The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
My relationship with Sonic dates back nearly 20 years. Things were
great in the early days; we ran through the fields and thwarted a
mustachioed mad man’s evil plans together. But after a few years of
bliss we hit rocky times; Sonic experimented with 3D and hit rock
bottom. This trust-shattering downward spiral continued for almost 15
years, but now Sonic has promised change. Is the blue blur’s return to
fidelity and 2D enough to reignite the blissful old flame? Yes, but some
of the magic has faded.
Sonic 4 sets the tone with a fitting
tribute to Green Hill Zone. The hedgehog tears across the lush green
environment, trailing vivid blue streaks that evoke fond 16-bit
memories. Treks through casino, water, and factory-themed levels not
only show off the game’s gorgeous visuals, but also serve as breezy
remixes of the best Sonic levels.
Each level is packed with
familiar enemies, power-ups, and speed devil set pieces like loop de
loops. The goal is still to blaze through these stages while raking in
enough rings to play special stages and score seven chaos emeralds – a
challenging but rewarding task. If you’ve played a classic Sonic game in
the last year you may struggle with the way he controls now. While he
accelerates fine without constant spin dashes, Sonic’s signature
momentum wanes without a constant press of the analog stick. However, an
efficient and fun new homing attack overshadows most frustration caused
by the not-quite-apt controls.
This new title looks, feels, and
sounds like an upgraded Sonic game. Easily digestible torch lighting
puzzles and mine cart segments do well to break up the game’s pacing,
but more variety would have been welcomed. Playing four stages within
one level’s theme gets repetitive. Additional incentive for enduring
frustratingly difficult special stages to collect arbitrary gems would
have been nice, too – Super Sonic and a teaser ending just doesn’t cut
Sonic does his best to make things like they used to
be, but all the candlelit dinners and chaos emeralds in the world can’t
hide the fact that we’ve both changed. It may not be the be all end all
Sonic game that professed enthusiasts like myself have been waiting 15
years for, but Sonic 4 is a fun, frenetic download for fans and
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.