on Sonic 4: “I think I enjoyed Sonic Colours more” on Sonic 4: “I think I enjoyed Sonic Colours more”’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.

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  1. Sonic has to eat a chilli dog every 10 minutes or he dies instantly.

    Sounds like both games are going to be really fun. I wonder why that puzzle was so hard? The way he described it made it seem pretty easy.

  2. @ Streak:
    I imagine it will just be a challenge at first, since it is the 3rd level of the game, so difficulty will naturally have ramped up. Once you know what you’re doing, it will likely be a breeze.

  3. I don’t care which one is better. They’ll both be pretty good. Looking forward to both of them (OK, a little more to Sonic Colors…).

  4. I wonder if we should be judging Sonic 4 before all of it’s episodes are released. As a whole, it has the potential to be the best of the original series!

  5. Not sure myself.. played the demos of both and honestly, they are 2 different games.
    I didn’t get to try the later stages in Sonic 4, but it sounds like things get better as the game progresses.
    The same can be said with Colours, more Wisps are found later on which I think makes up the majority of the games fun.
    Anyway, can’t really compare them

  6. Hmm it appears Mr. Iizuka may be on to something judging by this article. But really I think people may enjoy Sonic Colors better than Sonic 4 more because these days we’ve become more accustomed to the 3-D games. But as I said before it’s all a matter of taste.

  7. considering Sonic 3 and knuckles is my all time favorite game im looking more forward to Sonic 4
    But i also cant wait for colors.

  8. I look foward to both games but I think I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve played both games, including both versions of Sonic Colours. I think many people have forgotten that Sonic Colours is also in production for DS and is looking damn sweet.

  9. Just going to run under the impression that a lot of these people who review these games are awful at playing Sonic games. That early video everyone was ranting at a few months back was testament to this. Though if anything, what you enjoy more’s going to be down to opinion, obviously. This was his. I just want Sonic 4 already, nearly wet myself playing it at SoS and that was the bloody E3 build.

  10. I don’t really see how we could agree or disagree with his comments, unless we’ve played previews of the games, which I’m sure most of us haven’t. Judging by what I’ve seen, both games look well-made, they both have great environmental designs, and they’re both visually striking.

  11. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith (lol) that something “more” would be something that isn’t “classic”. =P Sonic 4 is meant to be like the classics, better than the past recent games that weren’t as good, but not that much better than what they can do if they do something really good like Colors.

    However, everytime they make a good game, they make it difficult to avoid making “bad games” later as they have to be better than the previous game in order to not feel like they’re losing their touch. But if they’ve got a plan, then we’re in for greatness. =)

  12. But I think I want BOTH! I want all 3 Sonic games if I were able to. X3

    Hahaha… Hyper Sonic might have a change of making one last return after all..

    If Sonic 4 is in “episodes”, then there has to be at LEAST a second episode even if it’s the only other one. TECHNICALLY, Sonic 3 has an episode 1 and 2 as well, with 2 being Sonic & Knuckles.

    The reason for Hyper Sonic was because there ended up being 14 different special stages.

    In Sonic 4, isn’t it safe to assume there are 7 special stages (since Super Sonic is playable) but in episode 2 there will be 7 difference special stages even if it’s the same style? (Just like Sonic 3 and S&K used the same style due to being the same game really)

    So if there are 14 special stages in Sonic 4 all together, there has to be a way to win 14 emeralds, hence, the Super Emeralds. MAYBE he will return! lol

  13. While I like the look of Sonic 4, Colours does have a little more appeal to me. I’m just glad the games are doing better thank I would have thought.

  14. Out of all this, at least the majority of the reviewers are saying both games are very good. All thats left to debate now is which one is the “better” one based on everyones own opinions.

  15. I share the opinion of a few here in that it’s impossible at this time to determine which might be better. As for which I may be looking forward to more, I can not say. As far as I’m concerned, both interest me equally, and I do have plans to acquire both eventually.

    Also, does anyone perhaps wonder if this aforemented “puzzle” may be a practical Carnival Night Drum 2.0?

  16. *Facepalm*

    People and that drum…you can’t tell me people didn’t notice they moved up and down with the directional pad accordingly.

  17. I’m afraid many people can tell you that, as there’s never any indication on any of the previous drums that you were able to do as such. To most of us, the drums probably seemed more like fancy springs that only work if you time the jump correctly.

  18. Seems like Sonic 4 should offer much more to compete with Colors. Maybe they should make the game have four zones instead of two. Oh, wait, that’s the full game.

    Sonic 4 could probably do with some exciting evolution to the standard rudimentary 2D formula, but as it stands, it looks like a very solid faithful homage to the old games. It probably doesn’t even need to be much to be different and exciting, though. Something that makes Sonic 4 different and exciting, yet solid and familiar. A game design that minimizes empty space and makes speed and momentum fun, not boring and automated. The old games are great by themselves, but making a bland imitation certainly won’t work. It’ll be fun, but will it me remembered?

    I guess we’ll find out come November.

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