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:
Recent:
Mostly Negative (48 reviews) - 33% of the 48 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (886 reviews) - 51% of the 886 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 19, 2012

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Includes 18 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 Lost World, Sonic Spinball™, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode I, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode II

 

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

    Minimum:

    • 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

    Recommended:

    • 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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Negative (48 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (886 reviews)
Recently Posted
CrazyRiverOtter
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
Sonic 4 - Episode 1 is fun on its own, but very dissapointing as a follow-up to the Mega Drive/Genesis classics. The level design is littered with cheap deaths and speed boosts that kill a lot of the depth, and the mechanics don't have the same pinball-ish charm that the originals had, so the difficulty comes from memorizing the levels rather than learning to pull off tricks by manipulating Sonic's momentum and inertia. The levels don't have the same charm, either, all being rehashes of older levels in the series. Scoring those levels is the music that's composed well, but the instruments chosen all sound like an imitation of the Genesis soundchip by someone who hates the Genesis soundchip.

That said, while it doesn't hold up as a classic Sonic game, the controls are at least tight enough to make transversing the levels at least someone fun, so it has that going for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[Jmelt] R the DMer
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
One word: Physics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pitchkart
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Nope.

Speed mechanics are all messed up. Sonic accelerates far too slowly and is capable of stopping on a dime in mid-air if you release the movement controls. One section of the game contains mine carts, a couple of which eject you at the end of the rail, and if you're not holding forward at the time (mind you, you don't need to be holding forward for the cart to be moving in the first place), Sonic gets launched about two feet, acts like he hit an invisible wall, and plumets like a rock. Once you lose your forward momentum, it takes far too long to get it back.

Every single level is a 'rip-off' of an earlier Sonic level as far as aesthetics go. The updated looks are actually pretty decent, but it's a bit boring to be seeing levels that appear identical to sonic 1-3 levels while pretending to be all new zones. Additionally, I don't think there's a single original enemy, at least not one I've encountered. Most enemies that appear come from the level that's being copied, though one in particular makes a very common appearance through the whole game (the floaty, spiky guys from Marble Garden Zone in 3).

The Emerald stages are based heavily on Sonic 1's, in which you're in a spinning maze and need to navigate your way to the Chaos Emerald. It's a bit different - there are gates in the way that you unlock by collecting rings along the way, and you have a time limit to reach the Emerald. You also control the spin of the maze. There are, of course, trap walls that eject you from the stage if you touch them, just like in 1. These are a little frustrating, but honestly not any more frustrating than Sonic 1's Emerald stages were.

Some of the music is decent, other tracks sound oddly out of place. The basic boss theme, for example, sounds really odd. It's a slow-paced, light-hearted little jingle. It picks up in pace when Eggman goes "berserk," but it still doesn't seem quite like it fits. A lot of the sound effects were ripped straight from Sonic 3.

Ultimately, I can't recommend it. I could probably finish playing it through if the controls weren't so stiff, I think that's the biggest offender.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dan
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
Sonic 4: Episode 1 feels like the product of a company trying to cash in on nostalgia, quickly duck taped together at the last minute on a very meager budget. The main physics, lifted right out of Sonic Rush, feel horrible. Sonic loses every bit of momentum as you let go of the control stick, and feels like he has a load of bricks in his shoes. The level design is horrid, constantly punishing you by throwing you into bottomless pits and with incredibly random enemy placement. Bosses are just reused from old classic 2D Sonic games, and the game looks and sounds horrible. Faux-Synthy music coupled with graphics that look like Donkey Kong Country on the SNES gone horribly wrong absolutely kill any sort of positive presentation the game has.

Sonic 4: Episode 1 isn't really worth the time you can be spending just playing Sonic 1, 2 or 3K instead.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
amic403
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
I like the idea of this game. It has beautiful graphics but... It feels like theres a l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶b̶i̶t̶ lot of input lag, which is the main thing stopping Sonic 4 from being as fun as it should be.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zen Rain
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
Sonic 4 is the punishment of a hateful god on a population which has enraged him.

It is what Kratos would create to give to his worst enemies. It is the final puzzle in a Saw movie. Threats of playing this game are what Kim Jong Un uses to keep the people of North Korea in line, and those people don't even understand what a videogame is.

If you read the credits of the game backwards, Cthulhu will destroy the world... but only if you do so after beating the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JamesGecko
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
This is a bad game. I'll enumerate.

1. Bad physics. Sonic loses all momentum immediately as soon as you release a directional key. Ducking into a roll decelerates instead instead of uncapping your max velocity.

2. Broken physics. Sonic clips through springs. He also won't ride moving platforms downward; he is in mid air as soon as the platform begins it's descent.

3. Inconsistent application of the rules. In the last zone Sonic can walk on giant gears to move them, but he falls off as soon as he revs on them. Sometimes the lock on system just won't lock on.

4. Art design. It's occasionally difficult to tell if something is a platform or just a decorative doodad in the foreground. It's kinda ugly, too; there isn't even any AA.

5. Level design. One level has pistons that slam upward into spikes. They have a longish cycle no indication that they're about to activate. If you see them, you have to slam to a stop and wait for them to activate before proceding. Another level sees Sonic speeding along in pitch darkness, carrying a torch that illuminates the ground three feet in front of him. I haven't even mentioned the puzzles. Why are there puzzles in a Sonic game?

Avoid avoid avoid.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AWotKing
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 16
It is if SEGA created some platformer and decided to put Sonic in it.

Rating: 6.5/10 "A platform game staring Sonic"
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yo no lo conozco señor
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
I really expected Genesys Sonic 4. But I bought this piece of ♥♥♥♥.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
molegato
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
Pretty bad, actually. While an more-or-less-OK game, it looks more like a bad fangame than an official sonic game. Also, the special stages and some small parts of the main game are complete ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t. Playing as supersonic is nice, though. Got it in a bundle, probably not worth it otherwise, even if you're a hardcore sonic fan.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
I'm just glad I got this for cheap on a Humble bundle. It all just feels kinda wrong, and controlls really weird. It's essentially a mobile ported game to PC. I was really hoping for more from this, but sadly am dissapointed.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
This may very well be one of the only positive reviews on steam for this game, and I leave it shamelessly. I just got done with the task of collecting all 7 choas emeralds, and was filled with a sweet frustration I have not experienced since I was a tiny boy of 8 years old playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2, trying and succeeding in beating all those special stages. The sense of nostalgia is undeniable. I can't believe the entitlement that the gaming community has sometimes, especially Sonic the Hedgehog "fans". If you want the old games, go ahead and just play those. If you want a love letter from Sonic Team, as they try to give fans a familiar but fresh experience, at least give this a shot.

Thanks Sonic Team, I appreciate the feels ^.^
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Man, I wasn't expecting Sonic 4 to be this horrible. The graphics look like Sonic 3D Blast, the music is not that good, and the first two levels are obviously recreations of Green Hill and Casino Night (renamed Splash Hill and Casino Street...). The controls and physics are weird, letting go of the move stick in mid air just stops all of your momentum dead where you stand (or float I say), the spin dash is usually slower than just running, and Sonic's running animation just looks plain unnatural. I rage-quitted on Mad Gear act 1 because Sonic's slow acceleration made it impossible for me to outrun the crushing platforms near the end.

Honestly, I'm just glad I got this in the 25th Anniversary Humble Bundle instead of spending $10, so I'm not even mad because I also received the classics Sonic 1, 2, 3, and CD.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
115 of 168 people (68%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
40.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 14, 2014
From Sonic, Sonic 2 and Sonic3&Knuckles comes the sequel we have all waited for: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode I, where the franchise goes back to its roots to try and redeliver the classic momentum based platformer that carried Sega to success in 1991.

Unfortunately the game does not deserve the complement of its predecessors as for the most part the game insults the classic era of the franchise with a mediocre game that has a inferiority complex - trash can't disguise itself amongst gold.

The level design does not complement the momentum and even the momentum mechanics of the game are poor or rather broken and don't hold their own to the older brothers which will leave you with nothing but a sigh as the game spoonfeeds you dash panels so that you don't earn your speed and you're not punished for mistakes.

The developers don't understand that earning your momentum gives you a fresh experience when you replay the level and you understand the layout well enough not to crash into Badniks or spikes which is why the ring system is there in the first place; so you can fail multiple times, learn from your mistakes instead of punishing you downright so once you finally learn you're allowed to hold the reins of speed and all its goodness.

Taking that away devalues what made the classic games in the first place. The game also introduces the homing attack that is forced on you and drops every bit of speed you've gained so far.

Despite what has been said about the level design, Zone 4 takes a few steps towards the right direction but it doesn't stop the game from falling on its face, you also have the terrible floaty physics and the poor (re-)designed bosses to also thank for that.

The music however is great and with the beautiful visuals are very reminiscent of the classic Sonic games are by far the strongest points of this product which thankfully don't collapse with the disappointment of the game. Even the 2.5D models are great other than Sonic's model itself oddly enough.

What makes this game bearable is the fact that it's a average platformer game when you don't compare it to its far superior prequels, the length is very great for its price and the online time attack where you can compete against other players that can have you playing for hours to see who can break and exploit the game to the finish line the fastest.

The game is by all means worth the £6 but you're better off spending a bit more of that money to buy games like DuckTales Remastered and/or Sonic 4 Episode 2, despite them having lower scores on gaming review sites they're superior in everyway.
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63 of 89 people (71%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
Physics? What's that?" -Sonic 4 devs
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 47 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2013
What did you like best about Sonic 2? Was it the original, varied and yet level design? The clever bosses that never repeated an idea? The game design which is involved and challenging, but still only uses one button? Well, you better go play Sonic 2 and 3 then, because this steaming pile of refuse does the exact opposite of everything I mentioned.

The Sonic sprite is rendered with a shader to have only the three tones of blue in his Sonic 3 sprites that clashes with everything else in the game including other images of Sonic which are shown with normal shaders.

The art design is recycled from previous games wholesale with tweaks to upscale it believably to modern resolutions. And I don't mean like Sonic 2's Emerald Hill Zone compared to Green Hill Zone, Splash Hill Zone straight up lifted the tileset from Emerald Hill and there isn't a single new enemy desgin until you get to the third zone.

The boss designs are also copied shamelessly from the Megadrive games. I will grant Sega that there is purpose in revisiting the classic Ball and Chain Robotnik from Green Hill Zone Act 3 as it is one of the most iconic bosses from that era of gaming. I vocally sighed when I saw the boss of Casino Street Zone (just what you think it is, with a twinge of Carnival Night) was the Neon Claw Robotnik from Casino Night Act 2.

If that's not bad enough, they completely missed the point of the bosses as well. Oldschool Sonic bosses were great in how they were a quiz of the mechanics taught in the zone. With Ball and Chain, you had to have paitence and basic use of the platform to reach Robotnik and avoid damage. Claw forced you to use the spin dash to go up the walls to avoid him grabbing you and sucking out your rings. Both of the aforementioned things can be completely ignored with the basic application of the homing attack, begging their inclusion at all. They do go into a different and new attack pattern after 5 hits, but why not do something FULLY original if that's your goal?

The addition of the homing attack adds nothing to the game other than removing any semblance of game design based challenge based upon platforming. There is still plenty of hard work to do though; fighting the incredibly buggy, awful physics (it is possible to *walk* around a loop with no momentum) and puzzles.

Yes, I said puzzles. Someone that developed this idea thought that placing a puzzle that completely forced you to a stop until you light up a specific set of torches that lowers a wall to allow you to continue in a franchise where speed and flow are *paramount* was a good idea.

DO NOT BUY THIS GAME FOR ANY REASON. The fact that it was ever considered shippable is insulting. If you want a good modern Sonic game, vote with your wallet for Generations.
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34 of 48 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
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.
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 20, 2012
bad level design, bad physics, bad graphics, subpar music, short, not much content. don't buy, get generations, cd or just burn your money.
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36 of 53 people (68%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Might as well start this off by saying that all the Sonic games for the Sega Mega Drive were the first videogames I ever played as a kid, and I played them over and over for years, so I've had quite a bit of experience when it comes to this type of Sonic game... Now.. Onto the review.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4 really really does not live up to the standards of the original Sonic games on the Megadrive/ Genesis. Quite a big letdown..

There's quite a few problems I noticed as soon as I started playing... The spindash is really really REALLY slow, even when rolling down hills and after using a speed booster, and many times Sonic just...stopped right in the middle of rolling, unrolling if you go over a ramp or an edge, which left me too slow to make a jump a few times. The physics just do not work well at all.

I only played Splash Hill zone til completion and some of Casino Street, and both just feel like a copy of Greenhill Zone and Emerald Hill Zone combined (but not as good) and Casino Night Zone from. The first boss battle is even the same as the end of Green Hill Zone with Dr Robotnik (now Eggman) in his Egg Mobile-H with the swinging ball.. There's too much rehashing old ideas, which the original games never really did.

For the fastest hedgehog, he sure has gotten slower.... Things just really don't feel so inspired. The levels look nice, sure, because graphics, but just.. C'mon, make some new levels and don't just heavily reference the old ones to the point they're almost-but-not-quite the same...

This isn't Sonic The Hedgehog Remastered, it's meant to be a continuation to Sonic and Knuckles. Just.... No.....
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 23, 2013
Avoid, just avoid. Horrible horrible horrible game that somehow manages to have a physics engine that is worse than the 20 year old original sonic. And when I say original Sonic, I don't mean Mega Drive Sonic, I mean Master System Sonic. Broken doesn't cover it.
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