Review by Computerbug9
"Sonic got through Act 2...with flying colors!"
Why "Sonic got through Act 2...with flying colors" you ask? Because it says that every time you beat part 2 of a level (without the flying colors part) This I'd say is the best Sonic game of them all, and if any more will be made, I think this game will surpass them. This review will tell all the great things about this game and what sets it apart from every other game ever made...
First off, this game evolves awesomely from the beginning to the end. From the easy , straight-forward land of the Emerald Hills to the deep bowels of space...from the boss in a little car with a large drill to a gigantic robot...from beginning to end, this game changes, with each level containing new surprises. Now, in most video games, your health is monitored by a meter and when it's empty, you die. Well, in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, your health is measured by the amount of rings you have. Throughout the levels, you find rings scattered all over. As long as you have rings, you can get hit by as many enemies as you like. If you get hit, your rings go flying and you try to get as many back as possible. If you get it with no rings, you die.
The levels are organized in a way similar to that of the early Mario games. There are 11 levels, 8 of which have more than one part. 7 of those 8 have two parts where the boos comes at the end of the second, and the eighth has three parts. The levels are very original and are very quick changing. You go from the calm, pretty hilltops to a chemical plant, to underwater ruins, to a casino city, back to the hilltops. (there's more, but I'm not saying more for those few who haven't played the game and are reading this)
The drawings are excellent. Sonic looks better than he did in the first one. In fact, he even has a pal: Miles "Tails" Prower. (most just call him Tails) The levels are well drawn, especially the background. I'd have to say my favorite is in the final level when you're in outer space and if you look in the background you can actually see stars shooting passed you. You can even see the earth. Sega really outdid themselves with the backgrounds. The enemies are well drawn, too. Some of them look a little weird (mostly the things with the huge beaks in the casino level) One level, however, has a dull background, and that's my favorite level of all: the sky fortress. Although it's in the sky and you're only supposed to see blue, I think a bit more than some skinny clouds would have worked.
Now let's talk sound...great! The background music in the levels really sets the mood. The fast paced Metropolis music...the despair music in the Mystic Cave...even the heroic, happy music played when you win the game are all done great. However, this is Sega here, and the music isn't always that high quality, but it's excellent compared to what they had to work with. Despite the fact most Genesis games have choppy sound effects (check "Castlevania: Bloodlines") the sound effects in STH2 are great. That "bing" sound when you bounce off one of those random balls in the casino zone, that "poow" zone when you jump on an enemy, even the spinball action sounds are all great.
Now at the beginning I promised I'd talk about how this game is set apart from all others...well, here it is. First off, it's unique in the fact that unlike most Genesis and Nintendo games from the time period, you could actually drown if you stayed underwater too long. Also, some games from the time had co-op games where two people could play the main game at once. This game is co-op, but even if there isn't a second player, Tails takes on a mind of his own and joins you. Now if you think he gets annoying in the game like I do, you can go to the options screen and make Sonic just go alone. What makes this more unique is that if you want to give Sonic a break, you can make Tails go alone. But, I'd say the most unique thing of all about this game is the fact now Sonic has an alter-ego: Super Sonic-faster than a speeding Robotnik race car....more powerful than those things in the game that can crush you...and able to run into any enemy without getting hit. How do you get Super Sonic, you ask? If you have 50 rings at any point in the level and pass a checkpoint, a ring of stars will appear overhead. Jump in the ring, and you'll be taken to a special level where you need to get a certain amount of rings in (the best) 3D (that Sega could manage at the time) and if you finished the course with enough rings, you'd get a chaos emerald. If you got 7 or so chaos emeralds, you could enable Super Sonic by jumping when you had 50+ rings.
This truly is the best game for Genesis, and probably the best game Sega made in general. The music...the drawings...it's all perfect. Let me finish it off by saying Nintendo was lucky that Sega closed down only about 20 months before the digital age of video gaming began, because with a game like this, Sega had some great potential...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/29/04
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