Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Review

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Review

Jan 26, 2012

Sonic 4 is finally on Android. Sega’s revival of their legendary franchise utilizes 3D graphics, but is otherwise an entirely 2D affair that recalls the classic games, in both gameplay along with common level styles, graphics, and music themes Even the bonus levels are similar to the original Sega Genesis (Mega Drive for European 16-bit gamers) games. This is a port of the iOS version of Sonic 4 specifically – the console versions received some changes pre-release, particularly to the physics, graphics, and to two levels that are all still in the mobile versions.

This is a game that does tend to utilize the classic Sonic games’ nostalgia to advance itself – there are a lot of elements taken directly from the classic games, rearranged in new ways. This is not a bad thing, because the classic Sonic games represent the pinnacle of the series, and seeing these concepts presented in new ways is certainly enjoyable for fans of the franchise. The Android version looks fantastic, even better than the iPhone version which never had Retina Display graphics enabled.

The tiny d-pad was an ill-advised interface choice; it makes movement extremely difficult. Some of the weird physics are still here; Sonic still seems to be very sticky to the surfaces he stands on, and gravity feels very floaty. Especially compared to the recently-released Sonic CD, the physics will feel odd. This also is a release of a game that did come out in October 2010 on virtually every modern platform; the audience that hasn’t played it yet is likely small, and there’s nothing new here that the other versions of the game don’t have. Ice Cream Sandwich users should note that the game doesn’t run properly on that version of the OS yet.

But hey, this pretty much had to come out, didn’t it? Episode 2 is planned for Android, and this gives folks on the Android platform a chance to check this version of the game out before the next version comes out. For Sonic fans, this is well worth the retraux blast, and the Android version is a very good version of the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Review Rundown

8
Graphics/Sound - Game looks fantastic on the phone screen. Soundtrack is not as memorable as other Sonic games, but it feels familiar to the classic games.
5
Controls - The d-pad is far too tiny to be very effective.
7
Gameplay - The physics are odd compared to the originals, but the gameplay is familiar enough to evoke feelings of nostalgia.
7
Replay Value - The levels aren't too challenging to beat, but collecting all the Chaos Emeralds? That may take a while.
7
Overall - There are definite flaws, but it's still a solid Sonic game, and a solid Android port.

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Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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