Electricpig has posted up a new preview of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, featuring thoughts on the whole of Splash Hill Zone and Act 1 of Lost Labyrinth Zone. The versions available were the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, of which they played the former and glimpsed the latter. The previews author, Ben Illis found both to be visually identical, but control wise were very different. Illis seemed to struggle to play this game with the Xbox 360’s analogue stick and d-pad, and feels the controls on PS3 will be “preferable”.
What might set them apart is the controls: since Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 is a 2D game, the Xbox 360’s analog stick is somewhat irritating, and the time it takes to pull from all the way left to all the way right when he’s hurtling along at speed is irksome, not helped by the awful D-pad on the controller. We have a feeling this one’s going to be preferable on the PS3, or with Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 gamepad (Though buying it just for this would probably be overkill).
The levels, Illis feels “trod a fine line between retro nostalgia and inventiveness” and “were a blast to play”, so much of a blast that Illis thinks this an ideal return to 2D gaming for Sonic.
“Tearing through the green loops and bouncing up the cliffs of Splash Hill while rescuing bunnies and bouncing off robot fish transported us back to our childhood, and seems like the ideal way to return to 2D Sonic gaming.”
The preview then moves on to the Lost Labyrinth Zone, where Illis says the game “ramps up the learning curve a tad.” At one point with the boulders, a graphical glitch is mentioned, but it’s good to hear it is the only one.
“Here, you’ll be dodging falling boulder, Indie style, or even rolling along on top of them (Which caused the only graphical glitch we saw), and as with older Sonic games, it becomes no longer possible to simply hold right and jump now and again.”
The preview ends by describing the games small amount of zones and stages, but Illis says that “SEGA fans of old will relish these morsels of pure fun.”
For the full preview, head over to Electricpig.