Reviews for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

60

Unable to recapture the magic.

digiconner | July 30, 2014 | See all digiconner's reviews »

This game is clearly Sega's attempt to grab the attention of the nostalgic classic Sonic fans. Unfortunately, it fails to match the amazing original Sonic trilogy.

The graphics are okay, with the levels looking nice, but Sonic looks weird and unnatural. The music is great and is very reminiscent of the classic tunes. The physics are quite bad, as Sonic handles strangely, and his momentum feels wrong. Some of the levels can be fun, and some of the boss fights are interesting, but there are some much less enjoyable moments.

Overall, the game isn't awful, but I wouldn't really recommend this game. It's not a great sequel and is a failed attempt to recreate the beloved classic Sonic.

70

Can this match the classics, or is it another failure?

DeltaBladeX | April 27, 2013 | See all DeltaBladeX's reviews »

Sonic the Hedgehog, who doesn't know of him by now? A Sega character who started off on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, this guy has been in games for over 20 years, rescuing small animals from the evil Doctor Robotnik (AKA Eggman). The original trilogy were a great bunch of games, and still makes Sega plenty of cash through numerous released collections, but not all of the games released since then have been so popular, with several considered to be truly bad. More recently, the series has been returning to quality games with Generations and Colors. But enough about that, you are here to see where this game stands.

Story -

This game strips away a lot of the characters other clutter that the series has added over the years. Once again, it is just Sonic, Robotnik and a hoard of Badniks (the robots that contain many of the captive animals). Once again Robotnik is causing trouble, and Sonic aims to stop him from taking over.

Presentation -

The graphics in this game obviously want to get you right in the nostalgia. You will see a lot of stuff you remember from the classic games, only now in a much higher resolution. Level style, enemies, special levels, all are little more than updated versions of classic content. I won't deny that it looks pretty, but it would have been nice to see some more new content during the levels rather than rehashed tiles.

A minor niggle with the graphics, a problem I did have was some flickering occurring on the background objects, despite the fact that my computer should have no displaying any of it.

Sound wise, this starts off with the classic SEGA! intro jingle which I'm sure many fans will remember. And from there, it goes onto mostly forgettable tunes, though some updated classics exist in the soundtrack. The sound effects stick to the classics as well, with everything in the levels making the sounds you would expect.

Controls -

Playing with an XBox 360 controller, I have to say these work well enough. You move with the left analog stick and jump with the A or B button. Later on, you can transform to Super Sonic, which is mapped to the Y button. Other than pausing the game with Start, nothing more is required to play this game. It also has acceptable controls for keyboard, using the arrow keys and Space bar.

Gameplay -

Time for the most important part of the review. Much like the presentation section would suggest , this game isn't going to introduce new ideas, rather aiming to hook fans using nostalgia. Each Zone is remixed from classic levels, with most of them sure to be familiar to long time players of the series. You have Splash Hill in the style of classic Green Hill levels, Casino Street which takes Casino and spring based levels, Lost Labyrinth with the expected ruins and water, and Mad Gear which brings back the mechanical base levels. There is also E.G.G. Station, which consists of a boss run and final boss fight in Robotnik's typical space base, and the Special Stage, which is the seven levels containing the Chaos Emeralds, and based on the special levels from the original game.

Each of the 4 main Zones has 4 Acts with the final Act always having a boss fight against Robotnik. Most of these fights have been taken from previous games, but since each fight is split into two sections where Robotnik tries new tactics, at least you won't be expecting everything.

Despite each Zone having a main theme, most Acts will each have a gimmick to set them apart from other levels in the game. One level will have you running through dark ruins with a burning torch to light your way, another will have you shooting yourself from cannons, a third will have you escaping from a giant cog. This will keep the levels from being too repetitive despite many of the gimmicks being featured in older games.

Lifespan -

Beyond the main levels of the game you still have the seven Chaos Emeralds to collect, with all seven unlocking Super Sonic as a playable character, as fans would expect. Within this game, he is playable in the regular levels, a feature that hasn't been part of the series since the original Mega Drive games, with other titles giving him his own special level to complete at the end of the game. There is also a total of 12 achievements to unlock during the game if you are interested in such things.

While this game might not be to the same standard as the classic trilogy, it is still a decent game for the series, and worth playing through if you enjoy the Sonic games. Despite trying to cash in on your nostalgia, it plays well enough that it is at least worth picking up during a sale. It will keep you busy for a number of hours easily enough.

40

One of the Worst Sonic Games to Date

Nuxaider | March 2, 2013 | See all Nuxaider's reviews »

After over a decade since Sonic 3, SEGA has finally released its "sequel." Too bad it isn't any good.

Graphics: Graphics are decent. They aren't jaw dropping but they certainly get the job done. For some reason though, Sonic looks like he was dipped in varnish and is extremely plastic and shiny. Just an aesthetic though it may displease some people.

Story: This game has a vague story. After the events of Sonic 3, Eggman decides to use all his inventions to stop Sonic. And that's basically it. It may be criticized that there is no story, but as a tribute to older games, it does a good job of keeping how the story is told.

Gameplay: The fact that this game is even considered a sequel should be shameful. The levels are littered with springs and boost pads, making the game quite literally, "hold right and occasionally jump to win." The game basically plays itself with the amount of springs and boost pads in the game. Also, the levels and bosses are literally borrowed from older titles. Sure, some have some innovation here and there but if the levels seem familiar, it's because they are. The bosses are the same as you fought them over a decade ago with slight changes. The major turn-off for this game are the physics. Sonic controls awkwardly and defies conventional game physics such as being to run up a wall with hardly any speed. These clunky controls are the final nail in the coffin for this game.

Overall, I would not recommend buying this game now that Sonic Generations is out. This game's quality is so bad, it is an outright cash grab.

65

A "false" 3D remake

Cavalieroscuro | Jan. 22, 2013 | See all Cavalieroscuro's reviews »

This game basically is a "false" 3D remake of the first Sonic. Same bosses, same level, same gameplay...well, the gameplay is not really the same, because this Sonic is very "slow" compared to the other franchise title. The graphic is really nothing special, there are also "puzzle" section that are not well realized (the torchs one, for example). But, at least, it isn't a horrible sequel. Is good to be played without expecting much from it.

70

A Good Game, but Clearly a Beta

CrimsonWizard | Dec. 26, 2012 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »

Sonic 4 is one of Sega's newer initiatives to help sustain and grow the popularity of the long running Sonic the Hedgehog series. Unlike the standalone titles Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, Sonic 4 is to be released episodically, allowing the developers a chance to fine tune and improve Sonic 4 with each episode, essentially making each one it's own game in a series.

However, it becomes increasingly clear as you play that Episode 1 is merely the origin point and beta for what's to come. While the game itself works fine and is a decent platformer, long time fans will likely be put off by the subtle and wacky changes to how the speed and physics handle compared to those in the classic Genesis/Mega Drive games or the 2D levels of Sonic Generations.

Another issue is that the game mostly recycles similar themes for its levels, evoking Green Hill Zone and Death Egg among others. The bosses are most remixes of old bosses from the 16-bit days as well, with the addition of some new desperation attacks for good measure. Even the bonus stages are ripped right out of the style of the Sonic 1 bonus stages.

The music is a positive point though, the tunes working fairly well, especially the invincibility theme. Graphically it looks nice, though there was an odd issue with Sonic looking a bit too bright during the outdoor stages. It's hard to tell without a screenshot, but lets just say there are little lesser quirks like that filling the game.

With all of these issues, it becomes a little difficult to recommend the title. It's not that bad, and it does unlock an extra set of levels for Sonic 4: Episode 2, but Episode 1 feels like a very rough prototype. However, don't be discouraged Sonic fans, for those who want more 2D games and enjoyed Sonic Generations 2D levels, there is Episode 2 which heavily improves upon Episode 1's faults. For more, please check out my review on Episode 2's store page.

47

Sonic is back, or not.....

Wolfear | Nov. 24, 2012 | See all Wolfear's reviews »

Sonic is back in 2d, just like everyone wanted, except it is not what it used to be. They tried to make a 2.5d variant of the old graphics. They failed. However if it played as a sonic game, I wouldn't complain. however, It doesn;t feel like a sonic game. No speed, you jump weird, it just feels bad. They tried but failed. Thankfully we now have Sonic Generations. (buy that if you want a the feel of a good sonic game)

57

The worst 2D Sonic game

panz3r88 | Sept. 13, 2012 | See all panz3r88's reviews »

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 it's not the great return of Sonic to the old 2D gameplay style I expected. The first thing that disappointed me is that the game seem a collection of elements old Sonic games: I haven't found original stages and I am sure that the boss are the same of some old Sonic games. The other bad thing is the graphic, that is not good for a game released in 2011, in particular I found the backgrounds poor of details. If you are a Sonic fan you will be disappointed by this game.

54

Better than Generatipons

wooglah | July 8, 2012 | See all wooglah's reviews »

Old school game play mechanics and decent graphics, but nothing worth praising or celebrating the return of "Sanic". Could be used as a gateway to olden 16-bit days when we all cheered "SEGA!" with the start of almost every game...

60

A new episode in an old series

Neohoodman | March 8, 2012 | See all Neohoodman's reviews »

When Sonic 4 was initially announced, the news was received pretty badly. Accompanied with the newly released media, the most heard comment was that the artstyle just didn't look right and the physics played all wrong.

Now, after release, and having played the game, there is truth to be found in the earlier comments by critics. Wether or not you like the graphical style of the game, which is a matter of opinion, the game does lack options and certain sharpness. You can definitely notice jaggy edges during gameplay and it might bother some people, others might notice it at all. Gameplay is reminiscent of original Sonic gameplay, but alot of things just didn't feel right. Sonic is often able to run up against walls without any built up speed prior to the wall and certain platforming elements don't work like they should. Sonic also has an added Homing Attack, which allows for alot of alternate ways in playing the game, though most of the times te game is built around this feature; a feature that also was not in the original Sonic games.

Despite all that, Sonic Team put effort into bringing back old school sonic to today's standards. No silly friends, missions or huge plotlines, just good ol' Sonic.

Sonic Team is learning, and it bodes well for the future of Sonic.