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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (iOS) Review
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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (iOS) Review

by BarryOctober 7, 2010

“16 Years in the Making” they say, but is it as good as those games from 16 years ago?

Sonic 4

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Dimps/Sonic Team
Format Reviewed: iOS (£5.99)
Also available on: Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii (From Week Beginning 11th Oct)

So, think back to where you were 16 years ago. Chances are you were either a Sega or Nintendo fan boy.

Members of the NDF had their massively overrated Super Mario World (96 “levels” that are all pretty much the same pfft), whilst we Sega Warriors had the awesome Sonic 3 followed up by it’s brilliant second half Sonic & Knuckles (and the massive cartridge that you got when you locked on!).

Since those golden days, you could argue that Sonic hasn’t really been at his best – out of all the 3D Sonic games, the Adventure series was the best, although the daytime levels of Unleashed were a close second (but that’s hardly saying anything).

The fans wanted a 2D Classic Sonic, “but Sonic Advance on the GBA and Sonic Rush for the DS just aren’t good enough” they cried, so Sega kindly brought us Sonic 4. “A return to classic Sonic” they said… If by “Classic” they mean a total mess then yes, they’re right on the money.

So what’s wrong this time? Well for a start it’s just so uninspired – all the levels try their best to emulate previous Sonic games, resulting in essentially a bad rip off of Sonic 2, even down to the boss choices (ok, the first boss is the same as the first one from Sonic 1 but still…).

The level’s themselves are full of boost pads galore and don’t you dare try to make it through the game without using the homing attack (there are various points where you need to use it or you’re stuck). When you go round a loop the camera spins round which gets annoying.

By now you’ll have seen the videos of the Mine Cart level (which has since been removed from the console versions, but is still present in the iOS version) – it is as bad as it looks and tilting the screen to move the cart could have been handled so much better instead it just feels like you’re pouring a really thick liquid down a drain. The special stages also feature this lovely control method as well as a timer – by the time you’ve struggled to move sonic where you want you’ll have ran out of time – adding a bit of difficulty to the game but not the welcome kind.

If there’s one thing you won’t be struggling with, it’s completing the levels. First run through took me less than an hour on my lunch break. I died once. There’s certainly better value iOS games out there.

The music is OK but nowhere near as good as the Classic Sonic games, and as is expected many sound effects are borrowed from other Sonic games.

Controls wise, it’s standard iOS fare, you’ll struggle a bit at first, but after a while the touch controls become acceptable. Sonic’s physics however are off – he has a bit too much weight to him yet still floats a bit too easy. Momentum is rarely required to go up steep inclines, on one early level i simply walked up a fairly steep incline, which in the old games you’d have to get a bit of speed up to climb or even spin dash.

Oh, and rehashing all the bosses from the game you’ve fought does not a good last level make.

If Sega truly listens to the fan feedback after this episode, they could make Episode 2 more like the classic games. However the Sonic cycle dictates that we will continue to be disappointed.  Nice try Sega, but you must try much harder.

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About The Author
Barry
Barry is the owner of Computers N Stuff. When not writing about games he can be found glowing radioactive and spending time with his son who he is trying to brainwash into games.
2 Comments
  • October 7, 2010 at 21:47

    Yeah, sorry, not taking the opinion of a Sonic fanboy who thinks Super Mario World wasn’t as good as Sonic 3 seriously. And I was a Sega kid back in the day, but at least I’m a realistic one.

  • October 9, 2010 at 15:57


    Matt:

    Yeah, sorry, not taking the opinion of a Sonic fanboy who thinks Super Mario World wasn’t as good as Sonic 3 seriously. And I was a Sega kid back in the day, but at least I’m a realistic one.

    Firstly, it’s his opinion. Secondly, he’s right 🙂

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