Sonic has had a bit of identity crises in the last few years. One of the gaming world’s most beloved mascots has had a hard time fitting in with the newer crowd, and the games the titular hero has starred in haven’t been as fun and interesting as one would have hoped. Things did, however, change with last year’s release of Sonic Generations and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, which brought the blue spinster back to form with a return to the classic gameplay style that propelled him to stardom. Carrying on with the formula is Sonic the hedgehog 4: Episode 2, the latest entry in the Sonic franchise that hopes to deliver the same action-packed awesomeness and its predecessor.
This newer entry has Sonic’s furry friend Tails join in on the fun, as the two embark on another fast-paced adventure to thwart the evil Dr Robotnik’s plans once again. Set sometime after the continuity of Sonic CD, Episode 2 has Dr Robotnik return for another one of his nefarious plans. What’s more, this time he’s brought Metal Sonic back as well, and it’s up to our two heroes to foil his evil attempts once more.
Taking a remarkable shift from its predecessor, Episode 2 puts a lot a emphasis on co-op play. As sonic and Tails, you’ll have to make it through several of the game’s zones using team-based tactics to your advantage. There’s no single Sonic/Tails-only mode here, so you’re going to have to go through the motions with both of them.
The gameplay involves taking both Sonic and Tails through four zones, each consisting of three acts each. Each of the act will have Sonic speeding his way through the stages in order to reach the finish line. Along the way, you’ll have to make use of team abilities with Tails, such as breaking strong barriers, hovering through the air or propelling yourself underwater. The team tactics help keep things fresh and provide a nice counterbalance to the blistering speed of the game.
It’s a shame that the controls can be a bit too responsive, especially on mobile devices. Additionally, there’s local and online co-op involved as well, where each player can share the two characters on screen. Episode 2 holds up nicely on the visual front, giving some nice 3D models and backgrounds to the traditional 2D-style of gameplay. The sound effects and music seem to be taken straight out of the 16-bit era, evoking a strong feeling of nostalgia. If you’re in the mood of a quick game of Sonic, this latest entry will no doubt keep you pleased.