Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II
The Saga Continues
Sonic is one of the founding video game heroes and one of my personal favorite fictional heroes. So when a new Sonic installment comes out I take it very seriously. I have played most likely every Sonic game released by Sega including the N-gage Sonic title, and the game gear titles, which were more difficult than almost all other Sonic games. And Sonic 4 Episode II tries its best to fill the shoes of the original Sonic 2.
Sonic 2 was a giant leap from the original in many ways. It featured the Spin Dash for the first time on console; it introduced us to the seventh Chaos Emerald and subsequently the now famous Super Sonic. And let’s not forget the all new special zones. A simple tube where you would have three set goals with minimum ring requirements, rings of coarse and mines to damage you and cause rings to be dropped. It was a flash of color and demand of focus if you wanted that last Chaos Emerald. Fighting your way to stop Dr. Robotnick from roboticizing all the wildlife on Mobius and moving his new base into outer space was your goal.
Now Sonic 4 Episode 2 seems to pick up immediately after Sonic 4 Episode 1, but also references Sonic CD directly. That’s right if you have a save file from the first episode you will unlock Episode Metal where you play as Metal Sonic after he is revived by Dr. Robotnick or Dr. Eggman, whichever you prefer. And you much catch up to Sonic by playing through reglazed levels from other Sonic games, including Mad Gear Zone from the end of Sonic 2, Lost Labyrinth, Casino Street, and Splash Hill from Sonic 4 Episode I.
As you play as Sonic they ease you into the new Sonic & Tails Combo powers. Starting with power to have tails grab you in any given jump and fly you upwards seven times before getting tuckered out. But in the water he can pull you for an unlimited amount of time without getting tired. Which in the underwater labrynth it was a nessecity. This ability makes it very, very difficult to fall off the map as long as you catch yourself within a more than forgiving amount of time. And they do have clear cut signs showing you areas that if you drop into, you would die. I really don’t know how I feel about that, in the older Sonic games you had to learn the levels. None of them were impossible and you still didn’t have much chance to fall into a death drop. But once you did two or three times you knew and remembered where those holes were. I personally like having to play enough to know where things are, but I understand they are trying to make it easier for younger or just new Sonic players. Again I think it’s a level of difficulty we could have lives with.
They have also come up with the brand new combo spin dash, where Sonic and tails join efforts to gain an instant demolishing force of speed and it crushes most foes with ease. But I still don’t recommend trying to roll on spikes or spiked baddies. They use this combo to destroy giant walls, travel through snow walls and to break shields in a particular fight. It does seem like a good ability for the duo but I am worried as to whether or not we can expect this in games outside the Sonic 4 realm, or if we should. It seems hard to take back an ability that has been showed off like that.
My favorite thing about this title is the return of the tube style Special zone. Now let me start saying that it is not exactly the same, but it feels like a good adaptation, unlike the special zone in Sonic Heroes. That drove me nuts. In this incarnation of the tube zone you have the same goal style of three goals with minimum ring requirements but the full 360 running space is what’s missing. You can however run against the edge of the half pipe and it will fling you upwards to get any floating rings on the side, don’t worry you won’t fall off. There are a few sections that become a full tube and combined with a new speed up feature in the tube you can run the full 360 within those small sections. In order to make it just a little more interesting they have also added a combined forces token, that creates a ribbon between you and tail where you can stretch it and capture any rings within the band. This comes in handy especially when you start seeing the time sensitive rings that allow you bonus rings if you can collect an entire set. It was a nice addition that I was happy with.
My only complaints regarding the special stages are that you enter them through a giant ring in the same style as Sonic 1 and Sonic 4 Episode 1, and that they aren’t that difficult until you get to the very last one. Please don’t take this the wrong way anyone but I feel that I am very good at Sonic games including this one, but in most Sonic games I would finish one or more goal with close to a hundred rings more than required. The only exception to that was the last Special Stage which has almost the exact amount available. It was quite angering. But overall I enjoyed the Special zone experience. And don’t forget once you get all seven Chaos Emeralds Super Sonic is ready to go. I just hope we see the return of the blue orb game in Episode 3.
As for the rest of the game they had some good throwback references from the old days like showing the two totem towers from the Sonic battle in the ruins level from Sonic 2, and they completely rebuilt the doomsday zone from Sonic 3 & Knuckles which I did not expect until the third installment. The amusement park was redone but mainly focused on the roller coaster tracks and not so much the full park. But it was still fun and for the boss fight you see that Metal Sonic has finally caught up to you. They also rebuilt the oil factory zone from Sonic 2 which looked cool but it still felt all new, it didn’t feel close enough to two that everyone would recognize it. But no complaints, it was a fun addition to the overall Sonic experience.
The real question is when will we start to see bits of Sonic 3, will it have the blue orb game, will there be giant rings scattered all over the place? Will Knuckles be in it? And will we see the return of the Master Emerald, and the Super Emeralds? And perhaps my favorite question, what about Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles, and Super Tails? I would love to see the Blue orb game as a regular mini-game like with the Sonic 1 & Knuckles combo.
Overall this game plays well and is pleasing to the eye. I think any true Sonic fan will love this game and I hope that the new generations will learn why we love Sonic games and come to support them now and in the future.
Keep it up, Sega!
Yeah! Sonic again! And this time he did good AGAIN! This Sonic game was probably one of the best modern classic mix games. I'd have to say it's even better than Generations! The graphics are so beautiful. The backrounds of the levels were really payed attention to. Whenever you play this game you should take a minute to admire the backrounds. The gameplay was awesome! Tails is back, and he can fly you around just like in the good old Sonic games. Great job Sega!! :D
I love it!!!!
When I first got it on my iPod, I loved it!!!!! And I'm a big fan of sonic games so when I saw this on the app store I totally got!!! It WAS AWESOME.... I hope there is episode 3......
AWSOME GAME VERY ENTERTAINING
AWSOME GAME VERY ENTERTAINING. GRAPHICS GREAT.KEEPS YOU INTERESTED. I CANT REALLY SAY MUCH MORE THAN ITS A GREAT GAME