“Breathe easy, Sonic fans. SEGA got this one right.”
This is a quote from IGN’s review of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. An interesting statement considering there’s a pretty large portion of the fan base that would beg to disagree. I myself held my breath for the most part until the game was finally released and I didn’t feel like “SEGA got this one right” personally. Then comes one of my favorite gaming blogs online: Joystiq.
Joystiq took a different approach reviewing the game compared to IGN or 1up. That approach of course is being objective and properly criticizing the game while acknowledging what few things may make it enjoyable. I highly recommend reading the full review to get a nice understanding of what Sonic 4 is actually like to play. Writer Ludwig Kietzmann goes over some very interesting criticism of the game including the infamous physics (or lack-thereof) and inconsistencies in level design. At the same time, they praise Sonic Team (and Dimps) for attempting some colorful originality in parts of the levels and the fact that they aren’t quite as “hold right to win” as some previous Sonic outings. Though, they are careful to note they don’t quite hold up to the complexity as levels like Oil Ocean Zone from Sonic 2.
Today Sega announced that the Episode 1 release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has been moved to late 2010, with the extra dev time being spent on “tuning and balancing” the game. Nothing more concrete than this window has been announced.
The press release that was released today officially confirms the iPhone & iPod Touch release of the platform that was discovered from the offcial website’s assets earlier in the year. A video is due to be released after tonight’s episode of GameSpot’s On The Spot feature, which will go up at 10pm UTC/GMT (i.e. just over half an hour from this post).
“SEGA is incredibly happy at the overwhelmingly positive response to Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I from both press and fans around the world, and wants to ensure that we’re delivering the best Sonic experience possible,” says the official press release on the Sonic Blognik blog. “With this dedication to quality and the Sonic experience in mind, SEGA has decided to extend the development of the game, and will now release Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I in the latter half of 2010. The additional time will allow the Development Team to focus on ensuring overall high-quality throughout the game by continuing to tune, balance, and maintain the kind of polish that an important title like this demands, and ultimately providing fans with an unrivalled classic Sonic feel.”
In addition, a new Sonic 4 trailer has been released featuring footage from the first level in the game, Splash Hill Zone:
As you may recall, Retro & Stadium exclusively broke the news of this upcoming announcement 3 days ago. Stick with Sonic Retro for future developments on the Q4 2010 release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.
UPDATE: According to Gamespot’s On the Spot, the iPhone release of Sonic 4 will sport two exclusive levels not present in any of the console releases! No specific details on that yet, but we’ll let you know.