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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Review

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Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega
Release Date: October 12, 2010 Available On: Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360

It has been fifteen years since the last 2D Sonic the Hedgehog side-scrolling console game. For years Sega has spent their time on developing often underwhelming 3D Sonic games. Amazingly, they never returned to the old formula that worked so well. I am happy to report that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 does just that.

The first thing you will notice is how familiar everything looks. That is because Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is more of a remake of the original game than a new chapter in the franchise. In that sense, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a misnomer. Maybe they should have just called it Sonic the Hedgehog HD. At any rate, it is not an exact carbon copy of the first game and features some new content as well.

However, the game is disappointingly short. There are only four zones with three acts in each (not including the boss fights). All told, that adds up to 12 levels, four boss fights, and a final boss fight. The worlds include the iconic Green Hill Zone (now known as Splash Hill Zone), Casino Street, Lost Labyrinth, and Mad Gear Zone. The Chaos Emeralds are back as well with the rotating maze-like level where you collect coins and avoid the boxes marked with an (!).

The final boss fight is a combination of the four other boss fights. These are all fairly straightforward, as you already know what to do, and are pretty easy to finish. It ends with a climactic (and seemingly impossible) last incarnation of Robotnik. You will need at least a couple dozen lives in reserve just to beat this last boss. Compared to the rest of the game, the final boss is disproportionately difficult.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is a vibrant looking game. It has bright colors, fast-paced action, and familiar enemies. While the levels are modeled off of a game that is now twenty years old, this is definitely a great looking HD recreation. The developers stayed true to the Sonic the Hedgehog heritage while bringing the franchise into the 21st century.

I am a big fan of Sonic. While Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is not truly a new game, it is the 2D Sonic that we have all been waiting for. The short length and the rehashed material make it questionable as to whether $15 is a justifiable price, but it is more than worth it for those diehard fans that have been craving a 2D experience for quite some time. I, for one, am glad to see the blue hedgehog back in action.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 8.5 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review