Review – Sonic 4: iPod Touch

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Developers: Dimps, Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Platform: ipod Touch, iPhone, iPad
Genre: 2D Platformer
Release Date: Out Now

The blue hedgehog is back, and brings with him over 12 levels and a bucket full of fun. But, can he live up to his 32 bit predecessors?

Over 16 years we’ve been waiting for a true sequel to Sega’s brilliant series, now, it’s here, in your pocket. Dr. Ivo Robotnik‘s at it again, being a general nuisance, it’s up to you to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds and stop the portly feller from taking over the world.

With a series so highly renowned for it’s fast pace, I was worried the frame rate would be affected. I am glad to report there is very little to speak of.

Controlling Sonic couldn’t be easier, one button and an on-screen analogue stick [Don’t worry, this one isn’t broken] work together in harmony to provide speedy gameplay with very little effort. That’s not to say the game’s easy, as the final few levels ramp up the difficulty to MegaMan standards. Simply touch either left of right on the analogue to move Sonic in said direction, and tap the button to jump. Tapping the button mid-air will cause Sonic to dash forward with great speed, and home in on enemies, destroying them.
Sonic retains the spin-dash, found in the earlier titles, and can grab power-ups to help him along his way. Upon busting open TV screens, Sonic will be granted either 10 rings, invincibility, his trusty Power Sneakers, or regular shield.

You have 4 main zones to visit; Splash Hill, Lost Labyrinth, Casino Street, and Mad Gear, each containing three main levels and one boss fight. Throughout the regular levels, you will be dashing, jumping, and collecting rings like back in the day. So, what makes this version so different from the console versions coming next week? The iPod Touch/ iPhone version has two iOS specific levels, making use of the accelerometer, which works well, but feel a little sensitive. If you manage to have fifty rings in hand while crossing the post at the end of a level, a hoop will appear. Jumping into it will transport you to a Special Stage, reminiscent of those found in Sonic 1. These were also tilt controlled and, again, felt very sensitive, and difficult to navigate. These Special Stages, much like ones found in the 32 bit titles, reward you with a Chaos Emerald. Collecting all seven will grant you the ability to transform into Super Sonic, and receive the best ending.

Most [If not all] of the bosses found at the end of each zone are taken straight from the Genesis era titles, with never before seen special attacks activated once a certain amount of damage is inflicted upon them. I will not go into details, but the final boss will have fans grinning from ear to ear. Which will then be wiped off when they are annihilated by it.

The ending I received instructed me to go back and collect the missing Chaos Emeralds before I could see the real ending, so there’s still work to be done on my account, adding replayability to proceedings. Collecting all seven Emeralds, Aaron Webber mentioned, will reward players with a silhouette which ”Fans will know what the next Sonic 4 episodic release will be about”.

When it comes down to basics, this is pure, unadulterated Sonic fun, and a must buy for any fan with an iOS device and money to spare.

If you would like to hear what the console version mounts up to, stay tuned for our console version review, coming next week.


One Response to “Review – Sonic 4: iPod Touch”

  1. I typically don’t publish in Blogs but your weblog compelled me to, astounding work.. attractive …

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