Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II Review

I love Episode 1 and all, but as much as I enjoy playing it, it’s easy
to see why others bashed it. It was a good Sonic game, but we were
expecting a Sonic 4. And since the game was composed nearly entirely of
rehashed materials of Sonics 1 & 2 (It may as well be called Sonic
Pocket Adventure 2), it did not deliver the experience a sequel should.

What’s
important about Episode 2 is that it IS that Sonic 4 we’ve been waiting
for! It’s complete with all-new zones, Tails, catchy music (Catchier
than Episode 1, too), and even more elements that made the Genesis
Sonics so great .
As with the gameplay
itself, it’s pure 2D Sonic platforming action remastered, and boy has it
held up pretty well! Everything has that exciting feel from the
original Genesis games. The graphics are beyond-awesome (Check out them
backgrounds!), the music is catchy as heck, and the game as a whole is
just flowing with excellence! 4 zones (Not counting Death Egg Mk. II
Zone) may sound like this would be a short game, but the levels
themselves last for 2 to 4 minutes (Sonic 3 and Knuckles did this as
well)! I timed myself once, and the game lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes,
which is just as long, if not slightly longer, than a Genesis Sonic
title. And that’s without collecting the Chaos Emeralds, via Special
Stages, and Red Rings scattered around in levels. Both of those elements
make for some nice replayability.

And of course, we have Tails.
How does Sonic’s sidekick help enhance the gameplay? Well, if you have
played Sonic 3, you would know that he could fly, and even helped lift
Sonic out of danger. This game has that feature, but now you can also
have him hold onto Sonic as you control him swimming underwater! This is
a MUST for me, because I really don’t enjoy playing water levels so
much. It’s not as cheap as you may think it is, because you still have
to worry about the surrounding enemies and Sonic’s amount of air. And of
course, we have the cool-lookin’ Rolling Combo attack (Think Sonic’s
Spin Dash x 2).

The story is being followed amazingly here. In
Episode 1, we can’t focus on that so much since we’re seeing Sonic go
through suspiciously familiar environments as he did before. Here,
BOOSH! Metal Sonic comes into the action, after being revived by
Eggm-er… Robotnik, except he’s more badass than ever! Metal Sonic
doesn’t mess around. In Sonic CD, he’s just introduced and you have to
instantly race him (He kidnapped Amy, too, but…you know what I’m
trying to say. He didn’t play a BIG role). And let’s not forget
Robotnik, who has went on to create HUGE machines used for boss fights!
Speaking of which, unlike Episode 1, this game manages to actually be
challenging! I usually beat Episode 1 in a walk. Meanwhile, there’s
actually some difficulty here! You may get a couple Game Overs during a
first try at the game.

Although this is one heck of a Sonic game
(especially as a Sonic 4), there’s still a few minor things I’ll have to
mention. For example, I think the boss fights could last a little
shorter (1 or 1 1/2 minutes) rather than 3 minutes, and I still think
the price tag is a bit steep for a classic Sonic game (Hey. It deserves
being in that category in my book).

But overall, this is it. This
is Sonic 4! And it definitely proves itself worthy of the name. If you
are on the fence for a Sonic game, you should go get this game, even if
you don’t own the classic Sonic games already. If you are wondering to
buy either Episode 1 or 2, WHY THINK ABOUT IT? Skip Episode 1 and go
straight to here (Although owning both results in allowing you to
download “Episode Metal”, letting you play as Metal Sonic through
enhanced levels)! But before downloading, BE SURE TO HAVE STEAM
INSTALLED. That program/service is required for this great game.

Verdict: 80/100

Details:
Genre

Action
Style

Side-Scrolling Platform
Themes

Anthropomorphic Animals
Release Date

May 12, 2012
Developer

Dimps
Publisher

Sega of America, Inc.
Flags

Downloadable Release

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