Gamespot writes: "There are few gaming franchises that are as polarizing as Sonic the Hedgehog. On one side, you have fans that are fiercely devoted to the Sonic of old--the fast-paced, side-scrolling games that were immensely popular on the Sega Genesis. On the other side, there are equally devoted fans of Sonic's most recent 3D outings. Somewhere in the middle exists a horrible no-man's-land where the two sides of fans continually clash over what the franchise is doing right and what it's doing wrong. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I seemingly functions as a compromise between the two legions of fans--perhaps leaning a bit more toward old-school Sonic fans. It has the classic gameplay of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, but its portrayal of Sonic himself falls more in line with the recent 3D games."