Over 20 years of gaming genius and now officially over 40 games released, Sonic is definitely a familiar sight in any household. Today saw the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II on the Xbox 360 Arcade.
Following with the same new game mechanic developed for Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the blue streak is joined by sidekick and pal Miles “Tails” Prower as they once again chase down the nefarious Dr. Eggman and his evil creation Metal Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II utilises a combo system where Sonic and Tails will team up for environmental destructive attacks and new ways in which the duo can navigate the levels. Having direct control over Tails can take place with the all new multiplayer mode and of course the game continues with its traditional leader board system.
It goes without saying that Sega have struck a heart string by taking the game back to its Metal Sonic and pitting bringing him back into action is somewhat reminiscent of the cult classic Sonic CD. Unfortunately it appears that the game falls quite short on the actual expectations, as the shiny new graphics and weird rubber sheen cloud any reminiscent feelings.
Aside from the rather demeaning on screen prompts (it would be nice if there wasn’t a small TV telling me when I need to press the X button), the game’s gameplay mechanic alters the way in which you speed through the levels. Speed is not apparently a primary aspect of the game. Sonic feels slow, and as fun as it is to watch Tails flail in an attempt to keep up, there really is no essence of speed from the game. Sonic Generations was a beautiful blend of speed, timing and platforming yet Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II focuses so much on the vertical platforming aspect that the levels seem rather tedious and tiresome at times.
Now as easy as it is to sound like an old man and ramble on about how “It’s not like it was back in my day,” I find it impossible to deny that this still makes a great Sonic game. And for those who are looking to see why it’s easy to fall in love with the little critter, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a great way to start. As a platforming sidescroller, Sonic is able to vary its gameplay enough to keep the game dynamic and yet not overcomplicate any control scheme. You could pick this game up at any point of the day and jump straight in for some great fun!