This Week in Awesome: Sonic 4

Actually, there are two awesome things that came into being this week: Besides Sonic 4, the new Left 4 Dead 2 campaign “The Sacrifice” came out, and not only that, L4D2 is now available for the Mac! Read more about it in next weeks “This Week in Awesome” post.

As you may have noticed when looking at the App Store, Sonic 4 is out. That’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I” to be correct. I guess this means that there will be more episodes coming, although it is not mentioned anywhere. I’ld welcome more Sonic games in this classic style, because lately, the Sonic games haven’t been so good.

Sonic games used to be all about speed, running and dashing, being accelerated by springs and slides along the way. Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are the titles in question. And now, after a very very very long time, nostalgia returns! Sonic has returned in his classic style of 2D, running through zones and acts, as they are called. It’s out for iPhone and iPod touch already, the XBOX Live Arcade, WiiWare and PlayStaion Network editions will follow in a few days.

As for the iPhone version, I have already played through at least the first two acts of every of the four zones, and I must say it is awesomely entertaining! Here are a few things I like:

  • It’s fast.
  • It’s simple, because it has no story line (besides having to beat Dr. Robotnik).
  • Classic sound effects.

And here are a few things I don’t like:

  • Touchscreen controls (well, duh).
  • You can only play when holding it in the way so that the home button is on the right side. The problem with that is: the headphone port on the iPhone is exactly where I want to place my left hand, and the plugged in headphones cable gets in the way!

Hopefully the latter will be resolved in the future in form of an update, like for example having the game recognize the way the iPhone is tilted (use the accelometer). The former point can of course never be changed, because the touchscreen is given by the hardware. That’s why I’m looking forward to the console version! Hooray for real classic controllers!

Side note: One thing that also threw me off in the beginning was that the screen turns with you when you go through a looping. It makes your head spin (literally). But you get used to it.

Over all, SEGA did a splendid job. Of course it’s nowhere near as fun as the really old classics mentioned in the beginning, but I guess that’s just how it is with us video game conservatives! The best thing about Sonic 4 is when you open the app, the classic “SEEEGAAA!” jingle sounds!

SEGA Jingle

For more info, including videos etc., head over to


3 thoughts on “This Week in Awesome: Sonic 4”

  1. You can only play when holding it in the way so that the home button is on the right side.

    I don’t understand this concern from you. I personally hold the device always this direction when playing games. The problem is that when you play without headphones, in your preferred direction, you would mute the sound all the time because of the sensor.

    But anyway, thank you for this great article! I was indeed a little irritated when seeing Sonic 4 in the App Store, didn’t realize it’s really a new game (because of it’s retro-look) 😉


  2. thanks! I intended that.
    as for playing without headphones: that works fine with the iPhone 4, because the speaker is now on the right side instead of the left side, where it used to be with iPhone 3G/S. But you can’t play like that while on the train!


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