Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 51
  2. Negative: 4 out of 51
  1. Jan 15, 2011
    Sonic 4 is a good first episode.
  2. games(TM)
    Jan 11, 2011
    It's the level design that saves Sonic The Hedgehog 4 and elevates it above the more recent but inferior 2D entries like Sonic Advance. [Christmas 2010, p.116]
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    It's a solid game regardless of its franchise, and for Sonic that's as much of a breakthrough as anyone could hope for.
  4. 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.
  5. Oct 24, 2010
    Sonic is finally back. Not that he was away, but he hasn't been in this sort of shape since the Genesis-days. That is not to say that he's completely like the old Sonic, because there are plenty of little niggles here for the fans to get irritated from. Still, he's fast and runs from left to right, just the way we like him.
  6. Oct 21, 2010
    With a toe-tapping soundtrack, glitzy presentation and obvious accessibility, Sonic 4 Episode 1 has much to be proud of. Gamers who recall the early nineties and yearn for a simpler time when true 3d was restricted to bad sci-fi movies should lap this title up, but there's definitely a sense that it could, or indeed should have been more.
  7. Oct 20, 2010
    Quotation forthcoming.
  8. Oct 20, 2010
    This isn't the sequel we've been yearning for all these years. It's a fancy looking homage; a game that regurgitates old levels with shiny new visuals. Sonic 4 does a fantastic job of recreating the retro Sonic experience that defined many a childhood, but ironically this could be considered its biggest shortcoming.
  9. Oct 20, 2010
    Some may say that there is no place for Sonic in 2010 and that that the game is dated and boring by today's standards. But I say Sonic should be given a chance, and that there are plenty of people out there who have never played a Sonic game the way it was meant to be played.
  10. Oct 20, 2010
    It may stimulate nostalgia glands just as intended but this is the best modern day Sonic game by only a surprisingly small margin.
  11. 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.
  12. Oct 21, 2010
    You've come a long way, made some mistakes, and now you're trying to make amends for them. It shows a great amount of maturity on your part to admit that you're flawed and can be better a perso-er-hedgehog, but you've still got a long way to go before things are back to the way they were between you and me.
  13. Oct 20, 2010
    This faithful but inconsistent throwback to the earliest Sonic games mingles high-speed thrills with a few too many frustrations.
  14. Oct 20, 2010
    To have waited for this long though... we probably should have gotten a little more polish and originality for the price tag.
  15. Oct 20, 2010
    There is little doubt that many fans have been calling for this kind of Sonic the Hedgehog game for a long time. If you are one of them, it'll leave you happily wallowing in nostalgic bliss. Or, if you're like me, the frustrations and the annoying bloody music may just be enough to convince you to give up on the whole retro gaming thing for good.
  16. Oct 20, 2010
    If you like your gameplay oldschool and you still harbor a crush for Sonic in his most primitive form, this is the closest you'll come to a Sonic 4 for Genesis. For everyone else, save your points and avoid this game like it's got the monkey-flu.
  17. Dec 22, 2010
    Sonic is still straight up one of the most aggravating characters in any game on any platform.
  18. Oct 20, 2010
    Not the triumphant return we was hoping for. It's a big no-no with so-so controls in a Sonic game.
  19. Oct 25, 2010
    Rather than representing a revitalization of the Sonic brand, Sonic 4 is a failed, desperate grasp at recapturing its former glory.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 113
  2. Negative: 31 out of 113
  1. Oct 13, 2010
    Well, well, well here we are 16 years later. What a disappointment. I am saddened playing this game. I understand they have to use PorcupineWell, 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2010
    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
    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.
    Full Review »
  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 itThis 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. Full Review »