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Mixed or average reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 69
  2. Negative: 18 out of 69

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  1. Oct 20, 2010
    Sonic 4 is a fantastic game kinda easy but don't believe what the users say on metacritic, they are full of crap, they are the same people that complained about sonics design and the 2.5D gameplay lol, it feels like sonic is back as Mario''s biggest rival again,

    but i still stand by what i say and think Sonic 4 should have been released as a standalone retail game
    just add more levels, boss battles, mini games and add more Characters like Tales, Knuckles and Shadow.. i say its kinda dumb making it a downloadable when 2D games is making a big return as a retail disk game DOWNLOAD IT NOW.. 1500 Nintendo points Expand
  2. Oct 11, 2010
    I grew up playing the Genesis games, and love them just as much today. When I first picked up the controller, my first thoughts were "oh no, that's changed" and "dang, that's different." but 10 minutes after I started I was really just nitpicking at the greatest Sonic game released in 16 years. It's a bit short, but it's everything you'd remember from the old days - with lots of nostalgic bits thrown in! My roommate and I both felt like we were back in the 90's. I give this game a 10/10 Expand
  3. Oct 14, 2010
    Do not listen to the idiots giving this game a bad review; they are obviously too upset with minor nitpicks ("THE PHYSICS AREN'T EXACTLY LIKE THEY WERE IN THE OLD TITLES THEREFORE THIS IS THE WORST GAYEM EVAR!!!11111!!11!1one"), and thus, they are not capable of formign a valid critique of the game. Sonic 4 is a fine title, and excels in the vast majority of what it touches upon. 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.â Expand
  4. Oct 14, 2010
    What's with all the hate for this game? I have replayed the Mega Drive classics many times over and Sonic 4 isn't much worse. Sure, maybe it's not quite as great, but it comes pretty damn close. I have no problem with the physics or the homing attack. It's not the same, but it does feel a lot like you're playing the Mega Drive games. The biggest difference, which I noticed as soon as I started playing, was that if you let go of the D-pad in mid-air after jumping, you fall straight down. But after that it never effected me. I never stopped holding down the D-pad in mid-air, and it felt normal. In fact, in a couple of places this feature comes in handy (like when doing speed-runs or precise platforming). So to me it played a lot like the Mega Drive games, but with a homing attack (which I really like BTW). The visuals, aside from being 2.5D HD, are very reminicent of the old games (Sonic's spines aside, but if you really care, get a life), the music is just like the Mega Drive games, and the sound effects are too. Sonic has returned... But I do have a slight niggle. This thing is 1200 MS points. A tad much for the ammount of content, but I feel it was worth it. If you've never played a 2D Sonic game, go play Sonic 2. If you like it, get the others and this. I feel it is a worthy entry to the series. Final verdict: 87% Expand
  5. Oct 15, 2010
    The graph's use the only thing that sites it apart from most of the games today it has kept it since the first was realised the control of the game is medium the quietly of the game over all to me and others are ever good and what makes it so easy to connect with the game is the story
  6. Oct 15, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. oh yes... oh well, could be better, but could be much worse, if someone understands me... hm... i think that the game may have left much to be desired for some fans who are from a sonic or a little more of that, but I really liked the game! but... you know, relax! why is just the first episode, i think the harvest has yet to show a lot of this Sonic ! and... well, probably the Sonic 4 is basically equal to the versions of Micro$oft or COPY AND then I can talk about the Wii version, and the same in the other two talk, many fans did not like the PS3 for Sonic to be very heavy. I personally saw no problem with that, if the physics of Sonic 4 would equal that of Sonic 1 - & Kncukles, nobody would complain, and vice versa. I liked the soundtrack, but really, yes you can improve for the next ep.! despite being the same GAME! Expand
  7. Oct 17, 2010
    Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is a great game. I'm glad that the game goes back to Sonic's roots. It plays almost like the classics and yes I said almost because the physics are a little different. Now different doesn't mean it's bad. It is a little weird to see Sonic sometimes walking on a slope and gravity can be on the floaty side. But even still It doesn't break the game at all. Infact it makes SuperSonic much more controlable than the Genesis games. Physics aside. The controls of the game are spot on. It's pretty much as you remembered it on the Genesis. The Spindash is useful once again and the homing attack is a welcomed addition to the 2D gameplay. Episode 1 only contains 4 zones with 3 acts each along with a boss act. Now that may sound short, But considering the amount of acts per zones and the length that some require. Episode 1 can arguably be the same length as Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (Alone). All the levels are based on zones from Sonic 1 & 2 with elements from Sonic 3. Splash Hill Zone is basicly Green Hill Zone with swinging ropes and a beautful sunset Act 3. Casino Street Zone is Casino Night Zone but more casino themed with slots in Act 1, Cards in Act 2, & Sonic 3's cannons in Act 3. Lost Labyrinth Zone is well the name speaks for itself but not as dangerous as the original with a unique act 2 with a torch and mine carts. Mad Gears Zone! Metropolis Zone anyone?. And finally Egg Station Zone which is an boss rush version of Death Egg Zone and that pretty much it. Graphicly, Sonic 4 is a very pretty game. All the enviroments look great and nostalgic. Same goes for the sound effects. 16 bit sounds never get old. The soundtrack is also pretty good. Most of the music fit the levels and some jingles are remixes from Sonic 1 and 3. But clearly some tracks are better than others. As with all 2D Sonic titles. The Chaos Emeralds are hidden inside special stages and once you collect them all. Super Sonic can be played in all levels which I am very happy to see coming back. Episode 1 is a great game as well as a nostalgic one. But I do think Sega went too far on nostalgia. I mean a nostalgia game is nice and it's about the right time for one, But in Episode 1 Nostalgia is all it is. Hardly any original content whats so ever. I had the same kind of issue with New Super Mario Bros Wii. last year. Going back to the roots of a franchise doesn't mean to rehash everything. Now the new twists and turns on the levels and bosses are creative but alot of them we have already seen in previous handheld titles. Time Attack is a nice feature and completing for best time and score on the leaderboards are cool. Theirs not much else to say about this game since this is only Episode 1. We only have a taste of what Sonic The Hedgehog 4 will be. Overall this is a great game but it's not by all means perfect. The physics are noticably different,The great overuse of nostalgia. Also Episode 1 lacks Tails and Knuckles. Come on Sega, I miss those guys. It's been almost 5 years since Sonic 06. No more Sonic solo games. We need them back. But with those flaws and nickpicks aside it's a great game and worthy of the name Sonic 4. And it's only the beginning... Expand
  8. Oct 21, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

    Sonic the Hedgehog 4 manages to captivate tha feeling and type of game of the past Mega Drive 16 bit era. The game is the first one after Sonic and Knuckles to actually remind us that "sonic-ing" does not mean mindless running but a combination of running and stopping to do sone accurate jumping or clever platforming. These are elements that are found in the new sonic game. I love the music in some -but not all- levels. The soundtrack of the first level is very unique and within the spirit of sonic music. I also like the labyrinth zone music and oh- the bosses rhythm!

    The graphics of Sonic 4 have kept the spirit of the series and they do not try to do something "new". This is a good thing. They manage tyo captivate the classic artwork wothout exaggerations (that can be found in some soniv fan games). The graphics are hi-def colorful, clear, detailed, with some wellcoming sparse 3d use (see cards in Casino Zone) that is just enough and should not be overused.
    Sonic sprite is similar to the old good sonic. It is neither too childish (sonic advance) nor too angry. Personally I very much like the fast running effect of his legs and the faithful upgrade of the "almost falling", "look up-down" and die animations. Regarding the gameplay I would like to distinctly refer to the following parameters
    Controls: sonic accelerates slowly, this is not a problem. in fact I find it helpful when i want to make more accurate moves in platforming bits of the game. Once sonic starts running fast the experience is faithful to the classic sonic series. Sonic is not slow. Instead he is more controllable and it is a pitty that many reviewers disagree with this point. When running forward button should constantly be pressed and this is neither good nor bad. Actually I was used in holding forward button all time when sonic runs, so when I firstly played the game, I didn't even notice this issue. Finally the dash attack is a very welcome addition but what could be exluded is the supported forward moving while on air.

    Level design: the levels are finally what I would like to see in a 2d sonic. Not too fast not to cumbersome. They are also multipath and this add replay value to the game. What I certainly didn't like is the free level selection. The surprise "what's next" feeling is not there in sonic 4.

    Difficulty: way too easy. No reason for sooo many lives. Didn't SEGA notice this before the release. The replay of early levels 5-6 times is enough to collect 30 extra lives! The result is that the game can be completed in few hours. There are some tricky bits in some levels. They are so fun that I would certainly replay them from scratch once the Game Over appers. The final boss is tricky. But not so tricky if you get there with 30 extra lives. Other than this, it is a very fun final boss.

    To conclude, the game is a very good sequel to sonic and knuckles, and I consider it as an actual sequel. I would like to see the forthcoming episodes and I really want to see a retail edition with the whole game in the end, at a reasonable price! If I was to give detailed rankings to the game, the scores would be as follows:
    Graphics 8.5
    Sound 8
    Gameplay 9
    Replay Value 8
    Score 9

    If you have any questions regarding this review, you can email me at
  9. Oct 25, 2010
    a very nice game, sega shows how great they really can be, the physics are sort of weird but easily can be adjusted to i sort of wish it was 2 d but it's still a amazing game and i love it!
  10. Dec 21, 2010
    It's a good remember of these classical sonic, I feel like playing Sonic and Sonic 2.

    It's easier and shorter, casual gamers can play Sonic 4 Ep. 1 without problems.
  11. Sep 10, 2011
    Fantastic reboot o the older games. Good music, great gameplay and graphics, and a fantastic new reboot to the classic gaming sonic and am excited for the next addition in the series
  12. May 19, 2012
    This game was not perfect, but It is still great sonic fun. People are too critical, sonic is a very hard game to make you have to make very long stages since sonic moves through them so quickly and still keep them enjoyable. The physics just don't bother me, If you play a sonic game how it's meant to be by racing through the levels quickly you won't have time to notice imperfections in physics. I agree the magic of the original sonic games still isn't here but It's a damn good effort and I will always welcome more games like this over 3d sonic adventures. Please give me more 2d sonic games and more chances to earn chaos emeralds! Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Dec 25, 2010
    No just a rehash, but a brilliant game in itself. Sonic reigns once more. [Issue#232, p.88]
  2. Dec 25, 2010
    Purer and cheaper than Sonic Colours, this is a great reboot for 2D Sonic. [Issue#56, p.74]
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    That's what Sonic 4 is all about: trying to be new while recapturing those fleeting moments of brilliance from the old Genesis titles.