Sonic the Hedgehog was proven to be a massive success selling over 15 million copies. A sequel was a no-brainer. Problem is, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, left due to a disagreement in policy. Fortunately, Mark Cerny, founder of Sega Technical Insitute (STI) managed to convince Naka to return to Sega as part of the STI. In November of 1991, development for Sonic 2 began. And a year later, on November 24, 1992 (aka Sonic 2’s day), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released. So, is this game a heads or tails?
Note: This is a review of the original Genesis version. Your experience with the game may differ if you’re using a different version of the game. Especially if it is the Christian Whitehead mobile port of the game.
The story is very similar to the first one in which Robotnik is trying to capture animals and put them into robots. However, this time, he’s gonna go higher by creating the Death Egg…..this is reminding me of something….nah, can’t be. We are then introduced to a new character named Miles Prower aka Tails. This young two-tailed fox has always dreamed of being just like Sonic and now gets to team up with him to beat Robotnik at his latest scheme.
Just like the first game, it is quite lacking in story. At least it has a story. Therefore, I give it a C+.
The game also has similar gameplay as Sonic in which you create speed to go fast and collect rings to endure hits…..but there are a few additions. One, of course, is the addition of Tails. He tags along on your adventure and helps you collect rings and destroys badniks. I overall liked Tails. He was a helpful companion until the bonus levels which I will get to soon. There is also the debut of the spindash.
By holding down and pressing A, Sonic can perform a spindash which allows him to go at fast speeds faster than simply gaining momentum. This was probably the best addition that this game added and has been a part of the series ever since. It is incredibly convenient and can help you reach parts that you normally wouldn’t be able to reach with momentum alone.
The bonus levels are also different from the previous entry. In the first game, you had to reach the goal with 50 rings and jump through a giant ring to go through a maze in order to grab the chaos emerald. Now, you need to grab 50 rings, go to a checkpoint, and jump through the ring of stars above it in order to get to the bonus level. The bonus level introduces 3D gameplay where Sonic and Tails must run through a half-pipe course and gather a specified amount of rings. However, you must avoid the bombs that lurk in that direction. This is also the one I have the most problems with. The camera is very close to the back of the characters as Sonic and Tails running through this half-pipe. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to see what’s approaching you making it hard to avoid bombs. This isn’t the only issue, however, I mentioned how Tails can collect rings for you. This is also true in the bonus level BUT he also loses rings if he hits the bombs as well. This makes it even more difficult to get the specified rings to get the chaos emeralds. Fortunately, this isn’t the case outside of the bonus levels.
Unlike the first Sonic game, there are only two acts for each zone except for Metropolis, which has three, and the last three zones each having one act. In fact, this game has more zones than the previous game. Sonic the Hedgehog had seven while Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has 11. I like every single one of these zones, especially Casino Night Zone which is my favorite zone of all time, except for Chemical Plant and Metropolis. Overall, I honestly enjoy the Chemical Plant zone but it can feel like an incredibly large jump in difficulty as it is only the second zone in the game. There is this one part specifically that requires you to be precise with your jumping in order to avoid drowning or getting crushed by moving blocks. Those who have played the game know what I am talking about.
Metropolis I find to be especially cheap with its enemy placement making it incredibly difficult to dodge certain badniks. Some may have a problem with the Death Egg Zone since it features two bosses and zero rings but personally, I really like this zone because of how easily you can get extra lives and continues. It’s a great test of your skill, to be honest….speaking of continues….
At the end of each act, there is a score segment like in the first game. But unlike the first game, if you get at least 10,000 points at the end of an act, you get a continue. This allows you to start over the zone with three more lives if you get a game over. These are incredibly easy to get if you reach the goal with a large number of rings and if you get to the goal fast enough. I loved this and it is incredibly useful in this game especially.
On a side note, there is a competitive mode but I won’t comment any further on it since I never tried it and I only have one Genesis controller.
Overall, I really enjoyed the gameplay. While there are a few problems with the bonus levels, Metropolis, and Chemical Plant, I just love the gameplay. I give it an A-.
Now for the soundtrack. I just love the soundtrack for this game. Like Hill Top, Casino Night, Mystic Cave (that one being a popular favorite), and Chemical Plant. All of them are honestly great. I’m going to give the soundtrack an A+.
To conclude, I LOVE Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This was one of my favorite Sonic games when I was little and to this day is my second favorite Sonic game of all time. However, it is incredibly lacking in the story. Due to this, I will give Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a 7.5/10
At a Glance: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
Summary: The evil Dr. Robotnik is at it again and has created the Death Egg. Will Sonic and Tails be able to stop him? Or will they be fried as Robotnik takes over the world?
Price: $3.99 (Gamestop)
Systems: Sega Genesis, Xbox 360, 3DS, etc.
Release Date: Nov. 21, 1992