Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has been previewed, played, reviewed, picked apart, dissected and a whole host of other actions. We’re not here today to do any of those things. This article isn’t about how Sonic 4 Episodes I & II played or the behind-the-scenes politics of how the game came about. This article is about how a few fans with too much time on their hands bothered SEGA enough about silly little details.
Way back in 2010, SEGA revealed Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and speculation ran rampant. How would it play? How would it tie to Sonic 3 & Knuckles? Could we expect a Sonic 4 Happy Meal? These and many more questions were asked. Now, six years later, many of those questions have been answered and with the upcoming Sonic Mania, fans are looking towards the future while Sonic 4 Episodes I & II remain in the past. But one little question has always gone unanswered, and that question is “What is the name of the island in Sonic 4?”. Following the game’s release, I reached out to SEGA for an answer, but I came back with just a few names of the bosses from Episode II. We tried again last year in an interview with Aaron Webber, but aside from his own head canon answer there was no apparent official name.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4
Ever wondered what its like to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II online with a friend? Me and Guess_Who, (With GeneHF and Retro user AndrewRoks1998 also providing commentary!) play through the game despite the struggles, frustration, and desyncs that got in our way in this Vidya Retro highlight. You can watch the misadventures segmented on YouTube or on Twitch in 60 frames per second.
UPDATE (AGAIN): It looks as if Amazon.com in the US is also providing a couple of collections for digital PC download for sale on Sega games. However only one of the packages activate on Steam. That being the Dreamcast Pack containing Dreamcast Collection Volume 1 (Which contains Sonic Adventure DX, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Sega Bass Fishing) and Jet Set Radio for $4.99. The Genesis pack is still on sale for $4.99 as well, however those do not activate on Steam, but that’s still 50 Genesis games that also sell for $7.50 a pack currently.
While this is not really a deal, they also sell Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg for digital download PC. (This also does NOT activate on Steam) Still noteworthy.
UPDATE (12/3/2012): Sonic Generations is 75% off again on Steam until December 10th as part of a sale celebrating the official release of Big Picture Mode. Another Sega game, Hell Yeah! is 75% off as well. You can check out all of the other deals here. Amazon is also having a sale on downloadable Sega games, with various bundles. This includes the Sonic Action Pack for $25, which includes every downloadable Sonic game besides Sonic Adventure 2. These deals are good until December 8th and can be seen here in this NeoGAF thread.
Those who have used Steam for at least half a year know that their sales are usually pretty darn good, with lots of games usually being 50% or 75% off. Like now Sonic Generations is 75% off until November 27th, which is a great deal if you don’t have the game yet. All other Sega games on the service besides those that came out during the last month or so are 50% off as well. Other good games on sale are Dishonored for 50% off, Batman: Arkham City GOTY Edition for 75% off and Deus Ex: Human Revolution for 75% off.
Also, if you missed out on the Starbucks deal for Sonic 4: Episode II you can get Episode I for $2.99 and Episode II for $3.74 on Amazon. Both episodes use Steamworks so you’ll have to activate them on Steam in order to play them. The Sega Genesis Classic Game Pack is also priced off to $4.99 and includes 50 Genesis games.
Once again, all-star Retro Member Skyler “Make Me A Staff Member So I Can Post This Myself” King delivers on the goods. Struck by musical inspiration, Skyler has dared to ask the question, “What would happen if Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s music sounded as I truly imagined it?” And that is how Sonic 2×4 was born. Listen to the Emerald Hill Zone as if it were really Splash Hill. Marvel at Metropolis like you were running from a wall that wanted to ruin you. Be thankful the flippers work properly in Casino Night. And most importantly, wonder what would go through the mind of Masato Nakamura if he ever heard this.
Yesterday, SEGA held their first ever “Community Event” at their headquarters, inviting those far and wide to come, check out the place, play a bit of Phantasy Star Portable 2, and talk about Sonic’s other latest outing, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.
Because he simply had nothing better to do, forum member Sammybeany decided to attend, not really interested in playing Phantasy Star but plenty prepared for the “highlight” of the evening, the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 feedback session.
As can be expected, the half-hour alloted was not nearly enough time for proper discussion. Sammy was slightly agitated and how quickly they tried to move things along (almost like the release of Sonic 2006 haha see the joke I made there), but a lot of topics were brought up in the discussion that at least were heard by Aaron Webber and Ken Balough. Is it enough to force SEGA’s hand and change the direction of future installments? Who knows. But hey, at least there were free gourmet sandwiches.
To read his entire report, either go to the thread on the forums, or just click on the jump below. And be sure to keep an eye out for Retro’s own Slingerland give his two cents on The Sonic Stadium. Update: Slingerland’s report is up. Check it out.
Tomorrow is October, the month of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Though it won’t be long before everyone and their avatar will have their own “HANDS-ON” opinion of the latest Sonic game, SEGA is priming the hype train with their latest trailer. Exclusive to Gamespot, the trailer showcases the penultimate level in the game, Mad Gear. Full of twists, turns, steam and (this is the craziest part) gears, it is sure to be the highlight of the game, even if takes more than a few cues from Metropolis Zone. But hey, who didn’t love every single badnik in that level? Right?
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: It’s potentially…
So the game that the vast majority of the SoS-goers were there to play was Sonic 4. Now, a few in the scene have already played it thanks to the leak but I’m willing to bet that most haven’t due to the J-Tag requirement, so for the vast majority at the show it was their first playthrough, it was certainly mine. And after the wait in the queue, the demo pods came within reach and I finally got to see if the internet butthurt over this simple downloadable video game had been warranted.
Tonight at 4 p.m. Pacific time, we should be hearing from Sega concerning the Sonic 4 announcement we alluded to earlier in the week. From there, tune in to GameSpot’s On the Spot show at 5 p.m. Pacific for an interview with Sega representative and Retro poster RubyEclipse; there will be “something else” exclusively announced on the show.
Stay tuned to Sonic Retro for more news as it develops (and to our forums where a 40-page argument will inevitably break out. 😉 )
So, after the leak issues that cropped up in April concerning Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Sega has been eerily quiet concerning the state of the game–no website updates, no badnik reveals, maybe five official screenshots. This sort of worried us internally, trying to figure out what exactly the course of action was concerning the game.
Then we received a message, cryptically enough, from Sega stating “the reason for the last couple month’s blackouts on Sonic 4 updates will also begin to make sense.”
And apparently they will on Thursday, May 20th. Keep posted here at Retro and The Sonic Stadium to find out what this development entails.
Forum member infinity has somehow managed to obtain a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 4‘s soundtrack and has posted it on the forums!
My thoughts? Splash Hill Act 1 was just really shoddily done; this soundtrack is nowhere near as bad as I thought it’d be! I recommend checking out Mad Gear in particular as well as Splash Hill Acts 2 & 3. Really top notch stuff all around.
Check out the relevant forum topic!
UPDATE: Boss 1 is actually an unused track from the 16-bit Sonic 3D – so at least one track from this game dates back to 1995! See the below Youtube link for the original unused song:
An MP3 download of the above track is here.