SEGA officially announced Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II way back in December, but the reveal didn’t include a true glimpse of the game. We can now get much more excited over Episode II thanks to a proper trailer that shows off the game’s beautiful new graphics engine.
Sonic 4: Episode II marks the return of Sonic’s sidekick Tails, who sat out the previous game. The console versions will include 2 player co-op play, while we can assume the mobile versions won’t. Either way, Sonic and Tails seem to have some new co-op moves, which should make Tails a more valuable partner than he was back in Sonic 2.
The physics engine has been given a complete overhaul in response to fan feedback, which should improve Episode II’s reception. Similarly, the new graphics will likely elicit smiles from Sonic fans. The backgrounds are simply lush with colors and detail. The characters match the backgrounds much better than before thanks to being rendered in full 3D (the gameplay remains 2D). Phone versions will likely fake the 3D characters with 2D sprites, but you never know.
Like Episode I before it, the new game will be made up of four distinct zones based on stages from classic Sonic games. The new levels do seem to show a bit more inspiration in their design, but that could be the pretty graphics talking. More importantly, the 3D halfpipe bonus stages from Sonic 2 and the Saturn and PC versions of Sonic 3D Blast return. Let’s hope the classic bonus tune makes it in too – it sounded beautiful in 3D Blast.
The XBLA version of Sonic 4: Episode II have a rumored release date of May 16. If Sonic CD is anything to go by, we can expect the Windows Phone version to come several months later. Speaking of which, WPCentral has learned that WP7 Sonic CD is still in development, having been started later than every other version. Hopefully it lands before Episode II makes it out on consoles!
Source: Sonic Retro