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 (557 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 19, 2012

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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

 

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
Helpful customer reviews
31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.6 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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
121.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
This is a adventure 2d plafform game.

The new modern sonic .. you hate it or you love it.
This game can not be compared to the old glory sonic days from the '90.
Modern sonic is totally different... with new moves.... new boses.. and a new story.
You can collect gems and become super sonic that is cool.
The game has a very deluxe option menu so you can select all levels to play again.
Very great and big story for hours and hours of fun.

Personally I don't like the game plays.
Controls feels very slow and getting some speed takes a while.
Game looks very good and they did a very good job with that.
I'mk more for the old Sonic days..

It's a great new story only I have some problems with the controls.
I give it a 7/10.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
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.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Pretty beautiful gameply, Awesome music, Great for the whole family
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Is it NiGHTS the Purple Jester? Is it Miley Verisse, CTHCC president extrordinare? No, it's Sonic the Blue Blur, and he's back for another battle with Baldy McNosehair!

j/k :P.

Anyway, time for my review of Sonic 4:Episode 1:

Pros:
-It's pretty easy to gain extra lives, especially in Casino Street Act 2.
-The Music is decent. Lost Labyrinth Act 2 theme FTW!
-The game controls fine.
-The homing attack which debuted in the Sonic Adventure games is helpful like always :D!
-There are some cool gimmicks.

Cons:
-The special stages are confusing at first.
-SCREW THE E.G.G. STATION FINAL BOSS!!!
-The trap placement is a bit random.
-Since this is a downloadable game, there are only 5 zones in the game, counting E.G.G. Station.

All in all, while this game is obviously no Sonic 2 (16-bit) or Sonic 3 & Knuckles, it's still a decent Sonic game in it's own right :).
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
I love this game so much that i also have it for Wii!
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
If you are not a hardcore Sonic-Fan, you probably will not enjoy this game. The gameplay broken, Moving around will just feel weird. The feeling of speed isn't that well optimized and makes the whole game feel weird. For example, spindash doesn't make you faster than normal running. If you are running and making while running a spin, it will slow you down. That's something you would not expect and it destroys the speed-feeling and the gameplay. Well, at least the soundtrack is good. Overall, I can say if you are not a lover of Sonic or jump and runs. Better skip that one. You won't miss anything. Everything this game offers you, was made a time ago better.

Rating: 5/10
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
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.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Go fast
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10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
Sonic the Hedgehog is such a simple concept, yet it's amazing that there are so many games starring the speedy rodent, that completely miss the mark. By now we're all familiar with legendary mis-steps like Sonic 2k6, Sonic Boom, and Shadow the Hedgehog: The Game. Then there's other games like Sonic Unleashed, Sonic & The Black Knight, Sonic Heroes, and so on and so forth. It's like Sega isn't interested in having Sonic games be about..well..just running fast and jumping on stuff. There needs to be a hundred dozen gimmicks, special abilities, ♥♥♥♥♥♥ friends(tm), and dramatic game-design changes.

I don't know what's best for Sonic, I just know what I like. My favorite games are the 16-bit titles, Sonic Generations, and bits & pieces of the other 3D games (haven't played enough of Colors to form an opinion on that). You're probably thinking: "He likes the earlier games, it must be nostalgia." Maybe it is. So what's a better way to play on my nostalgia than by making a Sonic 4? For starters, they should've just done nothing at all.

Episode 1 is comprised of 4 zones with three acts a-piece, 7 special stages, and five boss battles. It's a tad on the lean side I guess, but it overstays it's welcome very early on. The first thing that sticks out to me is the poor level-design. Splash Hill Zone is very messy, with a lot of walls, springs, and corridors. It feels awfully claustrophobic for a zone that supposedly takes place outside. Casino Street Zone is mostly just flashing lights and things to bounce off of. The second act features a ton of cards that can be flipped for bonus lives, that's all I can remember about it.

Lost Labyrinth Zone is where I was stunned to silence. Act 1 features silly boulder balancing and not much else. Act 2 has Sonic running around in near complete darkness, with only a torch to guide his way. There are also a couple cruddy mine cart sections. Why would Sonic Team create an act where players can't see much of anything? When the concept is thoroughly flawed, no implementation can save it. All I can remember of Act 3 is these weird rooms. Sonic is trapped underwater, and the room has to be tilted, but not too quickly or else he'll get impaled on spikes. This is just no good, no darn good.

Mad Gear Zone is a rip-off of Metropolis Zone. I knew I was going to be in for a good time, because Metropolis Zone is my least favorite in Sonic 2. Somehow Sonic Team managed to make it more annoying, with a bunch of mantis robots, exploding starfish, and grinding gears. By this time I just wanted it all to end.

The final zone is merely a boss-rush, followed by a climatic encounter straight out of Sonic 2. Eggman mixes it up a bit with the boss having a second form and a last ditch final attack. It's the hardest part of the game, though I probably died more times on the first act of Lost Labyrinth. Apparently you can't use the d-pad on the boulders, it's analog or fall off and die.

The special stages are supposedly based on Sonic 1, except with all of the simplistic wonderment and unique design stripped out. Ever play the arcade game Cameltry? You maneuver a ball by rotating a maze. It's a really fun game. Sonic 4's bonus stages are the same way, except with all the fun stripped out. Worst of all, there's this horrible lullaby that sounds like it came from an infant's toy. Sonic 4 suffers from uncharacteristically awful music, and the special stage tune is the cherry on top.

The most damning thing I can say about Sonic 4, is that all it does is poorly rip off its superior prequels. If you're familiar with those games you'll recognize everything that happens here. You're seeing all of the same stuff, except it's poorly arranged, with terrible physics, sloppy controls, while looking and sounding positively ghastly. This is a title specifically made to cash in on gamers like me, who are nostalgic for the early games, before ridiculous anime plots and half-baked concepts became the norm. Sega loves to sell their entire Sonic Steam library for a pittance, so you probably already own this game.

It's evil, don't touch it!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
Close, very close to Sonic 2 & 3, but it's missing the responsivess of the earlier games. It just feels flat, and slugish, looks pretty and graphically is true to the originals. But the gameplay isn't there.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
What the hell have they done to Sonic? Once you start the game you notice that he seems to have lead in his shoes and though he speeds up quite fast it feels so odd compared to the old games (talking about the original MegaDrive games here). The level design is awful. Sonic had some cheap deaths, but this game is either way too easy or just unfair. The third act of the first zone has a segment where you *have* to progress using a chain of Sonic's aimed spin attacks, but to start the chain you jump on a bumper and you have only two moments when the cursor appears on the first enemy. Hit the button too early or too late = instant death. This feels more like a QTE than a Sonic game. The first boss doesn't really have a pattern. You simply stand to the very edge of the screen and time your attacks.

This game looks like a Sonic game, but it certainly doesn't feel like one at all.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
My favorite VG Icon of all time, Sonic the Hedgehog, is back & he's more Faster, Cooler & Bluer than ever before on the PC, WiiWare, XBOX LIVE & PSN. I've waited 16 years to play this AWESOME game! Sonic the Hedgehog 4: EP1 is by far the greatest & best Sonic game of all time! Once you get into this game, you can thank me later & you won't be disappointed!
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
I can review this in one word: LAZY
However, I highly recommend this if you enjoyed the WORST elements from the first 3 Sonics games.
Even the levels are ripped right from Sonic 1 & 2

If you grew up playing the Sega Genesis, stay away from this crap.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
this game was based on a modification of sonic 1 and this game will be good to everyone that i love cuz seriously seriously the spash hill is similar to green hill zone cuz this level just got it self SERVED BABY :D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
I don't know what this is but its not Sonic. There is an astounding lack of going fast in this game you don't even know. Game feels more like an obstacle course than a Sonic game, and the controls weaker for certain. But the level design is really the major flaw here. A couple of levels have the Sonic feeling spot on, but they are few and far between... most of them feel like a very slow, floaty platformer.

The game is also 10 dollars and 2-2.5 hours long. That's with 12 stages, 4 bosses, and a final stage that is just the 4 bosses and a fifth over again. If it were something novel that would be fine, but this is just a mediocre Sonic game. This is definitely a skippable title. There's plenty of better games on Steam. There's plenty of better Sonic games on Steam for that matter.
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92 of 141 people (65%) found this review helpful
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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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
27.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2014
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
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23 of 33 people (70%) found this review helpful
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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38 of 61 people (62%) found this review helpful
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
Physics? What's that?" -Sonic 4 devs
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