Jul 11, 2013This game takes a humongous amount of aspects and inspiration from the original trilogy, in fact to the point that it seems it was intentional in order to provide nostalgia factor for the players. Of course that’s not a bad thing at all, especially considering that the game added some of its own twists to all of the original goodies that it included.
Sonic 4 Episode 1 consists mainly of 4 different zones Splash Hill Zone, Casino Street Zone, Lost Labyrinth Zone, and Mad Gear Zone each one containing 3 acts, plus a boss fight with Dr Eggman. One of really impressive features in this game is that right after completing the first act in Splash Hill, we get access to every single act in every single stage (apart from the boss acts). So as opposed to having to complete the game in a linear fashion, we can choose in which order to do all the levels, with even a chance to revisit previous levels if we want to say acquire some more lives or to have another chance to access the special stages. Another great thing is that with each new act something new is added to each of the zones and hence making each act stand out from the one before.
Splash Hill Zone continues the tradition of the original trilogy that always has a paradisal, grassy, waterfall-infested place as the first zone, where the player can get acquainted with the game and to generally cruise through. Casino Street Zone as the name implies is the same one as we’ve seen in Sonic 2, with also some inspirations of the Carnival Night Zone of Sonic 3. Lost Labyrinth Zone is mostly based on the Labyrinth Zone from the original Sonic, except now it looks much prettier than before, and introduces some new stuff, such as balancing atop large rolling rocks, traversing dark areas, etc. Mad Gear Zone is easily recognizable as a tribute to Scrap Brain Zone from original Sonic, and even more so to the Metropolis Zone in Sonic 2, and in my opinion it’s even cooler and more epic than before. In the 3rd act of this zone, which is probably my favourite act in the entire game, for most of the time we are being chased by a huge machine, which has a single purpose to flatten us into a pancake.
The final zone that we get access to once all the others are beaten was a bit of a disappointment though since most of it is a repetition of previous boss fights. Throughout the game we can also access the special stages, which play a lot like the ones from the original Sonic, where Sonic traverses spinning maze-like structure in order to get to the emerald at the end. What’s different this time round, however, is that we get to spin the maze ourselves in order to guide Sonic, but there is a time limit, so we must be quick about it.
Perhaps one criticism that I’ve seen being mentioned by many other players of this game is how the control is a bit strange, and I’d have to agree to it. Unlike the original trilogy where Sonic has a lot of momentum when running and jumping, this time round, if we let go off the direction button midway through the jump, then Sonic instantly starts to fall down as opposed to continuing to fly in the same direction. It is a bit of an annoying mechanic, but it is something one can get used to fairly quickly, not to mention that a new addition of homing diving attack when in midair makes the gameplay pretty fun.
For the most part I’ve really enjoyed Sonic 4 Episode 1. Although the overall game isn’t overly long 5 hours or so), each stage has been given a lot of detail and attention, and some new gameplay mechanics can keep the experience quite fresh in each new stage. Sure, this game does not surpass the originals, but I think it really deserves its place amongst them.… Expand
Mar 1, 2012Although I do not normally side with gamers who prefer digital versions of games, in the case of episodic games, it's perfectly rational, especially when it's accompanied by a very logical price- priced at 7 euros, Sonic 4.1 does not disappoint. [March 2012]