I think the confusing part for many people is the fact that the first installment of Sonic 4 had recieved fairly positive marks across the board, ranging from 7s to 9s. I'm not going to argue this, but from a first glance, it seems illogical and nonsensical. For all intents and purposes, Episode II is verily indeedly
better on almost all fronts than Episode I, particularly in the controls and visuals department. The only thing that's actually regressed, one could argue, is the music and boss fights. Aside from that, it's either unchanged or better. Keeping this in mind, it would appear that a lower score in lieu of the definite improvements seems silly.
However, this is not what I'm arguing for. I think the case seems to be that people (reviewers and critics, mainly) were so wrapped up in the concept of a new 2D Sonic that calls back to the Genesis days without completely and utterly sucking
, that they didn't take the time to look at the game more objectively like the more seasoned and critical fans did. Once the "OMG 2D SONIC NO CRAPPY FRIENDS" rush wore down, they were able to look at the game objectively, and found out that... well, neither Episode I or
Episode II were the great revivals that they at first appeared to be. You'll see that nearly every Episode II review doesn't open up with "man, Episode I was so great," but rather, "Episode I was okay, but the physics and level design were pretty darn horrid. It's as if their opinion and overall view of the game changed completely
between now and then, and if they had the opportunity to review Episode I again, it'd probably recieve much lower scores, more along the lines of what Episode II is seeing now.
So, it's not that Episode II is worse,
it's more to do with reviewers coming to the conclusion that most of us realized from day 1: Episode I wasn't that great, and it's going to take more than 2D and a limited cast of friends to do the trick.
I mean... this is the only explanation I have for this. I like Episode II, but I am able to admit that it most definitely fell short of what it was called to do, just... not as much as Episode I did, hence the initial confusion and backlash from various fans who acknowledge and appreciate the definite improvements made.
Edited by Indigo Rush, 22 May 2012 - 11:03 PM.