Big Games of 2012: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II Speeding Your Way

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    Sonic the Hedgehog has had a splendid 2011.  There, we said it.  But he really has.  Between Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing for mobile platforms, the awesome Sonic Generations and the surprising return of Sonic CD in downloadable format, Sega really brought him back to, ahem, speed.  And he’s not slowing down in 2012, as the company has announced the follow-up to his original Sonic the Hedgehog 4 adventure.

    Titled Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II, the game will follow up on events from the original downloadable release, but will also feature some improvements in certain areas, as Sega has listened carefully to fans wondering what needed to be done.  This includes some completely reworked physics and new character animations, so Sonic doesn’t look so stiff this time around.

    In addition, Sega is also including some old favorites this time around.  Tails, Sonic’s loyal buddy who recently made a guest appearance in Sonic CD, will be playable over the course of the game (to what capacity isn’t known, but he’s in there), and the robotic archrival Metal Sonic will also be included.  And, of course, you can expect Dr. Robotnik to raise some havoc, like always.

    “After twenty years in action, it’s clear that Sonic hasn’t slowed down one bit,” said Haruki Satomi, Senior Vice President of Digital Business at Sega of America. “The first entry in the Sonic 4 saga was a major success. We’ve listened to the fans and been hard at work making sure we recapture that same spirit of fun in Episode II. We hope the fans will enjoy it.”

    The game will be released across the board for various platforms, including mobile (App Store, Windows 7, Android), as well as PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace.  Unfortunately, it looks like the Wii is getting the cold shoulder this time around.  We’re guessing that a combination of a higher-than-usual price than most WiiWare, along with fading interest in the platform (the Wii U is coming later this year, after all), had something to do with it.  But here’s Sega’s response from its forums, courtesy of brand manager Ken Balough…

    “The reason Episode I was on the Wii was because we wanted to bring the Sonic 4 saga to the widest possible audience. Episode II unfortunately will not be coming to the Wii – for reasons most people have probably guessed, but that doesn’t mean the Sega isn’t supporting Nintendo platforms, we have a very strong partnership and will continue to do so.”

    In fact, don’t be surprised if Sonic 4 is announced for 3DS, Vita and maybe even the Wii U somewhere down the road, with specific modifications for each system.

    No word on pricing yet, but 1200 Microsoft points (or $14.99) is expected.  Look for more information on the official release soon, and check out the teaser below, courtesy of Gamespot.

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