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Sonic The Hedgehog 4 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tim Wray   
Monday, 10 January 2011 19:18

I have been generally out of the loop in modern video games, until earlier this year when we broke down and invested in a Wii. It was the first new console I had since at least the Sega Genesis. I’m known for my collecting of older gaming paraphenalia, but this was a new adventure for me.


So, somehow, in learning about the Wii and all the games that are worth having for it, I ran across a video on the Nintendo Channel. It was a preview of a zone in the new, soon to be released (at the time) Sonic the Hedgehog 4 from Sega. Available for 1500 Wii Points ($15) as WiiWare on the Nintendo Shop Channel, Oct 11, 2010.


Rarely does something stop me in my tracks in the modern gaming era, but this caught my eye. I watched it. A clip that started with the singing Sega logo, just like the Geneiss games. The game, it looked modern, but it was certainly in the likes of the platformer from the Genesis, the last real Sonic games that were worth your time, and fun to play. (Starting with Sonic 3D Blast, they started feeling VERY cumbersome, more hard to figure out than fun to play. Sega never really seemed to recover from that slump.)

So, I finally broke down and got my copy of the game, labeled “Episode 1”. I proceeded to play it for at least an hour. With the act intros resembling an animated title card from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and sound effects that are a mixture of the 3 (I count Sonic and Kunckles locked onto Sonic 3 as the “real” sonic 3) Genesis games. It has the zone ending gates (stationery spinning sign) from Sonic 1 and 2, and you have to try to jump into the giant spinning ring that appears at the end of each act (if you have 50 rings, of course) to get into the special stage, al-la Sonic the Hedgehog 1. At the end of each act, you hear a modern version of the tune that you heard when you finished an act in Sonic 1 and 2. Player 1ups generate a mixed sample of the extra life effect from Sonic 3.


Most of the reviews online rate the game as lackluster compared to the older counterparts. I, for one, have enjoyed playing it. The physics are a bit flawed in comparison to the original games. (sonic can walk up 90 degree walls vertically, on the Genesis, you had to get a running start, for just one example.) There is little resistance when you try to shift direction, making Sonic a bit more “Mario” like in control than Sonic of old. Yet, when you let off the directional pad, he stops much more quickly than he “should” in comparison to the Genesis games.


Even with these flaws, the game is still a blast to play, and I consider it a worthy successor to the legend. It is available on Xbox Live, WiiWare, Playstation Network, and on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPod.