|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Sonic Team|
|Release: May 15, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Comic Mischief|
Metal Sonic also makes a return, and while he spends most of the game antagonizing Sonic, he's also playable for anyone who also has Episode I. He'll go through a series of stages pulled out of Episode I, though these have been tweaked a bit for added difficulty.
His real job, though, is to make Sonic's life miserable, and he'll do so both on foot and in a plane. Just as the Metal Sonic race in Sonic CD was easily the most frustrating part of the game, Metal Sonic's fights in Episode II might put your controllers in danger if you are prone to throwing them in rage. Some things never change.
Now, one thing I noticed while swapping between various Sonic titles was that, while the graphics in Episode II are a step up from those of Episode I, they can't hold a candle to Generations. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are some backgrounds from Episode I that have been reused here, just with the hues adjusted. So, if Episode I is your only point of comparison, Episode II looks fine. But if you've played a lot of Generations, prepare yourself for disappointment.
Audio is a mixed bag here. The classic sounds of collecting rings and jumping will trigger those nostalgia centers in your brain, but you definitely won't be rushing out to buy the soundtrack. Most of the music is just forgettable. Thankfully, Sonic Team cares about our ears enough that even various acts in the same Zone have different music, so you won't have to spend an overwhelming amount of time with each tune. I do admit, though, to being somewhat fond of the Death Egg music this time around.
In the end, Sonic 4: Episode II is a definite step up from Episode I—and a step closer to the gameplay style of Sonic 2—but it's just not enough to satisfy those of us looking for the perfect Sonic experience. In fact, for a perfect Sonic experience, you might be better off purchasing Sonic CD for a third the price.
I still hope to see an Episode III in the future; I just hope Sonic Team can take this criticism to heart and figure out the tweaks they need to make so we can truly love a Sonic game again.
Editor / News Director
Date: May 16, 2012