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Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II

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Sonic boo

Product: Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II | Developer: Sonic Team | Publisher: Sega | Format: Android | Genre: Platform | Players: 1-2 | File size: 693MB | Version: Europe
Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II Android, thumbnail 1
A generation of gamers - and, by extension, a generation of game critics - grew up with Sonic The Hedgehog. We remember how good things used to be in the spiky speedster's heyday.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II was supposed to take us back to the Blue Blur's golden age of the early '90s, and Episode I seemed like it was on the right track. The gimmicks and extra characters were gone, and while there were still some frustrations, it felt like it could be the start of a revival for the series.

Unfortunately, that revival has come to a premature end.

Tails of yore

This time around, you're joined by Tails, who's either controlled by the AI or by a friend playing on a linked iOS device. Your erstwhile, multi-tailed companion isn't just along for the ring-collecting ride, though: there are sections in every level that can only be traversed through the use of one of the duo's range of co-operative moves.

You perform these collaborative manoeuvres - which range from a dual-spinning, rock-smashing roll, to a helpful piggyback ride using Tails's appendages to fly above danger - by tapping on buttons. The flying, in particular, is frustrating, especially in the first part of the third level when you're forced to soar through a sandstorm.

The game is split into three zones: Sylvania Castle, White Park, and Oil Desert. Each of these zones is divided into three acts and a boss battle.

The zones look gorgeous and distinct, but you spend far too much time in the first two submerged. The underwater physics turn the game into a sluggish battle of attrition, stripped of all the speed and precision for which Sonic titles are famed.

Sega Poor Drive

There are too many bells and whistles here, too many distractions from the core platforming experience for which gamers are clamouring. Sandstorms, oil slicks, and exploding roller coaster tracks all merely serve as unnecessary - and unwanted - interruptions.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II is a confused mess of a game. There are moments of genius, sure, and occasions when everything gels together to create a brilliant experience.

Too often though, those moments are spoilt by annoying controls, poorly designed levels, and an overreliance on the very problems that the game was purportedly designed to address.

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 17 May 2012
While a generation of gamers dreams of better days, Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II is an unpleasant reminder of how far the series has fallen since its glory days
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 15:58 - 18 June 2012
5.1.1 iPhone 4S: Can't play any of the Sonic 4 games, lite or otherwise. They all crash on launch. I'm not jailbroken and I restored from iCloud not an iTunes backup.
Nov 2011
Post count:
Chivas77 | 18:27 - 20 May 2012
@Dave Granger, yep that lock on attack is still there

@klouud I'd recommend getting it on XBL, or in my case I ended up buying it from Steam.
I have paid for loads of platform games for my iPhone and quite simply the vast majority are unplayable...apart from the Lostwinds games which are slower paced and work fine. But Sonic CD, Sonic 4, even League of Evil are awful frustrating experiences, they may work better on an iPad, but on an iPhone they just don't work in my view.
Still think Sonic is best played with physical controls
Oct 2011
Post count:
DaveGranger | 23:45 - 19 May 2012
Do they still have that stupid lock-on attack?
Jul 2011
Post count:
aros | 09:50 - 18 May 2012
The trouble is that the fans don't remember what the original Sonic games were actually like - Sega should stop listening to the damn fans. Episode 1 was the best Sonic game in years, and the much derided level, darkness with the torch was probably my favourite ever Sonic level. That game was brilliant, but too short, and a solid 8.5. But the fanboys whined and cried and sighed and whined until Sega completely changed tack and now we are left with games that are awful once again.

I despair.
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 00:05 - 18 May 2012
I think they should make exclusive games for iOS and Android. And then port them over to XBL.
Mar 2012
Post count:
Edward CORE | 17:36 - 17 May 2012
Eurogamer came with a 6/10 review that seems to be fair. But on a side off-topic note, what is Sega doing? Really. They have a lot of old arcade games that would do great on the current iOS devices and XBL. Daytona, which was already released on XBL, could make its way onto iOS, Sega Rally, Virtua Tennis, Out Run, After Burner (both have amazing ports on the XBL) and a lot others. And where is the true reeditions and remakes of classics like Shinobi, ESWAT, Alex Kidd, Astal, Nights, Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone? Sega is not only Sonic. They can make it right if they start to look back an see what they used to be 20 years ago. They should know better, but we can only hope they wake up in time.
Dec 2010
Post count:
PG BBilson | 16:42 - 17 May 2012
Early console reviews seem to be coming in at around the same part of the scoring scale, from what I can see around the web.

I'd imagine the controller makes things a little better, but one of the main complaints from Harry was the level design, which should be the same across platforms
Mar 2012
Post count:
Edward CORE | 15:31 - 17 May 2012
I wonder the same, if the XBOX version is better, but the demo is too damn short to have any conclusion, only about a minute long, so I can't really tell if the game takes off. And pay $15 is just too much to try a game and then find out you're not going to play it anyway.
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 14:57 - 17 May 2012
Can you compare this to the console versions? Yes you think that the game is a 5/10 on iOS, but is it a 5/10 on the console counterparts? I may skip this on iOS to buy it on XBL.