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Sonic 4: Episode 2 Defence Thread

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Now that Mania's come out, a lot of people have pretty much shelved Sonic 4. It's not surprising, Sonic Mania is a much better game. But I actually liked Sonic 4: Episode 2 and think it does some things better than Sonic Mania :o . Yes I know, shocking!

- First of all, I think the sense of progression and narrative is better in S4E2. You fight Metal Sonic multiple times and the threat gets increasingly intense. I think they fucked up the race with him at the end, but otherwise it was neat. In Mania, the story's pretty confusing and wobbles around. It's unclear what's going on, and while the Titanic Monarch is a great idea, it's very confusingly communicated to the player. It's unclear what happens to the Hard Boiled Heavies too. S4E2 had a much clearer narrative: Metal Sonic wants to settle his score from CD and Eggman's taken over Little Planet and remade the Death Egg. 

- I think S4E2  has a better final boss and climax than Sonic Mania. The ending in S4E2 is dreadful, but it's also terrible in Mania, so no big deal. I think the progression from Sky Fortress to Death Egg is great, it feels like you are on a serious adventure and are getting closer to Eggman. The final boss is great. Mania's just confusing. You go from Lava Reef to Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch. I don't think either the Titanic Monarch or Egg Reverie bosses are very good. 

- While Mania has a better soundtrack, I think S4E2 has a great soundtrack. The production and instruments are horrible, but the actual melodies of songs like Sky Fortess and Vs Metal Sonic are great and fit with the atmosphere of the game. S4E2 also has remixes for each act, something I really like and most Sonic games don't do (of course Mania did do this, Mania's OST is brilliant).

- I think S4E2 has compelling levels and art design. Even when they reuse themes, it comes across as remixed in a way somewhat similar to Mania. 

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Yeah but it still suffers from some of the awful physics in Sonic 4 episode 1.

Plus I still consider Sonic Mania the real sonic 4 as Sonic 4 is still rather lame and doesnt feel anything like the classic games.

Say what you will about mania with its reused levels it at least plays like a classic sonic game.

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Personally, I really would like some kind of "remake" of Sonic 4 (that add a third episode at the same time). If Sonic Mania have better physics and level design than Sonic 4, I really think that Sonic 4 had many good ideas. First because I think it's a bit sad that half of the game suffer from dreadful physics, secondly because I really would like a complete edition of Sonic 4 xD

But that's mostly because there are many things that I like in Sonic 4, and I'm a bit unhappy with that this game doesn't reach is full potential because of being incomplete, its physics, etc. ( And I would love a final boss in Super State for it)

I would be especially interested by a Sonic 4 remake made by the Mania team, even if I think it shouldn't go the 32-bits read, and use either a hand-drawn style à la Monster Boy (that would be the most work, but I would love that xD), or use entirely the 3D looks of the Episode 2.

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50 minutes ago, Kazhnuz said:

Personally, I really would like some kind of "remake" of Sonic 4 (that add a third episode at the same time). If Sonic Mania have better physics and level design than Sonic 4, I really think that Sonic 4 had many good ideas. First because I think it's a bit sad that half of the game suffer from dreadful physics, secondly because I really would like a complete edition of Sonic 4 xD

But that's mostly because there are many things that I like in Sonic 4, and I'm a bit unhappy with that this game doesn't reach is full potential because of being incomplete, its physics, etc. ( And I would love a final boss in Super State for it)

I would be especially interested by a Sonic 4 remake made by the Mania team, even if I think it shouldn't go the 32-bits read, and use either a hand-drawn style à la Monster Boy (that would be the most work, but I would love that xD), or use entirely the 3D looks of the Episode 2.

I would go with a different stance. Actually would like to see a purely ehm... Modern Sonic 2D game... of course, Forces is almost like it, but I would actually like to see some work of Sonic Team that also could use Tails for example. I bet most of the people here wanted to play Modern Tails in S4E2, which was only applicable in the co-op and even then it didn´t really feel fine.

There are so many ideas... heck, even the "Battle for the Angel Island" that is in the IDW comics would be a great plot for the game. Imagine, having Generations-like style of the Sonic 3 and Knuckles stages, but this time, it could use much more variety. And the Metal Sonic in his Neo variation as a recurring boss and Eggman finally coming back in the end. Thus I smell a lost opportunity there for a silly small project, that frankly could have performed better than Forces.

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I agree that Episode 2 has one of the most creative and memorable final bosses in the series.  I think if the game had all the zone transitions complete, I wouldn't have thought this, but I have to say, when I first played Mania, I was surprised when the credits rolled - I really didn't think Titanic Monarch was the last stage.  I was expecting one more, smaller, truly final stage, Titanic Monarch felt very penultimate, not... uhh... ultimate.  I also felt, with the grand return of a physics-based movement system in Sonic, they would take full advantage of it for the final boss, but nope, the final boss takes place on a completely flat arena.  That's just kind of bizarre to me.  It's a great, challenging and fun boss, just not one that encompasses all the themes of the game for a true final exam challenge.

I also enjoy the melodies of Sonic 4's soundtrack, and while Mania is an exception due to the fight being a direct retread of Stardust Speedway's battle, I hope Metal Sonic's 4 theme continues to be used throughout the franchise over Stardust Speedway B Mix.  I feel the melody just fits Metal Sonic's look SO right, moreso than Stardust Speedway B Mix.  Hell, even in Sonic 4 itself, using Stardust Speedway for the final race felt completely out of place amidst the rest of the soundtrack.

There are some catches though.  There's no excuse for Episode 2's awful, AWFUL Eggman boss theme.  I dunno what Jun Senoue was thinking there.  Yes it's only used for two bosses, but those bosses are 2-3 and 4-5 minutes long respectively - if you beat them without dying.  A 20-second loop will not cut it.  I played the beta version when it leaked on Steam and I genuinely thought this was an accident that would be fixed in the final release.  Awful.

Also the soundtrack is a little inconsistent.  White Park Acts 1 and 2, Oil Desert Acts 1-3, and Sky Fortress Acts 2-3 follow the traditional "remix of the same song" thing, while Sylvania Castle 1-3, White Park 3 and Sky Fortress 1 all have unique songs, following on from how Episode 1 did it.  Again, it's bizarre that Jun Senoue just kinda... did whatever here (though to be fair, I can't think of a single soundtrack he's done which did follow the "typical" Sonic style to a tee - even Sonic 3D 16-bit has Panic Puppet Act 2 sound nothing like Act 1).

 

But yeah, I still enjoy the Sonic 4 games as a "modern Sonic platformer" - one that was not trying to recreate the exact gameplay of the classics but was horribly misdirected/marketed as if it was.  I really enjoy how every single act of each zone has a unique gimmick that sets the act apart from the other two, and that gimmick is steadily used in more complicated ways as the act goes on - very Mario-esque design at it's best.

But, to be fair?  Sonic Mania does as well.  While the game evokes the classic Sonic games, where (in most cases) all gimmicks would be introduced in Act 1 of a zone and then would be used in new combinations across Act 2 and 3, Mania, like 4, also has something that makes every single act unique.

I also wish we had gotten Episode 3 or we could get these games remastered and finished because I think the level design is good and the game-feel just needed more work.  And it just... bugs me that they were clearly cut off at a point they weren't meant to be.  But I'm not sure it's something worth the time or money for SEGA at this point.  And honestly, as long as they keep shoehorning constant 2D sections into the 3D games, I am far from itching for a fully 2D modern Sonic experience.

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I see very little, if any, to defend about Sonic 4 Ep 2. The best that could be said about it is that it doesn't look as horrible as Episode 1 did, and the physics was slightly better than in Episode 1..that's about it. Still quite bad physics, still ear raping music, still mostly reused levels with different names as if that makes it somehow new material. Co-op moves that have an annoying delay just to show the same damn animation every time. Same with the Super transformation, they put esthetics before player convinience. Boss battles as separate acts with only a small amount of rings, not enough to defeat the bosses as Super Sonic, making the effort of going through the Special Stages collecting the Emeralds a lot less rewarding and worthwhile. No Elemental Shields to make the gameplay more varied, no bonus stages. The cutscenes (for me personally) lacked any kind of personality and charm. The Final Boss felt simply frustrating instead of challenging.

The game just felt half-assed and cheaply made through and through, starting with the half-assed remake of the Sonic 2 title screen.

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I will say, I do think it's unfair to call Episode 2's Zones to be total rehashes.  While aesthetically speaking, Sylvania Castle, Oil Desert and Sky Fortress are retreads, when you actually look at the gameplay, they share VERY few gimmicks with the zones they're based on, they're filled with new toys to play with compared to the originals and tons of memoable gimmicks are completely absent.

Sylvania Castle:
Act 1 - No gimmick since it's the introductory stage, just Sonic/Tails flying tutorial
Act 2 - Sonic/Tails swimming tutorial, the rising water and flippy bumper platforms
Act 3 - Sonic/Tails rolling tutorial, those side-to-side wiggly platforms

Oil Desert:
Act 1 - Strong Winds
Act 2 - Slowdown sand stuff (though I'll concede, heavy usage of the oil slides which aren't much different from their OOZ counterparts)
Act 3 - Rising sand traps and flippy sand seesaw things

Sky Fortress:
Act 1 - Probably the most developed Sky Chase Zone we've ever had tbh (though Mania did pretty much the same concept with more entertaining visual flair)
Act 2 - The wall-running sections and flame jets
Act 3 - There's those Death-Egg-esque automated warp tunnel things but for the most part this is a fairly traditional platforming stage to bookend the experience

 

Like, I think Episode 2 is at a disadvantage here because we were told there'd be no retreads like Episode 1 had, but gameplay-wise I do think it's unfair to suggest these stages were "re-used", unless you're also going to say that Sonic Adventure or Sonic CD were full of re-used levels too.

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I can't really bring myself to defend Sonic 4 Episode II beyond the obvious "Well, it wasn't as terrible as Episode I."

The Metal Sonic fight in White Park was kinda cool I guess?
But yeah, I echo the sentiment that I would like to see Sonic 4 remade with Mania's style, control and physics.

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Sonic 4 ep1 was a bad game.

Sonic 4 ep2 was a decent game.

Sonic Mania is Sonic 4 as I truly imagined. Well, except for the remade stages, but you know what I mean.

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6 hours ago, Eurisko said:

I would take a Sonic 4 remake in the style of Mania.

So basically... Sonic 1/2, but less inspired, less zones and with more speed boosters and homing attack chains. Hm. Unless of course that by "in the style", you mean more than just physics, graphics and sound. A full remake, as in, keeping the zones' names and some of the aesthetics, but create all new level design and remove the homing attack...? Eh, still worth the shot. 

I would rather we close this book. 

Agree that Metal Sonic's theme in Episode 2 is lit, tho'. It was even remixed in All-Stars Racing Transformed.

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On 10/10/2018 at 5:03 PM, Jango said:

So basically... Sonic 1/2, but less inspired, less zones and with more speed boosters and homing attack chains. Hm. Unless of course that by "in the style", you mean more than just physics, graphics and sound. A full remake, as in, keeping the zones' names and some of the aesthetics, but create all new level design and remove the homing attack...? Eh, still worth the shot. 

I would rather we close this book. 

Agree that Metal Sonic's theme in Episode 2 is lit, tho'. It was even remixed in All-Stars Racing Transformed.

So late on this ;) , Yeah basically Sonic 4 but but like the proper classics. Pretty much what you said.

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