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A super fast hedgehog deserves a super fast review, right?

Or at least he deserves a gimmick that lets me finish this thing in less than 400 words.

Either way, hit the jump to find out how the long-awaited 2D Sonic the Hedgehog sequel turned out.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Available Now on Xbox Live Arcade
Coming Soon to PlayStation Network Store, WiiWare, iOS

On the up side, the game looks pretty, retains all the giddy sounds and nearly psychedelic color scheme of its predecessors and, most crucially, is entirely focused on speed.

On the down side, the game doesn't feel right. The momentum is off, air control is too strict, and when Sonic gets hit the customary burst of rings falls down instead of exploding outwards in all directions. Newer gamers may not notice this stuff, but it's immediately obvious to fans of the Genesis-era games.

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Verdict: It's better than all the bullshit 3D Sonic titles Sega has been giving us since the Dreamcast, but it pales in comparison to any of the classic games (with the possible exception of the weak Game Gear spinoffs that none of you played anyway).

I could possibly see Sonic 4 being worth its $15 retail price to those who are completely in love with the blue 'hog (read: furries), but everyone else would be better served handing that same amount to Amazon for Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. That disc will net you all the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, plus a few dozen other brilliant Genesis titles like Shinobi, Shining Force, Vectorman and Phantasy Star (before Sega turned that series into a pathetic joke designed to pander to the three people in Japan not totally addicted to Monster Hunter.)

None of those classics are in high definition, but then again none of them wreak of a company desperately trying to recapture its former glory.

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