Genre: Platformer Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega Enterprises Players: 1-2 Released: 1992
After the successful Sonic The Hedgehog, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that a sequel was coming and that it would be just as great as the original or better. In my opinion, Sonic 2 improves on all of that game’s faults and in most cases, surpasses it. Now, you have two characters to choose from, which are equally good: Sonic the Hedgehog & Miles ”Tails” Prower, a two tailed fox who can fly. The stages have been updated and the graphics seem a bit more refined too. I’m not saying the original didn’t have good graphics but I think they look a bit better in this game. The special stage has been redone as well and is leaps and bounds over the original. It’s also a lot more fun and quite a challenge. My first impression of this game was Wow! This is way better than the original. The stages are better designed, the concept is more refined, there are new moves, a new character, and some great music. This surely lives up to the name of Sonic the Hedgehog. It sold better than the original did and many were proclaiming that this was the best game out there period.
After the events of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, where Sonic freed all his animal friends, everyone presumed that Robotnik was gone for good and that the rest of the world would live happily ever after. They were wrong. Robotnik managed to recover from his fall and was up to his old schemes again. This time he decided to recapture a lot of the furry animals, plus makes a doomsday machine with which he would try to take over the world. He had all the keys to do this with, the only thing he was lagging, were the Chaos Emeralds. It seemed the emeralds were the key to Robotnik’s success in taking over the world. Without them, Robotnik could not go through with his plans. He knew Sonic is capable of getting them, so he tried and take them away from him whenever possible. Sonic was outnumbered and it looked to be his biggest challenge yet. One of his friends, Tails decided that he would join Sonic on his quest to save the world. Tails was a two-tailed fox, a freak of nature that was orphaned as a baby. For three years birds raised him as one of their own and around the time he turned four or five he found Sonic. As Sonic was showing all his friends his moves and his incredible speed, Tails decided to mimic him. He did a new move, which is available in the game. Sonic tried it, and he felt that tails proved himself enough to be taken along for the trip. Their job together was to rid their world once and for all of Robotnik and his evil treachery.
Well, that story is pretty cheesy when you think about it, but this game was geared towards youngsters, and they probably liked the story to some extent. Well, I was young too, and I liked it as well enough. even though it did follow the same theme as the rest of the Sonic games.
The graphics are truly outstanding and some of the best I had ever seen on the Genesis up to that point. I was still recovering from the graphics of the original when I laid eyes on this one. Although Sonic did appear to be a bit smaller in this version, he was still fast, maybe even faster than before. Tails was pretty fast too, but not as fast as Sonic, even though these characters reached very high speeds the game did not slow down whatsoever. The backgrounds are gorgeous and have a lot of detail, even more detail than the previous Sonic game. Some areas that truly stand out are the cave zone and even the water zone, which reminds me of how ancient Atlantis must have looked.
The enemies are highly detailed as well and show much detail. The many different suits of Robotnik are sensational and the facial expressions he makes make it feel like you’re playing a cartoon. Some details are very minute and seemingly insignificant, and you have to look close to notice them, like the grass swaying in the breeze on the first zone and Sonic’s hair blowing in the breeze when he’s on Tails’ plane. These may not be much but they enhance the overall enjoyment.
The music is just slightly better than the original. At the time that it came out, Sonic 2 had some of the best music on the system, second only to perhaps the original game and Streets of Rage. The tunes are very good and there’s always that one stage that has outstanding music, that you always remember, and that stays on your mind. The opening theme is just about the same as it was on the original, not too different. The sound effects got a little better, still drowned out a bit by the music but not much though. You still can hear them clearly and vibrantly enough. The boss music where you face Robotnik at the end of each stage has improved by quite a bit and sounds more evil than it did in the first Sonic game. Some stages could use some improvement but for the most part everything sounds good. The sound department in general goes quite well with the graphics in this game and adds greatly to the experience you’d expect from Sega’s flagship series.
This game is for one or two players. You now have more options and more ways to play than before. This time instead of just the regular game you can chose additional modes, like the two player race. The race lets you play different part of the game with a friend and see who can get through the fastest and gain the most points. This is tons of fun if you bring a friend along and extends the life of the game once you beat it. You can either play as Tails, have Tails tag along, or your buddy can control him.
Sonic has a new move called the Sonic Spin Dash. You charge yourself up and burst like bolt lightening in a ball, blasting through a few badniks on the way. This is a very good move and one that you’ll need to use throughout the rest of series. The special stage is different this time around and in most people’s opinion even better than before. You are in what appears to be a tunnel you have to grab a certain amount of rings, which is detailed at the top of the screen. Along the way, you have to pass three check points in each stage and if successful, you’ll be awarded with a Chaos Emerald. Unlike the original Sonic The Hedgehog, when you get a Chaos Emerald here it actually does something. Collect them all and you’re in for a surprise. I won’t tell you what happens when you get them all but trust me, you’ll like it. With this improved special stage, a lot more fun and variety is added to the game, which makes it overall more enjoyable to play. The difficulty is moderate, although at some spots it can be too tough for younger players, I do think they should have added more acts and zones in this one, as they just seemed lacking and incomplete. Whereas the original had three acts for every zone, the sequel has only two, except for the last zone. There’s also no save or password features, which in the end hampers this game even more.
The replay value is quite a bit higher in this version, considering the fact that you may actually want to get all the Chaos Emeralds, which is actually worth doing, as opposed to the original. Also the fun factor is pretty high, as this game is a blast with a friend along. You don’t see that too much nowadays, and this isn’t a game that you won’t pick up again once you beat it.
Many feel that this is the best Sonic ever, or at least tied with the part three. If you have the Sonic & Knuckles game, you can put this in it and relive the adventure. You can play as Knuckles and have all his moves available. even though it add any stages or anything, it did make the game more interesting. This is a timeless classic, which you need to get if you’re a Sonic fan . If you don’t already have this title, I highly recommend it. The good far outweighs the bad. If you want a real five star classic for your Genesis, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is the way to go.
SCORE: 10 out of 10