A disgrace to the franchise
Sorry, but this is true. There are several flaws to this title that make it undeserving of its "4" in the the title.
For one, the camera is too close to Sonic. Isn't this the same problem that plagued the Game Boy Advance version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog? Besides the fact that I cannot see what is ahead of me in a decent manner, the camera being so close just does not feel right. I want to see the whole world Sonic is in, not just a close up of Sonic. But alas, Dimps does not agree.
The levels are just bad rehashes of old Sonic levels from before. I would not mind so much if the execution was right. However, the execution fails. Casino Street becomes especially frustrating when you're being shot out of cannons with no idea where to go. Not only that, but besides trying to do a poor remake of the old casino level from Sonic 2, they chose absolutely the worst levels to rehash for the last two areas. No Dimps, I did not find the Labyrinth Zone from the original Sonic fun at all. The Lost Labyrinth Zone here has less water, but the awful puzzles that need to be solved in order to progress through completely shuts down all momentum. Do not get me wrong. I realize Sonic should not be all speed at all times. However, when certain puzzles are taking twenty deaths to figure out because of the time limit, something is amiss.
Using the homing attack in the 3D games makes sense. In Sonic 4 though, it's completely ruins the mechanics. I thought Dimps was trying to capture the feel of the old titles? The homing attack does nothing, absolutely nothing to enhance the game. More often than not, it interferes with the timing of the jumps. Good luck trying to get across the card bridge in Casino Street. You will be cursing like a sailor when the card flips over, and in the frantic struggle to get to the next card you accidentally hit the homing jump.
Do not be fooled by anyone that thinks this captures the feeling of the old Sonic titles. Sonic 4 is an insult to the legacy of Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles.