sure! Spin dash, power sneakers,
    etc. But you will also see the homing attack added, and in true Sonic fashion,
    you can compete with your friends for the fastest level times through
    leaderboards.

    GS: What can we expect from the music? Will it sound like the old Sonic games?

    KB: It will sound like an evolution from the original series. Expect to hear
    very familiar tempos and styles of music that resonates with 16-bit games
    but also has a modern appeal.

    GS: Will there be any differences between the different versions? That is,
    will the Wii have motion control, or will the PS3 and 360 run at 1080p?

    KB: For all intents and purposes, the games are designed to be identical.
    There are a few differences per what each console can output visually:
    Wii will be at 480p, while the XBLA and PSN versions will run at 1080p.
    However, for certain areas of the game, the Wii will be able to use motion
    control, and the PS3 will be able to use the Sixaxis.

    GS: Is this where the Sonic franchise is moving, or can we still expect to
    see console and portable titles?

    KB: Sonic as a brand is definitely not moving away from our packaged console
    versions. Making Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I for download is just a new
    way to offer a great Sonic experience through a different medium.

    GS: Thanks for your time, Ken.
    [/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=Screenshots]
    SEGA released new images, a new song, and a new character for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 the game will be released on WiiWare, PSN, XBL, and a mystery platform

    The Sonic 4 website was updated today, the new additions include:



    Splash Hill Zone + Complete site redesign
    New Screenshots of Splash Hill Zone
    Character Reveal #2: Eggman
    Free Music Download from Act 1 of Splash Hill Zone. You can download the song here
    To check those updates visit Sonic 4 official page















    [/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=Official Trailers and Previews]






    [/SPOILER]

    [SPOILER=Release Dates and Pricing]
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Taylor
    Excited for the supposed return to glory days of Sonic? Well, then you'll be stoked to hear that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 has just gotten a release date confirmed.

    You can expect some speedy adventures with everybody's favourite blue hedgehog in October. For more specific dates, look below.

    App Store: October 7th
    WiiWare: October 11th (US), October 15th (EU)
    PSN: October 12th (US), October 13th (EU)
    XBLA: October 13th

    Source: IGN
    Quote Originally Posted by IGN
    Everyone's favorite blue hedgehog will be ready to go next month as SEGA announced the release date for several versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

    The game will be available for download on the iTunes App Store starting Oct. 7, the Wii Shop Channel on Oct. 11 (15th Oct in EMEA territories), the PlayStation Network on Oct. 12 in America (Oct 13th in EMEA territories), and Xbox Live Arcade on Oct. 13 across all territories.

    Sonic 4 will be priced at 1500 Wii Points on WiiWare, 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live Arcade, and $14.99 / £9.99 / €12.99 / AU$19.95 on the PlayStation Network.

    SEGA previously delayed the title last spring to allow for more development time. The publisher has not said how many episodes it plans to release in this series.

    SEGA said it will have more details on the price of the iPhone version later this week.
    [/SPOILER]
    Last edited by Ithian; 10-18-2010 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Added another game review and moved thread to review forum
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

  2. #2
    sweet, I always loved the original sonic games

  3. #3
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    cant wait for the release....



    i have the genesis VC on my wii... love them

  4. #4
    Here's a video with some actual gameplay footage. Might be the 360 version?

    Sonic 4 Gameplay
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

  5. #5
    There's supposed to be another character they haven't revealed it yet the official website has most of the content locked & also has a countdown of when the information will be released it's driving me crazy!!!!

    RedArrow

  6. #6
    Source: VGChartz.com

    SEGA released new images, a new song, and a new character for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 the game will be released on WiiWare, PSN, XBL, and a mystery platform

    The Sonic 4 website was updated today, the new additions include:



    Splash Hill Zone + Complete site redesign
    New Screenshots of Splash Hill Zone
    Character Reveal #2: Eggman
    Free Music Download from Act 1 of Splash Hill Zone. You can download the song here
    To check those updates visit Sonic 4 official page















    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

  7. #7
    Leaked video of an entire act. Not sure how long it'll be up.



    Graphically it looks ok, as a huge fan of the old games (I played them nonstop when they were released, 2nd only to the old mario kart for me) I'm not sure how excited I am for this release. I may change my mind after I actually get to try it. We'll see.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

  8. #8
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    thanx, my son will be excited to see this. he has already been asking me about it.
    Sent from my van, down by the river.




    Never quantify your life by comparison. It is always going to be apples to oranges. If you feel the need to always look down on others, you currently do not own enough mirrors------ Tommie Griffin.

  9. #9
    New Member hypedblank's Avatar
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    I can't wait till this game is out, I used to play Sonic & Knuckles 3 on my Sega Megadrive when I was younger. Sorta nostalgic for me.

    On a side note it's also coming on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad

  10. #10
    and we now have release dates for this game:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Taylor
    Excited for the supposed return to glory days of Sonic? Well, then you'll be stoked to hear that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 has just gotten a release date confirmed.

    You can expect some speedy adventures with everybody's favourite blue hedgehog in October. For more specific dates, look below.

    App Store: October 7th
    WiiWare: October 11th (US), October 15th (EU)
    PSN: October 12th (US), October 13th (EU)
    XBLA: October 13th

    Source: IGN
    Quote Originally Posted by IGN
    Everyone's favorite blue hedgehog will be ready to go next month as SEGA announced the release date for several versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.

    The game will be available for download on the iTunes App Store starting Oct. 7, the Wii Shop Channel on Oct. 11 (15th Oct in EMEA territories), the PlayStation Network on Oct. 12 in America (Oct 13th in EMEA territories), and Xbox Live Arcade on Oct. 13 across all territories.

    Sonic 4 will be priced at 1500 Wii Points on WiiWare, 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live Arcade, and $14.99 / £9.99 / €12.99 / AU$19.95 on the PlayStation Network.

    SEGA previously delayed the title last spring to allow for more development time. The publisher has not said how many episodes it plans to release in this series.

    SEGA said it will have more details on the price of the iPhone version later this week.
    Didn't expect them to be right around the corner like that.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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