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Editorial: Why Sonic the Hedgehog 4 won't be good


 With SEGA’s recent announcement of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 to hit XBLA/PSN/WiiWare and one other unannounced platform in episodic fashion later this year, many Sonic fans have been hyping themselves up for what seems to be Sonic’s glorious return. Just because the game is back to the series’ 2D roots, however, does not necessarily mean the game will be good. Presented is a list of factors that can potentially spell demise for Sonic the Hedgehog 4, in no particular order.

Episodic Content
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will be released as a downloadable game through the way of episodic content – think Tales of Monkey Island and the Strongbad series. While this could be a good way of building hype for future episodes and give no real “end” to the game, it also has the chance of being very bad: particularly for gamers’ wallets. As of right now, we don’t know how much content will be in each episode, or how many episodes there will be. If each episode takes players through one specific area, say, “x” amount of levels in Green Hill Zone for episode one, then there could be a possibility for a lot of episodes if there are many different areas – and in effect, a lot of money spent. For example, imagine if Nintendo released New Super Mario Bros. Wii as episodic content via WiiWare. Each world in the game would be a different episode, and each episode would cost $8 - $10, for a total cost of up to $90 including the bonus world nine.
Classic Sonic Wasn’t That Spectacular
Since it will be 2D and a return to the classic Sonic formula, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is likely to play exactly like the first few Sonic games. Now, taking a look back at the first Sonic titles to hit the Genesis, particularly Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2, did those games actually play well? Sonic has been a series known for going super fast and speeding through loop-de-loops. However, in the first few Sonic games that are renowned as being good, players aren’t going fast all the time. Whenever Sonic picks up speed and goes through some loops, there are usually chasms filled with spikes that Sonic falls into or enemies that stop Sonic’s progression. Furthermore, there are some levels that required platforming over lava and other obstacles similar to classic Mario games. If SEGA can deviate away from the obstacles that slow Sonic down and bring him to a speed and game pacing seen in Sonic Adventure, then there won’t be any problems here.
SEGA Loves Giving Sonic Gimmicks

Whether it’s a group of friends or a werehog transformation, for whatever reason SEGA absolutely loves to give Sonic some kind of gimmick when he stars in a new game. The latest was a sword in Sonic and the Black Knight, and it didn’t work well at all. Everyone who’s anticipating Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is likely hoping SEGA doesn’t throw some crazy new gimmick into the game. Members on the NeoGAF forums have dissected the initial trailer for Sonic’s latest console outing, and have found an interesting sequence shown in the image to the left: Sonic is using a zip line to cross some sort of chasm. Why does Sonic even need a zip line, though? In theory, Sonic should be able to get an excellent running start and leap over almost any chasm. This brings another type of speculation: if zip lines are a common occurrence in Episode I, then what other types of gimmicks will there be? There’s a chance that SEGA will have a new one for each episode – maybe in one episode Sonic will step in concrete so he can’t run fast anymore.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is easily one of SEGA’s more anticipated titles for 2010. While this is just a list of things that SEGA could potentially do to lower the quality of the episodic game, it would be rather unfortunate if these speculations were to come true.
Are you excited for Sonic the Hedgehog 4? What are some of your worries and hopes for the game?

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  • ur a faggt 5 years ago

    u mad

  • JakeyBoy 5 years ago

    Episodic Content - I THINK they will have a set amount of episodes planned out, and are just making it so that we don't have to wait unti 2011 to play the game.

    Classic Sonic Wasn’t That Spectacular - Are you saying that Sonic games are only fun when it is speed, speed, speed? This has NEVER been the case. Most of the modern games today are frowned upon because they go ridiculously fast, with NO platforming, which makes for dull playing. I hope to God it has some slow, fun parts.

    SEGA Loves Giving Sonic Gimmicks - So you think the zipline will appear every 10 seconds? You are clearly making up this entire section just to make your article longer. Every game has gimmicks, that's what makes each level different and original. Sandopolis Zone had a rope you could hang onto to move across the sand quickly, what makes you think this zipline will appear more frequently than that?

    You seem to be hopping the bashing bandwagon because that's the "cool" thing to do.

  • im a faggt 5 years ago

    he mad

  • S 5 years ago

    1. We literally know nothing about the episodic content, other than the fact that it is episodic. Pretty hard to make a good judgement call there.

    2. Whether or not classic Sonic games were spectacular is ENTIRELY subjective. Many gamers disagree with you, and such opinions don't belong in something that is labeled an "examination".

    3. Singling out the zip line is very nitpicky - Sonic occasionally made his way across chasms using zip lines and similar such devices in Sonic 2 and in Sonic 3/Knuckles, and the audience that enjoyed those games is exactly the audience that SEGA aims to please with this game.

  • Hmm... 5 years ago

    What exactly is wrong with the zip line? You're really stretching it comparing game-breaking elements like the sword to those. It's no different than the zip lines from Angel Island zone from Sonic 3!

  • Terry 5 years ago

    Of course its subjective. its an Editorial.

  • Wiiwillrocku 5 years ago

    I agree somewhat that episodic content could be a problem, but it depends on how they handle it. I don't want to pay 20 bucks for one zone and then have to wait half a year to play the next one.

    For many fans, speed isn't the only thing that makes Sonic games fun; it's the mix of speed, platforming, momentum, and exploration. Overuse of speed is the reason why so many people dislike the newer games. If you want speed, play a racing game.

    The zipline complaint is a pretty major overreaction. We don't know where or when that will be used, but you make it sound like they'll be all over every zone in the game.

    I somewhat dislike the "Sonic 4" name, as I highly doubt that the game will equal the quality of Sonic 2 and 3. I'm worried that Sega just won't be able to pull it off anymore. Giving it a name like Sonic 4 sets the bar high - everyone will be unhappy when Sega fails to reach it.

  • hyliaman 5 years ago

    Your finger is pretty far from the pulse of what made Sonic good to begin with. The excessive speed is what made Sonic Rush suck.

  • lolz 5 years ago

    I don't really have anything new to say then whats been said.
    But you definitely don't have a clue about Sonic. Did you ever even play them when they were new? Or did you play SA first then play the old ones and act smug? Because obviously you didn't play through Sonic 2/3/Knuckles as they featured vaults, flag poles, and ziplines for sonic to jump off of and glide on. They all also featured lots of platforming, cuz, you know, it was a platformer....duh. Everything you're complaining about pertaining to gameplay is exactly what made the first 3 games awesome.

    The episodic part could go either way, and thats not what could make or break sonic, its what could make or break any episodic game.

  • Comrade_Max 5 years ago

    To answer some of the comments, here:

    Sure, we know nothing of the episodic content, but still, there is a possibility of SEGA doing something stupid (again) and charging ridiculous amounts of money for something that might not even be worth it. Plus, with the unpredictable release time, you're stuck on the same episode for months (potentially).

    The point on speed isn't that it should be like that crappy Wii game. Instead, it should be advertising Sonic to be the fast character he's supposed to be. Platforming is fine, but when you run into spikes every sixteen seconds, the speed is diminished, and thus the market for the game. At least Mario didn't have that problem.

    SEGA shouldn't be so reliant on its gimicks. If a new game with new gimicks bombs, and the previous one didn't, then they should make something more similar to the original. This is evidence that they are trying. However, doing the same thing over and over again isn't good marketing either. Too much repetition.

  • Arielle 5 years ago

    My replies to each section:

    Episodic Content:
    I doubt Sega will simply give us one zone and make us pay for the rest. Even if that were the case, they would not charge us a hefty amount for a short game and make us pay the same amount for a small add-on. That's not how DLC usually works. In fact, DLC is often a *good* thing; it allows people to pay for optional, additional content- often for a lower price if there's less content than the original. For example, GTA4's DLC cost far less than GTA4 itself. I can imagine StH4 going the same route. Anything else would make fans feel manipulated.

    Classic Sonic Wasn't That Spectacular:
    I almost stopped reading there. You're entitled to your opinion, but this game is for people who loved the classics- and there are many of us who fall into that category. If you don't like the "gimmicky" new ones or even the classics, then why bother writing this article at all? Do you like *any* Sonic game?

    SEGA Loves Giving Sonic Gimmicks:
    Not in t

  • ILoveYouSonic 5 years ago

    Point 1 -
    Sega have already stated that the game will be divided into 3 parts, each cosing £5 each. If you actually bothered to do the MATHS it would work out at £15 in total - at least HALF the price than if Sega released all the episodes at once at a standard retail price in stores.

    Point 2-
    I can't say I loved everything about the first games in the series (Sonic 2 was a bit meh for me), but I liked them far more than the harshly unforgiving gameplay in the Mario series (Mario 2 was pure gaming tripe).

    Point 3-
    Sonic 2006 had no gimmicks and it is still, by far, the worst title in the series.
    And zip lines? Seriously? These have been a solid feature in the series since the genesis days, surely this is a GOOD thing? Besides, within the first few minutes of playing Sonic 3 you meet a zip line; you've just voided point 2 by showing absolute lack of experience and, quite frankly, ignorance regarding the gameplay of Sonic 1-3.

    BAD Carl! BAD!

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