Week in Arcade: Sonic 4, Dead Space Ignition

Two games this week, $20 worth in total.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Can you imagine the frenzy back in the 32-bit era if Sonic 4 was announced? That frenzy has died out as gaming has moved on and Sonic has drifted into mediocrity, but this is a decent return to form. The big change here is lock-on, allowing Sonic to smash into enemies like he did in the 3D titles, giving the player a better sense of control when fighting. However, on foot, the physics feel completely different, as it takes Sonic longer to reach full speed, and rolling into a ball is nowhere near as effective. Still, it does look great and the music is superb. However, at $15 for a single episode, there’s no reason this shouldn’t be a full game on a disc right now as opposed to digital.

Dead Space Ignition

This thing has all the depth of a flash game. This cheap “interactive motion comic” seems like a desperate means to capture some of the audience from Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. It’s a prequel to the Dead Space saga, intertwined with some truly dull mini-games like tower defense and racing. They look and play like flash games in-between bouts of story telling told with static visuals that are quite compressed. Nonetheless, the thing takes up 1.6GB of HDD space, and it’s not worth it.