Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, that highly controversial 2D episodic game that has since released to just about every platform, has received a long overdue graphical update for the iPhone and iPod Touch version of the game. When Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 first released, there were several different versions out there. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 received the version of the game with the best graphics and sound while the Wii version was a step below, with less than stellar graphics and sound. Below that was the iPhone and iPod Touch version which not only featured very blocky graphics, but also had stages that existed before SEGA overhauled the game and did away with the mine cart and pinball machine levels. SEGA marketed these as “2 EXCLUSIVE LEVELS!!!”, but savvy fans knew that SEGA likely just didn’t have the time or resources to retool the mobile versions as they did the console versions.
In December 2011, SEGA released Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 HD to the iPad App Store. This version of the game retained the “2 EXCLUSIVE LEVELS!!!” but featured HD graphics and character models that matched the console versions. Meanwhile the iPhone and iPod Touch version continued to be ignored, and as newer versions of iOS released the game became less stable and only looked worse on newer devices. However, now that Version 1.5 of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 has released the iPhone and iPod Touch version features graphics that match the iPad version and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2. Unfortunately, the game still does not have rotation support, meaning the headphone jack will get in the way of your hands. Also, Sonic’s idle animation of taking out an iPhone and listening to some music is not present in the new version of the game.
No word on if the Episode Metal bug has also been fixed. When Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 released, iOS owners who had both games could unlock the additional content by having both games open and moving between one application and the other. However, I had been informed that Apple has since removed the ability for one application to be aware of another application existing on a device, so unlocking Episode Metal may still be impossible on iOS.