User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 83
  2. Negative: 26 out of 83

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  1. Jul 4, 2011
    4
    The way sonic moves and is affected (or not) by physics is weird, unintuitive, clunky, and results in a world that feels very lifeless. The lack of any real animated visuals doesn't help either.
  2. Oct 13, 2010
    0
    This is easily a personal 'Worst Sonic game of all time'. The way I can best describe it is as follows.

    To begin with, Sonic is controlled like a cinder block covered in melting tar. He seems to accelerate as though he completely forgot how to walk, let alone run. The physics are the fundamental part of any good Sonic game. Here, you can walk on curves that he can probably touch with his
    hands, rolling doesn't give you any speed boost down a hill, and jumping in the air at speed just feels completely off. Second, the level design itself. The levels are adequatly designed for the most part, but then some absolute blunders make you wonder what they were thinking while making them. They all have some incredibly huge danger preceding the finishing post, more often than not stripping you of your rings to enter the special stages. That is actually a blessing, the special stages in Sonic 4 Episode 1 are the most frustrating ones in a Sonic game to date. You do not control Sonic, you control the stage itself, with extremely badly placed objects constantly throwing you into 'GOAL' blocks. Super Sonic cannot be worth this much anger.

    The music is composed of what seems to be the exact same synths over and over again, and not even the melodies are memorable. On a personal note, I am a huge fan of Sonic. I have studied the original games and understand what makes them so good, so memorable today. If you are the same, or have never played a new Sonic game after Sonic 3 and Knuckles, do not waste your time with this. The things that made the originals so great is not present in this game, and SEGA are clearly using the name for profit alone. I just wish the Playstation Network allowed for refunds.
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  3. Oct 14, 2010
    2
    Absolutely awful. Seriously. I was so excited for Sonic 4, downloaded it, and was frustrated by the middle of the 1st level. The homing mechanic is more aggravating than helpful, and the physics feel NOTHING like the original Sonic games. If you don't believe me, watch this video. The footage speaks for itsself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6-1cGzPn3E The only thing they got right is the graphics are pretty, and the music is decent, which is why I gave them a 2. Expand
  4. Oct 14, 2010
    3
    I'll start off by saying that this is not the "Sonic sequel 16 years in the making" SEGA have been playing it up as. Essentially what you are getting here is 4 Zones of throwbacks to levels from Sonic 1 and 2, as well as some of the most blatant reuse of material I have ever seen in a game. You get to the end of each Zone, and find that every boss is from Sonic 1 and 2, all nearly identical to their Genesis versions except for one or two new tricks. This recycling of old material doesn't stop there however. You'll start to notice as you play through the levels that numerous sections are carbon-copies of parts of the first 2 games. This goes on so much that the game stops feeling like an homage and becomes more like a rehash of old designs. This becomes borderline ridiculous towards the end where you fight every boss in the game again with no changes, equating to what would be the "Boss Rush" mode in other games. Aside from that, the gameplay for the most part is classic Sonic, albeit a very brief reunion. The Acts and boss encounters seem just far to short compared to the Genesis games, with your first run-through of the game lasting no more than 1.5 hours if you don't get stuck on the ridiculously cheap final boss. The music in general is disappointing, achieving nowhere near the quality Sonic soundtracks have always had. It is unlikely you will remember any of the BGM after a week. The controls are fine for the most part but they seem to fail you at the worst possible times, especially for the final boss where using the homing attack will send you flying halfway across the room if you hit the boss, limiting you to 4 chances to hit it every minute which can get annoying very quickly. This game doesn't even come close to achieving the quality on the Genesis Sonic games, with even Sonic Rush for the Nintendo DS proving a much better game. While that game returned to the balanced 2D playability of the earlier games, it also added new twists such as boost and a different playable character. Sonic 4 on the other hand, just feels like SEGA's quick and lazy attempt to return the series' roots by throwing a rehashed remix of a small selection of stages and bosses from Sonic 1 & 2 at us, without bringing in anything to truly make this a new experience and be a proper sequel game. Sonic 4 is a massive disappointment and I would only recommend it if you are feeling very desperate now for the series to play like the old games just one more time. Otherwise, just buy one of the numerous re-releases of Sonic 1 or 2, and perhaps 3 & Knuckles as well since Episode 2 is very likely to be this treatment given to those two games as well when the time comes. Expand
  5. Apr 26, 2013
    4
    While the game isn't horrible as Sonic 2006, it's also not that good. After seeing so many 3D Sonic games that were bad, and seeing the announcement of this one, i was like:"Oh, Sonic is going back to 2D world. Well, atleast they can't messed that one up".And then comes the disappointment.The game dosen't have that same quality as Sega mega drive ones had.1st off, the physics in this game are horrible. You don't have the control of Sonic like you are supposed to have. It dosen't make momemtum that you would expect, and it may screw you up.The level desing in this game is quite poor. It's basically bad immitation of 3D Sonic levels. Linear paths, annoying spams of boosters and springs that aren't necessary, and there is bearly any hidden paths. The soundtrack in this game is also bad. It dosen't have that same taste like it had in 1st 3 games.It's repetitive and boring. There isn't much to it, only 4 zones, and final boss fight and you are done. As i said, this isn't Sonic 2006 bad, but these are the things that you won't like.It is playable, and maybe non Sonic fan might find this game enjoyable. But for a Sonic fan, it's really not that good. Expand
  6. Oct 25, 2010
    2
    Sonic 4's soundtrack, graphics, animation, controls, and level design all have a strangely amateurish quality when compared to the first three games. It feels like playing a Flash game on Newgrounds and Sega should be utterly ashamed for giving this the title "Sonic 4". The controls alone are enough to destroy the game; Sonic feels like he's sliding on soap when he runs and floating on the moon when he jumps. The enemy targeting system is novel but where's the amazing Sonic artwork and music that made the franchise such a massive hit? Where are the 2010-caliber innovations like online multiplayer co-op? Or any sort of multiplayer at all? Where's Tails, or all the classic enemies we've grown to love? Lock-on technology? Traveling through time? Incredible bonus areas? All the characters in this game look like 3D animated cartoon zombies which is fitting because Sega just drove the final nail into Sonic's coffin. Expand
  7. Oct 18, 2010
    1
    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.
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  8. Oct 13, 2010
    0
    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.
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  9. Oct 13, 2010
    2
    Sega managed to almost make me cry - with sadness. I've been longing for a real 2D Sonic since Sonic & Knuckles came out. I even had a name for it: "Sonic 4". Well, years later they came up with Sonic 4. Let me break it down here: Sound FX: 10/10. They are the actual Genesis-Era blips. Music: 10/10. Superb work, kept the spirit of the original catchy songs. Level Design: 10/10. It really feels like a Sonic level, after all this years. Graphics: 5/10. Level graphics are good, but Sonic's model looks dumb, and didn't quite match the games graphic style. 2.5D didn't do the trick, this time. Finally, Controls: 0/10. It's just wrong. There is no inertia, especially when jumping. It doesn't control like Sonic. In fact, it doesn't control like anything I ever played. You release the D-Pad, Sonic stops. Like Pitfall. Nothing should control like Pitfall in 2010, let alone a game in a franchise know for its high quality gameplay.
    I really hope Sega fix that. I could also ask for some vintage skins for Sonic's model, but that would be just a fluff. The important thing here is the controls, and Sega managed to destroy the whole thing with a few lines of code.
    Score: (10+10+10+5+0) / 5 = 7
    7 * how bad the controls are = 2
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  10. Oct 18, 2010
    4
    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.
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  11. Oct 18, 2010
    1
    Sonic 4 is a great error. There is more to do real benchmarking and reviews on youtube, phisics are bad, boring music, recycling levels and very few ideas. If we look at Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles see that there is a positive progression. Great levels, great difficulty, secrets ... all that is lost completely. Sonic 4 is a remix of the classics without any funding as a continuation of a legendary saga. A Sonic 4 is not as bright as Sonic 2D platform deserves nothing. Bad, bad, bad, VERY BAD Sega.

    Autotarget + wrong phisics + no new ideas for a new sonic = Fail

    Mediocre for a game with a name like Sonic 4.
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  12. Oct 15, 2010
    2
    What's that saying? "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me. Fool me fifteen more times; and I'm a damn idiot." I really thought Sega had finally listened by making another 2D Sonic, but boy was I wrong. What's the main thing everyone knows about Sonic? He's fast. Really, really fast. Yet, somehow the controls in this game are so bad, and Sonic moves so sluggishly that it's an insult to the old 2D Sonic games. It's like Sega decided to replace your dear old grandmother with a robot, and instead of her making you cookies and giving you hugs, she hands you fake plastic food and squeezes you till your organs explode.

    Don't get me wrong, the game is beautiful, and the level design seems pretty great, but a lethargic, poorly-controllable Sonic ruins the whole thing.
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  13. Oct 13, 2010
    4
    Well, well, well here we are 16 years later. What a disappointment. I am saddened playing this game. I understand they have to use Porcupine Sonic, by why are they using Sonic Rush type physics rather than building on the Classic physics. The physics in this game are awful. Maybe they should set the next Sonic game on the moon because Sonic plays like a brick.

    People are saying that this
    is the best Sonic game in years and it is. But that really isn't saying much.

    The modern fanbase will lap this up - but they will buy anything Sega produces. Which is why the Sonic games are in such a mess - point proven.

    All eyes are on Episode 2, hopefully with some new ideas???

    I would have enjoyed this game more if it wasn't called Sonic 4. But we know Sega like milking the most popular Sonic series.

    I'm off to play Sonic3Knuckles.......maybe todays Sonic Team should play it too.
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  14. Oct 14, 2010
    2
    I am an avid fan of the Sonic series. It was revolutionary, and propelled the Sega Genesis into the forefront of gaming. This, sadly, is NOT a return to fame on the franchise, but really a mess. If this was a indie game remaking Sonic 2, I would still be disappointed. Graphically it's relatively crisp, which isn't all that hard to do on 720+ graphics capable gaming consoles. Beyond that, character movement and overall look is extremely disappointing. Honestly I wish they had spent more time on it. And $15 for "episode 1" seems like a stretch. Expand
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 51
  2. Negative: 4 out of 51
  1. But for every archaic design choice that's needlessly re-trodden for the sake of sticking to 'the blueprint', Sonic 4 introduces other new features that help to replace the nostalgia with a bit more substance. Just the simple ability to quick-jump to any zone, act or special stage in any order (and to compete with your mates scores and times) makes this instantly better than its predecessors. Long-suffering Sonic fans rejoice; the magic is back. [February 2011 p80]
  2. Jan 15, 2011
    70
    Sonic 4 is a good first episode.
  3. Jan 13, 2011
    78
    Dimps Corporation had the not-so-easy task to release a sequel without making a remake out of it, keeping it trustful to the original game design while adding new features. As a result, Sonic 4 has its ups and downs and does not stand the top quality of the Mega Drive age Sonic. Nevertheless, Sonic 4: Episode 1 is much more "Sonic" than the latest entries in the franchise, a must-have for the hedgehog's fans and all those unlucky players who never ran in those fancy red shoes.