After the news that Sega was planning on bringing its 2D platforming revival Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Episode II to Android, we were happier than a hedgehog in a hot dog stand - then a little miffed that the company had apparently completely passed over Android for part I, despite releasing it for every other platform including iOS. That small oversight has been corrected today, as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 has been released in the Android Market. You can pick it up now for $3.99.
Hold on a minute, Sega fans - Galaxy Nexus owners might want to wait a while before dropping their four bucks. Being the die-hard Sega fan that I am, I immediately bought and installed the game, only to find that it would get past the initial loading screen and freeze. I haven't tried it on the many Android devices lying around, but according to the early comments, the Galaxy Nexus seems to be the only major phone affected at the moment. Those of you with Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs on your Android phone or tablet might want to take a wait-and-see approach as well, especially since the 100MB download might eat through your 15-minute return window on a 3G connection.
Considering the support that Sega has shown Android over the last few months, with Sonic CD, Chu Chu Rocket! and Fallen Realms, I'd expect these issues to be patched quickly. Sonic CD had some early trouble as well, and is now working fine on all devices. If you've got a Tegra 3 device or are planning on finding one before Episode II comes out, you're in for a treat: a special version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will take advantage of the quad-core processor for better graphics. There's no indication that Episode I is getting a similar treatment.