Sonic 4 Physics Fail and Sonic Fan Remix

Those who grew up Sonic on the Genesis/MasterSystem have been holding out for a new release that stayed true to the original formula for over 15 years. Sonic and Knuckles, released in 1994, was the last of the true sonic games. After that Sega started changing all the mechanics and characteristics of the game, and released over a dozen variants on different consoles that were all ultimately failures (at least in the eyes of the classic fans).

Sonic 4 was supposed to be the reboot to the franchise. Sega promised to go back to basics by stripping out all the new characters, the silly story lines, the weird 3D stages, etc. Ageing fans all over the internet were praying that this would finally be a worthy successor to their childhood memories.

The game has now been released for over a month to mixed reviews. Some are happy with the back-to-basics gameplay, others are not. The most common complaints are reuse of old bosses and short play-through (only 4 stages). I'd be able to put up with these, but there's a much more serious problem - Sega screwed up the physics.

What made the classic sonic games so good was the sense of speed running through levels, and the precision of the controls. Sonic 4 tries to replicate this, but they've put in some new gameplay mechanics that really hurt the experience:

  1. Sonic automatically uncurls whenever air-born. For example, if you spin-dash off a ledge, Sonic uncurls into his upright floating form. This is bad for two reasons: uncurled Sonic is a flying/falling duck; uncurled Sonic is slow. The first issue is somewhat offset by the new homing attack, which is kinda odd but usable. The second issue however is much more severe however. 
  2. Sonic now defies the laws of physics. With original Sonic games, once you jumped off a ledge or on a diagonal spring, Sonic would follow a predictable trajectory which you had limited control over. In Sonic 4, if you jump on a diagonal spring, Sonic will follow a parabolic path for about 3/4 of the way, then fall straight down as if he hit an invisible wall. The momentum is all wrong. And this carries through to even slower actions like the standard jump. The end-effect is that it slows down gameplay and takes away from the depth of the control. It also makes precision platform jumping sections painfully frustrating. 
There's heaps of YouTube videos demonstrating this, like the one below for example: 

All is not lost however. Where the official Sonic 4 failed, a new fan-made Sonic Fan Remix game shines! Just check out the video below to see how infinitely better this is (and how true it sticks to the original play mechanics):

The game is still in development, but you can already download a PC demo of the first stage featured in the video from the official website above.

THIS should be the real Sonic 4! THIS is the game that we've been waiting 15 years for! Are you listening Sega? Hire these guys, give them a barrel of money and leave them alone. I will definitely not buy Sonic 4: Episode 2 if it continues with the same engine as Episode 1. But I would most certainly buy this Fan Remix if it was an official product.


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