Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sonic is back for his fourth installment in the classic 2D series, revamped from the ground up.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 51
  2. Negative: 4 out of 51
  1. Oct 20, 2010
    In short, this is the game SEGA should have made 15 years ago. It's just a shame that to be this good took ages.
  2. Dec 25, 2010
    No just a rehash, but a brilliant game in itself. Sonic reigns once more. [Issue#232, p.88]
  3. Oct 20, 2010
    Saying it's the most fun I've had in a Sonic game in 15 years isn't actually saying a whole lot, but it's certainly a great start.
  4. Oct 20, 2010
    Sonic The Hedgehog 4 delivers a thrilling experience: it is a pleasant return to the past. Unfortunately, players will complete this chapter in a couple of hours, and the price is a little bit high.
  5. Oct 27, 2010
    What I can say is that I had a blast with it, and those who remember where Sonic came from probably will too.
  6. 70
    Those who are new to the Sonic series, or are just looking for a game to shoot through in under 2 hours will find a good bit of fun here. However, those who have played past iterations of Sonic, preferably the Genesis classics, should proceed with caution, as many of the things that made Sonic great are absent in this latest outing.
  7. Oct 20, 2010
    The new title feels like it was made by someone who has only ever seen Youtube videos of the 2D Sonic games and taken a very poorly educated guess on how it should control.

See all 51 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 45
  2. Negative: 14 out of 45
  1. Oct 14, 2010
    It's really easy for people to immediately dismiss Sonic The Hedgehog 4. It, at first, looks like a cheap attempt by Sega to cash in on nostalgia-charmed Sonic fans under the guise of a reboot. That first impression being strengthened particularly by the fact that they've done with before with 2006's "Sonic The Hedgehog" and the popular opinion of Sonic as a franchise has exponentially worsened after "Sonic Adventure 2". Even the more appreciated 2D handheld games have been maligned by hardcore fans for lacking in terms of level design and actually well designed platform segments. So "Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1" has quite a lot to prove by just being a Sonic game, let alone baring direct ties to the beloved original trilogy of classic Genesis titles.

    Here's the cool thing, the game is great. The first thing it's easy to see that the new installment of Sonic gets right is possibly the most important to the franchise, level design. The multi-tier'd levels, containing several levels of intertwined verticality with alternate paths, containing hidden items, or speed benefits are back in full effect. Gone are the bottomless pits and poorly placed enemy's that don't give you enough time to react of the Sonic Advanced series. Each level in Sonic 4 has been painstakingly crafted in expert detail and then some; with nice little touches like the flying cards in the second act of the casino zone. I've heard people argue that the control's are bad, these people are wrong, flat out. One common point in this side of the argument is that sonic controls too slow. I can only imagine that this is coming from the somewhat prolonged time it takes Sonic to reach top speed. This point is wrong for three reasons: 1. You can tap "A" or "B" twice at all times to get a quick run, reaching top speed within fractions of a second. 2. Sonic's momentary slow pace isn't new to the series it's been there since the first game, for a very important reason. 3. The important reason being, you need that slow starting speed for the more intense platforming segments in the game to be playable. On some of the more skill-based alternate path's the platforming can get pretty intense. Imagine trying to make those precise jumps while Sonic is immediately sliding all over the place at top speed! It'd be impossible. The other common point is that the, newly added, homing attack ruins the challenge of the enemy's. Which were never challenging to begin with, since enemies in Sonic game's never really amount to more than obstacles to be rolled on or jumped over.

    The reality of "Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1", is that it's the best Sonic game in a long time. Not only that, but it can stand proud next to the best games the Series has to offer. Aside from nailing the level design and controls, it also has great music and terrific looking backgrounds. People will dismiss Sonic 4 because it's not cool to like modern Sonic games. However, those people will be missing out on one of the most stunning return's to form the gaming world has ever seen.
  2. Oct 13, 2010
    Do not listen to G_homes review. He obviously does not remember that the classic Sonic titles were not all about speed, but rather, momentum. Sonic is appropriately fast in this title (He is the same speed as he was in the original Sonic the Hedgehog), and for the first time in ages, a Sonic game actually has complex, branching level design (You--get this--don't just "press right" to win!). This game is, by and large, incredible. The level design is top-notch, the Sonic 1-esque special stages are challenging, and it's a blast to play. I do have a few nitpicks with the game; mainly, the controls are not as tight as in the classic Sonic games, extra lives are too easily come by, and I dislike how the game requires you to use the homing attack in certain situations, but again, these are all minor, minor issues, and the good far outweighs the bad.

    I almost cried after I played through a few of the levels. Sega finally listened, and gave us fans what we wanted. The Sonic I remember from so many afternoons as a child is finally back.
  3. Oct 23, 2010
    This game is a lot of fun. Does it play exactly like the old games? No. Does it matter? Unless you're too anal about the changes to enjoy it for what it is, perhaps... But this is honestly the best Sonic I've played. It's not really all that shocking over how many people are upset over the game considering how long it's been since there's been a real 2d game. The kids have grown up, and like most people who age they lose their ability to adapt to change. Ok, so about the game.. the controls are somewhat different, but they're NOT bad, just different. The game is a hell of a lot of fun, especially once you unlock Super Sonic. My only complaint is that it's too short, but considering it's only 10 bucks it is WELL worth the price. Also, there's going to be an Episode II... sweeeeeet. Expand
  4. Oct 14, 2010
    After about a year of raging from fans in the Sonic scene, Sonic 4 is actually really quite good. The level design is brilliant, some of the level gimmicks are truly inspired (though others are quite strange and unnecessary, such as the strange screen spinning sections in Lost Labyrinth, or the odd seesaws in Mad Gear Zone), and the graphics are very pretty. The music uses a very ugly lead-synth that may irritate, but if you can look past it you'll get some pretty catchy tunes. The only real problem is the awful physics that play little like the original's; momentum is completely gone the second you let go of the D-Pad, which makes certain platforming sections frustrating and obscure. Nevertheless, Sega did a suprisingly good job on Sonic 4. Here's hoping Episode 2 is even better. Expand
  5. Oct 12, 2010
    It's been nearly two decades since Sega decided to create a side-scroller for Sonic on consoles, and sadly, they did not deliver. Being a long time Sonic fan, I was giddy at the fact that Sega was bringing Sonic back to its classic 2-d gameplay style. That being said, I was constantly waiting for PSN to update, and when it was in, I did not hesitate to purchase it. Now I realize how bad of a decision it was of me to do that. Sonic 4 may look like its predecessors; however, it is far from it. For starters, Sonic himself is very sluggish. As you progress through the first act, you will notice that Sonic 4 differs greatly from the previous versions, mainly because Sonic is incredibly slow, which impacts the game significantly. The levels alone are stunning; however, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Though the visual presentation may be enough to sell you the game, the level designs are a setback, and at times you're finding yourself asking "how was I expected to know that?" All in all, this game does not feel like Sonic at all, and fans of the series will be incredibly disappointed with their purchase. Before you decide to lay down $15 on the game, be sure to play the demo of the game before hand, because if I had the chance, I would refund the game instantly. Expand
  6. Oct 18, 2010
    I had high hopes, bought the game and seemed like all the nitpicking and whining alot of fans had been shouting was true from the beginning.

    I am so dissapointed and feel ripped off big time. People that like this game have no taste in quality and I believe are mostly fanboys. Sonicteam needs to stop listening to them fanboys because they are one of the reasons why sonicteam doesn't get encouraged to put effort in their games. This game deserves all the negativity it's getting and I hope less people will make the same mistake as I have.

    This game **** sucks.
  7. Oct 13, 2010
    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I fails miserably to live up to his predecessors, and even worse, fails miserably as a game itself.

    First let's
    talk about the clunky controls, you feel like you're controlling Sonic in the moon, the jump is so light that it becomes awkward to control, the Homing Attack, which is a ability that doesn't go well in a 2D game and only serves to take out the challenge making it too easy, is not optional and it is practically shoved down on the player's throat, you can't pass a level without using it, you depend on it to proceed through any level without being hit by a enemy attack, to make matters worse, there are times that the Homing Attack doesn't respond in the right moment, making you miss the enemy and Sonic doing an aerial dash straight in a enemy's direction making you lose rings.

    The awful level design also doesn't help, there are loads of boost pads spread through the levels, you barely control Sonic and the game plays itself, full automation.

    Now the worst thing about this abomination of a game are the physics, you can't have a momentum based gameplay in a Sonic Game if the physics are broken, you can easily make Sonic walk up a hill, walk through a loop or stand on a slope without falling, this is just ridiculous.

    The bosses are the same as the genesis games with a pinch mode, that is stupid idea by itself, but then, the Homing Attack just make the bosses as easy as chewing water.

    The music just try to be nostalgic, but it gets repetitive and annoying because they use the same instruments over and over

    Overall, this game is a complete disgrace to the genesis legacy, it sucks, don't waste your time with this thing like i did.

See all 45 User Reviews