Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ4 エピソードII Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Fō: Episōdo Tsū?) is a 2012 platformer video game developed by Dimps with assistance from Sonic Team and published by Sega. It is a direct follow-up of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was released in May 2012 for PC (via Steam), PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Android and iOS. As with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the game is intended to emulate the original Sonic titles on the Sega Mega Drive.
A few months after the first part of the current incident, Little Planet appears over Sonic's world once again, allowing Dr. Eggman to proceed with the second stage of his secret grand project. In the meantime, Sonic has found out that Eggman is back in action on the neighboring continent, so he sets off in the Tornado with Tails to investigate.
Landing into Sylvania Castle Zone, Sonic and Tails make their way through the Zone and eventually find Dr. Eggman. They proceed to defeat Eggman and his Egg Serpentleaf. The duo subsequently visits White Park Zone, where they find Little Planet being surrounded by a mechanical shell that is under construction. Along the way however, they are surprised by the arrival Metal Sonic, who has returned from his defeat on Little Planet, on Tails' rocket. As the robot engages the duo, he reveals that he has acquired an immense energy source that has made him more powerful than ever. Regardless, Sonic and Tails are still able to defeat Metal Sonic, who retreats after his loss. Later, Sonic and Tails go to Oil Desert Zone, where they encounter Eggman again, There, Sonic and Tails defeat Eggman and his Egg Scrap Mech, prompting the scientist to retreat.
In the aftermath, Sonic and Tails pursue Dr. Eggman, who is escaping to his Sky Fortress airbase in the Egg Mobile, in the Tornado. On the way however, they have a battle against Metal Sonic, who is piloting the Metal Carrier. After eluding Metal Sonic, the duo infiltrates the Sky Fortress, though they leave soon afterwards, only to have yet another encounter with Metal Sonic and his Metal Carrier. Eventually returning to the airship, Sonic and Tails chase after Eggman and Metal Sonic as the Sky Fortress begins to crumble around them. However, the two villains escape the heroes by using the airship's escape shuttles to flee to the doctor's newest base of operations: the Death Egg mk.II, a new Death Egg built around Little Planet, which has been Eggman's grand scheme all along. Fortunately, Sonic and Tails are able to find another shuttle and use it to head the Death Egg mk.II.
Onboard the Death Egg mk.II, Sonic and Tails find Eggman and Metal Sonic, whom they engage in a battle. However, the villains eventually call off their duel and escape. Giving chase, Sonic and Tails eventually encounter Metal Sonic once again, who challenges them to a race. Despite the challenge, Sonic and Tails triumph using their teamwork while Metal Sonic crashes into a door closing up in front of him, finally putting him out of commission. Soon afterwards, the duo has their showdown against Eggman and his Egg Heart. In the end, the doctor is defeated, which triggers a chain-reaction that causes the Death Egg mk.II to crash. Fortunately, Sonic and Tails find two escape shuttles, which they use to go back to their planet, while Death Egg mk.II deactivates and drifts away into the depths of space.
|Sonic the Hedgehog||
A few months have passed since the battle from Episode I.
However Sonic's rest comes to an end as Little Planet re-approaches.
Sonic finds out that Dr. Eggman is back in action on the neighboring continent. He sets off on Tornado to investigate the continent with his sidekick, Tails...
|Miles "Tails" Prower||Sonic's little brother-like sidekick who made the rocket to head to E.G.G Station and was secretly supporting Sonic in Episode I. In Episode II he's back in center stage as an active sidekick who Sonic can rely on. He can fly by rotating his two tails and will assist Sonic with the Combos in Episode II.|
|Metal Sonic||A worthy opponent who was thought to be destroyed during the battle of Stardust Speedway in "Sonic CD". He was in fact severely damaged, and left alone on Little Planet. Now as the Little Planet re-approaches, and with the close support of Dr. Eggman, Metal Sonic is resurrected and back in full force.|
|Dr. Eggman||Dr. Eggman's E.G.G Station was destroyed in Episode I. However as Little Planet reapproaches,[sic] the grand project set up by Dr. Eggman has now come into its second stage, under a veil of secrecy.|
|Balkiry||A battle plane type bird robot last seen in "SKY CHASE ZONE" from "Sonic 2". A whole bunch of them can be shot out of Metal Sonic's weapon unit, "Metal Carrier", in Episode II.|
|Chop Chop||A Piranha inspired robot which was last seen in "AQUATIC RUIN ZONE" in "Sonic 2". It lurks underwater hunting for its next victim. Once they spot Sonic and his friends, nothing will stop their rapid approach and attempt to crush them with its powerful jaw.|
|Clucker||A Chicken type Badnik last seen defending "WING FORTRESS ZONE" in "Sonic 2". They will stand in Sonic and his friends' way, deployed everywhere within the incredibly enormous "Sky Fortress" as fixed batteries.|
|Snowy||A newly developed Polar Bear type robot for cold regions. It's specialty is unleashing powerful attacks with its super heavy body. Its body is also tough, and this makes it a formidable enemy that will not be taken down with just a few attacks.|
|Turtloids||A Turtle type Badnik last seen in "SKY CHASE ZONE" in "Sonic 2". It serves as a guardian of Metal Sonic's weapon unit "Metal Carrier."|
|Flamer||A new series of Sea Urchin type robots which were developed based on the "Orbinauts" & "Spike Spinners" featured in Episode I. The blasting flames of the burners are certainly dangerous, but those fires will spread widely in oily places. Take extra care.|
|Mantis||A Grasshopper type robot which was also featured in "MARBLE GARDEN ZONE" in "Sonic 3". Since they can suddenly jump without notice, their moves are unpredictable. Be careful not to bump into them.|
|Sandworm||A newly developed large Centipede type Badnik designed for use in desert areas. You never know when they will suddenly emerge from quicksand, and be mindful of its robust body that is resistant to attacks.|
|Scarabesque||A Dung Beetle type Badnik designed for use in desert areas. It can generate an infnite[sic] amount of large boulders that explode while rolling. A troublesome enemy that is always there in undesirable places.|
|Zoomer||A newly developed Kingfisher inspired robot. It usually flies over the water surface, but as it finds Sonic and Tails underwater, it will dart down at them.|
|Steelion||A newly developed subaquatic Sealtype[sic] robot. Its breath can freeze the water around them in an instant, creating obstacles when Sonic needs to look for air bubbles.|
|Spikes||A Hermit crab type robot which has been newly developed for cold regions. The spines on its hard shell will repel any attacks done by Sonic alone. There must be another way to defeat it...|
|Fullboar||A Boar type robot newly developed by Dr. Eggman based on his research results from Episode I. They have been created with rich color variation, but Sonic should be extra careful of the formidable red ones that come charging towards him.|
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II plays similar to the previous episode, but with several enhancements. Sonic is now accompanied by Tails, either controlled by the computer or a second player via local or online co-operative play (online support is not included on Android version due to lack of Social gaming support although there's no word if Google Play Games services will be added in the next Android update). Unlike in the 16-bit titles, Tails cannot be played in single player and likewise Sonic can't be played on his own here. There are also new various combination moves that can be performed together, such as Tails lifting Sonic up to places he would be unable to reach otherwise, and the two can roll into a ball to perform a fast and powerful spin attack.
Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, also accessed the same way they are in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, are based on the half-pipe style format introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in which the player is required to collect a certain number of rings before the goal in order to obtain a Chaos Emerald. Also returning are the Red Star Rings that have previously appeared in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. One Red Ring is hidden per act, and an achievement or trophy is unlocked after collecting them all. There is also cross-compatibility planned for the Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Phone 7 versions, allowing players to alternate their games between them using Cloud Saving.
Owners of both Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Episode II (provided they are both on the same unit) will unlock free Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode Metal content. Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode Metal explains how Metal Sonic came back to life after being defeated in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Players play as Metal Sonic through four Acts, all of which are reworked Zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, explaining the significance of those Zones to the story as well.
- Air Bubble
- Chaos Emerald
- Combination Dash (first appearance)
- Giant Ring
- Item Box
- Red Star Ring
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Egg Serpentleaf
- Metal Sonic (White Park Zone)
- Egg Scrap Mech
- Metal Carrier
- Dr. Eggman & Metal Sonic
- Metal Sonic (Death Egg mk.II Zone)
- Egg Heart
Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II play akin to the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In these stages, Sonic and Tails must collect a certain amount of Rings, with the amount increasing after hitting a checkpoint. Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails can also collect Rings but will not lose his share if he touches any bombs, although this is only true for Single Player. Also, the player can boost by holding the "Tag Action" button. While there is no time limit for this action, there is a timer used for Time Attack scores.
In February 2011, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was confirmed to be in early development. Sega Brand Manager, Ken Balough, mentioned that "the idea is to introduce new zones with things [players] haven't seen." He had also hinted that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II may have a larger budget than Episode I, due to the latter being received very well commercially. Balough also mentioned that many ideas for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I were planned while the first episode was being developed. In preparation for the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, Sega released a remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog CD to digital platforms in winter 2011, calling it a "prequel" release to Sonic the Hedgehog 4. The events of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II would rely heavily on the events that occurred in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
On 29 December, new information on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was revealed along with a teaser trailer, including the return of both Metal Sonic and Tails, along with an updated graphics and physics engine.
On 21 April 2012, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was mistakenly temporarily released to people who had confirmed their pre-order of the game on Steam, before it was removed the next day. Known as the "Beta 8" edition, it was quickly dismissed by Balough as an early prototype version that did not necessarily represent the final version, although it was instead found to be virtually complete with minimal differences, albeit with a multiple of bugs.
Due to a near complete rewrite of the Apple operating system, iOS, for the iOS 7 update in 2013, the game became incompatible with devices running on iOS 6.1.6 and lower. The game was fixed on 11 January 2016 with an official update, putting the game back in the App Store along with Episode I.
As of March 2012, Sega has no plans for the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 series beyond Episode II. Takashi Iizuka has said that Sega is looking forward to user feedback and wants to see how users accept this episode. During PAX East 2012, Cheat Code Central spoke with Sega representatives who informed that the company would be taking Sonic games "one at a time." It was said that if Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II sold well, a third episode will likely be developed, as well as a possible fourth episode if that does well in turn. However, in January 2015, Sega Brand Manager Ken Balough said in a Facebook interview that Episode III had been scrapped.
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||6.5/10|
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II received mixed response from critics and fans alike.
IGN's Lucas M. Thomas gave the game a score of 6.5/10, stating that while it fixes the physics problems of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, it is still missing the "magic" of its Sega Mega Drive predecessors. GameRadar's Lucas Sullivan criticized it in similar ways, stating that the two-player mode "seems to prioritize griefing your friends instead making real in-game progress," and further stating that "every time we felt like we were reliving our old Sonic glory days, the next stage would incorporate limp and uninspired gimmicks like shifting winds or avalanche snowboarding." Ray Carsillo of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 6.5 out of 10, praising the "old-school Sonic" aspects, but criticizing the Tails-related gameplay, stating "there were too many puzzles that required Tails' assistance." Joystiq's Richard Mitchell had mixed feelings on the game as well, awarding it 3 out of 5 stars, and stating that Episode II made "improvements over its predecessor, with better visuals, useful co-op maneuvers and great special stages, but the inconsistent boss battles and uninspired level design keep it from recapturing Sonic's glory days." GameTrailers gave the game a score of 5.5/10, saying that the level design and the team-up moves often slow the pace of the game. Official Xbox Magazine's Jon Blyth was more positive, concluding that the game was "a smooth, slippery Sonic that takes another step away from it's single-button origins without losing any of the hog essence. With local and online co-op, it offers just enough entertainment to justify its steep episodic price."
|Image||Name||Description||Trophy Class||Gamescore||Game Center points|
|The Adventure Begins||Clear SYLVANIA CASTLE ZONE, Act 1.||5||50|
|Rolling Combo!||Activate the Rolling Combo with Sonic and Tails.||5||50|
|Metal Sonic Falls||Defeat Metal Sonic in SKY FORTRESS ZONE, Act 1.||5||50|
|A Golden Wave||Defeat all bosses as Super Sonic.||10||50|
|All Stages Cleared!||Defeat the final foe and watch the ending.||10||100|
|Tag Partner||Upload a Multiplayer score or time.||10||100|
|I Love Tails||Play as Tails 50 times.||10||100|
|Ring Collector||Beat Special Stage 1 after collecting every Ring.||15||100|
|Endurance Race||Clear all stages without returning to the World Map.||25||100|
|All Chaos Emeralds Found!||Collect all seven Chaos Emeralds.||30||100|
|Proof of Speed||Clear SYLVANIA CASTLE ZONE, Act 1 in one minute or less.||35||100|
|All Red Star Rings Found!||Defeat the final foe after collecting every Red Star Ring.||40||100|
Archie Comics made a video game tie-in for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II in Sonic Super Special Magazine #3, which takes place within the In Another Time, In Another Place universe. It has also been stated that the events of the game have happened in the Post-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
- The color of Sandworm looks very similar to its previous iteration, Caterkiller.
- During the first boss, before the fight actually occurs, the game pokes fun at Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I's use of rehashing by tricking players into thinking the boss would be a variation of the Aquatic Ruin Zone boss from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. After the totem poles pop up, however, the Egg Serpentleaf destroys the poles before initiating the battle.
- This is the second Sonic game to feature Tails carrying Sonic underwater, following Sonic Advance 3 with Tails' mid air tag action.
- This game celebrates the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As well as the title card paying homage to said game (which is similar to how Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I pays homage to the original Sonic the Hedgehog), the Special Stages are given a similar style to that game. This style of Special Stage was also previously used in Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Sonic Rush, and Sonic Colors (DS version)
- This game also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Tails' first appearance.
- The snowboard from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Adventure in IceCap Zone returns in White Park Zone Act 1.
- The music in the second trailer is a remix of the menu music from Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. It was rumored that remix would be in the game, but it was nowhere to be found.
- Red Star Rings make a return, although they only exist for an achievement.
- The warning signs from Sonic Generations make a return in this game.
- Super Sonic is playable in ordinary boss fights, making this the first time since Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles for doing so to be possible.
- According to the world map of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal, Sylvania Castle Zone, White Park Zone and Oil Desert Zone are adjacent and are on the same island of the Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I world map.
- Due to a mistake on Steam, very few lucky players who purchased Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II were able to play through the "Beta 8" version of the whole game and Episode Metal on 14 April. The Beta 8 is a near-final with the inclusion of a hidden debug command for 99 Rings, although there are some performance issues with full screen on some computers and very occasionally textures will fail to load properly (noticeable in Sylvania Castle Zone's trees and the Death Egg mk.II on the map screen). The Beta 8 was made unavailable the next day and Steam locked its playability.
- Unlike its predecessor, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II contains 3D cutscenes. In at least the Android and iOS versions, the cutscenes are FMVs and not done in-engine, using videos ripped from console and PC gameplay - an inverse since the previous game was primarily developed for iOS rather than the other way around.
- Due to this, there are slight graphical discrepancies, the most noticeable of which is at the beginning of the first Act. In the console/PC version, the Tornado lands and Sonic and Tails jump onto the ground, immediately starting the level with no fade-out or loading time. The Android and iOS versions fade-out to black right after the cutscene and then begin the level.
- Unlike the Special Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, this game's Special Stages do not contain a time limit; rather, a Time Bonus is rewarded at the end of the stage depending on how long it takes the player to finish.
- Additionally, when Sonic and Tails pass through a gate with insufficient Rings, there is no "Not Enough Rings..." message and thumbs-down icon appearing. Instead, an animation of Sonic and Tails stopping and looking disappointed is seen.
- Oddly, the Chaos Emeralds in this game seem to be bigger than Sonic's head.
- The Special Stages, while being based on those seen in the 16-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, have a feature that is also included in Sonic Rush and Sonic Colors which is jumping at the end of the right and left sides of the track.
- Super Sonic's physics remain unchanged from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I because Sonic Team did not see any problem with them, according to Ken Balough.
- On the icon for the trophy/achievement for getting all the Chaos Emeralds, the order of the Chaos Emeralds is flipped vertically from the order in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I.
- While Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I did not feature any kind of Retina support, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II features it for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4G) and newer, but not for the iPad 3.
- A comic adaptation was made for the game and was featured in Sonic Super Special Magazine #3.
- Sonic's victory pose after a boss battle resembles his artwork for Sonic Advance.
- The in-game description refers to the Tornado as Tails' plane. This is incorrect, as the original Tornado model airplane belongs to Sonic.
- This game and Sonic Generations are the only games where Sonic can de-transform from his Super State at will; even then, it is only possible in Generations in Planet Wisp by using a Color Power. In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, it can be done anytime simply by performing a Tag Action. It is extremely helpful if the player wants to conserve rings.
- Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, only one boss in this game (the redux of the Stardust Speedway boss on the Death Egg mk.II) is based on a boss from the classic Mega Drive games.
- There are slight graphical differences between the mobile versions and the console/PC versions:
- When Tails walks in front of or behind Sonic, he becomes slightly translucent in the PC/console versions. This effect is lost in the mobile versions.
- The lower quality iOS version (for iPhone and iPod touch) removes Sonic and Tails' facial expressions during levels. They're still present in the cutscenes, however, as those are from the PC/console versions.
- The ripples in the air that Sonic makes when he performs a homing attack are not present in the mobile versions, as with the previous episode.
- The shapes of the continents on Sonic's world in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II are shaped differently than Episode I.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II is the last console-based Sonic game to natively support 4:3 aspect ratio; certain Sonic games released afterwards still support 4:3 on computers and mobile devices, like Team Sonic Racing on PC or Sonic Racing on iPad.
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