This is hard to review because the reviewer in me and the retro gamer in me are at odds. I finished it in 2 hours without any Chaos Emeralds and it did impress me. Well I'll get into more info through the review so let's get to it. Here's my review of Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1: copy and paste...
Sonic 4's story... phfff yeah right! This is a retro style game! Story is meant for games that aren't Sonic. Hear that Sega, Sonic needs no story in the 2D games! *cough Sonic Rush Adventure sucks!*cough*. Anyway the controls are the same as the old ones and no need for learning new controls... I think they call those types of controls "pick up and play". What's new to Sonic 4? Nothing really, sure you can us a homing attack now but Sonic's been doing that for 11 years. All the badniks are reskined from different Sonic games of yore and even Eggman's boss battles are copy, pasted from previous games too... yeah... even the stages feel like they copy and pasted them together from the old games to create hybrid stages with a coat of paint to hide which games sections were cut and glued together. Yes I know this is sounding negative but I'm still not done yet. While everything seems like it was Frankensteined together to appease fans, it's a good game. Yes it's a good game! Sonic admittedly feels slower then his Megadrive/Genesis version but you can blame modern tech for that. The game feels like an old Sonic game and after Act 3 of Splash Zone any gripes you have about the game will be pushed into the back of your mind while you play, but they'll smack you in the face when your done. The game has 4 zone with 4 acts each and the final stage so 17 in total and you can collect the 7 emeralds to become Super Sonic in any stage. I'm hoping in episode 2 they add another 17 zones so it will be a huge Sonic game but we'll have to wait and see.
As I said it's a good game. It's fun and tickles that part of your brain that triggers nostalgia the right way but if you feel like you've played this before, then you'll be like me and ignore it while you're playing. I give it a 4/5 because it cost's more then it's worth and it's a copy and paste job for the most part. Paying AU$20 or 1200 MS points is way too much for it, it really should have been a maximum of AU$15 or 800 MS points. I say buy it if you're a fan like me, but consider waiting if you're not willing to pay that much for it.