Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2

Sonic the hedgehog 4: Episode 2
XBLA, PSN, Android, iOS,
Windows Mobile 7, Windows PC, Steam
Price: 1200MS Points
AU$14.95(console and PC)
Well we finally got Sonic 4: Episode 2 after such a long wait. It seems that like a lot of developers an publishers, Sega forgot that episodic games are suppose to be released within a shorter time frame because they are parts of one whole game. Regardless we have a new Sonic game and I have a review of Sonic 4: Episode 2.

Sonic 4: Episode 2 continues after the events of the previous episode and Sonic CD. Metal Sonic makes his return thanks to Robotnik aka Eggman repairing him to help him take over the world and eliminate Sonic and Tails... yes Miles "Tails" Prowler also makes a return in Sonic 4! Anyway now Sonic and Tails have teamed up once again to stop Eggman's new plot to take over the world and finish Metal Sonic off once and for all... they hope.

Sonic 4: Episode 2's gameplay hasn't changed much since Episode 1. Sonic is now a little more weighty though so he doesn't feel as floaty. Sonic also no longer stops on a dime, so momentum has returned. With the return of Tails, Sonic Team decided to use this opportunity to add new team up moves. The new moves allow Sonic and Miles to become a ball to perform a team super spin dash that can break through certain walls like paper and the old Sonic 2 & 3 Tails carrying Sonic in the air can be done, but now without another player.

The game consists of 4 zones, each with 3 acts(each with a red ring to collect. I have NO IDEA what they are for) and a boss fight. Along with the 4 main zones there is the final zone which has 2 boss fights and a Metal Sonic episode that has the first acts of Episode 1 stages playable with Metal Sonic. The 4 new zones in Sonic 4: Episode 2 pay homage to Sonic 2 stages, I'll let you figure out which ones.

The boss battles in Episode 2 are actually interesting in both design and how the battles are fought. All of them do revolve around around just hitting the main section but getting to it isn't as easy as you'd think, hell there's even a fight I couldn't even tell where to hit until I struck it by accident.

Like most Sonic games, Episode 2 has you collecting Chaos Emeralds in bonus stages. If you can make it to the end of an act with 50 or more rings, you can enter the special stage which has been modeled after the Sonic 2 bonus stages. Yes, the half pipe returns and are just as much fun as before. Unfortunately you will realise that the stages are more designed for 2 players instead of solo play. Oh and in case you forgot, collecting all the Chaos Emeralds allows Sonic to become Super Sonic and a different ending.

Yes, Episode 2 sees the return of 2 player gameplay and unfortunately it's like Donkey Kong Country Returns where in you share lives and they will be whittled away in the blink of an eye. The 2 player mode can be played local and online multiplayer, but it's best to play locally since there is no lag and you can abuse the person next to you when you run out of lives. 2 player local multiplayers only advantage comes in the special stages. Like in Sonic 2, both Sonic and Tail can collect and loose rings and in single player Tails will loose and miss a lot of them.

Sonic 4: Episode 2 is a great game. The only problems are that you can't play Episode 1 stages at all, you can't play with Tails as the leader in single player and 2 player mode is frustrating. The music and visuals are great and the game is highly replayable. The game comes close to perfection with all the issues fixed from Episode 1 but with the frustrating 2 player mode and ignorance of Episode 1, it loses points. Don't get me wrong, it's a great game! I highly recommend it to everyone to play, but buy it for it's single player.

Score 4/5

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