Monday, 14 May 2012

In Anticipation of Sonic 4: Episode II

This time in 24 hours, it will be the evening of the 15th of May and many Sega fans will be making up their minds on the upcoming digital release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. This time in 24 hours I'll hopefully still be playing it with a smile on my face as I did with Episode I.

That's right, at the time of its release I thoroughly enjoyed Sonic 4: Episode I and continued to do so for several months. I was happy that Sega had listened to their fans and made another 2D Sonic game, I was happy that it had little to no storyline, had no extra characters and no hub worlds. I was happy that they drew from previous games and used Mega Drive inspired music. And, although I beat the game in one sitting, I came back to it several times afterwards to get emeralds and high scores.

Then something happened. I was bought Sonic Colours as a gift the Christmas after Sonic 4 was released. A game I was genuinely impressed with and was happy to say that I found it to be the best Sonic game since Sonic Adventure 2, and maybe even Sonic & Knuckles. My high opinion of Sonic Colours is documented in a post I made some time ago titled 'Sonic Colours: I Approve', which is a lengthy read, but one of my favourite posts.

Some time after that I played Sonic Generations in the midst of my move from my girlfriend's parents house to our very first home in the Netherlands. I didn't have much time on my hands, hence why there's no blog post about it, but I made the time for Sonic Generations. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more I could write for a very long time about everything Sega did right with the game, as opposed to all of the flaws found in previous Sonic titles. This being said, these two retail releases highlighted the issues many people found with Sonic 4: Episode I which I had managed to overlook with my official, Sega brand, rose-tinted spectacles firmly wrapped around my head.

Well, I've seen worse (Sonic 2006).

Funny physics, uninspired levels and bosses, a sub-par soundtrack and general lack of content are the many reasons why I sometimes find myself wanting to write to Sega for my 1200MS points back. But here we are roughly a year and a half later and I'm sitting here ready to throw my money at Sega once again at the next, and potentially the last, exclusively 2D, home console Sonic the Hedgehog game; Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

As usual I have tried my very best to avoid any screen shots, videos and other spoilers prior to playing the game for the first time; a task that has been very difficult considering the work I do for a Sega-orientated fan site. I hope to play the game with an open mind with the only expectation being that the game will be better than the last. Playing co-op with my girlfriend, and playing as Metal Sonic being awesome are simply bonus expectations.

Unfortunately, I doubt I will have time to make a post detailing my immediate thoughts on the game as I will only have time to play the game after work and will be participating in a multi-manned review of the game over on Sega-Addicts. However, a more personal account of my experience with the game will be coming eventually, so don't you go changing!


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