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This was released some two years ago for PSN, Nintendo Wii and iOS. There was a huge public out cry for this to be ported to Android and with many online petitions set up in this case. Well after all this time, it has finally arrived on Android due to Sega's new found love for Android. Just after releasing Sonic CD across all operating systems at the same time, they announced that we shall be seeing Sonic 4 episode 2 coming in the next few months. Well I did think about what happened to episode 1 but unexpectedly Sega out of the blue released it to Android. This sequal to the Mega Drive series sees a much more graphically advanced look to the classic platformer and a slightly different control system.
This title recieved a mixed response from fans of the classic Mega Drive titles this is supposed to sequal. This is mainly due to the fact that it is different type of Sonic. The one used in the Dreamcast titles where he can lock onto enemies and destroy them with a burst through the air. That and he controls slightly different with his longer legs... it's like the difference between Mario and Wario if you think about it.
We were told the news earlier in the month that episode 2 was going to be released soon and I did but wonder what this meant for episode 1. So in preparation for the sequal they have given us the first part to get up to speed with things.
Graphically this version of Sonic the hedgehog is more fresh and detailed, taking the old school levels and objects and modernising them all. It is only a 2D game but the 3D rendering is just awesome! I love it, it's like playing Sonic Generations (which I also love on my PS3). There is very little lag at all thats noticeable. Even at super Sonic speeds as you zoom through pipes, loops and walls. Wait till you PLAY the chemical plant stages... just epic!
At the moment, this version of Sonic 4 is not 100% optimized for the Xperia PLAY due to a couple of things. Firstly the on screen control pad for the touch version stays, you can't get rid of it. None of the menus work using the control pad or even the pause menu during a game. If you can deal with that? The control pad works with the game for classic Sonic action though. D-Pad for movement and a trusty jump button using the X button. This is all you need for Sonic, which in my opinion is what makes the entire collection of classic platform games so great. Simple, easy and incredibly fun.
One particular touch that I do like, is the accelerometer tilt control for the bonus stages. These go back to the design of the first Sonic game on the Mega Drive. Where you have the coloured maze and you have to tilt the walls to move Sonic through all of the paths. Watching out for the traps and dead ends, whilst collecting coins. So this is almost identical with a few little improvements. Now you have a restricted amount of time to complete the maze and on the way you can pick up some extra time bubbles of 10 seconds. Controlling this using just the accelerometer is lush. It is not a bad thing that it doesn't use the PLAY game Pad at all, as the motion sensors on the PLAY are so good, you do not have to tilt it for miles for it to work. It feels very natural and puts a newer fun concept to an original classic.
All in all. If you are expecting just another version of the Mega Drive classics then you might be frustrated with the new controls and feel. However if you are prepared to give it an open mind and experience Sonic in a newer, fresher experience. Then this is the game! The one thing I guess that bothers me, is that after completing the first zone, you can manually select any of the zones. It feels like you are lacking a story mode at all. I loved those little sequences where Knuckles would come on screen and screw you over. Would be great to see some transition or jounrney between the levels. Apart from that and the Xperia PLAY optimized imperfections, this game is great.