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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It was released May 16, 2012 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Sonic has had a bit of a hit and miss record lately. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I wasn’t quite as beloved as Sega hoped, yet Sonic Generations brought back that classic Sonic feeling. Episode II promises fixed physics, the addition of Tails and more Metal Sonic, all promising the potential for a return-to-form. Now it’s finally upon us, Episode II fixes some of the problems of its predecessor but not without introducing some new slogging problems along the way.
First thing’s first, apologies for the low quality audio in this weeks episode. Numerous technical difficulties caused some issues which led to some parts of the show to dip in quality, I did try to salvage it as best I could but it’s not perfect. Thankfully the show is still mostly listenable and everything should hopefully be fine next week.
This weeks episode sees the return of former podcast co-host and current Game Music Fans Managing Editor, Tyler Cameron. He shares a familiar story of getting sucked into Minecraft and not quite knowing why. Perry is on the review for Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, he gives us his not so great impressions.
Todd Talk this week is all about episodic gaming, after which we discuss what we think does and doesn’t work when trying to make an episodic game.
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Believe it or not my favorite part about video games isn’t the games themselves but the way they bring people together. Arguably no show demonstrates this bond better than PAX. Thousands of likeminded individuals flooded Boston this past Easter weekend. It didn’t matter where you worked or what you did or what you had to do when you hit the ground again on Monday; for one glorious weekend everyone was an equal: a gamer. It didn’t matter if your weapon was a die, a mouse, a controller or one’s own body. Everyone at this show had a passion for games.
A few of us from XBLA Fans made the trip and had the honor of mingling and checking out some of the upcoming XBLA titles for 2012 and beyond. We were able to hear developers in their element talking to fans about their projects. It was an amazing experience. Our own Andrew Crews has already elaborated on this issue, but in the end you remember the little things. That being said, there were some amazing games. Check out our full breakdown below!
Sonic the Hedgehog: 4: Episode 1 didn’t exactly spin dash to fan’s hearts when it released in 2010–it contained a wonky physics engine and lackluster gameplay, but Sega plans to turn that perception around with its aptly titled sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2.
The demo we played at PAX East had Sonic speeding through an act covered in blizzard conditions with huge snowballs gaining mass while fumbling toward our blue protagonist, so it was important that Sega’s promise to include retro physics and more refined gameplay were included to overcome the demo’s obstacles.
Sega has succeeded so far, sort of. The most obvious inclusion, the ability to harness Tails’ hovering skills to carry the grounded Sonic to distance ledges makes for an enjoyable distraction, but once vertical the overbearing weight of Sonic becomes apparent. He still needs more momentum to maintain a steady speed than his incarnations in the 90s, and any and all gameplay distractions like dropping straight down from flying high with Tails just makes Sonic seem heavier than a Hummer.
Some good news and possibly some bad news for Sonic fans this week. Sega have revealed that while Sonic 4 Episode 2 will discard the new physics that were so disliked by fans in Episode 1, reverting to those used in the Mega Drive/Genesis era Sonic games, it is also the last one in the series planned at this time. In an interview with Eurogamer, Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka explained:
“With Episode 1 we built the physics from the ground up. This time, rather than adding to it, we went back to the original Mega Drive Sonic games and we looked at the physics from them. We tried to make sure we replicated the things people were keen about for Episode 2. That’s the way we addressed it. I wanted to make sure people could play the game and it not feel unnatural. It should feel right. Rather than thinking of it as us trying to say, ‘okay, this is the way it should be,’ we looked at feedback where people were saying, ‘this feels unnatural.’ Those were the things we decided to eliminate, so it should feel natural when they play the game.”
From the early screenshots we saw earlier, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II was showing off some neat levels involving Sonic & Tails and now we have our first …