Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
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Game Reviewed: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Developer: Sonic Team
Platform: Xbox 360 (Also on PS3 and Wii)
ESRB Rating: E
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In October of 1994, SEGA released Sonic the Hedgehog’s last fully side-scrolling adventure; the SEGA Genesis hit title, Sonic & Knuckles. 16 years later, SEGA has revived the original Sonic the Hedgehog series with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, a new side-scrolling Sonic adventure that replicates the simplicity and challenge of Sonic’s first games.
The game is fairly simple to play: players use the D-Pad or Analog stick to move Sonic and a single button for the rest of his actions (jumping, spin-dashing, and homing attacks). The challenge comes in reacting quickly enough to traps and enemies, and adapting to the features of each new Zone. Every level in the game has multiple pathways, leaving it up to the player to determine the fastest routes.
I should mention that the game is relatively short, with only four Zones to play in, plus a final boss Zone. Each zone is made up of 3 Acts, followed by a boss battle. Although the term “episode” in the title of the game may seem to imply that the new Sonic games will be purely episodic, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 is actually a great, albeit short, stand-alone game.
What Parents Need to Know
The only enemies in the game are robots which Sonic destroys by jumping on or rolling through when he is balled up. When destroyed, the robots disappear with a puff of white smoke and a popping sound. Sonic also fights his human nemesis, Dr. Robotnik, as part of the game’s boss battles. Dr. Robotnik is always in some kind of machine which Sonic destroys during the battle. Some of these machines will burst into flames when the boss is defeated, but Dr. Robotnik himself never dies.
There is no objectionable language in this game.
There is no sexual content in this game.
There is no spiritual content in this game.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the very first video game I ever played; I believe I was playing it around the age of 5. In terms of questionable content, Sonic 4: Episode 1 is no different from the original Sonic games that I played as a child; with a puff of white smoke and a frowning-faced, angry bald man escaping after boss battles. The E rating given to this game is entirely appropriate.