Let’s get one thing out in the open before I begin this review- I don’t care for the Sonic character, the games based around him (other than Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine which was COMPLETELY different than normal Sonic fare) and I can’t stand the “attitude” of the character. From the first time I saw pictures of Sonic in an old issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, I was not interested- my level of intrigue only lowered when I finally did get a chance to play the first Sonic the Hedgehog game on Sega’s Genesis home console.
I have given the little blue speed demon a chance over the years, quite regularly actually. I enjoyed Sonic CD on Sega CD but was less than impressed with Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles and Sonic Jam. Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast didn’t do much for me as far as converting me (going 3D didn’t make me a bigger Mario fan either so Sonic isn’t alone here).
Okay, that is out of the way. Sonic 4: Episode 1 is set shortly after the events of Sonic and Knuckles with Sonic being content with exploring alone again, a reboot of sorts (even though there are people that would like you to think otherwise). Sonic 4 is a sequel but is mainly that only in name- the core gameplay is obviously a return to the roots of the series. This is also the first Sonic title that I have actually enjoyed playing- maybe it is the assisted targeting while jumping, maybe it is the little things such as additional animations, maybe I am more of a Sonic fan than I realized.
Sonic 4 is not perfect, by a long shot. It is still just a rush to the finish, though the levels are HUGE and have many more routes through than I remember from past Sonic games. Enemies are a throwback to past titles mixed with new ones which add a little variety to the proceedings. Sonic fans will definitely want to have this game installed on their Android devices, everyone else, this makes a cool tech demo for what your S601 can do and you just might find a bit of fun with the game.
Sonic 4 runs fine on JXD’s little hand held with only minor hiccups in the frame rate (not really attributed to any specific thing going on on-screen). This only happened intermittently, and not always in the same area of the level or even at all (making me think this could have been an issue with what programs may have been running in the background. Frankly the reason for the slowdown is a mystery to me.
Physical buttons are incorporated as they should be, well movement buttons anyhow. Jumping is set to the ‘start’ button on the S601 and in the game, there is no way to change to another button (though you can choose ’tilt controls’ and then click the on-screen jump button). This can be quite an annoyance for players since the ‘start’ button is not exactly easy to access during gameplay.
Using thirdparty programs like Gamekeyboard allow for the jump button to be mapped to other buttons quite easily (jump is bound to the ‘enter’ key as far as these programs are concerned). This is not a perfect solution because it requires additional work on the part of the player, work that could have been avoided by Sega simply including a remapping capability in the options menu.
Sonic 4: Episode 1 by Sega
Rated: Low Maturity
Available now in Google Play
JXD S601 used for review, to learn more about this device, please read our JXD S601 article. Purchase your JXD S601 from Willgoo.com today.