SourceOriginally Posted by TSSZ
It's interesting that you should find it perplexing. Some people have predicted this phenomenon for ages now.
You see, there is no such thing as "analyzing the game for what it is". Is Ep. II better than Ep. I? Most certainly. But the thing is - how impressive is it? What kind of reaction does Ep. II cause? Which people will have their interests piqued by this game? What will these people expect?
This is where Sonic 4 was bound to fail from the start. It doesn't seem like Sonic 4 was crafted in unison. It feels like SEGA told each worker some kind of abstract proposal and said "work with that". From the director to Jun Senoue to the artists to the level designers. When you claim you're making a whole new Sonic adventure built from the ground up, that doesn't say anything. It just creates hype.
True, people like Sonic and classic Sonic. But what SEGA in general and Dimps in particular have failed to acknowledge is that all these people don't like classic Sonic for the same reason. Sonic, or the Sonic in the social imaginarium, is a mishmash. But this process is a continuum. The devs show Sonic, it's then built by the general public (aka hype). If they don't correspond after the medium is released, this will have an effect on further installments. This is how essence is presented and formed.
It's about standards, really. You just can't release the Sonic 4 that was released and expect it to be just acknowledged as "different", like Iizuka said it should. Expectations transform paradigms in qualities, and that's why the physics were criticized. I feel stupid for stating something so obvious, but that's what it is.
The thing is - and let's be objective now - it's not that Sonic 4 Ep. II is bad. It's just wrong - the wrong game for the wrong time. It's just not the game that people want. Simple as that. It has nothing to offer, even if it is consistent. Technical issues are not the only thing that have to be taken care of. Sonic 4 Ep. I intended to bring a specific feeling, but failed to do so (and notice how some criticize it for being too much like the classics, others bash it for being nothing like the classics). Its failure to raise a solid essence was obviously going to make Ep. II's reception cold. There is no "better" or "worse" without comparison, and people will always compare with different things. Now there are two standards to compare with -Ep. I and the classics, both being different, and the reactions of "it's meh" were fairly predictable, solid as the game may be. It's more polished than Ep. I, but Sonic 4's paradigm is just not enough. You want Ep. II to be analyzed for what it is or to compared with Ep. I alone, but that's impossible.
For deeper comprehension of this matter, please read this thread.
I hope I've helped.
EDIT: tl;dr: nobody cares about Sonic 4, and nobody wants to care.