Let’s see. How many Sonic games do I have now on my Xbox 360? Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic Spinball, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic CD, Sonic Adventure, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic Generations, and Sonic 4: Episode 1 (I also have it on my iPad). Man that’s a lot of Sonic games. It’s safe to assume that I’m a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan. I’ve only been playing the games since Sonic 1’s original release on the Sega Genesis. The blue blur sure is fun to have around. Now Sonic is back with a whole new adventure and this time he’s not alone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, from Sega, brings back a familiar face (other than Sonic) to the 2D platformer. That’s right…it’s Tails. In a way, Episode 2 feels like I’m playing Sonic 2 all over again except without the cool Chemical Plant Zone (I still can’t get that tune out of my head. It’s catchy). Four brand new yet familiar zones to blast process my way through and it’s fun. Sega even brought back the special stages reminiscent of Sonic 2 which held both excitement (getting the Chaos Emerald) and frustration (when Tails hit those damn bombs causing me to lose rings and lose a chance at a Chaos Emerald) at the same time. The one thing I really got a kick out of is the team up moves where Sonic and Tails would do a mid air high five and then work together to get out of a tough situation that could possibly involve dying. Let’s also not forget the bonus Episode Metal content starring Metal Sonic (you must have Episode 1 for that to work).


After playing the game last night, as well as acquiring a few achievements, the big question I had was “Why are all the reviewers trashing this game?” Sure it’s not perfect in any way, but it is a big improvement over Episode 1. I felt like Sonic was a bit faster in this version, the graphics are well improved, and the Tails team up moves bring a fresh change of pace to the game as well. However, I will agree with some of the reviewers in terms of how the invincibility power-ups are in locations where there are not any enemies to take down. I also agree about the boss battle music that seems to be on an endless loop every few seconds which gets quite annoying. Where’s Amy’s hammer when you need it most? Speaking of boss battles, these were some tough fights that require a bit of trial and error to get through on the first time, but become much easier each time you play it.

Clearly Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 is no Sonic Generations, but it is better than the Sonic the Hedgehog game released on the Xbox 360 in 2006. I’m still trying to forget that one. It’s a blast from the past, and it allows us to enjoy playing a Sonic game the way it was meant to be played…in 2D! What more can you ask for? Well, maybe Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 with Knuckles?

Publisher: Sega
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1 to 2 (Local or Xbox Live co-op)
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

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