Jump to content
OkamiODonnell

The State of Sonic The Hedgehog 4

Recommended Posts

So basically everyone firmly believes Sonic Mania is the true sequel to Sonic 3K. Sonic The Hedgehog 4 as most know, is being pushed aside from the main series. So now it's becoming one of those main series/not really main series games (Just like Knuckles Chaotix, 3D Blast, Shadow, and Sonic Storybook series.) It'll most likely fall in obscurity for most and be the real sequel for others. Some believe Sonic 4 outweighs Mania for a lot of reasons. While I do find enjoyment from the Sonic 4 games (especially Episode 2) and will soon with Mania , I wanted to know others opinions on the topic.

As for me. I find both positives and negatives with Mania and Sonic 4. (But that's really a whole other topic on it's own)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic 4 was a big disappointment to most classic fans (I had a good time with it,especially episode 2) due to the numbering that created big shoes to fill but was bogged down by constant automation and rehashing old zones. If it had an entirely different name, then maybe the reception wouldn't have been so harsh. Heck even Mania isn't calling itself 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it's quite flawed in a myraid of ways I still enjoy Sonic 4 as a general modern Sonic platformer that takes a (not always well-thought out) mishmash of cues from the classic games, but Mania just further cements that "Sonic 4" was the wrong name for it.

I would definitely consider it a main series game on virtue of the fact that it is a platformer where you play as Sonic with no weird gimmicks or "side-story" feel to the narrative.  But now that they have seemingly been "seperated", I'd say Sonic 4, despite it's name, sits squarely with the modern series, not the classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes it worse is, while it was quite a while back,I'm sure someone from SEGA promoting the game was also trying to say that they wouldn't be able to make a new game with Megadrive-esque graphics.

Which is how Sonic 4 came about, no? Because of Megaman 9 & 10's popularity? 

And then on top of it looking like Sonic Rush without the Rush, they also said they wouldn't be able to recreate the classic style physics. I definitely remember a lot of hoopla about that. The classic physics were a bit better in Sonic Generations, but people still complained then as well :P

halolz-dot-com-sonic4-hatersgonnahate.gi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've repeated myself many times about this, but being honest, I kinda enjoy doing it in this case:

Sonic 4 was initially "Sonic Mobile" (or some other name), but some smartass at Sega Of America said "HEY! Let's name this Sonic 4 and sell it like the sequel many fans have been waiting for since 1994!". And everyone thought it was ok. 

My point: it was unbelievable that no one at Sega shouted "DON'T DO THIS, FOR GOD'S SAKE!". It proved to many fans that Sega was directed by people that weren't aware of their legacy, and we received a game that wasn't a sequel to Sonic 3&K for dozens of reasons: physics, characters, zones (all rehashes!), bosses (rehashes again!)... Well , we all know what was wrong about Sonic 4.

2 hours ago, OkamiODonnell said:

I wouldn't really have the rehashing zones problem only with 4, as Mania is a victim of it too.

I disagree. Green Hill in Mania is called Green Hill. Chemical Plant is Chemical Plant. Sonic 4 had Splash Hill instead of Green Hill. Casino Street was Casino Night. Mad Gear was Metropolis. I mean, what were they thinking? Sonic 4 was a disaster in absolutely everything. And homing attack in a 2D game? Where's the challenge then?

But Sonic Mania is reimagining old zones, not rehashing them. And also brings new zones. And new bosses. And new characters. And brings back Tails & Knuckles. And how am I even comparing Mania to Sonic 4? 

Mania is a natural progression from Sonic 3&K, but yeah, not a "pure" sequel. Actually, I think we'll never get that sequel ever, thanks to Sonic 4, and thanks to Sega.

At least we could have Sonic Mania 2, 3, etc from now. Or maybe next 2D Sonic made by the Mania Team is Sonic Paradise or whatever. I don't mind. 

Sonic 4 has been one of many proofs that Sega is lucky to be alive, because the people in charge don't seem to know and respect Sega's legacy (this seems to be changing recently). How can a company get that low? I don't really know. It should be mandatory that any person coming to Sega fully knows the brand, their games, consoles, even the important people names.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention that every returning stage in Mania is doing something completely new in act 2, adding gimmicks and novelty to the levels.

The "new" levels that were present in Sonic 4 barely tried anything different from the originals, and when they did, it sucked bad.

That's the difference between the rehashing Sonic 4 did and what Mania is doing instead. Now I'm not saying I wouldn't have preferred Mania to have all original stages, but after seeing how Act 2s are being handled, I'm fine with what we have now.

Sonic 4 was ugly to look at too, the art direction was all over the place and it wasn't doing justice to the original assets.

Mania is a low budget pixel title and it's doing wonders instead. The standard here is much higher.

And all of this without mentioning that Sonic 4 was a lame excuse of a game while Mania is a competent platformer and an excellent Sonic game.

Sonic 4 should have never existed, not under that name and I'm glad Mania is taking its place in everyone's eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Mania does reimagine zones with new gimmicks and all, but really only the Act 2's and snippets of Act 1's. Sonic 4 also added new gimmicks to the zones, sometimes with all 3 acts. So far with Mania, it only really has one completely new zone so far, being Studiopolis. I have trouble counting Mirage Saloon only because it's mainly based off the scrapped Dust Hill and Desert Dazzle in 2 and CD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned that Sonic 4 did implement some "new" gimmicks, but everytime it did so, they were really bad.

First zone:

Second act had lianas which sucked, third act ziplines which are meh and don't complement the physics like they do in Mania's Green Hill.

Second zone:

First level had nothing new, second act had automated running section on some cards, and I don't have to tell you why that's bad, third act had cannons, which are ok but nothing mindblowing and it doesn't complement Sonic physics.

Third zone:

Badly implemented minecart from the GG games, Torch gimmick wich was lame, and third act had those giant stones which you could run on, that are reminiscent of the bolts in Sonic 2's Metropolis.

This is without even touching level design itself.

You can see where this is going, while Mania has physics based ziplines in GHZ, bouncing goo that reacts to physics in Chemical Plant, along with sticky platforms, we don't know yet for Flying Battery.

Studiopolis is amazing. Mirage Saloon may derive from scrapped content, but is a new zone nonetheless and it's doing some interesting stuff.

EDIT: I really don't understand why people try and defend Sonic 4 when it's a pretty lame game that didn't even try. It was literally born as a Mobile cash in and then named Sonic 4 just to sell a little bit more, without caring about pissing off people. You can still read Sonic Portable in the background of Casino Street.

EDIT 2: Oh Homing Attack chains were new! What a great addition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Sonikko said:

I mentioned that Sonic 4 did implement some "new" gimmicks, but everytime it did so, they were really bad.

First zone:

Second act had lianas which sucked, third act ziplines which are meh and don't complement the physics like they do in Mania's Green Hill.

Second zone:

First level had nothing new, second act had automated running section on some cards, and I don't have to tell you why that's bad, third act had cannons, which are ok but nothing mindblowing and it doesn't complement Sonic physics.

Third zone:

Badly implemented minecart from the GG games, Torch gimmick with was lame, and third act had those giant stones which you could run on, that are reminiscent of the bolts in Sonic 2's Metropolis.

You can see where this is going, while Mania has physics based ziplines in GHZ, bouncing goo that reacts to physics in Chemical Plant, along with sticky platforms, we don't know yet for Flying Battery.

Studiopolis is amazing. Mirage Saloon may derive from scrapped content, but is a new zone nonetheless and it's doing some interesting stuff.

EDIT: I really don't understand why people try and defend Sonic 4 when it's a pretty lame game that didn't even try.

Not only are Sonic 4's gimmicks completely lame but usually it would introduce and focus on one gimmick at a time in a stage. Now, in any other platformer this probably wouldn't be too much of an issue but Sonic 4's (when they're not overly gimmicky) features on average are very shallow and affect the platforming so little that it just comes across and super lazy. Especially when the classics would have stages that introduce so many unique design features and have so much going on, Sonic 4 is a joke not only compared to the classics but any decent platformer in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic 4 wasn't that bad of a game, but its titling meant that it had a lot to live up to, in which it didn't. Episode 1's physics were strange for a platform game, but by Episode 2 they got it just right. It's an OK game to me, and the soundtrack is OK, however everyone seems to bash it because it was dissimilar to the classics, which I completely understand because they called it Sonic 4 for a reason. However, as a platform game on its own, it's a relatively decent game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Episode 2 "fixes" were marginal, and someone could argue the level design got even worse.

You know something, Episode 2 had every single slope scripted. They didn't fix acceleration and momentum, they scripted stuff. That's not fixing in my book, that's a workaround.

Rolling on slopes with the same inclination gives often different results because of scripting. The game is not calculating Sonic's speed and acceleration, it's reacting to a scripted trigger that sets Sonic speed to a set amount.

And please don't say that the end result is the same because it just isn't. And no other competent platformer feels the need to take control out of the player's hand for long periods of time, or have the character go through scripted events because it doesn't behave like the level design of that very same game need it to.

No other platformer. 

Before saying that anything Sonic related is an above average game since the early 2000s, please go play some Nintendo games and come back to me. Any Nintendo platform.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Country Returns.

Yoshi's Island and Yoshi Wooly World.

Any Kirby game, which is a pretty basic platformer, but it's competent and fun because of that.

Mario. Any Mario platformer. The worst that series has ever seen is the New Super Mario branch, and even then those are great games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Before saying that anything Sonic related is an above average game since the early 2000s, please go play some Nintendo games and come back to me. Any Nintendo platform.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Country Returns.

Yoshi's Island and Yoshi Wooly World.

Any Kirby game, which is a pretty basic platformer, but it's competent and fun because of that.

Mario. Any Mario platformer. The worst that series has ever seen is the New Super Mario branch, and even then those are great games.

1) I don't have to play something I have absolutely no interest in to see why you THINK anything Sonic related since 2000 is average at best. I don't like Kirby games, I don't like Mario platformers. They're not for me. I'm not saying "the games are average at best" because I don't find them fun.

2) Hm, so Advance series are also average to you. I understand 3 and to a lesser extent 2, but the first one is the closest to classics the series could have been, yet it's still average at best?

3) Again, Generations is very good in my opinion. Adventure series are above average in my opinion. IN MY OPINION. Yet you try to state your opinion as fact. Stop that. Or I dunno, type at least IMO somewhere, that might help.

 

Anyway, Sonic 4. Episode 1 was made poorly - physics are non-existent, levels look like plastic, obligatory homing chains are unneeded in a 2D game, levels and bosses were badly made rehashes. Episode 2 tried to fix these points, and IMO they succeeded in some instances. The game looks pretty, the controls feel somewhat better, the addition of Tails and some mechanics were pretty cool and overall I somewhat enjoyed playing the game. However the music was mostly "eh", Oil Desert was really uninteresting, physics were still not great, automation was still a thing, and it was still called Sonic 4. The name for me is still one of the main problems of this game. The first trailer that showed gameplay of episode 1 made me confused. I remember saying "this doesn't look like something Sonic 4 should've been, yet the name is Sonic 4" and being somewhat sceptic about the game. Good thing I didn't like the premise from the start, huh.

Anyway, Sonic 4 is not a good Sonic game, and Episode 1 is not a good game overall. Mania looks dope, although I'm still bummed that act 1 of classic zones look to be mostly 2 acts from the original games glued together with some changes/additions to level design. Oh, and also that there'll be more Classic stages than original stages, but eh, whatever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Episode 2 "fixes" were marginal, and someone could argue the level design got even worse.

You know something, Episode 2 had every single slope scripted. They didn't fix acceleration and momentum, they scripted stuff. That's not fixing in my book, that's a workaround.

Rolling on slopes with the same inclination gives often different results because of scripting. The game is not calculating Sonic's speed and acceleration, it's reacting to a scripted trigger that sets Sonic speed to a set amount.

And please don't say that the end result is the same because it just isn't. And no other competent platformer feels the need to take control out of the player's hand for long periods of time, or have the character go through scripted events because it doesn't behave like the level design of that very same game need it to.

No other platformer. 

Before saying that anything Sonic related is an above average game since the early 2000s, please go play some Nintendo games and come back to me. Any Nintendo platform.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Country Returns.

Yoshi's Island and Yoshi Wooly World.

Any Kirby game, which is a pretty basic platformer, but it's competent and fun because of that.

Mario. Any Mario platformer. The worst that series has ever seen is the New Super Mario branch, and even then those are great games.

In Sonic's defense, none of those examples have the same kind of level design or flow that Sonic goes for (or at least attempts to do so).  Obviously SEGA went for easy solutions with Sonic 4 and it created an unideal game, but still, Sonic does have issues to be solved that DKC, Mario, Yoshi and Kirby don't.

Also as someone who has played all the above I can say there are plenty of Sonic games since the 2000's that are above average, and their review scores normally reflect this.  Plenty of average and below average ones too of course, but yeah.  Sonic 4, between overall, critic and fan opinion, is generally considered one of the "average" ones rather than below average one though, like it or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Bobnik said:

1) I don't have to play something I have absolutely no interest in to see why you THINK anything Sonic related since 2000 is average at best. I don't like Kirby games, I don't like Mario platformers. They're not for me. I'm not saying "the games are average at best" because I don't find them fun.

If you don't play other platformers then you don't have a basis for comparison. You can't talk about "average" if all you play in the genre is Sonic games. 

If that's what you do then yeah Sonic 4 is an average game, just because the rest of the series has sank way lower than that.

I wasn't talking strictly of the Sonic series, I was just saying that as a platformer, the genre the game is part of, it's below average, it's doing nothing remarkable and the level design varies from terrible to average at best. 

15 minutes ago, Bobnik said:

2) Hm, so Advance series are also average to you. I understand 3 and to a lesser extent 2, but the first one is the closest to classics the series could have been, yet it's still average at best?

I've never even mentioned the Advance series, and I don't understand where you're coming from with this.

I myself enjoy the Advance games, I've played them to death. Advance 1 is the closest to the classic games but I like 2 more than that.

The Advance games are the best 2D modern games to me. They're way more competent at everything than Sonic 4 ever was. I do prefer the classics by a lot though.

15 minutes ago, Bobnik said:

3) Again, Generations is very good in my opinion. Adventure series are above average in my opinion. IN MY OPINION. Yet you try to state your opinion as fact. Stop that. Or I dunno, type at least IMO somewhere, that might help.

I never said Generations is a bad game, and I never said people can't enjoy stuff.

I enjoy Generations myself, I like it. I have 35 hours just on Steam with that game. I'd say that's enough for saying I like the game. I am just not blind to its faults and want to see this franchise improve and not stagnate. You like what you do, nobody's pointing a gun at you for that or anything really.

 

15 minutes ago, Bobnik said:

Anyway, Sonic 4. Episode 1 was made poorly - physics are non-existent, levels look like plastic, obligatory homing chains are unneeded in a 2D game, levels and bosses were badly made rehashes. Episode 2 tried to fix these points, and IMO they succeeded in some instances. The game looks pretty, the controls feel somewhat better, the addition of Tails and some mechanics were pretty cool and overall I somewhat enjoyed playing the game. However the music was mostly "eh", Oil Desert was really uninteresting, physics were still not great, automation was still a thing, and it was still called Sonic 4. The name for me is still one of the main problems of this game. The first trailer that showed gameplay of episode 1 made me confused. I remember saying "this doesn't look like something Sonic 4 should've been, yet the name is Sonic 4" and being somewhat sceptic about the game. Good thing I didn't like the premise from the start, huh.

Anyway, Sonic 4 is not a good Sonic game, and Episode 1 is not a good game overall. Mania looks dope, although I'm still bummed that act 1 of classic zones look to be mostly 2 acts from the original games glued together with some changes/additions to level design. Oh, and also that there'll be more Classic stages than original stages, but eh, whatever. 

Again, the main issue here besides being called Sonic 4, is that the game isn't well designed.

If you design a game where YOUR character needs help with movement because the physics YOU designed won't allow him to work well with the environment, then you fucked up. It's as simple as it gets.

The level design is lame, in both games. Episode 2 is more of the same of Episode 1, just this time with mandatory gimmicks that don't really add anything and are more annoying than fun.

EDIT:

4 minutes ago, JezMM said:

In Sonic's defense, none of those examples have the same kind of level design or flow that Sonic goes for (or at least attempts to do so).  Obviously SEGA went for easy solutions with Sonic 4 and it created an unideal game, but still, Sonic does have issues to be solved that DKC, Mario, Yoshi and Kirby don't.

Also as someone who has played all the above I can say there are plenty of Sonic games since the 2000's that are above average, and their review scores normally reflect this.  Plenty of average and below average ones too of course, but yeah.  Sonic 4, between overall, critic and fan opinion, is generally considered one of the "average" ones rather than below average one though, like it or not.

Almost every Sonic game is sitting in the 70 range on Metacritic, which by today's standards is pretty average. If a game is under 80 with modern reviews then it's considered average.

The 2 Adventure games are sitting at above 80, but they were a product of their times and most of all, their flaws were overlooked at the time because of the novelty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, OkamiODonnell said:

Some believe Sonic 4 outweighs Mania for a lot of reasons. 

...who are these people!? 

Anyway most folks have said what I'd say to this anyway. 4 is an incredibly mediocre 2D Sonic game, and a laughably bad attempt at a Classic Sonic game. Mania completely steamrolls it in aesthetic, level design, music, and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Almost every Sonic game is sitting in the 70 range on Metacritic, which by today standard is pretty average. If a game is under 80 with modern reviews then it's considered average.

The 2 Adventure games are sitting at above 80, but they were a product of their times and most of all, their flaws were overlooked at the time because of the novelty.

Okay but you said "anything Sonic related", which is not the same thing as "almost every Sonic game" that's all I was saying.

VJjfL8.png

(Ignore missing Sonic Advance 2 text, editing booboo).

Don't necessarily agree with the above but these are all the platforming Sonic games that are considered above average by metacritic's standards and at least serves as an example of potential games that subjectively might be considered above average for the series since 2000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, JezMM said:

Okay but you said "anything Sonic related", which is not the same thing as "almost every Sonic game" that's all I was saying.

VJjfL8.png

(Don't necessarily agree with the above but these are all the platforming Sonic games that are considered above average by metacritic's standards and at least serves as an example of potential games that subjectively might be considered above average for the series since 2000).

Maybe I overdid it (I'm sorry about that, I'm having something like 3-4 different conversations at the same time and I kinda lose track), but still. Sonic 4 EP1 got a free pass for some reason and I really don't know why, but it's a lame game. Ep2 doesn't appear on that list. Adventure 2 is there and I already said why. The rest of the game are indeed good games, even if I really don't like Colours for example. Even then the series is nowhere near its full potential.

Also I wanted to point out that between 2007 and 2017 only two games appear on that list. That's 10 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JezMM said:

Okay but you said "anything Sonic related", which is not the same thing as "almost every Sonic game" that's all I was saying.

VJjfL8.png

(Ignore missing Sonic Advance 2 text, editing booboo).

Don't necessarily agree with the above but these are all the platforming Sonic games that are considered above average by metacritic's standards and at least serves as an example of potential games that subjectively might be considered above average for the series since 2000.

Why is Advance 2 blurred out.

WHAT ARE YOU HIDING.

JEZMMMMMMMMMMMMMAN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Sonikko said:

Maybe I overdid it, but still. Sonic 4 EP1 got a free pass for some reason and I really don't know why, but it's a lame game. Ep2 doesn't appear on that list. Adventure 2 is there and I already said why. The rest of the game are indeed good games, even if I really don't like Colours for example. Even then the series is nowhere near its full potential.

Also I wanted to point out that between 2007 and 2017 only two games appear on that list. That's 10 years.

To be fair at the end of the day matters are always more nuanced than an overall score.  Sometimes one pivitol thing can wreck the rest of the game - for example in Unleashed I argue the biggest issue was how the game taught the player how to play it.  A lot of issues with it are solved after you put the time in to learn all the nuances that the game sadly doesn't prepare you for upfront (boost management, unlocking Werehog combos etc).

1 minute ago, Indigo Rush said:

Why is Advance 2 blurred out.

WHAT ARE YOU HIDING.

JEZMMMMMMMMMMMMMAN

The first three were just dragged up to the corner on my original print screen, then the rest I pasted above as new layers.  Once I was done I used a white brush to paint out all the remainders of the print screen behind those extra pasted ones, forgetting that the first three were still on that bottom layer... and I brushed over Advance 2 lol.

I tell you all this because... I really can't think of a funny fake explaination to make everyone more confused instead.  I like Advance 2 =C lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Count me along with the group that says we should just ignore Sonic 4's existence entirely. It may not be a "bad" game but it's far from a remarkable one, much less so a remarkable sequel to some of Sonic's/Sega's most successful games.

That game had the potential to sweep through as a mighty glacier, both critically and financially. When you have the potential for magnificence, and you end with mediocrity... then, it goes without saying that some unnecessary mistakes have been made.

Mania may not necessarily the evolutionary next step of the Genesis gameplay, or an entirely-original sequel in terms of content; but that game is at least delivering in spades everything else people expected from a sequel to Sonic 3&K. Whereas Sonic 4 didn't every try on almost every aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bobnik said:

1) I don't have to play something I have absolutely no interest in to see why you THINK anything Sonic related since 2000 is average at best. I don't like Kirby games, I don't like Mario platformers. They're not for me. I'm not saying "the games are average at best" because I don't find them fun.

2) Hm, so Advance series are also average to you. I understand 3 and to a lesser extent 2, but the first one is the closest to classics the series could have been, yet it's still average at best?

3) Again, Generations is very good in my opinion. Adventure series are above average in my opinion. IN MY OPINION. Yet you try to state your opinion as fact. Stop that. Or I dunno, type at least IMO somewhere, that might help.

Sonikko is right you know. I find that people who are okay with the kind of mediocrity Sonic offers don't play much else

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.