Fans are finally starting to get a look at the new entry in the “old-school” Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Many Sonic fans consider Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (or just “Sonic 3”) for the Sega Genesis to be the last true Sonic game. Many of the blue mascot’s faithful just haven’t appreciated the way Sega brought him into the world of 3D gaming.
To address this, Sega decided to go back to the drawing board and create a spiritual sequel to Sonic 3, bringing back the old-school style of gameplay and trying to capture some of the magic that those vintage titles had.
The new game, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, is being broken up into a series of different episodes. Episode I has already been released, and it was a big disappointment to many of the franchise’s fervent fans.
Even though it was supposed to be a throwback to the old Sonic days, Sega still threw in high-end (and sometimes distracting) 3D visuals, something that brought nothing but confusion because the gameplay mechanics themselves were built in a 2D style.
Also, perhaps one of the biggest complaints was that Episode I did not have one of the franchise’s most heralded components – Sonic’s sidekick Tails. Ever since the introduction of Tails in Sonic 2, the double-tailed orange fox has been a staple of every Sonic title, and his absence in Episode I was a huge blow to fans.
But fear not – in Episode II, Tails returns, and brings with him cooperative multiplayer gaming like no other Sonic game has seen before. With one player controlling Sonic and one controlling Tails, Tails can fly Sonic up to new heights within each level, swim with him to speed through underwater levels, and join forces to create a massive spin dash attack and wipe out nearby enemies.
“Furthermore Episode II features a brand new graphics and physics engine so the game looks better than ever and Sonic feels like he did in the days of the Mega Drive,” Sega wrote in a Playstation Blog post.