Let’s be honest here, when it comes to the “new” 3D sonic games they don’t seem to have the same impact, that the older 2D classic sonic games had, that were released on the Sega megadrive. Time after time Sega announces a new sonic game, and with each they hype it up saying things such as: “This new sonic game will be the speediest sonic game ever!” and “This new sonic game will show that sonic can have the same impact in 3D as in his 2D adventures.” However each time Sega brings out a new 3D sonic game, it never reaches the heights that Sega claimed. Most fans started to speak up and say that to truly get the best out of a sonic game, it has to be 2D. So Sega listened and decided their next title would be called simply sonic the hedgehog 4.
Sega once again claimed that this is the true 2D sonic game that the blue blur fans have been waiting for! Of course gamers had heard this millions of times before with previous sonic games; yes I’m looking at you Sonic unleashed! But eventually Sega started to release beta screenshots of Sonic 4, and it did look like a missing megadrive sonic game, but with better graphics. Sega even released some music tracks that would be played in the game, and they sounded like the old megadrive sonic games but obviously better quality. So now finally sonic 4 is released as a download on X box live, playstation network and Wiiware, as sonic the hedgehog 4 episode 1 (Sega plan to release about 3 or 4 episodes which include more levels for each new episode) So the big question, is this the 2D sonic game everyone has been wanted from Sega since sonic and knuckles was released back in the early 90’s? Yes, yes it is.
Sega finally has delivered the sonic game that fans have been waiting for; from the way sonic runs to the way the levels are panned out, this really is a megadrive game but with better graphics, and quality sound. Sonic 4’s story takes place shortly after the megadrive game sonic and knuckles. Sonic destroys Doctor Eggman's (a.k.a. Dr Robotnik) space station, the Death Egg. With the Death Egg destroyed and Angel Island returned to the sky, Sonic decides that it is time to take a break. However unknown to the blue hedgehog, Eggman managed to survive their last encounter and vows to get rid of his arch nemesis once and for all!
Just like the classic 2D sonic games, sonic speed across different zones in order to get to the fourth act in every zone so he can face off to Dr. Eggman. Along the way sonic collects rings, runs through loop the loops, crushes Eggman’s robots and uses his super sonic spin dash for when he really wants some speed! As I mentioned before sonic 4 episode 1, plays just like an old classic 2D sonic game. Because most people don’t realise that sonic isn’t just about speeding across the start of the level to the end. There has to be some actual platforming in there as well, which in sonic 4 there is, its not just a case of holding forward on the d pad and letting sonic run through the whole level and occasionally pressing the jump button, go back and play the old sonic games and you will see what I mean. The whole game feels like how a 2D sonic game should be played with speed but at the same time actually platforming elements in there as well. For retro sonic fans there are tons of retro nods to the past megadrive sonic games, from the classic way sonic runs, to the retro sounds sonic makes when he jumps or spins, to the classic enemies sonic encounters and the classic contraptions Dr. Eggman appears in. Yes this really does feel like a missing sonic game from the 90’s.
Sonic the hedgehog episode 1 is brilliant, even if you never played the original sonic the hedgehog games on the megadrive, you will still enjoy this game very much. This is how sonic games should be; finally Sega has made the sonic game they said they would. This game will satisfy both retro and new sonic fans (but it might just satisfy retro heads a bit more with so many things from the old sonic games crammed in!) Either way sonic 4 episode 1 is brilliant from start to finish it may only be four stages to play through, but eventually new episodes will be available for download, and hopefully Sega will stay true to episode 1. If they do then this could truly be the blue blur’s finest hour for a very long time!