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 (511 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 19, 2012

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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


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
18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
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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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
Screw this game. It's too slow! Go play generations instead.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
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
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3 of 4 people (75%) 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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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
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 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
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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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
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
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Pretty beautiful gameply, Awesome music, Great for the whole family
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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
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:

-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.

-The special stages are confusing at first.
-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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2 of 3 people (67%) 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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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
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.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
"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.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
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.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2014
It befuddles me just why this game gets so much flack. People complain that it plays like a Genesis game.... which isn't that the point?? Lets be honest, Sonic the Hedgehog is a title that should have been retired in the 90's. The moment this franchise hit the 3D consoles, it began to suck more than a gay porn star. Yet Sega loves to double down on terrible 3D Sonic games, pumping them out like rabbits, and for an equally bizarre reason there is a section of the fan base that eats it up. In fact, the worse the game, the more these people defend it, "Cuz its da SAWNIK!"

So when I heard that someone at Sega green lit a throwback title, I was ecstatic! And this game hits the mark right on the head. If you loved the well built, simplistic style of the very original Sonic title, then this game is a true homage to it.

RIGHT: Obviously, someone did their homework here, because this game is everything that the original Sonic was, just with a nice 3D rendered facade. You play as just big Blue himself against Robotnik in four worlds broken up into four stages just like the original title. (3 stages + Boss Stage) Run the three levels, grab some "emwoads", trash Robotnik at the end, hit the canister, and let the little creatures out. Pure, simple, and classic. And while Sonic halls haunch just like he did in the original, he maintains a good pace, rather than flying around the screen like an ADD three year old on a sugar high. Bonus rounds are also a throwback to the first game, with the rotating maze except now you can control the maps rotation rather than hitting speed up and slow down buttons. Super sonic also makes an appearance unlike the original, but doesn't break the game play like he did in other titles. Level design, music, and even some of the boss designs are all taken from the first game with great care and detail.

WRONG: While everything in this game is a delightful trip down memory lane, for some reason the developers decided not make Sonic also look traditional.... No we get the current incarnation Sonic, complete with his long hair, bracelets, green eyes and "hip hop" attitude. Though to be fair, he thankfully doesn't pepper you with insipid banter like he does in recent games, but it still irked me they decided to keep that awful design. This also extends to Robotnik, who is once again called "Eggman" because we simply MUST comply with the Japanese who think naming people after food items is just the END of comedy, and is also packed into the ugly red track suit that looks like a Richard Simmons yard sale leftover. And why? Was anyone seriously thinking that if they didn't keep the crappy current designs that we weren’t going to recognize them? Or more likely it was a pathetic ploy to try and gain a few "SAWNIK" fans to download it.

Regardless, this game is very much worth a download if, like me, you grew up playing the classic Sonic titles. It gets everything right from the original, lush backgrounds, great music, classic looking enemies, rings, loops, springs, and of course "SAWNIK"!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
From all the new Sonic 2D games this was the worst, I preffer the NDS games over this one, they are more well done, have better soundtrack and are way more fun. I gave it chance since I used to play Sonic back in 90's, but the truth its not the same thing, the 90's gameare way more well done than this one.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
This "game" is an absolute travesty and completely spits in the face of everything that made the original Sonic games good. Calling it a sequel is an insult.

There is nothing redeeming about this game whatsoever. It's a blatant cash grab.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
This game is terrible, everything about it makes me cringe

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