TSS REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II

Sonic 4: Episode 2 has got a tough, uphill road to climb. While critics loved the first Sonic HD game in 2-D, many fans were outraged by its poor physics, unoriginal levels with cheesy gimmicks and uninspired boss fights. Add to that, the far superior gameplay of Sonic Generations and many gamers may already be dismissing this next chapter while critics who praised the first game are already looking at this second chapter with a more discerning eye.

This is a shame because Episode 2 is an improvement over its predecessor in almost every way imaginable. It’s a testament to the fact that both Sonic Team and Sega are listening to their fans. From much better physics, larger and more original levels to great boss fights. It’s almost better in every single aspect. Did I say “almost”? Read on for greater detail in my thoughts on the game. Also, stay tuned for a second opinion later on.

First off, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous. No flat 2-D background with a cell-shaded hedgehog who sticks out a bit too much. Instead, we get quality models of Sonic and his kindred kitsune, Tails running in full moving polygonal backgrounds at 60 fps.  It’s gorgeous and puts similar 2-D/3-D titles (like NSMB) to shame. In fact, I gotta say I personally prefer this even over Sonic Generations visuals which, while gorgeous, can be too highly detailed for its own good and you can easily lose the little blue blur when running at a fuzzy 30 fps in that detailed world. I’m not saying it’s better. I’m just saying I personally prefer it. I also really love how they did cutscenes in a very similar style to Sonic 3. Only with these HD graphics, the characters are much more expressive without having to say a word.

One of the many complaints about Episode 1 was its complete lack of originality. Both its levels and bosses were either inspired or stolen from previous Sonic games. There’s definitely not much of this in this new chapter. While some zones have some mild inspirations (like Oil Desserts’ mix of Oil Ocean and Sandopolis) most of the levels have an fairly original theme and some new badniks to go with it. The only zone to be copied from a previous game (Sky Fortress) has the decency to share a very similar name to its Sonic 2 original, Wing Fortress. In fact while some people may balk at this, the new elements in Sky Fortress work so well I believe this zone is actually better than the original 16-bit version it’s based on. Yea. I went there.  The new zones tend to be bigger, more complex and a bit more challenging than in Episode 1 and don’t rely on as many cheesy gimmicks.

That said, I will say Episode 1 still has something that Episode 2 is missing. Pace and flow. One of the reasons I love Sonic games is the pacing. Running at full speed while jumping from platform to platform while being bounced around like a pinball and exploring a large, open level. Despite its many flaws, Episode 1 at least had that fast-paced flow going for it. Episode 2 seems to be lacking in that aspect a little bit. There are constant stops to use your new abilities with Tails or to do slower, more traditional platforming. Hell, the first two zones are half land, half water! That’s got to be a first for the series. Maybe you can chalk that up to being later levels if you count all the episodes as a whole but that’s still an odd way to start a new chapter. Also, those levels that do give you more emphasis on speed tend to be the worst case of “hold right to win” I’ve ever seen. I’m mainly talking about White Park Act 2 which in my opinion is the weakest level in the whole game. Also, with Sonic constantly using his new abilities with Tails, I barely used the spindash through the entire game. That just feels weird. I’m not saying these levels are poor. Most of them are really fun. They are larger and more challenging with a heavier emphasis on exploration like Sonic 3 had, but at the sacrifice of flow and pacing. But then again, I’m someone who preferred Sonic  2 over 3 and Knuckles. Overall the new level designs are better and do more right than wrong. I just wish I could speed through them quicker.

One thing Episode 2 does really well is the bosses. While Episode 1 just re-used old Eggman bosses and added a new trick to them, Episode 2 lets DIMPS do what it does best with giant bosses that you have to maneuver around and take much longer to kill. My favorite being a giant robot made of scrap metal that drops crates on you as you climb to attack its weak spot. As a great bonus, half the bosses are Metal Sonic himself fighting off Sonic and Tails with all new attacks.

Speaking of Sonics’ digital doppelganger, he gets his own chapter in this game with 4 levels taken directly from Episode 1. That is, if you had purchased Episode 1 on the same console as Episode 2 (sorry Wii owners). Not only does it do a great job connecting Sonic 4 with Sonic C.D., it takes 4 levels from the previous zones and really toughens them up with new layouts and about three times as many Badniks than previous all while adding Episode two’s physics. It’s a great, if not short bonus that I hope you don’t miss out on.

As far as music goes, it’s a mixed bag. It seems Jun Senoue added a few more instruments on his Genesis synth and it makes some of the tunes very melodic. There are tracks from Sylvania Castle and Sky Fortress that are very upbeat and fun. Metal’s opening cutscene uses a great mix of “Sonic Boom” and “You can do anything” in chiptune. The music tends to fit its level’s surroundings fairly well, but at the same time, there’s something lost in several of the compositions. They just feel….”there” as if they were just placeholders. It’s unmemorable and perhaps his weakest compositions since Sonic 3-D Blast. I almost prefer the compositions in Episode 1 more despite their poor accompaniment.  At least I can remember the melodies.

Now, you probably want to know how the Tails and Sonic team powers work out. Well, they’re a mixed bag as well. They’re very easy to use. Just tap the tag button while in the air or on the ground and Tails will team up with you in a few different ways. Call him in the air, and he’ll fly you for a short period before running out of breath. If you call him underwater, he’ll act as a sub and swim you anywhere pretty fast (which is very important to avoid the freezing seals). Finally, if you call him with your feet on the ground, Sonic and Tails turn into a 69’er of doom! A rolling ball that will smash any obstacle in its way and climb walls with ease. He’s great for catching Sonic if he falls off a platform or finding a new ways to battle bosses. That and Tails doesn’t lose rings in the special zones!

However, he also cheapens the game a bit. Because you can call him to fly at any time, he can easily send Sonic over very tricky platform sections. Some levels are designed for that, but there’s still other that practically let you fly over the level. Also Sonic and Tails in ball form break the physics pretty bad as they can climb a wall at any speed and can also make some obstacles too easy. Then, there’s this item box you’ll rarely find in certain levels that lets them do a team blast ALA Sonic heroes while you mash on the jump button for extra rings. It’s so out of nowhere and doesn’t really add anything to the game.

There’s also the introduction of now popular Red Rings from Sonic Colors and Generations. These rings give you a reason to explore the levels further to collect them all. Sadly, once you do, it doesn’t introduce anything new. Just gives you an achievement/trophy. Same kinda goes for collecting the Chaos emeralds in the special stages. Once you get all seven, you get an achievement and can transform into Super Sonic…..with Sonic 4-1 physics! UGH! Also, collecting all the emeralds does not change the inconclusive ending in any way outside of removing “Try again”. Okay, so Metal Sonic has Episode 2 physics but Super Sonic does not? Collecting all the emeralds doesn’t add anything to the ending? Am I still in the beta?

Then there’s co-op. A mess of a mode where you and a friend play as either Sonic or Tails and go through the acts together. Both of you must share the same screen and if you lag behind, it jumps you back over to your friend in a spinning ball. It’s hard when one player is slower than the other and it’s very easy to grief someone. While I don’t care for it myself, I know a lot of my friends are loving it so give it a try anyway. I recommend this mode only with friends if you don’t want to constantly get trolled.

Now, I know what you’re saying. “Jason! I’m getting sick of this giant wall of text! Get to the physics!” Okay then. Physics are a huge leap from the first game. Gone is the unrolling, the slow walking, the wall standing and “stop-dead when letting your finger off the D-Pad”. This is much closer to the Genesis physics while still retaining Sonic 4’s homing attack and jump dash. It’s like a hybrid of both physics. Sonic goes from a stop to a full run in about 2-3 seconds. Roll off a steep enough hill and you’ll keep on rolling faster and faster. The beginning of Sylvania Castle Act 2 is the best example of that. Rolling is the best it’s been since the Genesis days and much better than we got in Generations. Let go of the D-Pad while running or jumping and he’ll slow down. Not drop to a dead stop. At times, it really made me forget I was playing a modern Sonic game and harkened me back to the Genesis days. You really can’t deny that Sega listened this time.

While it has its fair share of problems, Sonic 4: Episode 2 is a huge leap from its predecessor in terms of quality. Better physics, better levels, better bosses and a bigger challenge. While Episode 2 is still not quite worthy of the Sonic 4 title, it might be worth being in the same company as Sonic 1 and 2. If you hated Sonic 4-1 with a passion, this game will probably not change your mind. However, if you liked it just remotely, this one is well worth the $15 price tag. If Episode 3 does happen and continues to improve upon the quality that Episode 2 has then maybe, just maybe, it might be worthy of the title Sonic 4 “as you’ve truly imagined it”. Well, 2/3rds anyway.

61 Comments

  1. A very fair and reasonable review, Jason, very nicely done. Personally, the aspects you mentioned didn’t big me as much as it might big others (Minus the soundtrack, which was VERY hit and miss for me), but I can easily understand how they would kill some parts of the game for others. All in all, nice review.

  2. not bad. very fair and reasonable. to be honest i was expected a bad review. however the part when you compare this new graphical engine to NSMB didn’t really make much of a point. Sonic 4 is an HD game and NSMB is SD. I kinda laughed at that poor comparison. Now if you woulda compared it to Rayman Origins, now THAT woulda been more plausible, because that game is no laughing matter when it came to graphical content, let alone that is also an HD game. But I enjoyed it myself. Much better than episode 1.

    I have a feeling this new graphical engine is the solution since most reviews I read praised that, but still bitched about the level design…again. |:

  3. Good review… good indeed… it’s put just as I had discussed it in my review on deviantART, I don’t find much to disagree on except for the Co-op and the opinion on White Park Act 2, but hey, opinions… awesome review!

  4. Probably my favorite songs are Metal’s theme, Sky Fortress, and the final stage’s music (Not sure if saying the name of the stage would be a spoiler or not). All in all, good review. I was hoping that most of the reviews I read for this game would be wrong, but they weren’t. It’s an OK game, but just that. Wait until a price drop to get it unless you LOVED episode 1.

  5. I must have downloaded a different version of this game because when I try and roll down hill Sonic rolls for about 2 seconds and comes to a dead stop, even on steep hills like in Sylvania Castle, I even tried in the avalanche part of White Park and got the same result. I just wish I could roll down a slope, fly off the end and bounce off enemies like in the genesis titles, if you could do that in episode 2 then I wouldn’t consider this such a bad game. I feel like I’m being too harsh on this game, but these physics combined with the poor level design just makes this feel so mediocre. I’m not really a big complainer when it comes to Sonic games, hell, I even liked Sonic 06, but I just cant bring myself to enjoy episode 2 any more than Episode 1.

  6. @Jason Berry – what did you think of the Ep2 Special Stages inspired from Sonic 2?

    Nice review. I agree with you on Sky Fortess Zone. The graphics, cutscenes, music and the difficulty from that zone (especially when playing co-op) is excellent.

    1. Much better than the first game with the “Sleeping baby” music. Not quite as tough as Sonic 2’s stages, but the 7th emerald really gave me a hard time. You can really see the Dimps influence where you have to run to the side and over to catch those extra rings.

      I didn’t include my thoughts on the special stage because the review was already running long as is.

  7. A well written review! I’m personally really enjoying Episode 2. It might have its flaws, but the extra effort that was put into it really shines through and makes for a fun experience. Leaps and bounds above Episode 1 in my opinion, it really makes me hope they make a third episode with just as much emphasis on improvement as the second.

  8. Part of me wonders, with the pretty conclusive ending episode II offered, and Sonic Team saying there will be no Episode III (I know SEGA of America say differently)… does this mean they’re going to move onto Sonic 5 next?

    1. Nah, I’m pretty sure there is going to be an episode 3- sales, from what I understand, are already pretty good.

      See, They never said there will be no episode 3, they said they were waiting to see what happens with episode 2. Plus, companies all the time say “we have no plans to X, Y, and Z” And yet, they always seem to find the plans.

    2. Was it? We saw he was working on a Death Egg that got shut down before it was finished but it’s still up there. Metal Sonic IS BACK, and wasn’t Little Planet somewhere? I don’t know about you, but I feel like there’s more to be told. lol

      1. Eggman built the death egg mk. 2 around Little planet though. So the death egg mk. 2/little planet is in space still, but on the world map it look awfully close to the ground, like its falling. On the right of the map there’s yet another island that to me looks like angel island, where the death egg crashed inbetween sonic 3 and sonic and knuckles; angel island falls into the ocean for about the 50th time!? Also the launch trailer said “to be concluded” so…sounds pretty obvious to me that there will be an ep. 3. I would guess it will come with angel island (or a completely “different” and “original” floating island), the death egg(s), knux, and the master emerald and/or super emeralds. That’s my take. Anyone agree?

        1. I agree hands down! Especially because Tails and Knuckles have yet again to go Super, this is the perfect chance! However, if Episode III would be the end, I think that they need to add Amy as well, that way we can have 4-Player action like those other great retro revivals, maybe some battle modes for that as well. And they would have an excuse to add Amy because, well, Little Planet is still in trouble and Amy probably won’t have that. Knuckles’ motive would be to keep the Master Emerald away from Robotnik and maybe Mecha Sonic (I can dream that Robotnik would revive him or maybe Silver Sonic, again, I can dream), and also to get Little Planet off of his island. We definitely need Super Emeralds, no doubt, because Hyper Sonic’s flashing colors won’t be a problem anymore… The Episode III thought is still told to be a “what if” but I personally believe it WILL happen, or Sonic 5, but I’d rather have 4-3, just to complete the game as a whole… because the ending of 4-2 was kind of…. a bull shit to me. XD They should have added “To be continued” because it would be retarded if Little Planet was just left as the Death Egg mk. II forever.

          1. Personally, I think if they continue they need to make the Death Egg MKII and Metal Sonic (and Maybe E.G.G. station) all part of a larger plot.
            Just my thought.

            It would be more funny if EggMan turned on Metal sonic- just a twist on all those times a villain betrayed him. also, It would explain the motive for his rebellion in Sonic Heroes.

            Another thought is that Eggman said in Heroes “Metal Sonic has FINALLY transformed”. Perhaps we could see some sort of “Foreshadow”? Again just a thought.

            …Or Sega could ditch Sonic 4 altogether.

          2. @jebthehedgefox but in the launch trailer it did say “to be concluded”. So they will make 4.3 before 5. Amy is a great idea also. And mecha sonic and hyper sonic. I remember back in late 2010 I saw a pic on google images that WAS A REAL SCREENSHOT. I know it was real because of how it looked and I’m not stupid about those things. But the pic was of hyper sonic floating in space in a cool pose looking at a massive eggman giant mech with spiky shoulders and missle launchers and jet boosters with mecha sonic and the master emerald by its side, all looking back at hyper sonic. All around there were asteroids too. At the top it said egg crisis zone (or maybe egg chase zone…i cant exactly remember)act 3-boss. Trust me, it was way intense and so cool! I can’t find the pic anymore but it was awesome. Remember how I described it, and watch it become a reality. I can’t wait!:D

  9. “It’s unmemorable and perhaps his weakest compositions since Sonic 3-D Blast.”
    I think there’s a typo in there somewhere. I’ll fix it!
    “It’s unmemorable and is much weaker than his other soundtracks, such as that of the awesome Sonic 3-D Blast.”
    There we go.

    1. Unless you’ere talking about Richard Jaques awesome Saturn Sonic 3-D Blast soundtrack, I’ll have to disagree with you.

  10. Odd. I thought Oil Desert was the MOST original one besides White Park, which is similar to the Advance stage BUT not that much considering winter stages have a hard time not being similar in enviroment to each other ANYWAYS.

    Sky fortress is pretty damn different from Wing Fortress. It has “Fortress” in it, has Cluckers and is the same color but otherwise what’s the same about it? Almost nothing. Every last single gimmick is either original or mildly based on seperate zones like the warp tunnels from S3&K’s Death Egg Zone. Even the fortress itself as a whole looked different. (And I believe “Oil Desert” does share the word “oil” with “Oil Ocean”.) For the most part, it borrows a 2 gimmicks from Oil Ocean and Sandopolic. (Oddly, these 2 gimmicks are both in Oil Ocean AND Sandopolis). These gimmicks are the slides and the ability to slowly sink but jump out of the sand/oil. But the enviroment and rest of the gimmicks are original.

    I will agree that Sky Fortress definately kicked Wing Fortress’ ass imo. lol

    Unfortunately that “flow” he’s talking about is what a lot of fans complained about by saying all you had to do was hold right to win and that it was so automated (despited how many times I proved to myself on accident that they were wrong while playing eps 1, metal and 2 straight through as a whole yesterday)

    As for water sections, it’s also got some of the largest water sections since Labyrinth Zone, but technically Angel Island Zone had underwater sections. They weren’t too big and some of them were real small but still. lol

    Sonic 2 is also my fav while S3&K is my second fav (I also like Sonic 3 a bit more than S&K). But I gotta say, people think that Sonic’s either not fast or when he is that it’s “hold right to win”. Probably is, it’s impossible to blend them. Because if there is platforming there, it’s GOING to STOP you and make you platform. If you’re going to be speedy then that means you’re moving a great distance really fast, and most likely you are holding that direction. Hence “hold right to win”. People act like this isn’t in the old games when it’s all over them. You can’t build “speedy platforming”. You build platforming and the player performs it speedily if they’re skilled enough to. That’s “Speedy platforming”. The only way to do that is to somehow make it where you are capable of stopping dead in your tracks for precision, however, that will and has upset fans before. lol (Maybe they should just insert an “instant breaks” move. lol)

    It’s funny he says the music is unmemerable because Both Sky Fortress Act 2 and Death Egg mk II have gotten stuck in my head. And at this moment, I JUST realized that Sylvania Castle Act 3 is playing in the back of my head. lmfao Honestly, I think Sonic 4 music is GOOD. And I do agree on some level. I don’t think listening to the music individually sounds bad, it’s just that, unlike the Genesis games, somehow in Sonic 4 if I listen to all the tracks in a row even with a different tone, it sounds like the exact same instruments over and over so I feel like there’s a lack of variety even tho the melody’s very different. In ep 2, he does make it feel slightly different here and there.

    “let you fly over the level” I’m sorry but I call BS. lol Tails gets tired after pressing the jump/fly button like what, 5 times? And he doesn’t gain much height when you do. The only way to stay in the air for a longer perior of time is if you’re trying to go across a pit and the landing spot is lower than the end you started at so you can slowly decend as you go across (As he does decent slowly). If he runs out of breath, he pretty much drops you, unlike S3&K. lol

    Now if there’s one thing I liked about Sonic 4 ep 1 over the classics it’s Super Sonic. I think that because Super Sonic’s speed is slippery, that the ability to come to an instant stop is very helpful and makes him easier to control since even in ep 1 he’s fast as almighty. In ep 2, they probably knew this and thus game these physics to Super Sonic. THANK YOU, SEGA. lol

    Oddly, I’ve played ep 1 and 2 in a row and gotta say, I feel the difference in physics cuz I know about them, but it’s a small difference. Probably because ep 1’s physics never bothered me enough for me to notice them, pick at them and purposely expose them. (For instance. When I’m running, I don’t randomly let go to watch the momentum and if you run and try to stop by turning the opposite direction, he DOES skid like in the old games. Same with mid air jumps. I don’t stupidly randomly let go so I never have to deal with the instant drop ppl complained about). That said, while I was okay with ep 1’s physics but still welcome improvement if it comes, I do like ep 2’s physics then but find it a very unnoticable and USELESS change. I can’t help but think “Really? THIS is all the fans have been fighting for? What a waste.” However, with Super Sonic I do find the difference to be more noticable simply because of how fast he is, and in that situation I prefer these physics. That’s just me. And adding something new to the ending? Were we supposed to expect that? I didn’t see it in ep 1. I didn’t see it in Sonic 2 or 3. Not even in S&K. I did see it in S3&K tho but that’s it. Maybe they’ll do something if an ep 3’s released hopefully.

    Sorry for my own wall of text. I mine as well do my own review. XD
    Oh but one more thing. The Special Stages were inspired by Sonic 2 somehow felt a bit different, and it’s easiness and difficulties throughout somehow felt different too. I found them entertaining though. =P

    1. I agree with you. Oh, how I’m so glad someone shares my opinion of the music and the so called “Rip off stages”.

  11. “At times, it really made me forget I was playing a modern Sonic game and harkened me back to the Genesis days”

    Amen to that my friend. Even though I didn’t like Episode I, regardless I pretty much love episode II. There seriously have been times when I felt like I was playing a genesis sonic.

  12. Actually one thing I actually do have to disagree with are the boss battles. I think they are convoluted and counter-intuitive. I died multiple times on every single boss fight before going on youtube and watching how to beat it. That kind of sucks since I’ve been playing sonic games for almost 20 years. When I replay through this game I will be skipping all the boss battles. I would have preferred sonic 3 and knuckles style bosses.

  13. I’m an avid Sonic fan and this game is now one of my favorites, you gotta understand that Naka, Oshima and almost all of the old team are gone! Sonic game will never be exactly as they were back then sadly. BUT for what they’ve got going on right now, they’re doing pretty good job! its not perfect but I give this game 9/10 much better in game-play, physics, music and spirit! It really shows they placed more love into this one! Buy it!

  14. If there’s only ONE reason why Sonic 4 Ep. 2 is better than its predecessor…Sonic’s no longer an uber-glossy virtual eyesore.

    Personally, so far I’m finding Ep. 2 easier than 1; not completely a bad thing since there’s less frustrating life-sapping moments like Ep. 1’s second zone with the card platforms or the torch-lighting puzzle in the second ruins stage.

  15. PS. Metal Sonic is one BAMF! If you are a Metal Sonic fan this is the definitive Metal Sonic game baby!

  16. hmmm notice that Sega must have seen NOT FOR RESALE #79 which made me cringe on the mere thought lolz. Heh they must have heard some whispers of RAWWRRR and GEEERRRR!!! lolz So far otherwise this review seems to hit my thoughts on the hammer for the most part. Now I wonder how long it will be till we see re-porting of levels from EP1 to EP2 to get these lively physics that we have come to adore more? Episode Metal might be the gateway to making that happen lolz.

  17. i liked that the final battle with Robotnik in this game wasn’t ridiculously, horribly, abominably hard like in Episode 1. I think I died about 30 times before I finally beat him in Episode 1. In Episode 2, I beat the final boss on my first try without dying once. I like that better. I enjoy a challenge as much as the next Sonic fan, but episode 1 was ridiculous with how hard it was at the end.

    1. The waiting times on the final boss was ridiculous where as in Sonic 2 you could take out the same boss in under a minute.
      What was really annoying was fighting the other bosses before hand and trying not to get hit

  18. I think I might have found a game-breaking glitch. On my copy of the game, in the Sky Fortress boss battle, when Metal Sonic is hurling missiles towards you, Metal doesn’t even appear on-screen like he’s supposed to. It happens every time I get to that part of the battle.

    1. Now, it could very well be possible I’m just doing SOMETHING wrong, but I’m not sure.

      1. Wait, you mean even when you fly close to him he’s invisible? That’s odd. I mean I know the missile part starts off with him off screen but he always slowly slid onscreen as I got closer. lol

  19. Sonic 4:E2’s physics sit better with me than classic Sonic from Generations. Just thought I’d put that out there.

  20. Alright, my turn. Episode II was better than Episode I. But a big thing was that I beat Episode II faster than I beat Episode I. There was no real challenge and no surprise. Sure, the levels were bigger but it seemed to me the extra areas where only useful to find an extra life, speed shoes, or a shield. Invincibility power-ups were all over the place and when you transform into Super Sonic, they change into more extra lives. The red star rings were a nice addition, but just for an achievement, didn’t really think that was useful. It would have been different if it unlocked a new ending instead of TRY AGAIN! For what? I’ve already completed the game 100%! It would have been awesome to allow Metal Sonic playable after you complete the game fully, because Tails being a lead character would be nice, but then what would the purpose of Sonic. Graphics are ALL THE WAY AWESOME and physics are SO MUCH BETTER so I really hope that we won’t have to wait a 1 1/2 years for Episode III. Loved the bosses and the new zones. What was up with that tag block? It made Sonic and Tails do some weird thing across the screen and you could easily get enough rings to get into the super easy Special Stages…

    Anyways, Episode III I’m sure will have even better physics, keep the beautiful graphics, the tag teaming isn’t really necessary because everything could still be broken with 3 hits. But add Knuckles, more new zones, and for crying out loud, if Death Egg mk. 3 is there, make it 3 acts and a boss! The second one was beautiful and well crafted! I couldn’t tell which way was up! And by the way, ELEMENTAL SHIELDS!

    Bythe way, does anyone know what was up with the golden pieces flying off the capture containers for the animals at the end of the boss acts? Maybe Eggman isn’t done with his plan just yet and Metal Sonic was a decoy…

    1. I don’t know why- episode one got fantastic reviews and this was obviously much better.
      I did notice that they were complaining about things that they had talked about wanting in past games I.E, momentum based gameplay, more platforming, no voice acting and all 2D.
      Just goes to show that critics target Sonic- Think about it. They gave sonic and Sega racing, sonic 4 episode 1, sonic colors great reviews, But when Generations came out, They said sonic hadn’t been good in years.

      My conspiracy theory is that they are trying to keep the statuesque. all sonic games are bad, and they will always be bad, even if they are good.

      It’s like Europe’s economic situation here in the states.

    2. I don’t know. How is the game selling? Sonic Team listens to the fanbase as well so they’re paying attention to the reaction. Just us saying it’s better than ep 1 (which is considered a success if you’re in your right mind to think about it unbiasly) then I think an ep III has at least a chance.

  21. I played the beta 8 leak (which is probably close to the same as the final build) and while it’s better than Ep.1, it honestly doesn’t feel like a game I would want to play a second time over. For one thig, just because the game has more original zones and gimmicks doesn’t make it a better game. I wouldn’t pay $15 for this game, wait until it goes on sale.

    1. Better physics, better graphics, better music, better level design, better gimmicks, better zones and better gameplay doesn’t make it a better game? Even a little?

  22. What?White Park is my favorite zone!I think the weakest was Oil Desert.I’ve always hated Oil Ocean from Sonic 2.So you’ll see why I hate this level…

  23. Heyheyhey! I actually LOVED the random, team blast boxes! I know they don’t really add anything to the game, but the first time I found one, my jaw hit the floor! I LOVE the team blast and I just wish there were more of them!

    I also LOVE how they did multiplayer! They followed in the footsteps of Smash Bros. Brawl in the way that the teammate that’s lagging behind can teleport into the action, which helps keep the game’s flow going (flow, another thing I’m going to have to disagree with you on. I think this game has plenty of flow). This seems to be the best, smoothest way to implement multiplayer without giving each character their own screens and I personally love it.

    And all this is coming from a guy who HATED Episode 1. I actually LOVE Episode 2!

  24. ” It’s unmemorable and perhaps his weakest compositions since Sonic 3-D Blast.”

    Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis) music was on par with the classics. Mind you the game was terrible…but the music was amazing! Saturn version…not too much…very forgettable.

  25. Episode 2 has been much harder to me than Episode 1 and the old Sonic Trilogy. They are all fun, sure, but this game beats sonic 1-3 with a stick. And I’ve played each one several hundred times, so I know the comparisons and differences. …minus the last emerald in Sonic 1. That thing is still killing me!

  26. Y’know, to be fair. What mattered the most when I bought Ep2, was the co-op multiplayer option. God knows how long it’s been since I could play co-op in a Sonic Game; not counting sonic ’06 here.

  27. Great review, but my biggest problem was that SEGA kept the Score Attack / Time Attack modes. It is COMPLETELY unnecessary, and causes a problem. If I beat a time record while in score attack mode, it doesn’t record my time! Not to mention there is also the Two Player versions, which just doubles the mess. Just have one mode for to record both Score and Time like in the console games ok SEGA?

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