Videogamer.com’s Jamin Smith has posted up a preview of his play test of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 at SEGA’s recent press event in London. While some fans in the Sonic community have found a lot to complain about in Sonic 4‘s mechanics, Jamin Smith thinks the homing attack is the only real change.
This is the only fundamental change to the core mechanics of the game; everything else is pretty much how you’d remember it.
Smith has taken note of other new elements in the game though, such as Lost Labyrinth Zone’s torch mechanic and feels new ideas like this make the game live up to it’s title.
Of course there are new features to make it worthy of the number four in its title, and the few I saw were fairly well sewn into the experience. The second act of the Lost Labyrinth Zone, for example, is completely bathed in darkness. Thankfully Sonic is sensible enough to have brought a torch with him, which illuminates the area immediately around him. It’s also used to light candles, which open doors and raise platforms around the level.
An interesting puzzle with the torch is mentioned about that same Act of Lost Labyrinth too, one that Smith seemed to have some trouble with.
There was a particular puzzle late in the level that involved lighting candles in the right sequence so that the correct platforms are raised in the correct order to progress. This stumped me for some time, however, and I actually managed to reach the ten minute time limit that each level has in place. I’ve never quite understood why this would kill Sonic, but it does, and I died.
Overall, Smith thinks the game is a good platformer and looks great, but had much more fun with Sonic Colours.
I’m slightly concerned that with Sonic 4, my judgment has been clouded somewhat by the mists of nostalgia. If I’m honest with myself, I think I enjoyed Sonic: Colours more than Sonic 4, which isn’t at all what I would have predicted a few weeks back. Don’t get me wrong, Sonic 4 is a very competent platformer, paying homage to the originals whilst bringing something new to the series at the same time. It looks great too, with gorgeous 2.5D visuals and slick new animations. Still, I couldn’t help thinking it should have offered something slightly more, but quite what that ‘more’ might entail I have no idea. The only thing that will prove or soothe these worries is playing the full game, and despite a few reservations, I’m very much looking forward to doing so.
Do you agree with Jamin Smith’s thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1? Discuss in the comments.
For the full preview, head over to Videogamer.com