Posted by sean on October 14, 2010 at 11:58 pm in Video Games with No Comments

This evening I downloaded Sonic the Hedgehog 4 for the PlayStation Network.

Like many people, my first introduction to the world of video gaming was through Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Megadrive in the early 90’s.

Since the days of Sonic, Tails and Earthworm Jim, I have moved onto much more sophisticated gaming – mainly Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. Basically games which contain a lot more killings and blood. However, when I heard my blue stickle backed friend was making a comeback, I was very excited.

Like a jilted lover, I have been let down in the past by Sonic and his so-called ‘comebacks’. Mainly on the Sega Dreamcast, which included Sonic Adventure as one of the debut releases. Hoping for a dose of nostalgia, I bought the console and game. It cost £200 – a lot of money when you’re a jobless teenager.

Like the Dreamcast console, the game was dog shit and nothing like the Sonic I had once fallen in love with. It was 3D and simply didn’t work. Thank you, Sega. Thank you for ruining my life.

Now, ten years on, I have forgiven Sega for their act of blasphemy and decided to give them a second chance, by spending a massive £9.99 on this week’s new release Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.

First impressions of the game… It’s fantastic.

Like the original Sonic titles, the levels are split into zones. Each zone is then divided into a number of acts – sound familiar? Sonic 4 opens with Splash Hill Zone. It sounds like everyone’s favourite Green Hill Zone and looks similar too – only much crisper, modern and slicker. However, unlike the debacle that was Sonic Adventure, the game retains it’s traditional 2D, platform-based feel.

The game’s concept is basically the same as that of the original. Collect rings, destroy robots, release cute furry animals and have a fight with Dr. Eggman (or Dr. Robotnik as I remembered him) at the end of every zone. Simplicity that works.

All of this is played out in a colourful, cartoon style landscape, where Sonic sprints, jumps, spins and bounces from platform to platform. Simple, yet brilliant.

If this game had been shown to be at the same time as the original back in the 90’s, you would have seen a young child suffer from a seizure, brought on from shear excitement. I’ve managed to control by emotions nowadays, but who knows how I’ll react when Episode 2 is released.

So many memories. Just now more shiny.

Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been somewhere before?

Up, Down, Left, Right, A+START... damn, it didn’t work!

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