And you thought Episode 1 was bad???

User Rating: 3 | Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II PS3
Seriously, who is in charge at Team Sonic? Who is supervising the quality control at Sega? Who gives a product like this a big tick and judges it fit for release? They ought to be fired!

I still enjoy games featuring Sonic, but only if I lower my expectations first. Generations was decent, if unspectacular, and All-Stars Racing was a ho-hum time-waster. Sonic shot to world-wide fame with the original Mega Drive games, which still hold up today. It took 16 years for Sega to continue the series, but Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, which was released to great disappointment in 2010, was a goddamn travesty.

It took them another 2 years to release episode 2, but it feels like it was programmed over a long weekend, with plenty of break-time. There are no real new levels (as with Episode 1) and all are re-hashed from previous games (as with Generations - meaning Sonic the Hedgehog has not given us new levels in YEARS!). The re-hashed zones are Hill Top, Mystic Ruin, Ice Cap, and Oil Ocean. There are three levels each and one boss fight (totaling 16 levels). And let me tell you...the design is so lazy that literally not five seconds will pass without some amount of armchair-ripping frustration. Even the Special Stages are the tubular tunnels from Sonic 2, and the control of Sonic on these stages is just as stiff as it was in 1992. There are no cut-scenes either so the Zone progression is completely disjointed and there is accessible story. But there is a lock-on system (a fake homage to Sonic 3 and Knuckles) in which you get to play a few levels from Episode 1 as Metal Sonic if you also have Episode 1 on your console. It's pointless and offers no further lasting appeal.

If Sega ever get around to releasing Sonic 5 (in 2028 at the current rate) I have a long, long list of improvements and suggestions for them. No...make that direct orders. First of all - NO MORE UNDERWATER LEVELS! They are agonizingly slow. Even without that, Sonic takes far, far, far, far too long to get up to full speed. And then, when you do get going, the game cruelly slams you into a dead end. Why??? We buy these games for speed! It's like Sega is deliberately punishing you for the very reason you purchased the thing! Also, get rid Tails. Listen, I love Tails, but he should be operating on his own in the background, he should NOT be something that Sonic depends on to get through the levels.

There are 12 trophies, and most of them require far to much gameplay that most people will be willing to dedicate. I got three before I gave up. If I stuck with it I'd have ground my teeth down to the gums. It is not a generous or rewarding game and it should be hung around the necks of all Sonic Team employees as a mark of shame. With the weight of this drek around their necks they might make a better effort when Sonic 5 comes around in 2028.

Graphics A
Sound B
Gameplay D-
Lasting Appeal F