The sequel fans have waited 16 years for is finally here - Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I! Featuring enhanced gameplay elements, including the classic Sonic Spin Dash, and the versatile Homing Attack, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I picks up right where Sonic and Knuckles™ left off. Dr.
User reviews: Mixed (482 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 19, 2012

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode I

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2


Packages that include this game

Buy Sonic Hits Collection

Includes 17 items: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine™, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast™, Sonic Adventure 2, SONIC ADVENTURE 2: BATTLE, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed: Metal Sonic & Outrun DLC, Sonic CD, Sonic Generations, Sonic Generations - Casino Nights DLC, Sonic Spinball™, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode I, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode II

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2


About This Game

The sequel fans have waited 16 years for is finally here - Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I! Featuring enhanced gameplay elements, including the classic Sonic Spin Dash, and the versatile Homing Attack, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I picks up right where Sonic and Knuckles™ left off. Dr. Eggman’s back, and in an effort to finally rid himself of Sonic, he revisits – and improves – the very best of his creations. Get ready for the next chapter in an all new epic 2D saga built for old and new fans alike.

System Requirements


    • OS:Windows XP/Vista/Win7
    • Processor:Pentium 4 @ 3.2 GHz/Athlon 64 3000+ or Equivalent & above
    • Memory:1 GB (2 GB on Vista) GB RAM
    • Graphics:256 MB (NVIDIA GeForce 7600/AT Radeon X1300) & above
    • DirectX®:dx90a
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX Compatible


    • OS:Windows XP/Vista/Win7
    • Processor:Intel Core 2 DUO @ 2.4 GHz/Athlon 64 X2 4200+ & above
    • Memory:2 GB+ GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB (NVIDIA GeForce 8800/ATI Radeon HD 3800) & above
    • DirectX®:dx50
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX Compatible
Helpful customer reviews
16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
I went into Sonic 4 episode 1 expecting to hate it. At first I did. I saw all the nostalgia they're trying to recreate the feeling old Sonic levels with new technology and graphics. It felt like there was nothing new. The more I played, the more it felt like there was a freshness to the old 2D platforming of Sonic. For those who have never played the old Sonic games, they are labyrinth levels that you need to make it to the end. Along the way you collect rings. These rings let you take damage without dying. The rings go spraying everywhere when you get hit. If you have no rings, you will die when you get hit. The game is single player only and offers controller or keyboard support that you setup out of game.

It feels the same as the original games and not much has changed control wise. There is still one button controls. The one button will make you jump while you're standing or running. If you hold down and push the jump button you will perform a spin dash when you let go of the down. When you are running, you can press down to roll into a ball to kill enemies. New to the series is what I feel is a game changer. A mid air lock on dash. Just hit the jump button in mid air and Sonic will immediately dart to whatever he has targeted. Usually the closest enemy, spring board or item box. This is a game changer because it adds constant momentum that is easy and more efficient than a spin dash that takes a second or so. Just jump and dart in mid air. Its easy and efficient. Not just that, but attacking enemies in the air turns into platforming. It feels like a lot less time wasted gaining momentum. With this new mechanic, I can see why Tails wasn't included in this first episode.

The game looks great. It has detailed backgrounds and bright vibrant colors. There are four main areas, each with three levels and a boss fight. Each area has a theme from a previous Sonic game. There is no new territory. Consider it a best of rather than a new album. With that said, Sonic 4 takes them in interesting new directions every so often unique to Sonic 4. One level features a lot of cannons that Sonic can hop in and control where he shoots out. Another level has Sonic in a mine cart and keeping his balance on rolling boulders. You'll see Sonic in the dark carrying a torch, lighting things on the wall to open doors and activate platforms. It all feels fresh, even if it steps away from the Genesis. There are still classic Sonic tropes like using pinball flippers, bouncing off bumpers, going through loops, swinging from vines, using zip lines (Sonic Advance) and so on. There are a few moments of going underwater. While underwater, Sonic just moves slower. He can't actually swim.

The items feel limited to the ones found in Sonic 1 and 2. You can get temporary invincibility, ten rings, an extra life, super speed shoes and a bubble shield that lets Sonic take an extra hit.

Even with only 4 areas to visit, there are still 13 levels (not including boss fights). Each level is around five minutes to complete. I hate to say it, but it feels like a full length Sonic game, even if this is only episode 1. It runs around the three hour mark. The boss fights evoke nostalgia. Their patterns are like the original games, but they add new twists.

Sonic 4 does a good job of utilizing Sonic's speed. A lot of the previous 2D games had you go at your own pace, but Sonic 4 has you chased by boulders, crushing walls, running after Dr. Robotnik in boss fights. These reasons for Sonic to run feel engaging more than typical exploring the levels. It offers a variety.

Since you are collecting rings, if you complete the level and have more than 50 rings, you'll see a giant ring to jump into that sends you to the bonus stage. Even the bonus stage feels good. Its a take off of the original Sonic 1 bonus stage, but this time you get to control the rotation of the level while Sonic is just stuck in a ball. There are barriers that need coins to pass through. At the end of each bonus stage is a chaos emerald.

As you progress, you will unlock levels and areas as you progress. So if you get stuck on a level, you can skip it. After each level it gives you a choice to jump to the next unfinished level. That just feels odd. While its helpful to have level selection, I'd much rather progress to the next level instead of getting asked.

While this might be a departure from the old Sonic games, it adds new life to what was a stale franchise if you include the Genesis and Gameboy Advance platformers. The challenge feels good, its more difficult than the other old school games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
I liked this game *Wave of downvotes*. All I have to say is : "You like 90's Sonic Games ? You should try it. You like Modern Sonic games? You should try it.". I have no strong opinion on the graphism but the soundtrack is, once again, awesome. The difficulty is perfectly balanced but it suddenly become "Sofa King Hard" during the final boss act.

→ 77/100
Was this review helpful? Yes No
10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Ever since this game released i was wondering why was it so panned, i can understand weird phisics but all the gameplay looked good enough... and then i played today and now i realize why

Green Hill zone is the only area that had gameplay shown of, this... This game has angered me more than any other game, not because it's hard, but because of how frustrating the levels become once you hit the casino zone... I made it to the next area only to run into an even more frustrating puzzle...

This was... Bad, really bad, after getting stuck in that puzzle I can tell you i'm done with this game, this was advertised as a sequel for the classic sonic games, yet this game brought elements that only slow sonic down, the 10 minute time limit is insulting considering how unfair some of the obstacles are

I'm a fan of hard games, I played and beat super meat boy WITH KEYBOARD, but this? this game is just cheap difficulty, I'm glad this was part of the Sonic Collection bundle, if i had grabbed this individually? I would have felt ripped off...

Just avoid this game... I can only summarize it in one word: ANNOYING
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
As a day one Sonic fan who played the original Genesis titles as soon as they came out. This is a really good Sonic game. The game took old concepts for levels and created something fresh and new. With platforming puzzles that would use old mechanics in a brand new and interesting way.

After 10-15 years of bare bones, turn your brain off Sonic gameplay. I feel the audience for Sonic just didn't want a game like this. Episode 1 will actually challenge you a little bit. You'll find platforming puzzles, because Sonic is a platformer. A shocker to some, I know. I feel that's the main reason why people preferred Episode2 over Ep1. Ep2 looks gorgeous and is completely brain dead.

Also it's worth noting, the nitpicks about the physics and earning speed are misguided. The physics are 90% the same and there's no meaningful difference between this and the classics. Earning speed is also a talking point parroted by people who didn't want to take the time to figure out what was really bothering them. For example, who complained the spindash in Sonic 2 took the 'earning speed' element out of the game? The real reason why it didn't feel like a Genesis Sonic game was the save system:

This game was designed to be played through once without having to replay levels. There's no muscle memory or memorization of level layouts, unlike there was in Sonic 1-2.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
"Fourth game in the orginal serise, just as good as the old ones!" is not the way they should have marketed it. This game is even worse than the LCD games I got from a Mc Donnalds when I was very young. Unless you are the most hard core sonic fan, or like seeing how bad they made sonic seem by weighing him down crazially, slowing his top speed, giving the now "So Iconic it's always been there" homming attack and the badniks the ability to HIT you no matter what you do to attack them (and I mean I was being hit while I was useing my Spin ball by not just one but TWO at the same time instantly killing me) and the dificulty of the second zone, then this game is for you.

If you like good sonic games, stay away, even if you get the sonic hits collection, at all costs DO NOT DOWNLOAD this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Screw this game. It's too slow! Go play generations instead.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
91.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Are you going Mach 5 speed towards a cliff? Well DONT WORRY! Sanic 4 has you covered. Sanic 4 can use its unbelievably realistic physics to make you stop the millisecond you let go of the analog stick! Oh, but wait, Dimps put speed boosters everywhere so theres no need for that silly controller! You might as well sit back and enjoy the show! (not) Watch how some evil guy makes not-so-deadly inventions that are extremely familiar, and only take a few hits to destroy in an explosion! THE LEVEL DESIGN is so AWESOME that you never need to earn your speed! And SOMETIMES when speed boosters aren't as abundant as trees you get to do this thing called JUMPING! Sanic requires no skill at all to control or do platforming unlike all the sanics before it, so now you don't need any momentum to do any jumping! SANIC 4! COMING OVER 2 YEARS AGO! (It says 92 hours but I left the game on a few times overnight by accident, my real hours are like 4-7)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Well, the game is okay when you get XboxCE. The music is terrible. It is like they wanted to go with a 16-bit style with a moderns style and it sounds awful.The other thing I don't get is the quality of Sonic. Sonic looks like a low quality JPG. This game would be okay, if they fixed the music.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
I couldnt recommend this game even to a Sonic fan. The physics are totally off. In the old Sonic games or even some 3D Sonic games, when sonic jumps forward and you let go of the analog you should expect Sonic to continue in that direction. However in Sonic 4, Sonic loses all sense of speed and grounds to a halt immediately which means you have to slowly gather up your initial speed. This really does affect some of the tricky jump sections later on in the game.
I got fairly far in the game before I thrown in the towel. I wont go into the Music or Gameplay as its been said by many people on this page how bad it is. I wouldnt even buy this game even if it was on sale. Save up and buy something you are going to enjoy.

I said at the start I cant recommend this game. However, if you really want to play Sonic go play the Sega Megadrive games. SA1 and SA2 are still good but Sonic Generations is really something and has tons of fan service for all Sonic fans.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
WORST sonic game i have EVER played. Its like looking at sonic with cancer when he is on his last legs.

Music - WORST i have ever heard in ANY video game. Sonic 1 was 16BIT and midi files and that was a TON better than who ever made this crap for this game. The music in this game alone makes you want to turn the game off

The game FORCES you to install Java - only way around this is to un-install java and then load via going into the data folder and loading from the exe file directly

worst of all is sonic runs SLOW - like my farts could move quicker.

sega should be ashamed and i hope all the staff who worked on this game got fired
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
This game does not deserve the title of "Sonic 4." Aside from the visuals and graphics that improve naturally over time, it doesn't hold a candle to the original 3 Sonic titles.

As many have already mentioned, the physics are no fun. You can gain speed but it is so easy to lose it, whether it's because of the rather bad level design or the forced homing attack segments of the stages.

Despite the pace Sonic is capable of reaching, his animations make him look slow and sluggish. On top of this, using the homing attack on an enemy makes you unable to immediately chain in another, meaning there is a forced delay between each enemy hit. Really unnecessary.

Stick to the old original 3 (STH 1, 2, 3&K), and/or Generations.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 11
Pretty beautiful gameply, Awesome music, Great for the whole family
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 13
This game has one of the best soundtracks for a Sonic game. This game is better than the 2D segments in Sonic Generations. Only flaw this game has is that its too short with only 4 zones and all the levels are just rehashes of levels from Sonic 1 and 2.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
This game is an insult to the classic sonic franchise.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
Yeah, no. Sorry. The princess is in another castle. Bahahaha VIDEO GAME JOKEZ.

Man, I really wanted to like this game because, yeah, I like Sonic. He's really only worked in 2d, though (I didn't care for Sonic Adventures, personally). When I saw this a few years ago I was like oh man, exciting! A new, potentially good sonic game! And then all of the disappointment.

The two biggest factors as to why I don't recommend this game: the engine and the level design. Graphics are a close third.

The engine is just kind of meh. Sonic feels very bulky, heavy and slow in this game. More than once I've stood on a hill and, after losing momentum, could not actually finish climbing said hill. I had to go back, get a running start and then run up. It didn't feel very sonic like and it very much breaks pacing/immersion/fun.

However, the level design is what kept me from wanting to finish. It's just kind of meh overall, like a bland cut/copy/paste of what a marketing person thinks a sonic game should look like, having looked at the statistics and level design of previous games. It feels very soulless, much like the New Super Mario brothers series. Sure, it looks similar to the original Sonic games but it lacks it's own character or creativity. You can usually safely call where a spike trap will be, for example, because the placements are so obvious. That's not bad, necessarily -- you should be able to tell where the pitfalls are going to come up -- but they're predictable in the way that makes the game boring.

What really broke my spirits, though, was the third level: the ♥♥♥♥ing water level. Water levels always kind of suck in Sonic, but in the past I at least appreciated their unique-ness as they did some cool things. This one doesn't. One stage has a massive pain in the ♥♥♥ puzzle where you light specific torches at specific times in order to make platforms rise and fall, but the torches burn out so quickly that Sonic's slow, impercise ♥♥♥ can't easily get onto these ledges before they disappear. I personally was stuck on one part of a stage for a good 5-10 minutes just trying to get Sonic to do what I wanted him to do. That's not a good game. Worse still is the boss fight for that stage, which is a race to catch and damage Robotnik. Except, you know, the race involves very specific jumps while water is rising. Of course the water slows you down, and at that point why even bother?

No, I had a pretty bad time with this game and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you really wanted to see how to ♥♥♥♥ up a 2d sonic game. It just doesn't do much right. Even Sonic Colors -- a game I also do not like -- was designed better than this. I really want to like it, but it's just not very good. If you want a good Sonic game, go check out Sonic Generations instead.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Oh you bought this game? You love the old school sonic franchise? Good. Cling to those memories and uninstall this game as fast as you can. GO! Stop reading this review of a terrible game and Uninstall! If you're reading this, burn your computer. It's too late.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
This game is terrible, everything about it makes me cringe

Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Music is very very bad, not much content, bad graphics, bad level design, bad physics.

The music is so bad I want to turn off the volume..
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Horribly recycled. Same bosses and badniks from previous games. Tile set lifted off of old levels. To make matters worse the momentum system is all messed up. If you arent pressing a direction you will drop like a sack of brikes. They also added a holming attack which does nothting to enjoy,
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Weak pretender. This is not the quality level of Sonic you grew up with. Terrible.
Was this review helpful? Yes No