Sonic the Hedgehog 4
Do not remove Episode II from this page; it may be better received by Episode I, but is still considered below average by many.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a 2D side-scrolling game series for iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android and more. It is the sequel to Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, and like that game, being divided into two episodes.
Why It Sucks
- Terrible physics. This is because Dimps basically reused the same engine from Sonic Rush, which had a boost feature, whereas this game doesn't have anything of the sort, making the physics completely broken.
- Forgettable and easy level design. The worst part is that the game sometimes plays itself, with lots of speed boosters and springs everywhere for no reason, even when it's something as basic as running to the right.
- Despite being composed by longtime Sonic composer Jun Senoue, the music doesn't sound very good. They have a Genesis-style sound to them, which doesn't sound great for the most part.
- Due to some unusual choices for the synths in the soundtrack, it is commonly said that some songs in it "sound like cats" and that Act 2 of Oil Desert Zone "sounds like dying ducks".
- Barely any hidden areas or secrets, the level design just consists of autopilot sections, linear straightforward pathways, and dull platforming with constant use of Homing Attack chains, just like recent games of the series.
- The Homing Attack is pointless since the only reason why it was added in the 3D games (starting with Sonic Adventure) was that defeating enemies by jumping into them was much harder in a 3D space, yet this game is in 2D, so there's no point.
- This game started SEGA'S terrible habit of nostalgia pandering: Both episodes reuse level themes and parts of their names from the Genesis titles, which is extremely lazy and unoriginal. (Green Hill being Splash Hill, and Sky Chase being Sky Fortress)
- Episode I has nothing but the bosses from the older titles but with pinch modes!
- Before the final boss, like in Sonic Advance 2, you must fight all of these bosses again in a tedious boss rush.
- The episodic format not only makes the development more complicated, but it's also a pointless addition, not to mention that plans for a third episode have so far been abandoned.
- The Special Stages are mediocre. Episode I has easy Special Stages that are really tedious and are recycled from Sonic 1. Episode II's Special Stages recycle the halfpipe structure from Sonic 2, and are incredibly difficult, especially the seventh Special Stage. Not helping is that the halfpipe structure was overused in several Sonic games before it.
- Adding on to the special stages, in the Wii version of Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I, you control the special stage by tilting the Wii remote similar to tilting the iOS or Android to control the special stages.
- Also, you access the Special Stages in the exact same way as Sonic 1 and Sonic CD, which is collecting fifty rings and heading to the Goal.
- The Ouya version has even worse graphics then the Wii version and contains frame rate drops.
- The mobile (iOS, Android) port is terrible, for example, some sounds are low pitched, like the ring sound effect is similar to Sonic Adventure, even worse, Sonic lacks model lighting!
- This game is a gigantic insult to Classic Sonic fans who grew up with the Sonic games.
- Horrible cel-shaded look, making it look rather odd, like a cheap and soulless mobile game.
- Sonic runs extremely slow, which is crazy since this was supposed to capture the spirit of the classics, and of course, Sonic‘s main trait is that he runs fast.
- One of the bosses has Sonic run in a Sonic Advance 2 style boss fight vs. Dr. Eggman on a flying vehicle. The problem with this stage is the background, which consists of orange panels with thin silver pillars, which can be hard to look at and would also cause seizures due to it constantly moving with Sonic and the camera. Later in the boss fight the pillars start moving up to reveal a silver cage background.
- Out of all of the levels to bring back from the Genesis games, they brought back Labyrinth Zone.
- There's a horrible 24-hit slog of a final boss, which is just the Death Egg Robot, again, but even worse.
- Thanks to Nintendo's decision of adding a 40 MB limit size on WiiWare, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I had to have audio compressed and some downgrades from the other ports, and Episode II wasn't even released for the Wii due to said limitations.
- While there are Red Star Rings like in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, collecting all of them does absolutely nothing except for giving you an achievement.
- Episode Metal, the bonus episode you get if you own both episodes, is a lazy excuse for paid DLC. All it is basically is a few levels from Episode I made to be harder with more Badniks, bottomless pits and spikes but you play as Metal Sonic who is just a Sonic reskin. Also, this is just an excuse to tie the game into the events of Sonic CD, which was only there because the Sonic CD remake was released a year before.
- And speaking of Sonic CD, Amy Rose isn't mentioned, and doesn't even make a cameo appearance in Episode II.
- The "good" ending when you get all the Chaos Emeralds is just the screen panning onto a picture of the world, and then "Presented by Sega" before abruptly cutting back to the main menu after the end credits, ending Sonic 4 on a sour note, with the Death Egg Mk. II still standing and Little Planet still being trapped inside.
- Episode II cannot be locked on to Episode I properly to have both Sonic & Tails playable in the latter's stages.
- Recently, an update for the Android version was made for Episode Metal, which completely ruins act 3 of Electric Road due to the background accidentally being removed, causing, this.
- Super Sonic makes his first playable appearance in levels in years, and he is still broken fun to play as.
- The game does have some nice call back to the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games.
- The composition for most of the tracks (and some tracks in general) are decent, but the odd synth notes let them down.
- Smooth controls.
- The Special Stages in Episode I are easier to control than the stages in Sonic 1, as now you can control the screen instead of Sonic while the level moved automatically.
- Despite the bosses being rehashed from the classics, they have a second phase, which makes some of them a bit harder.
- Episode II made some big improvements, like the addition of Tails, the attempt of creating new zones by mixing two zones together (ex.: Sylvania Castle, which resembles both Aquatic Ruin from Sonic 2 and Marble Garden from Sonic 3) and improved graphics and physics from Episode I.
- The bosses are somewhat original, especially the final boss.
- It is free to play on Google Play as of 2018, it also features Episode Metal as an in-game, quite lengthening the game.
- There was an unused "To be continued" that can be seen in the ending of Episode II after getting all seven Chaos Emeralds, this hints that the developers were intended on making an Episode 3. However, Iizuka has said that Sega was not planning on releasing further episodes of Sonic 4. Later, in 2015, it was revealed that Sonic 4 was originally conceptualized as a trilogy, but it was considered a duology because plans to develop Episode III were abandoned for undisclosed reasons.
- It spawned the "Splash Hill Goes with Everything" meme.
- The boss theme for Episode 1 was taken from two early prototypes of Sonic 3D Blast, which were replaced due to Jon Burton not liking them; hilariously, demo tapes refer to it as "Eggman's Gay Circus" (gay, here meaning happy).