Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...
Lets Play Sonic The Hedgehog 4!
Well that's what the video is for (ha ha), but seriously, last week I took a quick look at four Sonic games, going through the first stages, and now this week, I did an extended 'Long Play', botches and all of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 (Episode 4).
And let me say this is the PC version of the game, which got a 60% rating on GameRankings, while the other versions of the game for PS3, X-Box 360 Wii all averaged in the mid 70s. I'm not going to use that as an excuse, I'm just stating which version I was playing. Also I didn't go into configuring the game for my PC, so the settings are pretty much at default
So the game itself, was the first Sonic 2-D Sidescroller in quite a while when it was released in 2010, and it is a gorgeous looking game, and the controls are decent, my own clumsy nature and lack of reflexes are certainly not the best examples of how smooth the game can play be. The music is nice but forgettable, there is no hook that would make you remember certain stages.
Speaking of which, whoever designed these stages needs to be smacked around, because they are some of the most overly complicated levels of a side-scroller I have ever seen with elements that had me nearly going into full 'Angry Video Game Nerd' territory. During the gameplay up through the the 2nd act of Casino Street Zone about how 'easy' it was to rack up extra lives....getting about 28 at one point... and then the 'death trap puzzles' started popping up and the bait and switch of thinking you might be near the end only to realize you still have a long way to go. There are often times no clear direction on where you need to go, and some 'puzzles' are too complicated for their own good, not to mention the 'leap of faith' aspect of some jumps, and blind movement where you get thrown into enemies and 'pray' you're in spin-ball mode, cause other wise it's good-bye rings.
Somethings were sweet such as the nostalgic enemies... but then you have Robotnik / Eggman's battles, the first two were directly rips of the first boss from Sonic 1, and the second a rip from Casino Night in Sonic 2... the third one... recycles the most overused boss encounter of the Sonic Franchise the 'Chase' through the Lost Labyrinth, with a second half that doesn't make any sense to me.
Don't get me wrong, I had fun playing the game... despite not knowing where to go, other than 'to the right', there is enough room in the stages that makes it feel like you can explore a bit, there are some cute elements like balancing on top of a boulder that certainly takes some getting use too. And while I hate the Special Stages from Sonic 1, the revamped version in this game is pretty easy to get use to (managing to pick up 3 Chaos Emeralds... mostly by accident) . But at the same time, if I was to compare it The first 3 Sonic Games (combing Sonic 3 & Knuckles), Sonic 4 has a vibe of just trying to hard. Next week, I may take a crack as Sonic The Hedgehog 4 - Episode 2, to see what changed from this one to that!