The Spin: Why Abhor Sonic 4?

The Spin: Why Abhor Sonic 4?

Sonic the Hedgehog 4’s reveal has had a huge impact on the Sonic fanbase. As I wrote in a similar piece, sitting in my position at the forefront of the community, it’s clear that this game has had the biggest impact in the fanbase than anything Sega has announced before. If more proof was needed, just look at forums such as Sonic Retro – who are pulling apart those short three seconds of gameplay and trying to eke as much information as possible beyond the official line. That shows how excited we all are about the announcement of this game, positive or otherwise.

Earlier today, Brad wrote his own feelings as to why there’s a reason to be worried about the upcoming ‘return to the classics’. It’s a topic that I have been debating with him and others who share his view on the SSMB Forums. There are two sides to every argument however, and as much as Brad was right in posting his feelings, so too should I write something of a friendly counterpost detailing why I think there’s nothing to worry about. Yet.

The People’s Sonic

Ultimately, Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most loved characters in the gaming world. As a result of the love we all have for the blue blur, everyone has a different idea as to what they want their perfect Sonic the Hedgehog title to be. Fans – particularly the “Classic” ones – have had 16 years to dream of how Sonic Team could best continue the Death Egg saga. What Sonic looked like, what level gimmicks there’d be, how the environments would be designed…

So when an announcement for something like Sonic the Hedgehog 4 comes along, some of these fans are undoubtedly bricking it. Which is understandable to a degree – Sonic Team hasn’t exactly had the most stellar track record with these things in recent years, and “invoking the wing-tip logo in vain” could very well be a recipe for disaster.

Watching the trailer, you can clearly see where these fans are coming from when they express disappointment and even anger – it looks nothing like how they imagined Sonic 4 to be! The level’s using gimmicks from Sonic 2 and 3, there are no new imaginative badniks, the running animation is weird and — oh dear God, have you seen Sonic!? Where’s my black-eyed, stocky classic hedgehog? To anyone with this mindset, Sonic 4 looks like a huge slap in the face.

Judgement Call

But is it really that bad? I consider myself a massively hardcore Sonic fan (I figure I must be, owning this website and all), and I don’t really see the issue with anything raised against this game.

The biggest complaint is the use of modern Sonic rather than classic, black-eyed assface. This is all superficial, and in a way, psychological – many fans associate modern Sonic as the bringer of platforming pain and destruction, so it can be seen why some would rather have classic looking Sonic in the house – particularly as this game is titled ‘Sonic 4’.

Let’s be realistic, though – modern Sonic isn’t all that bad. He still has spines, he’s still blue, he still runs a bit. It’s not like you’re playing as the Elephant Man. And in any case, it doesn’t detract anything from the key thing we should be looking at here – the gameplay. Whether we’re playing as classic Sonic the Hedgehog, modern Sonic the Hedgehog or Go-Go the Donkey, it doesn’t matter as long as we’re enjoying platforming action that is expected of a classic title. Although I’d like to see Go-Go do a spin attack.

Gameplay Guessing

Perhaps the biggest liberty that detractors of Sonic 4 are taking is in automatically declaring that the gameplay is going to be crap. What’s that? I’d like your job at Sega if I could, so I can play the game so soon before it’s release! It’s delicious to see Sonic fans ‘confirm’ that the game is nothing more than a ‘Sonic Rush 3’, based on a whole three seconds of spinning and corkscrew looping.

At the end of the day, nobody knows how Sonic 4 is going to play, because nobody’s really seen anything of it. There’s certainly no evidence in the trailer – or anywhere else – that suggests that Sonic Rush’s physics and level design will be applied. ‘Speed gimmick-into-speed gimmick-into-speed gimmick’ has been present in classic Sonic titles as far back as Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Go to Emerald Hill Zone and hot-foot it in the upper path to see what I’m talking about.

One concern that is a legitimate worry – but not legitimate enough to say it is happening – is whether Sonic 4 is a complete retread of past classic games. Never mind the fact that every Mega Drive Sonic game has been a spiritual retread of the last one (Emerald Hill – Green Hill; Angel Island – Aquatic Ruin; Flying Battery – Wing Fortress), it stands to reason that we simply have not seen enough of this game to fully say that this is the case. And no, the level looks nothing like Green Hill Zone, or Leaf Storm.

Intergalactic Reactionary

So what do I make of it then? Am I one of those fans who’ll kiss Sonic Team’s arse no matter what they do? Of course not. I was actually very vocal against games like Sonic and the Black Knight (read my edit in this post). I’m simply cautiously optimistic – and that’s about the right place to be right now. Based on the trailer alone; gameplay looks solid, graphics are absolutely gorgeous, awesome gimmicks are back, and badniks return. How does that not kick arse?

But obviously, there are caveats. We still don’t know what the level design is going to look like. We still don’t know if Sonic Team will implement true spinball physics in conjunction with great level design. Check out a past Sonic Mega Drive title and note the number of inclines, speed opportunities, slopes, pinball arenas, badnik-bopping secrets and momentum-based pathways and you’ll get an idea of how Sonic 4 should (emphasis on should) play. But we’ve seen nothing as to whether this will or won’t be the case.

Just as much as there’s no reason to go hyper-ultra-super-positive over this game, there’s no reason to go hyper-ultra-super-negative either. And the reason is the same – we don’t know what Sonic Team have planned here. But there is a reason to be cautiously optimistic – and that’s because the trailer, and concept art we’ve seen, shows that Sonic Team are hard at work analysing every single facet of the Mega Drive games to ensure this game is as great as they were.

And that alone is worth smiling about.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. The Sonic fanbase has gone downhill, when they are complaining about something they’ve been wanting for 16 years.
    Me, I’m hyped and think it’s going to be great.
    Actual Sonic fans UNITE!

  2. thanks dread, thanks
    THAT was an article i needed. now i will wait how it turns out.
    i think i’ll bring this up again for the whiners (not you Brad, you’re cool)
    *waits for more Sonic 4 info
    (and you should too)

  3. I agree with you here, even I did a similar journal discussing my thoughts and opinions. (Hopefully you read comments ^__^;)

    But I want to bring an interesting theory into play, maybe that second padlock on the website is Classic Sonic? After all, why would SEGA make it clear that Sonic is the only character?

  4. With you there, man. There’s FIVE seconds of game footage, yet people are complaining already. Wow.
    A lot can change in six months, people. Let Sega finish the job before you nerd-rage.

    I’m a light fan of Sonic, but I’ve heard scary things about this fanbase. It’s really annoying to see such a great character get shot down so bad like this from these people.

    I don’t care what anyone says, as long as Sega doesn’t make any stupid decisions, the game is gonna be awesome.

  5. Well said Dred!
    Will the day ever come when a new Sonic game is announced, a small group in the fanbase doesn’t bitch and moan about it?

    “It’s not the classic Sonic! He’s not running fast! This isn’t what I want-” “STFU!!”

    3 seconds of gameplay and your whole world comes crumbling down, whoopdi-fucking-doo! All we can do is wait and hope that the main core of the game (gameplay), isn’t gonna fail on us like in Sonic ’06. As a massive Sonic fan, all I need to hear is; NEW SONIC GAME ANNOUNCED!, then I’m hyped for more info and its release date.

  6. “The biggest complaint is the use of modern Sonic rather than classic, black-eyed assface.”

    See, this is what I don’t get. The modern design fixes everything that was wrong with the classic design- he looks more athletic with longer limbs, his eyes aren’t as plain as they were without the green pupils, and the larger quills make him look more streamlined overall.

    What about classic “ass-face” Sonic was so great to begin with? The design was all wrong for what the character should represent. It boggles my mind that people act like it’s so OBVIOUSLY superior when it clearly is not.

    I guess classic elitists will just continue being a stain on this franchise with their incessant whining and nostalgia-fueled rants. They will never be satisfied with anything more than their precious Genesis games.

  7. I agree 110%. I can’t see how it not being classic Sonic detracts from the gameplay at ALL. And all the people who think Sonic’s running animation look bad need to stop bitching- it has been confirmed he wasn’t at top speed.

  8. I said it in the other article, so I’ll say it here too.

    Green Hill Zone. Running at a moderately fast clip. A level like this only lasts 30 seconds per act. 3 seconds then is a tenth of an act. Don’t knock what you can pick up in a short clip.

  9. No matter how you side with it (classic look or morden look), Sonic is still Sonic. Still, I guess it would be nice if Sega added an option in Sonic 4 that has 2 model modes. Classic and moden. That way most people will be happy.

  10. “A level like this only lasts 30 seconds per act. 3 seconds then is a tenth of an act.”

    Again, based on assumption. Which is the key falling point of this argument.

  11. Joe makes the good point about the modern appearance, after all how would you be expected to run if your quite rotund?
    That’s not to say I didn’t like classic Sonic, but times change and things develop, so it’s only natural that he’d shed some weight and grow slightly taller.

    Also on that note of appearance, i never hear anyone ever complaining that Mario had black eyes and was fatter in the old days, it could have simply been a technological thing.

  12. @ Marcus.

    Sorry but it’s the Sonic games that have gone down hill not the fans. We just don’t want the classic legacy damaged in anyway that’s all!

  13. Why is everyone bitching about modern Sonic being used? I for one am glad Sega is’nt trying to do a mega man 9. it’s 2010 the old Sonic has been used in a new official game for almost a decade. I embrace Sega’s sega’s decision to mix Modern Sonic with classic gameplay with open arms.

  14. I agree.. thats pretty much what i said in the “Sonic 4 What’s in the name” topic, you can’t jump to conclusion based of 3 seconds of footage..
    And i agree with Joe aswell, but another reason could be Sonic was ment to look younger, his orginal design was suppose to be when he was 10. And astime goes on the character ages changing him back to his younger state of time would be an rather odd move. Because than another future sonic game could use modern sonic and sonic 4 uses classic? it just wouldn’t make sense at all.

  15. It’s almost as if some people have become so accustomed to criticising Sega’s decisions that they’ll nitpick at anything that they produce. I do wonder, if you can’t say anything positive or hopeful about a game that so far already shows absolutely buckets more promise than any other we’ve seen at being the kind of game you’ve been asking for for over a decade, why even take an interest? If you’re determined to hate every aspect of it, why not just go about your business and do away with Sonic altogether?

    It’s a psychological thing really. I think some don’t want to be disappointed again so they’re not putting themselves in the position where that is a possibility. It’s understandable, but I think it also means you’ll never really truly enjoy Sonic again if you’re not prepared to put your faith in it every once in a while. In terms of their commitment to being a Sonic fan, I think many people need to start thinking about, if you’ll excuse the crass phrase, whether they’re going to shit or get off the pot.

  16. I completely agree with you, Dreadknux. No matter how hard SEGA tries, they will never, EVER be able to please this fan base because someone will ALWAYS have something to complain about. Some people just don’t have better things to do than complain about a blue hedgehog… Also, most of the complaints people are making about Sonic 4 are based on ASSUMPTIONS. FUN FACT: The people who made the original ‘Project Needlemouse’ teaser that was released in September didn’t see ANYTHING of the actual game, so they just used some random crap they found from the Genesis/Mega Drive games such as the Sonic 1 logo, sfx, etc, and SEGA just went with it. SEGA also never said that the game was going to be EXACTLY like the Genesis/Mega Drive games, they just said that it was going to have the 2-D Side scrolling game play that will be like the Genesis/Mega Drive games, they never said it would have 2-D graphics, they never said it would have ‘old school’ Sonic. You Retro Fans just made that assumption, so it’s not SEGA’s fault that you misinterpreted the information about the game. Also, SEGA further hinted that it was using modern Sonic, based off of the concept art of redesigned badniks. SEGA also never said that the game was made only to satisfy the Retro Fans, they just said that the Retro Fans would enjoy the feel of the game play. Sonic games are not made just for one group of people; they are made for people of all ages to enjoy. You guys need to realize that, or you’ll just be bitter about new Sonic games forever. You also can’t really say it’s bad without playing it either, that would also be another assumption.

    Sorry for the TL;DR comment, but I feel this needed to be said.

  17. Anyone who complains about three or more things in a sonic game must be wearing mario underpants

  18. This is a well written and informative article. You are clearly a passionate Sonic fan and yet you take a very logical and analytical approach to the topic.

    You pretty much just voiced my logic, only better vocalised.

    Why are so may people looking for ways to brick this? True Sonic Team have not had a stellar record with the blue hedgehog in the last 10 years but that was mostly with the 3D games. It should also be noted that we’ve only seen 4 seconds of gameplay and thus it’s hard to get a grasp on how the game will play like.

    And as we’ve recently discovered that’s not Sonic’s full running animation.

    Take a smart approch to the subject people, like good ol’ DreadKnux.

  19. Modern Sonic looks better than classic Sonic and the run is not at full animation so what are you guys worrying about.

  20. A nice, optimistic viewpoint from an ACTUAL fan, which is a rare find these days. The level of bashing toward this game from the retro fanboys is ridiculous.
    Sega just can’t seem to get it right no matter what they have tried with the fans can they? Why are they so nitpicky about Sonic’s look when it doesn’t even effect what the game is going to play like?

    Sonic is a character who should be appreciated for who he is, not who he was. I will always love him and I wish most others would too.

  21. I totally agree. The face of Sonic isn’t the thing to say it’s gonna be bad. The thing that truly matters is the gameplay, which is what I’ll judge it on.

  22. I can kinda see both sides of the coin with these arguements. Fair enough the old “UGH NEW SAWNIK WILL SUK” comments are still out of line, but I guess the two sides, summed up go as:

    LOOKING FORWARD TO GAME: Yus! Sequel to arguably the best game series of the lot! Handful of characters, back to the old stylee…and in HD/2D sidescrolling! Even the music is going back to the oldschool! Yosh!

    NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GAME: Ugh! I’ve not enjoyed the last few Sonic games due to poor gameplay and lacklustre ideas – and what will essentially become a remake isn’t going to save the franchise!

    The latter arguement I kinda sway away from here…generally because if we don’t want a 2D platformer…then WHAT THE HELL do we want? I think this is something we should all stop thinking too hard about, and reserve judgement, to as Svend says, we see more than 3 seconds of footage.

  23. When Sega asked what badniks were wanted….. Fans should have said nothing that has been used before and put up nothing. No old designs. That’s just lazy. Seeing them use up old ideas in designs worries me already. : /

  24. Well said, Svend. I’m basically looking at Sonic 4 with the same perspective. I frankly don’t give a damn they’re using Sonic’s modern look. If the gameplay is as solid and fun as the Genesis/Mega Drive originals, hell, I’m happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Alright, I’ve just read both articles and now it’s time to spew.

    To lay the groundwork, I am a very avid sonic fan, one who loves and grew up with the original sonic games. I mean, the little blue dude crazily influenced my life–like, no joke. from the time my cousin introduced me via sonic 2 while spending the night at my house, I’ve done nothing but play/read/draw/dream/whatever sonic. I could never forget all the nights I spent up in my room with my younger brother, nothing on except the tv, playing sonic 3 with sweaty, nervous hands as I tried to complete the special stage and claim the last chaos emerald. Those were great experiences, and I can always go back and play em like a pro without a sweat.

    And I will admit, when I first saw the trailer, I was kinda disapointed. First and foremost, after waiting FOREVER for the trailer, participating in the first challenge and staying up ALL NIGHT to make a concept art (it’s featured in the blog in the sega website, the one with the skittles and kitchen table), all I got was like 6 seconds of new sonic 4, around 2 of which showed the actual level. They even cut it right before he got to the loop!

    It caught me quite off guard, and at first, I really didn’t know what to think. I mean, I really had no idea what it was going to be like, but what i saw wasn’t what I would’ve expected or thought. Now I’ve read as much as I can about this game, including ppl’s thoughts on it. Suffice to say, there were a couple of roads laid out before me to take concerning how I would feel about this game.

    And I decided to be positive and not critique it yet. Yes, I would’ve prefered the use of the original sonic design, because despite what some of the commenters here think about his ‘new’ look, i still hold the old one is the best. It’s not because I grew up with it–at first, I never really cared and liked his new look. but then I encountered some who thought otherwise, and after blowing them off, I thought about it, and after a couple of years, I came to see why the original really is the best. At least in my mind. Yeah, I’ve got reasons, but they’re too many and too complicated to get into here and now. So even though I would’ve loved the original design, I’m not cursing over the use of the new one.

    The same thing about the use of homing attack. if it’s good, then no big deal. I mean, ppl complain about how this is a carbon copy of the original, and then turn face and complain about something that keeps it from being a carbon copy.

    I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that after all the crap sonic has gone through recently, we want him to be better. we want him to be perfect. And I can see where Brad is coming from saying that they shouldn’t name the game sonic 4 because then it needs to attain perfection, and nothing less.

    Just one thing though–perfection doesn’t exist. it can’t. not in this world, at least. if something seems perfect, it’s because WE have made it that way. I want you all to consider this line from Paradise Lost, an epic poem written by John Milton in the 1660’s. It’s a quote from the devil, after he’s been launched into hell by God himslef.

    “The mind hath power to make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven” (maybe not exact wording)

    Do you see it? your mind can do anything. Its why no matter how bad things will get, some will always find something positive to look at, and vice versa. Now I’m not trying to say that the classics are only good cause you think so, or whatever. What I’m getting at is that it’s not necesariliy the game that’s perfect, it US, the FANS, that make it perfect. if the game was total perfection, then why are there those who like other sonic games more? See, the thing about sonic is that he was the right thing, that came in at the right time at the right place. There are times in history when everything comes together just right to give birth to a legend, whether it’s a person or a golden age or whatever. Sonic occured at one of those junctions, just the same as Mario did.

    So there are those of us who look back on those days of glory, and we remember everything about them, not just the games but of the world and how things looked and felt, how we thought of things. Its an entire experience. I love those classic games so much, that I personally don’t think ANYTHING will ever replace them or be fully on par. it can’t, because it’s going up against so much more than just a game. I’ve turned those classics into legends, I’ve made them perfect in my sight. to me, sonic doesn’t get any better.

    So when Sega comes along and does sonic 4, I’m hopeful and extremely happy, but I also see that no matter how good the game is, I’ll ALWAYS go back to the originals and be like “yeah, it just doesn’t beat this”. But see, because I love sonic so much, I truly want to enjoy him, and I realize that if I focus on how the game misses it concerning the classics, then I’ll NEVER be able to enjoy any new sonic game, and thus I will have screwed myself. I’d be the reason I’m not happy with any sonic game, not necesarrily the game itself (no that doesn’t mean the game can be crappy): see, the mind can make a hell out of heaven, or a heaven out of hell. Sonic 4 could be greater than anything ever, but I can still make it worse. I could still bi*** about it and justify it accordingly.

    Now, I know that Sega has made a couple of stinkers lately, but I still found a way to enjoy them, becuase that’s really what I want to do: I want to enjoy sonic games. If I can’t enjoy em I get all bummed out and junk. So, I find a way I can enjoy it, even if it’s a little (no, I don’t FORCE myself in blind denial), instead of giving up on the game completely, cuase I don’t wanna give up on sonic. I like him too much.

    So when I spend months waiting for anything about a new 2d sonic game, and I watch a trailer for sonic 4, and I get a little caught off guard, I take time, analize what I can, and hold onto hope. I’ve learned that if i give into the negativity that’s been going around like a forest fire, I’m shooting myself in the foot–I’m setting myslef, or rather the game, up for failure. Remember that quote, cause it bares truth–If you set yourself against this game in the wrong way, then no matter how good it is, it will fall miserably short right in front of you. Again, if in the wrong way: depending on who you are or your outlook, you may criticize the game and end up eating your words.

    And really, cut the dudes at sega some slack. I mean, have any of you ever been in a position where you put your personal time and effort into something and it fails horribly in front the ENTIRE PLANET?? Sega’s taken some hard nocks lately, and now they’re trying to fix things, which ppl have been begging for, but we wont give them the chance or time of day. Well, I say take Maria/Amy’s advice to Shadow AND GIVE THEM A CHANCE. don’t make things so hopeless for em. And really, we can sit on our couches or beds and b**** and moan and curse at sega, but honestly, we can’t truly judge until we sit our arses down at sega and fork over the time to be part of the development and see what things ARE REALLY LIKE. It’s like running for the president: the candidate makes all these promises, but then when they get into office,and they get all the top secret intel from the army and spies and special agents, and as they walk the walk, they find out that they really shouldn’t have made all those promises.

    So I can understand where hardcore classic fans are coming from (being one), but take some advice, and give it a chance. Realize that nothing is ever gonna beat those games, and thank sega for at least trying, and dont take it personally. Dont make yourself miserable.

    And so now I’ve really, REALLY written too much, and I’ll be very surprised if anyone will even take the time to read it. Ah well, what can you do…

  26. A quick word to those who have to moderate my post first: I’m sorry. maybe grab some popcorn first…

  27. OUCH….and here i just got done in the other topic about how people should stop being so personal about a fictional blue hedgehog because his only main purpose is to be a product for a video game company who doesn’t really care about the opinions of over-zealous fanboys unless it can bring them profit and advertising, and they should never asume that they have privlages simply because they lasted longer than every other cog that contributes to this corporate machine we call The Sonic Franchise.

    But your way works better Dread, less pieces to pick up when the soul crushing reality breaks the minds of the weak. And it had a very genuine opinion as supposed to bias or anti-bias. Great work as usual.

    Simply put, if Sonic 4 meets your satisfaction, great. If it does not, no worries, they’ll always be next time. Or as Ivan Drago would say: IF HE DIES, HE DIES.

  28. this could be the breakthrough in years there was nothing wrong with SA and SA2 because of the level after level gameplay and no gimmiks like teams, hover boards and werehogs just standard gameplay. Another thing people are getting wound up about the whole “thats not the classic model” so aslong as the game play is maintained it doesnt matter

  29. We need too show this to SEGA Forums stat!, or they will continue to f**k modern Sonic and BS-ing this game around.

  30. My nut bust rests with the trailer.

    For something they touted over and over for a few weeks, I was expecting more from the trailer. I have no problem with the game anymore (running animation is officially not finished), I was let down by a bad trailer. That is all. But, I do look forward to the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar I will be buying it on first date of sale.

  31. As I commented earlier: gift horse, with people crowding around to look in its mouth.

    I’ve been playing these games since 1991. I first played Sonic on the Master System.

    I think there is nothing, NOTHING, wrong with using the new Sonic design. Or the Homing Attack. Why is the homing attack any less Sonic than, say, the Fire Shield’s special move in Sonic 3? Can any of these doubters state with any confidence whatsoever that if Sonic Team had kept doing classic Sonic games like all of us who count would have preferred, they would not have changed his design further – even to his current one?

  32. This is the best article I’ve read about this game so far. Too bad most of the fanbase is too busy cutting eachother’s throat’s to read this.

  33. @Matt:

    The fire shield propelled you forward and was a relatively infrequent pick-up item that granted you immunity to fire.

    The Homing-Attack is an any-time-accessible move which closes in on any nearby enemies for an instant kill to most. What worries people about its inclusion is that they’ll use it in levels as a gimmicky “Use the homing attack on these enemies to cross a gap!” kind of deal that breaks the flow of gameplay and is more or less unnecessary.

    There’s quite a difference.

  34. This is a very good article I love to draw so I keep a close eye on how Sonics look changes from time to time but some fanboys need to relax they worry about everything from sonics shoes to his shade of blue lets be happy sega or sonicteam whoever makes the games are giving us this much !

  35. very well said. I am a bit hoping this will not be like Sonic Rush and Sonic Advance 2, those games were great, but they seemed almost too fast. I like Sonic 1, 2, 3 etc. where you slow down at times for some simple platforming obstacles.

  36. @sonictoast; I agree those WERE great games, but they were a bit more like racing games, and relied on quick actions and reflexes more so than platforming; and addition to speed of course. While the games graphics and background DO remind me of sonic rush/rush adventure, The game looks like it might play a little more like Sonic 2/3k and advance 1 and 3 (Since Sonic 1 and Sonic CD Didn’t have any corkscrews and were a bit more slow-paced.)

  37. Mark: Let’s catalogue what Sonic 3 introduced.

    The fire shield, with attendant Fireball move. (and suspiciously fire-themed first miniboss.)
    The water shield, with bounce move and underwater breathing.
    The lightning shield, with double jump and ring-attraction.
    The Insta-Shield, accessible at any time and drastically reducing the strategy and time required in at least one boss fight.
    Tails being able to pick up and carry Sonic, at any time in 2P, across large sections of the level.
    Episodic content (with S&K).
    Various gimmick setpieces including the Flying Battery chase in Angel Island (i.e. hold right for thirty seconds to not die). Not to mention the “rings of light” in Death Egg where you could leave the controller alone for ten seconds at a time to watch Sonic get transported to the next part of the level.
    Oh, and the Carnival Night barrels! Remember the barrels? Up… down… up… down… up… down… you are seriously suggesting that Homing Attack hops break gameplay flow any more than that did?

    Do I think Sonic 4 must automatically be brilliant? Well, no. Do I think there’s a chance they could screw it up? Well, yes. But you are jumping the gun before you’ve even turned up at the starting line.

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