Sonic 4 Ep.1 Dated: Oct 11

For the rest of the gaming world.
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Monkey wrote:You'd be paying as much as a full retail game after 4 episodes.
Well, that's kind of what I was getting to.

Consider that according to this wiki, the game has 4 zones, each one divided into 3 acts, plus a boss run at the end. That would total 13 levels, which is already one more than Sonic 3 and S&K (seperately), although still much less than Sonic 2's 20, to be fair. It also looks like the levels are lengthy enough.
Now, if the following episodes follow the same pattern, we'd be getting 42 levels for the price of a full retail game, which is just over twice the content of Sonic 2. In terms of content/pricing, I think it's pretty fair.

The only question left, though, is quality.

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Unless I obtained a different version than the final build... here's a mini review.

The game starts you off on Splash Hill Zone 1, an accurate recreation of Green Hill Zone, with a few more jump pads. After beating the first stage, you are put on the main menu, where you can select acts 1-3 on Splash Hill, Casino Street, Lost Labyrinth, and Mad Gear Zones (boss battles aren't unlocked until all three acts are beat). After entering your first special stage, you can also pick through levels 1-7 as you unlock them. Although the game is essentially "Run right until you hit something" two modes are available for leaderboard score whoring: Score Attack and Time Attack. I'm not a big fan of the graphics, they're very Sonic 3D Blast-y with a little less gloss. I'd poop myself a little if a throwback sprite Sonic was unlockable at some point...

The controls are simple, as they should be if it's really going to be a sequel to the originals.
The control stick feels kind of iffy, and I hate the 360's D-pad enough as it is. The homing attacks from the Adventure/Rush series (for me) are an unwanted addition, but will enable you to find alternative paths, extra lives and what-have-you.

The key element in every Sonic game is speed, and the Genesis titles seem to have pulled that off better than any crap Sonic Team can come up with. The layout of SPLASH HILL and CASINO STREET are nostalgia bombs, taking almost completely after the stages from Sonic 2 with a few renovations for the homing attack, ziplines swinging vines and the various spring pads. Thankfully there's no grinding that I've seen so far.)

100 Rings is an extra life. Seven Chaos Emeralds and 50 Rings makes you Super Sonic; unsure about ringburn.
Power-Ups include:
Bubble Shield - Take one hit without losing any rings, or dying without rings. Falling of the map (and drowning?) can still kill you.
Invincibility - Automatically kills enemies by touching them, unaffected by spikes, and any hazards other than falling off the map.
Running Shoes - Gives Sonic a temporary (about 30 second) boost of speed.
Extra Life - Adds one life to the counter.
of course you know these already. Thought i'd add it in case something new pops up.

360 Achievements
:gyroid: The Story Begins (5g)
:gyroid: The First Chaos Emerald (5g)
Acquire a Chaos Emerald.
:gyroid: Crush Dr. Eggman (5g)
Defeat a boss for the first time.
:gyroid: Enemy Hunter (10g)
Defeat 1,000 enemies.
:gyroid: Golden Flash (10g)
Clear all Acts as Super Sonic
:gyroid: All Stages Cleared! (10g)
Defeat the final boss and view the ending.
:gyroid: Contender (10g)
Upload your recorded scores and clear times for all stages.
:gyroid: Ring Collector (15g)
Collect all the Rings in 'Special Stage 1' and Clear the stage.
:gyroid: Immortal (25g)
Build up 99 or more extra lives.
:gyroid: Super Sonic Genesis (30g)
Acquire all seven Chaos Emeralds.
:gyroid: Speed's My Game (35g)
Clear SPLASH HILL ZONE ACT 1 in less than a minute.
:gyroid: Untouchable (40g)
Clear the E.G.G. STATION ZONE without taking any damage.

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no fire/lightning shields?

also what's the fucking greatness about having sonic never in spindash form when he's launched in the air?

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Ray wrote:no fire/lightning shields?
Not from what I've seen so far. Ive beaten the first two stages, the labyrinth is beyond a pain in the ass, and I haven't touched the last one yet.

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Downloaded the minute it came out. :D

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End credits rolling. Missing 4 Emeralds. Those special stages can be a bitch sometimes...

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how long was it?

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So, how was it?

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Ray wrote:how long was it?
If you take a look at the time of my posts, you'll notice it was a good two hours, just beating it, nothing else. It's just about as long as Sonic 3. Spent another two hours working on the Emeralds, but the last special stage is a clusterfuck, so I quit before I ragequit.
Devo wrote:So, how was it?
Surprisingly good. Familiar, yet refreshing. Pretty much every level is a throwback to the old Genesis games. So are the boss fights. Heck, the end boss (without all Emeralds) is Sonic 2's Death Egg with a twist. The levels are well-made and distinct from one another, even though there are only 4 zones. The music is nothing to write home about, but it's catchy. Homing attack works very well, the levels take good advantage of it.

The physics are a tad off, if you ask me. Sonic has trouble maintaining momentum while spinning. He's floaty. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, but once you get how levels flow, you can make some good time. Last I checked, I was 15th for Splash Hill Act 1. People are starting to unlock Super Sonic, so I'll be off the charts soon enough. Speaking of Super Sonic, the special stages are a tad confusing, and the somewhat-off physics don't help. The camera is too close at times, and I've targeted things off-screen with the homing attack. Could be that I'm playing 4:3, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

All in all, very good game. A few nitpicks, but not deal-breaking. It's just a matter of whether or not you think it's worth the $15. I do. Just take an hour or so to get used to the new physics.

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I'm going to play through the Genesis games one more time before I decide if I'm going to drop the $15. I'd get the Wii version for the Classic controller D-Pad.

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The floatyness didn't look appealing from the vids. I couldn't find time of day timestamps in under 20 seconds so I gave up.

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Devo wrote:So, how was it?
That's a rather personal question, sir!

Anyway, "Ah yeah! This game is happenin'!"

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Played the demo. I have a couple nitpicks. The first is how quickly Sonic loses momentum when you let go of right (even more so in the air). The second is how he doesn't ball up in the air anymore. I guess that's because of the homing attack.

Visuals are OK, other than Sonic's running animation being a bit off. They could've added a jogging animation between walking and running IMO. It gets a bit weird. I found that using the homing attack on nothing is a much faster way to accelerate, though. I still don't understand why they (or anyone for that matter) used 3D models in a 2D game. Good sprites are always better in 2D games.

All the music in the demo is awful. I hope it gets better.

Overall, it's decent, but not worth $45.

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Monkey wrote:All the music in the demo is awful. I hope it gets better.
It doesn't.
Monkey wrote:Overall, it's decent, but not worth $45.
Where I live (planet Earth), it's $15.

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1/3 of it costs $15.

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