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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #2 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is another Sonic game! What are the odds eh? Since we had Sonic 1 yesterday I think we should talk about the sequel Sonic 2 for the Sega Master System/Game Gear.

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This was another game I didn’t own but it was available to me via my cousin’s Sega Master System.And again after I unlocked the game in Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut on the Nintendo GameCube I got to relive some memories.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) for the Master System came out in October 1992 and while it shares some similarities to the 16-bit version, there also many differences too. The game is still a 2D platforming game where you have to advance from left to right collecting rings, defeating enemies and avoiding hazards to get to the goalpost at the end of the level. You still have to go through 3 acts where the first 2 are levels and the last one is a boss encounter and there are still power-ups to collect in levels too.

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There’s no Spin Dash in this game due to the fact that it was released before the Genesis version. Uniquely, this game includes levels in which Sonic must ride a mine cart, and a hang glider, the latter under full player control and a reasonable simulation of physics. There is also a large bubble in underwater levels which raises Sonic upwards until he hits a ceiling, enemy or obstacle.

At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each level, a panel is spun, with a reward given based on what it lands on:

  • Robotnik: No prize. This panel comes up most often in the game.
  • Ring: 10 rings added to final ring tally. Usually obtained by having a ring count that is a multiple of ten.
  • Sonic: Extra Life
  • Tails: Continue

Item boxes are largely the same as the first game and Chaos Emeralds are scattered throughout the stages, again like the predecessor. Each is found in the second act in each of the first five zones. If the player collects these five and then destroys Mecha Sonic (called the “Silver Sonic” in the English manual) in the sixth zone, the sixth is awarded and the player may access the final stage (Crystal Egg Zone), the third act of which Dr. Robotnik is faced in a climatic boss battle. Players able to complete the full task are rewarded with the game’s “good ending”; for those who fail to collect all of the Emeralds, play ends after Mecha Sonic’s destruction with a more downbeat end sequence (in which Tails was not rescued).

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Ah Sonic 2 for the Master System, my memories of playing this game was again a mixture of fun and frustration. I have to say that this game was more enjoyable than Sonic 1 because of the better level design and overall structure. Though it is those same aspects that made this game a little annoying at times too. I wasn’t keen on the mine cart sections and since the screen was so close to Sonic it was hard to tell what was coming up and lead to some unfortunate accidents and deaths. And lastly the presentation was good both in the visual and audio sense as far as 8-bit games go.

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In conclusion Sonic 2 for the Sega Master System/Game Gear is a game that is MUCH better than its predecessor with better structure and gameplay. However my enjoyment of this game is limited to short bursts and isn’t one I’d return to that often. Plus I can’t help but compare this version of Sonic 2 to the Mega Drive/Genesis counterpart which is one of my favourite games ever. This 8-bit version just can’t compare, but it does have some unique elements that make it special. Again this a game is only one to play it if you’re a die-hard Sonic fan.

Well that is another game review done, just 28 games left to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
 

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Favourite Songs #14: Masato Nakamura – Chemical Plant Zone

Howdy people of the interweb, and welcome to the fourteenth edition of my series of blog posts dedicated to some of my favourite songs ever in life. Today’s song is our first video game entry in this series of blogs and it is truly one of my favourite songs in not only video games but in general, today I am talking about the song “Chemical Plant Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 composed by Masato Nakamura.

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And who said that this blog series was just limited to the music you hear on the radio and see on TV? The world of video games has a great deal to offer in the way of music and in my opinion video games are home to some of the best songs and soundtracks ever created. So with that in mind I’m going to take you back to the mid-90s when I first came across one of my favourite video game songs in the history of life, the Chemical Plant Zone song.

Now for those who are unaware, in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, after completing Emerald Hill Zone you when onto the second stage which was Chemical Plant Zone and you were introduced to this kick ass song. It was fast, catchy and just got you in the mood for action! When you playing in this zone you’d get run really fast, spin dash everywhere, travel through tubes and in Act 2 try to escape the infamous rising purple liquid (I still have bad memories of those times right up until now). I don’t know what makes this song so amazing, all I know is when I heard this for the first time I knew it was my favourite song in the whole of Sonic 2. Have a listen to this awesomeness below:

I don’t know how Masato Nakamura was able to create such masterful song just using an Atari computer, but he found a way to create music for the Sonic games that was very distinctive and more creative than most Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games. Anyways “Chemical Plant Zone” from Sonic 2 has been one of my favourite songs since childhood and the nostalgic value it has for me is massive, and in the years since then there have been updates and covers I have found on YouTube which are just as good too. One of my favourite covers was the Xenogenocide version, while it is a more heavy metal interpretation I just knew after hearing it back in 2010 I was in love. And then of course there’s the Sonic Generations versions. The version in Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 is handled by Naofumi Hataya and it sound pretty nice, it’s basically the original with some additional beat and percussion to fill out the sound, it is a nice update. But what might be even sexier is the new arrangement of the song found in Chemical Plant Zone Act 2 by Jun Senoue. This is honestly the best composition of any Sonic song ever and it is a perfect update for modern times. Senoue is a master when it comes to his rock music compositions in Sonic games and his distinctive sound is smothered all of this version of the classic tune. It is slightly slower, but it has all the original elements of the song intact and just fits right in with modern Sonic soundtracks. Just have a listen to this beast of a song:

So to conclude “Chemical Plant Zone” by Masato Nakamura has been and always will be one of my favourite songs of all time. It has that classic and nostalgic 16-bit sound that just can’t be ignored and it gets me hyped whenever I listen to it. If you haven’t experienced this piece of 90s gold then check the original song along with some of the covers and updates too, it is some good stuff yo! 😀

Well that’s another song review done, hopefully you enjoyed it and be sure to come back soon for some more  song reviews from other video games yo because I’ve got plenty! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another review from your jolly blogger friend the hypersonic55! Today I’m going to bring you my long-awaited review of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2!

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So after a long time of waiting and waiting and WAITING, Sonic 4: Episode 2 finally came out on as a digital download around mid-May… However I didn’t have the funds to get the game at the time, so I had to wait for the reviews to come around so I could get an idea of what to expect before I got the game myself. Suffice to say that the critical and fan response to Sonic 4: Episode 2 was mixed. Some fans loved it, while a lot of fans and critics didn’t. For those who didn’t like it the main points of their argument was that Sonic Team and Dimps fixed many things in terms of gameplay and handling of Sonic’s physics, but introduced some new problems in regards to the level design and the co-op gameplay with Tails. Well I was going to reserve judgment until I played the game myself. And so I downloaded the game on PSN around early June and I can say is that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I actually hated this game a lot when I first started playing it, but over the summer my opinion changed a great deal. So what’s my statement on the game? Well read on and find out.

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Plot

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! Now joined by Tails, race across four brand new Zones and take down fearsome new badniks with deadly combination moves in order to put an end to this dastardly duo’s plans!

Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to Sonic 4: Episode 1, but there are a few enhancements. Episode 2 sees the return of Sonic’s friend Tails who can be controlled by a second player or the computer online or locally in co-operative play. Tails isn’t a playable character like 16-bit games, also Sonic can’t be played on his own and it forced to play with Tails. This game also introduces combo moves that Sonic and Tails can perform together from Tails carrying to places through the air to rolling up in a massive ball to do a big spin attack that’ll smash through walls, enemies and give you loads of speed. Other than those few enhancements everything’s still the same, you still have to go through 4 zones with 3 acts in each and a boss encounter at the end. After completing all 12 acts and all 4 boss encounters there’s the final boss to take care of too. You still have a world map can to use but unlike the last game you can’t pick acts in any random order.

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When compared to the last game Sonic handles a lot better than before, while he feels a little slower at first his physics are a hell of a lot better. Sonic has a little more weight to him, he rolls downhill a lot more and he’s finally stopped uncurling when coming off of ramps. However it still can’t hold a candle to Mega Drive/Genesis games, Sonic’s physics are still a bit off, how can you stand on a slope, press down and not go into a spin dash and gain speed? I don’t understand how Dimps and Sonic Team can’t get physics and the basics of momentum based platforming right. It’s ridiculous. Level designs are better than before, there are less bottomless pits and less gimmicky sections. However the game now has this camera that zooms in close to Sonic and then zooms out from him at points which makes it difficult to see what’s coming ahead and can lead to some unfair complications with hazards ahead. There are also some question level design in Oil Desert Zone and Sky Fortress Zone and there are still moments of unfair death via bottomless pits, a dodgy camera and bad enemy placement.

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Oh and the boss battles, holy man… I HATE THEM. Well more specifically I’m talking about the Dr. Eggman fights. They are so long and drawn out and some of them require pinpoint precision to defeat and should you fail to defeat the boss you’ll have sat there and watch the introduction animation every bloody time and it’s so tedious. The boss fights are one part of the game I never revisit because they are so slow, so tedious and not worth retrying at all. Though I can say that the Metal Sonic fights are way more fun and entertaining and not as tedious, though they are bloody hard at certain points. And finally there’s the Special Stages in this game which are modelled after the ones in Sonic 2, and they aren’t as fun as the versions from the 90s. These Special Stages still have you running through a half-pipe collecting a specific number of rings before reaching the goal, if you have the reach the target amount you get a Chaos Emerald. And obviously after collecting all seven you can once again become Super Sonic.

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Presentation

Graphically the game is really good and miles better than the first game. Rather than that flat-looking 2.5D looks of Episode 1, the graphics in this game have been reworked with a 3D style that’s way more colourful and visually appealing than before. The character models for Sonic and Tails are more in line with their recent games like Sonic Colours and Generations, I love this look and it really works well on a 2D plane too. The rest of the art and animation in the stage locations are incredibly detailed and look amazing, from the snowy locations of White Park Zone to the epic vast skies of Sky Fortress Zone and then there’s the Death Egg Mk. II Zone which has some amazing lighting and a great presence to it.

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In the audio department it is a bit of a mixed bag, Jun Senoue comes back as composer for Episode 2 and while this soundtrack has been reworked with more electronic instruments it doesn’t always work out. While Episode 1 didn’t have the best soundtrack, it did have some memorable songs. Episode 2 has some highlights with Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1 & 3, White Park Zone Act 2, Oil Desert Zone Act 1 and Sky Fortress Zone Act 2. Death Egg Mk.II Zone would be better if it was longer. Everything else in this soundtrack is either okay or just pants. I don’t like reworked version of the Sonic 4 theme, it just sounds awkward and clunky, White Park Zone Act 1 sounds annoying, Oil Desert Zone Act 2 is just the worst track ever and the Boss music is terribly short and repetitive.

Conclusion

In the end Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 is actually a decent game, there is much to appreciate about this game from the incredible visuals to the improved physics. However this game isn’t perfect by any means, this game should have been better than Episode 1 by miles and it should have been the best thing since Sonic Generations. However as it stands, Sonic 4: Episode 2 just feels like Sonic 4: Episode 1.5, it improves on a few things, but it still leaves many of the inconsistent or bad factors of the previous game intact and also finds ways to introduce new issues in this latest episode too. Sonic 4: Episode 2 for me is a good game once you get into it, but it’s still not the amazing Sonic game that I wanted.

Rating: 7.5

Well there’s my review, I know it’s a little late but I had to get this review done before the year was out. Anyways I hope it was worth the wait and as always leave me a comment below as well.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews: Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to Day #11 of my Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews where I’ll be giving you reviews of some of my most nostalgic video games from my childhood. Today we have what I consider to be one of the best games ever and probably is my favourite game of all time, and that is Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

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No words can truly describe my love for this game. It is my favourite Sonic game ever! Gameplay, graphics, audio, replay value, nostalgia, it works on all levels. This game I fell in love with when I was young and I never stopped talking about it since.

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So Sonic 2 was released in 1992, just a year after the last game and was developed in America with some of the key Japanese developers from the game working with them. In this sequel you could do everything that you could in Sonic 1, except this time it was like 10x bigger and better! The premise for this game has Sonic once again heading off to defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik, except this time Robotnik wants the power of the Chaos Emeralds to the deadly Death Egg (an armoured space station). In order to stop Robotnik, Sonic alongside his new friend, Tails, must get through the levels, collect the emeralds and beat Robotnik.

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In terms of gameplay most it remains unchanged. In levels you still run from left to left, collecting rings, using power-ups in monitors, defeating enemies and avoiding environmental hazards. Though there’s many changes and improvements made to the basic formula like:

  • Sonic 2 has much bigger levels, faster gameplay and new move the “Super Dash Attack”, (or “Spin Dash”), this move allows Sonic or Tails to curl in a ball and spin while stationary, and when you release you get a speed boost.
  • In Sonic 2 there are a total of eleven zones; the first seven zones have two acts each, while Metropolis, the eighth zone, has three acts, and the last three zones have one act each. At the end of the last act of most levels, Sonic confronts Dr. Robotnik.
  • Star posts that are checkpoints now serve a greater purpose in Sonic 2. When you collected at least 50 rings, star posts can be run past for an optional Special Stage.
  • You also have the choice playing as Sonic, Tails or both. When you pick both player 1 controls Sonic while Tails runs along beside him. A second player can join in at any time and control Tails separately, but the screen always stays centred on Sonic, frequently leaving Tails off-screen.
  • Collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds in the Special Stages will allow you to turn into Super Sonic. After collecting 50 rings in any level Sonic will transform into a golden version of himself with his spikes turned upwards. As Super Sonic your speed and jump height is increased and you’re invincible, however you can still die by drowning, being crushed, falling into a pit or running out of time. Also while in this state you lose one ring per second. When you run out or reach the end of the act, Sonic reverts back to normal.
  • The Special Stages in Sonic 2 introduce us to a 3D-like half-pipe course, where you need to collect a certain amount of rings in order to advance through checkpoints and eventually at the end collect a Chaos Emerald. Players had to collect rings and avoid bombs, bombs would make you lose rings and if you failed to collect enough rings then you left the Special Stage early.
  • Sonic 2 also introduced multiplayer whereas Sonic and Tails you could race against each other through Emerald Hill, Casino Night, and Mystic Cave, or try your hand at the special stages.

And to be honest that’s just the basic outline of the changes and rectifications that was made with Sonic 2, there is so much more to the game than what I have mentioned here.

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Back when I was young I played this game continuously, having both good and bad times. This game was way more accessible than Sonic 1 because the gameplay and level design was much better. I loved the Chemical Planet Zone, which was my favourite level, the music, level design and visuals of that levels was totally badass. The graphical quality of this game really astounded me when I was young and it still does. I used to play this game a lot on my own and with my sister as Tails. This game was my life. Though When I played I’d always get to a certain point and fail, then get really pissed off and then start hitting my Mega Drive and game cartridge. I was very violent and I am surprised my gaming stuff survived my beatings haha. I still go back to this game now and then on Sonic Jam and every time I play I feel the nostalgia hit me every time, it just feels so good. 😀

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And obviously the legacy this game left behind was huge. Sonic 2 was obviously referenced heavily in Sonic Generations and it was the direct influence for Sonic 4: Episode 2 with the use of Tails and the visual level designs too.

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In conclusion Sonic 2 was and still is the best Sonic game ever. Most Sonic fans feel the same way with the exception of those who love Sonic 3 more. But anyway this game had amazing graphics, gameplay, an amazing soundtrack and replay value. There’s a reason why it’s so highly praised by fans and critics and why it sold over 6 million copies. It is one of the king platforming games in existence and it is mandatory that everyone plays it. It is that good. 🙂

Well there’s my review of my favourite game ever, now come back tomorrow for my review of Sonic 3! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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PAX EAST: Sonic 4 Episode 2 Hands-On

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another Sonic-related blog post. And today I have a lovley hands-on preview of Sonic 4: Episode 2 from the wonderful people at Sonic Stadium. So here it is yo:

“When Sonic 4 was revealed in 2010, it quickly became a very controversial game. Fans reacted with emotions ranging from joyful glee to seething, undiluted hatred. Criticisms ranged from the physics, to the level design, to Sonic’s…eye color. By the time of the game’s release, the more serious complaints were proven to have validity, though in despite of this criticism Sonic 4 Episode 1 received the highest scores of any console Sonic game in years, even managing eights from many of the larger websites.

One of the great things about releasing a game episodically is that it allows for developers to take fan and press criticism into account mid development. Sonic 4 is easily one of the best examples of this: Episode 2 features a large variety of improvements over Episode 1.

The state of the physics was the biggest criticism in Episode 1, and they’ve received a good deal of attention for Episode 2. Sonic no longer stops dead in his tracks when the player stops pressing forward. Instead, Sonic maintains all of his momentum once he’s gained it, regardless of whether or not the player presses forward or not. Sonic is also no longer predisposed to uncurling, as listeners of the Sonic Talk podcast will know, which makes bouncing off of enemies after rolling up into the air much easier and more fluid. The bounce from destroying enemies has also been improved, giving Sonic much more air. It’s not all blue skies and good times though, as one thing hasn’t changed: Sonic doesn’t get the momentum he should from rolling down hills. When you go into a roll on an incline, Sonic typically only gains a little speed, and if the incline isn’t steep enough, he can come to an outright stop on it. These are still not the physics of the classic Sonic games.

So, classic Sonic fans may still not necessarily be pleased. Aside from that though…Sonic 4 Episode 2 is still a lot of fun. Going by what I’ve played, it’s a much better game than Episode 1 was. For one, the game obviously has a bigger budget, and this factors into more than just better graphics: the levels here are more intricate. Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1 is larger and more complicated then Splash Hill Zone Act 1 is, with a combination of water and land based environments, a better balance between thrilling speed areas and slower platforming areas, and places that take some skill to reach. White Park Zone is easily more thrilling than anything in the previous episode, period. Sonic will be chased by avalanches of snow, board on flowing rivers of snow, and drill through snow filled caverns. This is all stuff we’ve seen in the trailers, of course, but during my play through I found these gimmicks to be much more satisfying then the gimmicks in Sonic 4.

Another big change between Episode 1 and Episode 2 is the inclusion of Tails. Now, SEGA has gotten a lot of flak for not including Tails as a playable character…but honestly? Those people are missing the point. In Sonic 2, Tails’s inclusion was more about co-op then it was actually playing as Tails. Playing as Tails was boring. He was just a Sonic reskin, he had no special abilities, and couldn’t even fly. Tails was, in essence, only useful as a player two character. That’s exactly the case here, except things have been expanded upon. Tails is there to allow for in game co-op and to augment Sonic’s own abilities, and it’s here where Episode 2 again differentiates itself from Episode 1. Tails and Sonic essentially act as a single character with expanded abilities, and this changes fundamental aspects of Sonic 4’s formula, now allowing players to fly around the stage to explore new areas, and enter a kind of “rolling attack”. This rolling attack is very fast and powerful, and can come in handy in speed areas with lots of inclines. To balance things out, it is also very hard to control, and using it poorly can either completely mess up a speed run or lead to a very quick death. These two new moves do a lot to help spice up the standard Sonic formula, and it never feels like it comes at the expense of the game’s pacing, as similar team based mechanics did in Heroes and Advanced 3.

Episode 2 is also a very beautiful game. It’s pretty obvious that Episode 2 had a much bigger budget then Episode 1, since graphically it looks almost like a retail title. The backgrounds of both levels are filled with detail. Sylvania Castle has a beautiful morning sky in the background, with a sun shimmering through the clouds as it begins to poke above the mountains, while White Park Zone has an entire carnival moving in the background. Snow will fall off of flowers as Sonic runs past them and give more life to the underwater areas of Sylvania Castle. Episode 2 has a lot of life and movement in it, and it all runs at a silky smooth 60 FPS.

Only the complete game will tell us just how big an improvement Episode 2 is over Episode 1. I won’t make any promises to classic fans, as the game still feels like Sonic 4, just a much improved version of it. Episode 1 had more flaws then just the physics, and as far as I’m concerned, if the level design of all of Episode 2 reflects the two acts I’ve played, I’ll be very happy. People who hated Episode 1 will probably still hate Episode 2, unless the aforementioned physics fixes or improved graphics and level design solved what they disliked about the first episode. Fans who liked Episode 1 will like Episode 2 a lot more though, if these two acts are any indication. This game had a bigger budget then the first episode, and it most certainly shows in the improved graphics and level design. I am confident this will be Sonic’s best digital offering yet.”

So what do you guys think? For me this hands-on sounds pretty promising and I have much more trust in the end result of Sonic 4: Episode 2, I’m just waiting until May so I can download this game and experience fun all over again! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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New Sonic 4 Episode 2 Video & Info!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another Sonic-related blog post. Just in the latter half of yesterday we got news about Sonic 4: Episode 2 regarding Metal Sonic.

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According to Gamespot, there will be a “lock-on” technology feature between Sonic 4: Episodes 1 & 2 where Metal Sonic will be playable in both episodes for people who have both games (similar to the “lock-on” technology featured on Sonic 3 & Knuckles). It’s also been mentioned that if you have both Sonic 4 episodes then you will have access to four exclusive levels! Insanely awesome stuff here. And then there’s the actual confirmation of the those previously rumoured dates for the game to come out, because now it seems like Sonic 4 Episode 2 will come out on May 15th for PSN, May 16th for Xbox Live, later May for PC, June for Android and July for Windows Mobile.

Oh and there’s a nice new trailer out showcasing a new level! Check it out here:

So as you can see here this new zone is one of the levels that was seen back when the first batch of Sonic 4: Episode 2 images were leaked onto the internet. This zone was shrouded in mystery until we saw more of the level design and layout in this trailer. The zone absolutely screams out nostalgia and clear references from the Oil Ocean Zone from Sonic 2 with the look, style and the parts where Sonic is sliding down the oil, but there are also references to Sonic 3 & Knuckles with the rising sand and robotic enemies emerging from beneath the sand. Overall it looks interesting with level structure, difficulty and a little variation from the previous levels, but for me I was a little underwhelmed by what I saw in this trailer, I had hoped it would be a little more fancy. I dunno, it just didn’t wow me like the last two trailers did.

Anyways, in conclusion I think this will be a fun summer for Sonic fans, firstly you’ll be getting the second episode of Sonic 4, but there will also be “lock on” technology between Sonic 4: Episodes 1 & 2 with Metal Sonic being playable with additional levels too. So yeah good times, again let’s just hope Sega deliver.

UPDATE: Oh and here’s some new screenshots of the new level entitled ‘Oil Desert Zone’ and screenshots of Metal Sonic in action too:

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As you can see here from these set of screenshots, there are many possibilities for new and interesting situations to go down after Episode 2 of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is released. I’m mainly hyped for all this Metal Sonic tampering I’ll get to do, though it looks like he’ll revisiting old ground where Sonic had been before in Episode 1, I’m sure Metal plays differently to the main blue hedgehog. Plus Metal Sonic hasn’t been a playable character in any Sonic game properly since Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Nintendo Gamecube back in 2001! So yeah bring on May 15th!

More screenshots available here: http://www.sonicstadium.org/2012/04/i-dunet-believe-it-new-episode-2-screens/

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 – First Screenshots

Howdy people of WordPress, today I am here to do a blog post on a gaming related subject and this is actually something great for me as it is the first proper look at Sonic 4: Episode 2!

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The screenshots are from the Xbox.com and showcase a number of new locations that look much more detailed, varied and interesting when compared to Sonic 4: Episode 1. Here they are:

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Just from these first four screenshots you can see that the massive contrast in style from the look of the previous episode, whereas Episode 1 was just a clear reworking of previous Sonic levels from the Megadrive/Genesis games. This game looks like it’s taken on a whole new visual identity. Not to knock the look of Sonic 4: Episode 1 because that game did look good, but compared to these early screenshots that old game doesn’t have a chance in hell. And while you can also see some references to other Sonic games like Sonic 2 & 3 this time they look nice and natural rather than forced and dated like in Sonic 4: Episode 1. Looking at pictures 1, 2 & 4 I can see Azure Lake Zone from the multiplayer on Sonic 3 or seeing the piranha robots from Sonic 2 in the 3rd screenshot. Just small references like that make this game seem very nostalgic but also very new at the same time.

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I hate to keep going on about the graphics, but Episode 2 seems to pushing out the boat for the graphics and new art direction. The level of detail is just astounding especially in the snowy Christmas-like level with all the lighting effects and the incredible detail in the background with the northern lights and the buildings in the background. Also one can see that the level has some reference to the Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3 as does the carnival-like level that’s similar to the Carnival Night Zone also from Sonic 3, but this seems more like a theme park carnival. Even the character models for Sonic, Tails and Metal Sonic seem to look good with good lighting, sharp detail and a much closer resemblance to the modern versions of themselves (that mainly applies to Sonic & Tails as they have a much more similar look to their most recent sonic game outing, Sonic Generations).

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Anyways let’s talk about the potential gameplay aspects that these screenshots represent for Sonic 4: Episode 2. Well from what I can gather it seems like the Co-op aspect of gameplay is back from Sonic 3 with Sonic & Tails being able to interact with each other (etc: Tails carrying Sonic while flying), even in the water! One of the screenshots looks like Tails & Sonic are doing some sort of epic high 5 and I don’t really know what the represents but it looks interesting. We can see that you’ll fight Metal Sonic while chasing after him similar to some previous Robotnik/Eggman battles where you had to chase after him and hit him as the same time. And in this last screenshot we can see a special zone level design similar to that of Sonic 2 with some design elements from Sonic Heroes which is a great thing in my opinion.

Obviously until this game gets a trailer and some gameplay videos we won’t know what to truly expect, but from what I can see here I am proper excited for this game now, the graphical detail is on such an absurd level now than before from the much better-looking character models to the new and interesting locations and detail in the foreground and background. We also see that Metal Sonic will be very-much involved throughout the game and with the new co-op gameplay that comes with the addition of Tails we could have some interesting new gameplay to try out when this game comes out later in this year, I just hope Sega get it right this time.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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