Sonic the Hedgehog will always have a place in my heart. I can remember buying the game for my Game gear(Google it kids) and playing it for hours on end. Though the game play was simple and it flowed really well. Somewhere all the years the series took a nosedive. A lot of people blame in on the move to 3-d environments. And while most of the 3-D Sonic adventures were flawed I have always respected the franchise for going in that direction. So that all being said how does Sonic 4 Episode 2 stack up? ladies and Gentlemen, I have some good news and some bad news.
Let’s start with the Good. Overall the game looks really well polished. Wither in 2-D or 3-D Sonic has always for the most part looked good on any console. This holds fast as Episode II is easy on the eyes and each level is a little bit different. Even some of the driving levels that were thrown in between look really well done even if playing the levels. Well aside from the graphics that is about it for the good features.
Your buddy Tails make an appearance to offer some help navigating some of the trickier parts and also as way a for you and a friend to play multiplayer. Tails bring his classic propeller to the table allowing sonic to glide around the map to reach those hidden nooks and crannies. The pair can also form a giant ball of pain and break through some near indestructible walls. Yet hands down the best feature that Tails brings to the party is the ability to save Sonic from near death in a bottomless pit. And with the sometimes wonky jumping system this comes in handy a lot.(thanks old chap)
Yet not even Tail’s friendly face can save this game. While the levels are detailed and look great there is no real reason to every deviate from the main path. Sure you can find the hidden rings in each level but that literally just nets you an achievement. There is nothing else to do on any of the levels. The levels themselves also lack the usually flair of Sonics’ of old. Aside from standard platformer jazz and the occasional jumping on springs the game lacks that adrenaline factor. Now towards the end the cannons and tons of breakaway walls make an appearance but it’s just not the same. When I think Sonic I think going 10000 mph up endless series of loops while being shot cannon to cannon collecting coins along the way. I never really got this feeling in the game.
Also besides lacking in speed Sonic also seems to have been dulled down in the action department. Yes the homing attack is back. but since at times it seems like it has a mind of its own it can be pretty difficult(albeit Impossible) to master. Never has an attack in a sonic game lead to so many unnecessary deaths. -_- It seems at sometimes that the developers understood the game had so many fails so they offered players an almost 100% get of jail free card. That card is infinite coins. During some of the games boss battles and harder sections Sonic is giving almost infinite second chances. One of the easiest ways to spot a choke point is too look for a mass of coins over some pit. Chances are this is one of those “challenging” task that might require using the shotty techniques previously metioned. But don’t worry between Tails and the Coins you will be offered plenty of chances to fail and brood over your mounting failures.
Well ok so Sonic has lost some of his adrenaline, and his attacks are hand to control, but at least the epic boss battles have returned, right? WRONG!. Metal Sonic and Robotnik have returned but not in their best form. Boss battles consist of collecting the infinite coins while spamming your homing attack or trying not to die to some ridiculous one shot kill attack. Yup. That pretty much describes the boss battles. Nothing else to see here. This is the part of the game that really killed it for me. After finally working my way through the tedious levels and wasting my time exploring, I get rewarded with an annoying boss battle. Topping it all off is the fact that collecting those hidden Crystal Emeralds doesn’t even get me a ticket to an alternate ending or levels? Yup, nothing to see here indeed!
At the end of the day this game really just makes me wonder. Sonic has always been dear to my gaming heart and I am finally beginning to wonder if his days are up. The 16 bit Sonic of old has never reclaimed its former glory since the genesis days and I’m not sure if it ever will. While nostalgic, the game just fails to deliver on so many of the things that make Sonic, well Sonic. Part of me will always hope for the best out of Sonic. But for now I suggest players and fans keep those rings in the wallet and try back later. Sorry fans : (