Sonic 4 Episode 2 Review

Developer(s):

Dimps/Sonic Team

Publisher:

Sega

Console(s):

PSN, XBLA, iOS, Mobile, Steam

Release Dates:

Steam: May 15th, 2012

PSN: May 16th, 2012

XBLA: May 16th, 2012

iOS: May 17th, 2012

Mobile: July 2012

Genre:

Platformer

Players:

Single, Local & Online (1-2)

ESRB:

E (Comic Mischief)

-Marcus Lawrence

Sonic reunites with Tails and faces old rivals

Finally, after two long years of waiting, the second episode of Sonic 4 is available for download. Between that time, Sonic has been featured in a couple of games like Sonic Generation (which was reviewed by Jovan already) and Sonic Colors. Can this episode keep up with the successful trend or will it fall into descent once again?

Remember Metal Sonic? How it first appeared in Sonic CD and was defeated by Sonic in a race? Well ever since then, Metal Sonic’s damaged body remained forgotten until Dr. Eggman stumbled upon it. As the events of Episode 1 were taking place, Eggman rebuilt Metal Sonic in secret with the hopes that it would defeat his bitter rival. Now that Sonic learned of Eggman’s return, he pairs up with longtime friend, Tails, to stop whatever plans the evil doctor has up his sleeves. However, not only do they have to stop Eggman’s diabolical scheme but also have to worry about Sonic’s metallic counterpart chasing them down. Not exactly a good day for these two huh?  As a special bonus to whoever purchased Episode 1, there is a extra episode for you to play. Episode Metal has to do with what happens to Metal Sonic between episodes 1 & 2.

What we have here is a game that plays out almost like the first episode that graced our presence. So what’s the difference you ask? Well with the addition of Tails comes the added feature of combination moves. These moves require both Sonic and Tails to work together to pass certain obstacles. So for example, if there is a wall in your way, you can use Tails to fly over the wall. There are more moves that can be utilized with the help of Tails and the game will tell you how to do them. In my opinion, the use of Tails feels really pushed whereas in older games, it was up to the player if they wanted to use Tails’ abilities or not. Just like with Episode 1, there are four stages that must be beaten in order to unlock the final act. Most of the zones are from previous Sonic games which should be good for a trip down memory lane. My main issue is that people seem to be criticizing the levels by calling them “hollow nostalgia cash-ins”. If I remember correctly, Episode 1 was the same EXACT way because all of the levels were from past sonic games anyway. So I really can’t see why these levels got bashed so hard by reviewers.

When it comes to chaos emerald hunting time, the process is the same as before. Players will have to collect at least 50 rings before the end of a zone; allowing access to the special zone. The special zones this time are reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 zones; where players must navigate a half pipe and collect as many rings as require. Doing so will reward the player with the chaos emerald, leaving them one step closer to getting them all. Of course, Super Sonic makes a return for those who acquire all 7 chaos emeralds. I mean come on…who doesn’t want to be Super Saiyan Sonic? As for Episode Metal, players will control Metal Sonic as it returns to the zones featured in Episode 1. During these zones, players will see what Metal Sonic goes through before catching up to Sonic and his pal. Gameplay-wise, it plays out just like the first episode since Metal Sonic doesn’t have a partner to join him.

The online element of Episode 2 is pretty faulty for a lot of reasons. If the other player controlling Tails gets hit (which he/she will), both players lose the reserve of coins stored up. This is extremely problematic when dealing with the clunky controls for Tails and during most boss fights. Then add in the fact that there aren’t many players available online and you’ll begin to wonder why the developers added online play to begin with. I prefer to just play solo rather than invite a friend over and deal with all these problems.

Pros:

  • Just as good and gorgeous as Episode 1
  • Old school levels that fit right in
  • Plays smoothly without a hitch

Cons:

  • Tails gameplay is really awkward
  • Online play is bare and more troublesome than fun

Honestly, I wish that the developers would of skipped the online and local play. It really just drags the experience down and who likes to play as Tails anyway? Had they just left it like Episode 1 and added Tails, I would of been completely okay with that.  All in all, this episode definitely kept the successful trend alive, even though it took some hits in the process. Now all that’s left to wait for is Episode 3; if it ever comes out. From what Sega representatives have said however, the story does not end with Episode 2. Let’s keep our fingers crossed people.

Verdict: 75%

Sonic 4 Episode 2 Gameplay

With both episodes out for major consoles and mobile devices, it would be a real good idea to download both. Even with the bad Tails gameplay, the game still feels pretty good. Would you download both of these titles? Or do you feel Sonic games should just stop coming out?