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SpecTech: New Sonic 4 slightly flawed

Welcome to this week’s review; I hope you guys didn’t get pranked too hard on Sunday.
After 16 years of waiting and begging, fans finally got a sequel to Sonic 3 and Knuckles, a 1994 platform video game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.  This was the first time Sonic has had a purely 2D platformer on a home console since.

 The story takes place right after the Death Egg is destroyed from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

 Sonic parts from Tails and Knuckles and starts to explore new areas of the world, but Dr. Robotnik, a.k.a. Dr. Eggman, survived and is recreating his past inventions to hopefully defeat Sonic once and for all. Sonic travels through four zones and one final zone in space. 

 The game ends with Sonic celebrating in the game’s first level, Splash Hill Zone, with all the rescued animals, much like Sonic 1.  If the player collects all the Chaos Emeralds, they get a secret ending revealing some information about Episode II.  Also, Sonic and Dr. Eggman have a modern design, not a Genesis one.

 Gameplay feels very fun and fast.  Sonic is armed with both his Spin Dash and the homing attack which helps to reach higher areas of levels.

 In the game there are five levels, Splash Hill Zone, Casino Street Zone, Lost Labyrinth Zone, Mad Gear Zone and E.G.G. Station Zone.

 These zones are modeled after past zones: Green Hill Zone, Casino Night Zone, Labyrinth Zone and Metropolis Zone. 

 All of the zones, except the last one, have three acts as well as a boss act.  Each act has its own gameplay gimmick.

 For example, Splash Hill Zone Act 1 is very simple with speed and platforming, Act 2 has vine swings and Act 3 has zip lines. 

The special stages to collect the Chaos Emeralds are back and they feel both old and new.

 To get to the special stage Sonic must collect 50 rings and jump into the giant ring at the end of the stage, much like Sonic 1 and Sonic CD.

 These stages are modeled after Sonic 1’s special stages, but instead of controlling Sonic, the player controls the stage.

 You have to move the stage to allow Sonic to get to the Emerald safely.  Once a player has collected all of the Emeralds, Super Sonic is playable in all acts except boss acts and the E.G.G. Station Zone. 

 This is the first time this has happened since Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

 Sonic is sometimes difficult to control.  The physics in this game are much different than the Genesis games.  Sonic tends to have “floatyness” about him. 

 This game also doesn’t have the momentum based gameplay from before, meaning that if you jump and stop holding a direction, Sonic will reach the peak of his jump and drop straight down.

 Sonic also “uncurls” which happens when he rolls up a hill and into the air; he comes out of his ball form and makes himself vulnerable.

 Sonic will also occasionally stick to a wall. You can actually stand vertically and then perform the Spin Dash.  He can also walk up vertical walls.

 I feel that this game is not a sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but rather Sonic 2.  Each of the past Sonic games changed so many things after the previous game. 
 Sonic 1 was simple.
 Sonic 2 introduced the Spin Dash, Tails, larger zones, a new special stage and an even harder final zone.
 Sonic 3 & Knuckles introduced Knuckles, the Super Emeralds, the Master Emerald, environmental shields, larger levels, and continuality of levels, bonus stages, the insta-shield and a new special stage.
 Sonic 4 just feels like Sonic 1 and 2 put together, almost ignoring all the things that Sonic 3 & Knuckles introduced. 
 Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I is a good game; it will take a while for classic Sonic fans to get used to, but it is a lot of fun when one does.

 I feel like the game completely ignored Sonic 3 & Knuckles I hope the physics will get an update as Episode II is changing lots of issues that Episode I had.

 I give Sonic 4: Episode I 7 out of 10.  Sonic 4: Episode I is now available on Xbox LIVE Arcade, WiiWare, PlayStation Network, iOS, Android Market, Steam and Windows Phone 7. 

 Look forward to Episode II on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, iOS, Steam, Windows Phone 7 and Tegra 3 Android devices this spring.

 The question this week is, “Are you excited for Sonic 4: Episode II?”  Email your answers to smsetser@valdosta.edu or answer at vsuspectech.blogspot.com/

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  1. My review for Episode II is out now. Thank you for pointing that out. You can watch the review at the official SpecTech blog at http://vsuspectech.blogspot.com/

  2. oh….um…you know episode 1 came out in October 7, 2010 right? Episode 2 is slated to be released next month, so you might want to get on that when it’s out =o

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