History of the Blue Blur
Cast your minds back to 1991, June 1991 to be precise. It was then, that the world's fastest hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog, was born. 18 years later, and Sonic is still as popular as ever. With titles on the Mega Drive/ Genesis, Game Gear, dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and of course the Wii, Sonic has most certainly had his array of adventures. During this time though, Sonic made the transition from 2D gameplay, to the 3D gameplay expected in line with today's gaming standards. For most of the old-school sonic fans, this was a move which was disliked, as for many, Sonic was, and always will be a 2D game. 16 years after the final 2D game, Sonic and Knuckles, for the Sega Mega Drive, Sega have listened and have most definitely delievered - a brand new , sequel to that very game, and most excitingly, in glorious 2D and HD.. but the question is, does the game live up to it's reputation, and deserve to be called ' Sonic The Hedgehog 4' ?
How Sonic 4 came about
Sonic 4 Episode 1 was first announced on GameSpot on the 9th September 2009, however, at this stage, it wasn't named as Sonic 4 Episode 1, but as Project Needlemouse - making reference to the name initially given to Sonic back in 1991. Sega was teasing fans by saying this was the first step to bring Sonic back to his roots. For the few months following this announcement, all was quiet. The silence was broken in January however, when Sega launched a Character Countdown week on their blogs, daily singling out characters who wouldn't feature in the game - culminating in the fact that only Sonic would be featuring in 'Project Needlemouse'. It was on February 4th 2010 that the biggest piece of news was announced, that the game was infact Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 - taking on the form of an episodic game, similar to that of Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, with Sonic and Knuckles really episode 2 of Sonic 3
Build up to launch
Sonic 4 Episode 1 was initially scheduled to be released in the Summer of 2010. However, beta gameplay was leaked on the Microsoft PartnerNET service, which, ultimitely led to the delay of the release, after some of the gameplay received bad feedback from fans - most noteably the act 2 of both Lost Labyrinth and Casino street ( more on these later). The launch was then delayed until Late 2010, and several changes were adapted to the game. Such changes were :
- Rather than a basic level select screen, a world map was incorporated
- The time for sonic to reach max speed was changed
- You could progress to the next level, like the old days without returning to world map
- Act 2 of Lost Labyrinth and Casino street was changed
During the launch process, several trailers showing gameplay was launched, up until the launch days.
When was it released?
Just for your convenience, here is the launch days for the game :)
iPhone/iPod - All territories- 7th October 2010
WiiWare- USA- 11th October 2010
- Japan/North America - 12th October 2010
- Europe/Australia - 15th October 2010
XBOX 360- All territories - 13th October 2010
Playstation 3 - USA- 12th October 2010
- All other territories- 13th October 2010
In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, there are 4 main levels, in addition to a final fight, and 7 special stages.