Chances are if you’ve kept your finger on the pulse of the Sonic community over the past half decade, you’ll have encountered this character – SEGA’s Digital Brand Manager, Ken Balough. Ken is probably best known for being one of the most prominent spokespeople representing SEGA during the promotion of both Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episodes 1 and 2, for trailblazing fan engagement with the SEGA Community team, as well as his mean sense of humour.
Yesterday, Ken announced in a statement on the SEGA forums that he would be leaving his position at SEGA to join the team at Sony Playstation.
SEGA Japan has recently put up a new website archiving all of its digital download games, and thanks to the keen eyes of Woun over at Sonic Scene, we’ve got some interesting news to report. If you take a look underneath Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, you can see not only SEGA listed as a copyright holder, but PROPE, too. PROPE, as a lot of you will know, is the developer founded by Sonic the Hedgehog’s original creator, Yuji Naka. Could this mean Yuji Naka’s development studio had a part in Sonic the Hedgehog 4‘s development, or is it just an error?
What is this day filled with so many wonders, casting its spell that I am now under?
…oh yeah, it’s Saturday! And what other wonder is there to feature on The Sonic Stadium save the Sound Test?
We’ve got a trio of remixes put together by members of the Sonic community: one that can only be done beautifully through the ebony and ivory, one that allows listeners to soar above raging dogfights, and one that can only be spelled through guitar as an epic win!
First up is, believe it or not, a compilation of all 4 Sonic Heroes themes in a wonderful 6 minute medley on the piano. Yes: Follow Me for Team Rose, We Can for Team Sonic, Team Chaotix for… well, Team Chaotix, and This Machine for Team Dark. Imagine my reaction when this landed in my inbox!
Now this is the kind of thing I love seeing in my inbox! There’s nothing like a good piano rendition of some of my favourite tunes, you know? And Macanulty here did a spectacular job here weaving four entirely different tracks together. Nerves were soothed, emotions were calmed, and it was a start to a great day. Thanks for sending this gem over, Mac!
For Act 2, Dill Tasker sent over his take on Sonic 4 Episode 2‘s sky-piercing stage, Sky Fortress Act 2 D&B Remix!
Does this make you want to get up and dance like a pro? …or dance like an idiot when no one’s around, maybe? Yes? Good. Smooth to the ears, but with a fast pace to keep you going. A definite winner for a remix on a Sonic 4 piece. Great job, Dill!
And for a bombastic finale, we got something for the metalheads! To those who grew up with Sonic in the 90s, this mouthwatering medley put together by 331Erock is for you! Here’s Sonic Meets Metal!
Eric Calderone’s feat here is nothing short of the word amazing. I feel faint just listening to him tear his instrument a new one. As if his solo towards the end didn’t spell “awesome” out for you, this mixture of Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, and the theme to SatAM is a true love letter to a way past cool childhood! Special thanks to Etna on the SSMB for the find!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be abusing the replay button to each of these tunes over and over again until I end up turning deaf.
Found an interesting remix, cover, or original track somewhere on the web? Got one of your own you’d want to show the world through The Sonic Stadium and SEGASonic: Radio? If you’ve answered yes to either question, then send everything you got over to email@example.com!
[UPDATE] The main website has updated with Sky Fortress Zone and Episode Metal in accordance with S4EII‘s launch, including some new screenshots. Thanks to MilesKnightwing for the tip! Prices for the game are now included in the article as well. Original post below!
Showcasing the four main zones and bosses in action, the launch trailer to Sonic 4: Episode II was unveiled today in conjunction with the releases of the PSN and PC versions of the game. The new trailer also unveils the iOS release date: the game will be available off the iTunes App Store on the 17th, two days from now.
SEGA Blog also listed the prices for the different versions of the game: $14.99/€12.99/£9.99/AUD$18.25 off the PlayStation Network and Steam, 1200 points from the Xbox Live Marketplace, and $6.99/€5.49/£4.99/AUD$7.49 for the iOS and Android versions.
Check out the True Blue Initiative and the new screenshots after the jump!
A slew of 14 high quality screenshots have just surfaced regarding Sylvania Castle Zone and the massive Egg Serpentleaf boss of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. Not much to say other than they look gorgeous!
SEGA’s Mike Kebby has today revealed on the EU PS Blog that they will be releasing the first ever Sonic PSN Avatars on the EU PS Store. Kebby didn’t say who or what the Avatars will be of or how much they will cost, but did say they will be available from tomorrow. No information was given about a US release. In other news, Kebby announced that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will be released on the EU PS Store on Wednesday the 16th May for £9.99/€12.99, which is a day later than SEGA Europe has been advertising on their website for a while now (and still is at time of posting).
We’ll update with more information about the Sonic PSN Avatars tomorrow.
If you’ve not been awake for the past nine hours, you’ve probably missed the news that Sonic 4: Episode 2 was leaked onto Steam and subsequently downloaded by those who had pre-ordered it, as well as by people rushing to snag an early copy.
However, if you did manage to download it, you might be in for a surprise when you try to re-launch the game.
UPDATE: Steam has fixed the error and the beta can no longer be downloaded.
A beta version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 has been released on sale just a couple of hours ago this afternoon on PC digital download service Steam. Various Steam users on our SSMB forum have been able to purchase and download the beta and then play through it. At the time of this article we’ve just heard that SEGA has now become aware of the leak and has erased discussion of it over on their official forums. We expect SEGA will plug the leak on Steam pretty soon.
Thanks to the Steam users at the SSMB for the heads up and to Nemain for the image!
In an update to their website today, SEGA has cleared up the release dates for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 in Europe and Australia. It appears SEGA is going to defy expectations and release the PS3 version in all territories on the same day of May 15th 2012. The Xbox 360 version will also have a simultaneous release the next day on May 16th 2012 as expected. Other formats will follow later.
Continuing our coverage on Sonic 4: Episode 2, the Xbox 360 product page for the upcoming episode of the Sonic 4 saga has updated with seven new screenshots today. The screenshots showcase more of Sylvania Castle Zone, as well as White Park Zone.
SEGA Europe has today released the European version of the recent Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 trailer. In it we get an update on the European release dates for the game, but unlike the US, we don’t get anything more solid than the month of May for the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms. The PC, iOS and Tegra 3 compatible versions will also launch in May, with the Android/Google Play version following in June, and the Windows Phone 7 version made available later in July.
Eurogamer also reports that Sonic 4: Episode 2 will be priced at 1200 MSP on Xbox Live, £9.99 on PlayStation Network, and £12.99 for PC. No pricing info was given for the other versions, but we’ll pass on those details when they’re made available.
Talking to the website DigitalSpy, Takashi Iizuka has confirmed that there are currently no plans for another episode of Sonic 4.
“We are looking forward to hearing the feedback from the users for Episode 2, but we are currently not planning to release another episode. We just want to see how the users accept this episode.” – Takashi Iizuka, Producer.
Naturally, plans can change. For time being being though, Sonic 4 will be ending with Episode 2.
For an interview with Iizuka and a hands on preview of Sonic 4, head on over to DigitalSpy.
SEGA has today released fifteen more screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2. In this latest batch we get a good look at Sylvania Castle Zone and White Park Zone’s boss fights with Dr.Eggman and Metal Sonic respectively. You can check out all of the screenshots in our gallery after the jump. Continue reading New Sonic 4: Episode 2 Screenshots Show Boss Fights
Hi guys. Like what you read in the little tease yesterday? Well the main course is now up! Here we have a roughly 40 minute interview with Ken Balough where we ask him every question we can possibly think of in regards to Sonic 4 Episode 2. Want details on what’s been changed with the physics? How Sonic CD fits into the series? Why the trailer was so springeriffic? Why Tails isn’t playable? Then click the link below. Just keep in mind, we also did a regular podcast in addition to the interview. The podcast is in the middle.
A new preview of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 from GDC 2012 has appeared over at Droid Gamers, and in it we learn that the mobile version of Episode 2 will contain two exclusive bonus levels.
The Android version will also come with two exclusive bonus levels that you will have to hunt down.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 contained two Acts that were different in the console version, but whether the situation is the same here or not remains to be seen. Droid Gamers also shared a full demonstration of White Park Act 1, which you can view in the above video. You can read Droid Gamers’ full hands-on preview at the below link.
Not happy with the quality of the first Sonic 4 video? No worries, we found another one! This one is from Gamerlive.tv as they talk with a SEGA rep demonstrating the game at the event. There isn’t much new information in the video itself, aside from one somewhat disappointing piece of news: despite earlier claims from Phandroid that SEGA had told them the game was coming out in April, the SEGA rep in the video claims the game is in fact still being released in May. He also says that Tegra platforms will be getting the game a few weeks before other platforms.
So, which is it, an April release or a May release? Only time will tell, but I am pretty sure that either way, this only effects users of Tegra chip powered platforms.
Last night, Sonic 4 Episode 2 made its surprise first public appearance at Mobile World Congress 2012, courtesy of SEGA and NVIDIA. The above demo is being played on a Tegra 3 Android device, streaming to an HD television. Today, SEGA also confirmed a mid-April release date for the Android version of the game. Though, keep in mind, only Android devices with the Tegra 3 chip will be compatible with this version.
SEGA Japan has today opened their official website for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, which features character profiles, a Zones section, a co-op play section and more. In the Zones section there are twenty four new screenshots covering all three Acts of Sylvania Castle Zone and White Park Zone showcasing platforming and puzzle elements as well as the return of snowboarding.
Fans of cosplay and Xbox Live Avatars will be happy to hear that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will include unlockable Avatar Awards. While Episode 1 allowed you to unlock parts of a Sonic the Hedgehog costume, Episode 2 will challenge fans to unlock a costume based on his nemesis Dr.Eggman.
SEGA Europe has released seven more screenshots from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 on their website. Not much is shown that we haven’t already seen, apart from the revelation that the red rings from Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations are returning. For those who haven’t played those two games, the red rings are collectibles that unlock bonus content, giving the game some replay value.
The Sonic 4 news keeps on coming! Today, we have a list of achievements and the names of three levels, courtesy of Xbox360Achievements and SEGAbits. Through these achievements we now know the game has an optional world map, which can be skipped through the entirety of the game to get a “Endurance Race” achievement. We also know the name of three more stages, castle stage we’ve been seeing in a lot of screenshots: Sylvania Castle Zone, Sky Fortress Zone and the snow stage, according to translations from Sonic Retro and SEGAbits, is called White Park Zone.
Follwing today’s Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2gameplay trailer, SEGA community staff member Kellie has been answering some questions from fans over at the SEGA Forums. Most interesting is Kellie’s response to a query about playable characters.
As Ranger posted, I’ve answered some of these questions for you. Tails is playable, but not in single player. When playing single player, you play as Sonic and interact with Tails to progress through the levels. When you’re playing two player, one of you will play as Sonic and the other as Tails, and work together.
Release date is Spring 2012, as noted on the trailer.
Hope that helps!
EDIT: I’m not Ken… hope that’s ok. 😉
Unfortunately, Tails can only be played in two player mode and not in single player. It appears Sonic is stuck with tails too, and can’t be played alone like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It’s beginning to look like co-op play is essential to progress through the game, though why there still can’t be an option to play as Tails and the CPU play as Sonic and still progress is unclear.
SEGA has today officially released nine more screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, giving us a further look at the various stages of the game that were first accidentally revealed by Microsoft on Tuesday. In the screenshots we see a new hummingbird badnik, re-using of the giant gold rings, Sonic and Tails running on water, and oddly no homing attack reticule when Sonic jumps in front of a badnik.
The SEGA Blog also informs that the first gameplay trailer will be released exclusively on Gamespot next Thursday February 23rd at 9am US Pacific Time. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out and share it here.
SEGA Japan has updated their official Sonic the Hedgehog 4 home page with a ‘coming soon’ teaser for Episode 2’s website. Woun from fellow Sonic fansite Sonic Scene has managed to grab the game’s full ‘box art’ and what appears to be two pieces of concept art from the Aquatic Ruins Zone styled stage and says we can expect more information about the game from the next issue of Japanese magazine Famitsu tomorrow. We’ll relay any new information here.
The Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 product page over at Xbox.com has received a significant update today. In the update, ten screenshots have been released, the game’s final ‘box art’ and new details about the game. The screenshots give us a look at the four various levels, including an ice type stage, a carnival type stage, a desert/oil field type stage, an Aquatic Ruins type stage and a special stage. A chase with Metal Sonic on Tails’ rocket is also shown. New details revealed include offline and online co-op play and combo attacks Sonic and Tails can pull off together.
Sonic fans have been waiting a long time for the second episode of Sonic’s downloadable adventure Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and according to the new issue of GamesMaster magazine released in the UK this week, the wait isn’t anywhere near over. The magazine reports that Episode 2 will be released “Late 2012”, which could see it released over two years after Episode 1. As SEGA themselves haven’t stated anything clearer than “2012” yet, we advise you take this with a grain of salt for now.
SEGA has started a very familiar campaign called ‘Concept Art Friday’ which will see SEGA release concept art for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 every Friday on their blog and on Sonic’s Facebook page. To kick things off, SEGA has today released two images on their blog of what appears to be a wheel switch from Sonic the Hedgehog 3′s Marble Garden Zone and an image on Sonic’s Facebook page of a new badnik.
Check back next week for more. In the meantime, let us know what you think of SEGA reusing this marketing strategy in the comments section.
Among all of the Sonic the Hedgehog love dished out to PC gamers today, SEGA has also confirmed in their press release that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II will be available for PC digital download later this year. Unfortunately, no other information regarding Episode II was given, but we’ll let you know when SEGA releases more details. In the meantime, PC fans can finally experience the first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. You can purchase and download it from Steam now.
The second issue of Archie’s Super Sonic Special magazine has launched today, and while the issue itself contained nothing but reprints, interviews and a timeline, the next issue looks like it’ll be stepping things up a bit. With issue 3, which is expected to launch this Spring, Archie will be including an all new adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2! Archie is no stranger to video game adaptions, but this super special will mark the first time since Super Sonic Special #13’s Sonic Adventure special that Archie has made a video game adaption the central storyline in a comic!
More interesting is how Archie promotes the issue: “Sonic’s hottest new game is getting the comic book treatment!” Archie typically releases their adaptions around the same time as the game their adapting, meaning that this could indicate a Spring release for the next episode of Sonic 4! This is, of course, all speculation, but Archie releasing an early adaption of Sonic 4 would be unusual. We’ll hopefully learn how accurate this speculation is soon enough.
According to US ratings board the ESRB, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will see a release on Windows PC. A rating for the game has appeared on the ESRB’s website recently which lists the game for the platform. Early last month, Episode 1 appeared on the Steam registry, suggesting SEGA is bringing Sonic the Hedgehog 4 to PC users, and with such strong evidence like this, it seems a PC release for both Episodes is all but officially confirmed.
SEGA has relayed the Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 announcement on their official blog, and with it we learn that this episode will feature all-new new character animations. SEGA’s also revealed that the Android version will be powered by NVIDIA® Tegra®, with plans to develop an enchanced version for NVIDIA’s Tegra 3.
You can read the full blog announcement below:
We’ve got a new year’s resolution that’s sure to please gamers worldwide: the iconic blue hedgehog will be making his 2D return in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II in 2012. Following the award-winning success of Episode I, which took the world by storm in 2010, Sonic will continue his journey through the epic Sonic 4 saga on XBLA, PSN, and mobile platforms including the App Store, Android Market and Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7.
Fans have been eagerly anticipating the next episode in Sonic’s new side-scrolling adventure, and SEGA has been listening closely to their feedback. Armed with all-new character animations and a completely reworked physics engine, Episode II will expand the Sonic 4 storyline with new areas to speed through and new challenges to face. For a sneak peek at what’s in store, including the arrival of a certain high-flying, twin-tailed pal who’s sure to be of assistance, check out the all-new teaser trailer!
“After twenty years in action, it’s clear that Sonic hasn’t slowed down one bit,” said Haruki Satomi, Senior Vice President of Digital Business at SEGA of America. “The first entry in the Sonic 4 saga was a major success. We’ve listened to the fans and been hard at work making sure we recapture that same spirit of fun in Episode II. We hope the fans will enjoy it.”
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 will support Android mobile devices powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® mobile processor. It will be available on the Android Market and featured on the Tegra Zone app. In addition, SEGA and NVIDIA are working closely together to develop an even more enhanced version for Tegra 3, the world’s first quad-core mobile processor.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 now has a product page on Xbox.com and in it there is yesterday’s trailer up for download to your Xbox 360 console as well as a few more details about the game. It seems the game won’t feature multiplayer or co-op, despite Tails’ inclusion. Online leaderboards are returning and the game will also support full 1080p resolution and in-game Dolby Digital.
The product description reads:
The Sonic 4 Saga continues in Episode II, with the return of Tails and Metal Sonic! In the follow up to Episode I there are surprises in store with the arrival of Sonic’s legendary sidekick Tails! Race across all new zones and defeat the evil forces of Dr. Eggman and fearsome rival Metal Sonic. The wait is finally over when the game releases in 2012
Ken Balough has recently confirmed what many wondered at the end of his Gamespot interview. Sonic 4 Episode 2 will not be making an appearance on the Wii console. This makes the third Multi-platform Sonic game in a row not to see release on the Wii. Here’s what Ken had to say.
But no – the reason Episode I was on the Wii was because we wanted to bring the Sonic 4 saga to the widest possible audience. Episode II unfortunately will not be coming to the Wii – for reasons most people have probably guessed, but that doesn’t mean the SEGA isn’t supporting Nintendo platforms, we have a very strong partnership and will continue to do so.
Oh well. Here’s hoping for a disc compilation at some point.
As stated yesterday, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 has been officially announced today over at GameSpot with a teaser trailer that reveals a new playable character. Unexpected though, an interview with Ken Balough came with it revealing more details about this episode. Balough says SEGA has listened to fan feedback from Episode 1 and in response they have added a new graphics engine, a new physics engine and fixed the uncurling.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will be released in 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Nework, iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Android devices. Yes, it doesn’t appear to be coming to any Nintendo platforms, unfortunately.
Sonic fans over at the SEGA Forums have cracked SEGA Digital Brand Manager Ken Balough’s riddle, and the man himself has taken to the forums to make the answer official. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 will be announced at Gamespot tomorrow (December 29th 2011) with a trailer. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will be able to download the trailer the next day and a few days later respectively.
Earlier today, Ken Balough of SEGA of America released the first cryptic clue to Sonic the Hedgehog 4:Episode 2. In his post on the SEGA forums, Balough wrote:
If you’re an Episode II fan
I would go back to where the Sonic 4 Campaign first began
In a month filled with presents and Christmas hams
think of the day, the HMS Warrior first swam
Current theory is that this likely pertains to the date of December the 29th, the date on which a British ironclad warship under the name of HMS Warrior was launched in 1860. “Where the first Sonic 4 Campaign began” may relate to the SEGA blogs, where the first Episode 1 trailer was posted. The riddle appears to yield no clue on the details of what the game may contain – we will be sure to bring you the details as soon as they come!
Have any theories of your own? Let us know in the comments!
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