Gamespot’s Sonic 4 Preview: Game Now Has A World Map

Gamespot’s Sonic 4 Preview: Game Now Has A World Map

Along with his impressions of Sonic Colours, Gamespot’s Mark Walton has also posted his impressions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. Those of you sick of hearing about Splash Hill Zone will be glad to see the preview is focused entirely on Lost Labyrinth Zone.

Walton begins with Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 2, which is entirely dark apart from a small amount of light given off by a torch that Sonic carries through the Act. Not only does this torch aid you visually, but you’ll need it for puzzles. One puzzle sees Sonic in a room where he has to light lanterns in the correct order to release platforms, or else they disappear before Sonic can make his escape. Another couple of puzzles are based around lighting dynamite that Sonic will have to light to explode large blocks.

The lack of light was used for several puzzles in the zone. In one area, there were lanterns on the wall, which we could ignite using the torch. Each lantern extended a platform, which we needed to climb up to escape the room. However, the lanterns had to be lit in a certain order and at a particular time; otherwise, the platforms would disappear before we could make it all the way to the top.

Later in the level, we found another use for our fire torch: igniting dynamite. Some large stones blocked our path, which rather handily had dynamite attached to them, along with a fuse. By igniting the fuse, we could blow up the blocks and clear the path. Another area had several explosive blocks in it. We had to carefully choose which blocks to ignite and which to leave in place so we could jump up to a secret area at the top of the screen.

Other classic platform game traps are built around boulders, Walton explains. One point has you time jumps to avoid being hit by falling boulders, while in another you have to jump on a rolling boulder and move your analogue stick/press your d-pad left and right to maintain Sonic’s balance.

The dynamite section was swiftly followed by one involving boulders, which dropped down into a pit below. We had to time our jumps just right to make it across the pit without falling into it. Later, a boulder was released from behind us Indiana Jones-style. Rather than just run away, Sonic jumped on it and we had to maintain our balance by pressing left or right while it rolled down a long track.

Walton then talks about the infamous minecart, which if you’ve been keeping up to date, you’ll know has been revised in the console versions of the game. The minecart is now limited to a small portion of the stage and is no longer motion controlled, it instead rolls along while you make a few jumps to avoid hazards and falls.

The final section of the level featured a mine cart sequence, which required some quick reflexes. After jumping into a cart, we sped off down a long track where we had to jump over obstacles and avoid falling down bottomless pits. The lack of light made it difficult to see upcoming hazards, so we had to be especially alert to make it out alive.

Walton says that fans should rest assured that while these are new mechanics, you’ll still find plenty of familiar classic elements in the stage.

While these sections added something new to the series, we found there was still plenty of classic Sonic action. All the loops, springs, and insane speed from the original games were there, along with plenty of tricky water hazards and spikes to avoid.

At the end of the preview, Walton reveals the game now incorporates a world map instead of a basic stage select screen.

Though we weren’t able to try it out, we spotted a casino-themed level on the world map screen, which indicates there is still plenty more to be revealed about Sonic’s HD outing.

TSS founder Svend Joscelyne aka Dreadknux, who also played the game at SEGA’s press event last week has confirmed this world map screen in a post at the SSMB.

It’s a proper map. ๐Ÿ™‚

Joscelyne then revealed that classic progression is an option, so you don’t have to return to the world map if you don’t want to.

I forgot to mention. There’s a choice, actually, of whether you want classic progression or not. Once you pass that Act Clear marker, and the score counts down, a button will appear at the bottom of the screen (I think it was Triangle on the PS3 preview version or something), that says “Jump to Next Act.” If you don’t do this before the fadeout, you go back to the World Map screen.

Note I said World Map – as in “awesome, detailed static world view,” and not “shitty, confusing 3D world hub.” =P

For the full preview, head over to Gamespot

What do you think of the preview? Are you happy with the change to a world map? Discuss in the comments.

23 Comments

  1. I’m quite surprised at the decision to incorporate a world map into a classic-style game. Shame I’ll never get to try it out, I can’t afford to get a connection for my Wii at the moment. Only thing I’m annoyed at is 50% of the people who read this are going to dislike it, because it’s not exactly like the classics.

  2. Lots of news today. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ First comment.

    Sonic 4 is looking good too, but for me, it’s kind of hiding in the shadows of Colors.

  3. It’s no surprise that Sonic Colours is getting more hype, because EVERYONE can buy Colours.

    Not everyone can get Sonic 4, because not everyone is willing to get online for their consoles. I for one, don’t…it would be a hassle, on top of having to pay for it, and then I would have to pay for the game too, and I wouldn’t get the satisfaction saying “I have the game….I have a hard copy, a cover, a manual…oh here, wanna borrow it?”

    I do want to eventually own Sonic 4, but I will not go out of my way to get it the way I DON’T want to have it. Same goes with Free Riders (which I in fact KNOW I don’t want to get because I’d need a Kinect, and I don’t have the time or the patience for gimmicky console add-ons).

    Sega is royally f*cking up their sales.

  4. “Though we werenโ€™t able to try it out, we spotted a casino-themed level on the world map screen, which indicates there is still plenty more to be revealed about Sonicโ€™s HD outing. ”

    For those confused, this is a quote from the preview. And I didn’t expect a World Map, but I’m not concerned :3

  5. @ NastCF: Woops. I did post the quote in my article, but I just noticed that I forgot to put quote tags around it XD I too wasn’t expecting them to implement a world map during this delay. I also don’t mind it and can’t wait to see it.

  6. @Shadzter: No worries ๐Ÿ˜›
    And I’m kinda relieved about the World Map, because this deconfirms that rumor that you were able to play stages in any order, which would have been kinda lame.

  7. @ NastCF:
    You actually could play the stages in any order in the full leaked build and the E3 demo also let you play any of Splash Hill’s Act’s in any order. I’m not going to take this as confirmation that you can’t play stages in any order, just yet myself. I’m going to wait for some official word or another preview to confirm it.

  8. Dread just confirmed you can get through the game without being thrown out to the map after every act over the SSMB.
    Sweet.

  9. Stan, not everyone can buy Colors either. Only people with Wiis can, and contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a Wii. Also, many people can actually get their systems online, especially if they have a router with wifi. (Though only my Wii has wifi, I wasn’t lucky enough to get a PS3 with wifi, I had to settle with the 20GB model since the last 60GB model was sold to the person in front of me at the launch lineup- but at least I get to play PS2 games on my PS3! And yeah, wifi was only built into the 360’s newest model so my 360 doesn’t have wifi either- but I use an Ethernet cord for both, so still easy to get online for me, and the same goes for many others.)

    Anyways, the boulder part and minecart don’t sound too bad at all to me, especially since the minecart was improved for the console version. I’ll most likely pick up this game for XBLA despite the whole d-pad thing.

  10. So, we’re talking like, Game Gear Sonic 1 map? Was that really necessary? I don’t want to having to be pushing buttons every time to choose how to progress to the next act.

  11. @ Burtzman: Read the quotes from Dreadknux at the bottom of the article. You can skip the map and progress without it like in the classics if you like. It’s completely optional ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. @ Shadzter: I know. I just think that progression should be automatic like in the past games. I’ll have to wait and see how I like it, I guess.

  13. Stan: Just out of interest what is your problem with online?? It’s even easier to get games that way and it just seems weird that you would rather not buy a game at all if you didn’t have the option of buying a disk in a box. Does it really matter THAT much to you?

  14. I need to stop reading these posts, I remember loving Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & knuckles because everything was surprising, exciting and new. With this game, I feel like I already know at least Splash Hill Zone by Heart and Lost Labyrinth soon. I think I have to close my eyes until the game comes out, so it can be new and exciting for me.

  15. It’s sad how we’re sick of Splash Hill… and the game isn’t out yet

    *sob sob* Y-Y

    Did Dreadknux get to play the gold (finished) game?

  16. @Sonictoast

    EXACTLY. I try to shy away from things that might be “spoilers” of sorts. That’s why I don’t read these articles. I look at the pretty pictures and move along on my merry way.

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