By BlazeHedgehog 0 Comments
I've been posting reviews here day-and-date with TSSZ, but this is a fairly important review to me, so it's going to be up on TSSZ exclusively for a while. I hope you understand. You can click here to read it, and here's a sampler to whet your appetite:
In theory, using proven concepts should make Sonic the Hedgehog 4 a game that would be difficult to screw up. Unfortunately, it’s lacking in one all-important aspect: the controls. A key, defining factor of the 16-bit Sonic games was the sense of momentum they presented. Running down slopes would help Sonic to accelerate, and running up a slope would cause Sonic to slow down a little. The steeper the slope, the more pronounced the effect, and rolling in to Sonic’s trademark “spinball” form would only increase his slope sensitivity. A well-timed spin would allow Sonic to blow through levels at far faster speeds than he could ever achieve by running on foot. When Sonic transitioned to 3D, the franchise moved away from these concepts in favor of scripted scenes and row after row of booster pads bolted to the floor of ever level. This is where Sonic 4 picks up, and though it makes a half-hearted attempt to re-implement these momentum-based controls, to a Sonic veteran, it’s endlessly disappointing that rolling in to Sonic’s ball form is mostly useless outside of specific scripted scenes where the game automatically forces you to roll, and things get aggravating about the time you reach a pinball-table-styled level like Casino Street and Sonic does not appropriately control the way a pinball should. This is to say nothing of the game’s stiff, sluggish acceleration, which can make even simple platforming puzzles awkward to complete. These are Sonic Rush controls, on a game that you can’t really play like Sonic Rush. ( Keep reading)
The review goes on for quite a bit longer than that simple paragraph, because I felt that I needed to go a little more in-depth to get my point across sufficiently. I really expected to like Sonic 4 despite its relative inaccuracies in physics, and when the game started getting 8's and 9's from IGN and such, I honestly got a glimmer of hope. My "It's not like the old games, and that's bad!" stance began to soften considerably and I found myself staying up all night on Tuesday to download and play Sonic 4 the moment it went live on the Xbox Marketplace because I was excited to play it.
In the end, the longer I played Sonic 4, the more frustrated with it I became. Without spoiling too much of the review, it's basically another step in Sega retroactively ruining everybody's memories about the classic Sonic games (See: Brad's "Isn't this how Sonic games have always been?" remarks in the Quicklook), and given the rumor about the upcoming "Sonic Anniversary" game for 2011, it would appear that they aren't going to stop until anything anybody used to love about the Genesis games has been George Lucas'd to death.