Sonic The Hedgehog 4™ Episode II Review
- Console-like visual quality and beautiful environments.
- Most levels retain a sense of flow thanks to a mix of speed and platforming sections.
- Lock-in Episode I for more content.
- Co-op available via Bluetooth.
- Control customization not available; no floating v-stick or sensitivity options.
- Inconsistent physics; sluggish and difficult to move, with Sonic speeding up almost without reason due to certain environment changes (ie. walking to sprinting on water).
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II isn't quite the blue hero we know him to be, but it's a step in the right direction and a decent platformer for fans of the series and those after a slick platformer.
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For many, Sonic The Hedgehog 4 is a return to form for SEGA's speedy blue mammal, but it hasn't been without its bumps and scrapes. Episode I remixed and built upon the classic platforming formula while also handling admirably via the touchscreen controls. Episode II goes even further by bringing back Tails, revisiting Sonic 2's bonus stage system and most exciting of all, introducing a 'lock-in' system for the iOS to unlock all-new content.
Lets get the bad out of the way first though - despite a new graphics and physics engine, and previous experience with Episode I, the controls still feel unreliable. This is in-part thanks to a combination of the physics feeling stiff and unyielding at times; no option for a floating virtual stick to make re-centering easier; and no option to adjust the tilt sensitivity. As such it's hard to feel comfortable with either touch or tilt controls, which is a shame considering they're so pivotal for making the new tag-team system work effectively.
It's also a shame because the levels themselves are incredibly well-paced, providing a mix up of speed and platforming sections as well as opportunities to tag-team with Tails to fly, swim or dash your way to harder-to-reach areas. Whether you're dashing through a snow-drift on the way to a carnival, fighting against fierce winds in a desert or attempting to survive deep underwater, the game retains its sense of flow, keeping you engaged in the moment.
The game is gorgeous as well with optimizations that give it console-quality polish on modern iDevices. If your friend isn't so lucky as to have the latest device you can show them how great the game looks as you play cooperatively via Bluetooth.
The content doesn't stop with the usual handful of zones, collectables and the obligatory bonus stages for Chaos Emeralds. If you happen to have Episode I installed you can 'lock-in' Episode II by multitasking from one to the other, enabling you to play as Metal Sonic, finding out just how he survived in Sonic CD.
As such, how much we recommend Episode II is dependent on whether you own the first episode and are willing to forgive the controls for being less than perfect. Sonic fans should still do themselves a favor and make this a purchase if they're not already playing on a larger console, but even if you're not a life-long fan you'll still get a kick out of Sonic's antics.
DescriptionThe Sonic 4 Saga continues in Episode II with the return of a beloved side kick and fan-favorite villains!
◆ “iPod/iPhone Game of the Year” - 2012 iLounge Buyers Guide ◆
Following the events of Episode I, Metal Sonic has returned to form a formidable alliance with Dr. Eggman! To face this new evil, Sonic will have to call upon an old friend to help him save the day! Now joined by Tails, race across four brand new Zones and take down fearsome new badniks with deadly combination moves in order to put an end to this dastardly duo’s plans!
New and Improved
Episode II features an all-new engine; bringing you gameplay with updated physics and Zones in stunning Retina Display.
Team up with a friend via Bluetooth and take control of Sonic and Tails as they battle against Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic!
Tailored for iOS
Episode II features Gamecenter, accelerometer support, and is universal! Buy once and play across all your iOS devices with enabled Cloud Saves!
Lock-on with Episode Metal
Explore four Acts across four reworked Zones from Episode I and experience the story of Metal Sonic's revival after his defeat in Sonic CD!"
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