I’ve been waiting for a new Sonic game since the re-release of Sonic CD for iOS late last year. Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II revitalizes the Sonic series by adding new elements to the fast gameplay you’ve come to expect from the original Sonic titles.
“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!”
Sonic 4 Episode I featured upgraded graphics, new levels, and was actually one of the better executed Sonic games in recent time. While enjoyable, the game had a much slower pace and didn’t quite feel like the first two Sonic titles on the SEGA Genesis. Episode II uses a new game engine for improved visuals that also aims to fix the slow gameplay which was one of the main issues with Episode I.
You’ll be pleased to know that know both that visuals and audio are spectacular this time around. Unfortunately Episode I was never updated to support retina. Episode II DOES support retina, but only on iPhone 4/4S and iPod Touch. Support for the New iPad resolution will have to wait I suppose.
Sonic is controlled by a virtual joystick which doesn’t quite work as well as a D-pad but it’s manageable. Tails follows you around and is controlled by the AI and plays much like he did in Sonic 2, not very useful.
That is of course until you press the newly added button which initiates a powerful team spin move on the ground; and a temporary ability to have Tails fly you through the air. He can even help you swim faster under water, which was really helpful. I found the new team feature quite useful while playing through the acts.
Aside for the visual improvements, the gameplay also operates at a much quicker pace. The overall flow of the game feels much better this time around, feeling much more like the older Sonic games. I did notice that some of the acts in the game were pretty lengthy, but that’s not a bad thing.
If you’re in the mood for some co-op you can take control of Sonic and Tails to battle against Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic. But perhaps one of my favorite features is the use of iCloud to store your progress. I really feel this is a feature that should be standard across all iOS titles.
The graphics were a little choppy on my 4S, but were smooth one the New iPad. I strongly petitioned for Retina support for Episode I, never got it. Maybe SEGA will listen to me this time and add retina iPad support! (yeah right )
If you own Episode I, you will be able to unlock play a special Episode Metal that will follow Metal Sonic through 4 redone levels from Episode I. I enjoyed the extra content; it was great to follow Metal Sonic’s adventure post Sonic CD. The visual improvements and epic audio, along with old school features from Sonic 2 make this a Sonic game worthy of its title. 9/10