I find Sonic 4 pisses me off significantly more than any of the Genesis Sonic games, so much so that I'm taken out of the experience. Maybe I'm just not playing it right. I should probably make it a point to not every use the homing attack or avoid springs as much as possible—you know, go against how the designers designed the game to be played—and see if that makes it any better. The Special Stages are fairly tolerable, but it's not like I'd prefer it more than Sonic 1's specials stages, especially with that freaking baby lullaby music. Seriously, Senoue? Seriously
That being said, I do find I have the most fun in Lost Labyrinth and Mad Gear. And my favorite moment in the whole game was the brief cutscene with the cool "This Is Happanin'" music right before you get to E.G.G. Station Zone. I can definitely see how certain parts of the game balance themselves out nicely for some, but for me it's just half-baked. Splash Hill is so much a lift of every beginning zone trope so as to be transparent and nonexistent. You could replace it with all-white backgrounds and a black foreground and it wouldn't make a difference. Maybe if they did more to make it look like an organic lagoon or a swamp, something different, I would've been distracted by the less-than-remarkable level design. Casino Street did look and play a little better, but I hated
the Road of Cards and I didn't need to spend an entire act blasting out of 50 cannons, with the very last one launching me into a do-or-die Bubbles chain over a bottomless pits (hint: I actually liked that act best in the whole zone). The level design was partly lame as it was, but the bottomless pits at the end of each act just piss me off. Almost as much as falling straight down in Lost Labyrinth because I didn't hold right all the way after being launched half of the way from a mine cart stop.
So far, I'd even rather playing one of the Advance games than Episode 1. At least they're not trying quite as hard to be Sonic 1 or 2 but with different physics programming. They're don't handle as smoothly as the Genesis games, but they certainly handle well enough.
EDIT@Chaos: Yeah, come to think of it, I think my $15 would've been better spent on World of Goo. It's not to say I didn't have any fun at all with Sonic 4—it's decent—but it's still disappointing.
This post has been edited by MegaDash: 09 February 2011 - 07:30 PM