SEGA finally slaps a release date on ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 and reveals ‘Episode Metal,’ a set of bonus levels featuring playable Metal Sonic.

SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 has been a long time coming. Maybe not Half-Life 2: Episode 3 long, but pretty long nonetheless. It’s been a year and a half since Episode 1 promised a return to the glory day’s of Sonic’s Genesis adventures. Since then, the Blue Blur has appeared in a couple of other games (Sonic Generations, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games), while SEGA spent the better part of 2011 celebrating Sonic’s 20th Anniversary.

With all that out of the way, SEGA is finally ready to deliver Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, and owners of the first episode are in for something special: a bonus four level game starring Metal Sonic.

Metal Sonic’s appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 was teased in a trailer from December of 2011, but at the time it looked like Sonic’s metallic nemesis would be restricted to his (its?) customary role as villain. Not so. Through the magic of (virtual) Lock-On Technology — you remember, like with Sonic & Knuckles back on the Genesis? — Sonic the Hedgehog Episodes 1 and 2 come together to form Episode Metal, which features four exclusive levels. Apparently, Episode Metal somehow ties the stories of Sonic CD (still the best Sonic game ever) and Sonic 4 together, which is kind of a perplexing strategy given that Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles both released after Sonic CD.

Check out a new Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 trailer below, and be sure to stick around for the Episode Metal reveal at the end.

When Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 begins its staggered roll-out on May 15, it’ll spearhead a rich slate of downloadable games coming from SEGA this Summer. After Sonic, look forward to Jet Set Radio, to be followed by Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown and maybe (if the rumors are true) Shenmue. These games, along with the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines, follow a frankly disastrous year for SEGA, which, as a result, is in the process of restructuring once again.

What do you think of Episode Metal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 releases May 15 for PSN ($14.99)

By -Jeff Schille
As a long time sonic fan since the genesis era & Sonic Comic book reader, i got to say I’m excited for its release!