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Solly

New Preview from Gamespot

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Right here.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode One piles on the nostalgia from the moment you load up the game. If act one's Splash Hill zone is an homage to the likes of Green Hill and Emerald Hill from the originals, then act two's Lost Labyrinth is akin to the classic Labyrinth and Aquatic Ruin zones. We went hands-on with the new zone and found tons of instantly recognizable touches throughout it. However, a number of new gameplay elements have been introduced to keep things fresh and prevent it from feeling like a rehashing of previous ideas.

The Lost Labyrinth zone was set in an underground temple full of waterfalls, golden sand blocks, and deadly spikes. Because the temple was underground, there was no light, so Sonic had to navigate the labyrinth using a flame torch. This only lit up a small area around him, giving us limited visibility. We found we had to use much more caution when speeding through the level; otherwise, we'd run into a set of spikes or into a bottomless pit. The lack of light was used for several puzzles in the zone. In one area, there were lanterns on the wall, which we could ignite using the torch. Each lantern extended a platform, which we needed to climb up to escape the room. However, the lanterns had to be lit in a certain order and at a particular time; otherwise, the platforms would disappear before we could make it all the way to the top.

Later in the level, we found another use for our fire torch: igniting dynamite. Some large stones blocked our path, which rather handily had dynamite attached to them, along with a fuse. By igniting the fuse, we could blow up the blocks and clear the path. Another area had several explosive blocks in it. We had to carefully choose which blocks to ignite and which to leave in place so we could jump up to a secret area at the top of the screen. The dynamite section was swiftly followed by one involving boulders, which dropped down into a pit below. We had to time our jumps just right to make it across the pit without falling into it. Later, a boulder was released from behind us Indiana Jones-style. Rather than just run away, Sonic jumped on it and we had to maintain our balance by pressing left or right while it rolled down a long track.

The final section of the level featured a mine cart sequence, which required some quick reflexes. After jumping into a cart, we sped off down a long track where we had to jump over obstacles and avoid falling down bottomless pits. The lack of light made it difficult to see upcoming hazards, so we had to be especially alert to make it out alive. While these sections added something new to the series, we found there was still plenty of classic Sonic action. All the loops, springs, and insane speed from the original games were there, along with plenty of tricky water hazards and spikes to avoid. Sonic handled just as we remembered him, though we did find him a tad easier to control using the PlayStation 3 D pad rather than the Xbox 360's.

Though we weren't able to try it out, we spotted a casino-themed level on the world map screen, which indicates there is still plenty more to be revealed about Sonic's HD outing. Keep reading GameSpot for more on the game in the run-up to its release later this year on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and WiiWare.

Not a lot new, but he describes some kind of puzzle and other details in act 2.

Edited by The Soldier

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Hold it.

Did he say "World map"?

If there is indeed a World Map instead of just a list, then at least they've interfaced the menu well enough so that it isn't boring to look at.

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Hold it.

Did he say "World map"?

If there is indeed a World Map instead of just a list, then at least they've interfaced the menu well enough so that it isn't boring to look at.

The classic games didn't have a world map, but they did exist in the Advance and Rush ones. THIS GAME IS FAIL

I get the impression he simply meant menu, but if there actually is a map that would be awesome. Especially if the map got progressively bigger with each episode.

Edited by Blue Blood

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Don't you mean something like Advance 2 and Sonic Rush? Classic Dimps!

Still, I'm sure people want classic progression and not a world map, although this could effectively mean Lock-On will be available for all episodes.

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It's a proper map. :)

Oh cool. I know it's simple, but I think a map is a big improvement over the menu we've seen in the leaks. I think it would help the game feel more like it has some kind of structure and feel less like a collection of levels.

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Oh cool. I know it's simple, but I think a map is a big improvement over the menu we've seen in the leaks. I think it would help the game feel more like it has some kind of structure and feel less like a collection of levels.

Yes, this is exactly what I was trying to say.

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Don't you mean something like Advance 2 and Sonic Rush? Classic Dimps!

Rush Adventure too! dimpsyrudoindis2me?

I hope there's also a more structured stage progression system now. Even if it's Z1 > Z2 > Z3 > Z4 without any set act order. But I suppose a map does actually give off a more structured feel anyway. Definitely approve.

Edited by Blue Blood

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I forgot to mention. There's a choice, actually, of whether you want classic progression or not. Once you pass that Act Clear marker, and the score counts down, a button will appear at the bottom of the screen (I think it was Triangle on the PS3 preview version or something), that says "Jump to Next Act." If you don't do this before the fadeout, you go back to the World Map screen.

Note I said World Map - as in "awesome, detailed static world view," and not "shitty, confusing 3D world hub." =P

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I forgot to mention. There's a choice, actually, of whether you want classic progression or not. Once you pass that Act Clear marker, and the score counts down, a button will appear at the bottom of the screen (I think it was Triangle on the PS3 preview version or something), that says "Jump to Next Act." If you don't do this before the fadeout, you go back to the World Map screen.

Note I said World Map - as in "awesome, detailed static world view," and not "shitty, confusing 3D world hub." =P

EDIT:

Hold on, does this happen between zones aswell, or just acts?

Edited by Scar

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I forgot to mention. There's a choice, actually, of whether you want classic progression or not. Once you pass that Act Clear marker, and the score counts down, a button will appear at the bottom of the screen (I think it was Triangle on the PS3 preview version or something), that says "Jump to Next Act." If you don't do this before the fadeout, you go back to the World Map screen.

Note I said World Map - as in "awesome, detailed static world view," and not "shitty, confusing 3D world hub." =P

<3 <3 <3

Now that IS an improvement. Yush!

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So the people who want a fixed level progression can have that whilst the people like me who may eventually say "fuggit" and hit up later acts can have that too? Awesomeness.

See, concession can actually work. :3

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Update from RubyEclipse:

Things behind the scenes are holding me from doing the full second update blog just yet. I'll see if we can reveal a couple other bits of info in the meantime, though. They will be small changes, but they are ones I'm really glad to see.

http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=6203176&postcount=57

In response to someone asking for the release date and price:

Both of those things will be coming soon. :)

http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=6203177&postcount=3

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Update from RubyEclipse:

http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=6203176&postcount=57

In response to someone asking for the release date and price:

http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=6203177&postcount=3

Those comments warrant a D= and =D respectively. I'm guessing the map will be part of the small updates. Hope there's a pic of it before too long!

Edited by Blue Blood

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Classic progression or a world map, and the player gets to pick? That's one hell of a great idea. I'm gonna put this up there with separate boss acts in the category of real improvements this game has made to the classic formula.

...I know this isn't really a priority for anyone else, but the world map, in addition to hopefully being more interesting to look at than the old menu, should provide a little information about where the game's events are taking place. It's nice to see that kind of detail showing up, especially since the game's (probably?) going to lack the mini-cutscenes from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. If the developers were to set Sonic 4 on a hypothetical North Island or something, I think I might die.

It's really too bad that Ruby's having problems doing an update blog; the words "awesome, detailed static world view" have made me ravenous for pictures.

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