Review by Chunkey Simmons
"It's nice of Tails to join Sonic in the new adventure, but is he useful?"
Sonic the Hedgehog was a very successful game for the Genesis, and did manage to compete with the Mario franchise. Sonic the Hedgehog had shown off his use of blast processing and Genesis capabilities to make his way into fame. Now it is time for a sequel. We had already been introduced to Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Game Gear, and even with the limitations, they were still great games. Now that this is the first ever Sonic sequel for the Genesis, a great thing to do would be to improve the problems that Sonic the Hedgehog had in the first release. Some new concepts were added to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that some say made the game fantastic.
The plot for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the same as Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis, and Sonic the Hedgehog for the Game Gear. Dr. Robotnik is up to no good, and Sonic needs the power to destroy Dr. Robotnik. This is where he collects the seven Chaos emeralds, which will help him at the end. This time, Tails comes in and joins Sonic in this adventure, after Sonic had saved Tails that same year in the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Already, there is a lot of new features included.
The main problem with Sonic the Hedgehog was the lack of areas to use his high amount of speed. With Sonic the Hedgehog 2, this was all changed. Though, some levels do remain somewhat straight and blocky, a new feature was added to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that wasn't even included in the previous Game Gear version. Sonic's ability to spindash had changed the way gamers played Sonic games. With spindash, Sonic can duct down, and retain a huge amount of speed in one standing point, and let it loose when the ducking position is removed. This gives Sonic the fast amount of speed that was intended in the other Sonic games. The most notable thing about the jumping is that when on a hill that is increasing in altitude, Sonic jumps a lot higher, which is a very neat trick. Unlike the previous release, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 only has two acts in each zone, instead of three acts. Sometimes three acts can be annoying, since you would be on the same bit of land for over five minutes. With or without the use of spindash, the speed of Sonic and Tails can be very fast. This can be fast to the point where the player gets confused and had no idea what will happen. For game play, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has the least amount of problems, compared to Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 for the Sega Genesis. In Sonic 2, the special stages can be accessed by receiving fifty rings. From there, you will get pulled into a half-tunnel, where you run around and get a certain amount of rings. If you fail to get a certain amount, you fail to get the chaos emerald at the end. there are also spike balls that causes you to loose rings if you get hit by one. The graphics are one notch off from being three dimensional since the tunnel spins around and does circles.
Now for Tails. Since Sonic had saved Tails earlier in the year, Tails had decided to help Sonic in the new adventure against Dr. Robotnik. The bid question is how does he pitch in? Does he have a whole bunch of armor? Is he a big fighter? The answer is somewhat. Though Tails fights, that's only when Sonic fights too, because Tails in this game is only programmed to follow every move that Sonic does, and to walk at the same spot Sonic is at when he looses range of sonic. At first glance that sounds cool and interesting, since some enemies that Sonic will damage will eventually get more damage from Tails. Then after playing a little while, Tails can be a waist of room, and the results can be fatal. Take the special stages for an example. Tails follows you there too. Since Tails is following Sonic, his movement is going to be a bit delayed, so be careful when you see the spike balls. Even when you manage to move away, you have to hope that Tails' delay of moving doesn't catch up. Usually, Tails doesn't move to where Sonic is in time and takes a hit. Then you loose rings, and sometimes, it causes you to loose the stage. That's not all. When versing Dr. Robotnik, hitting him causes his machine to flash white for about a half second. For this time, He is invulnerable, and cannot be hit by Sonic or Tails. Lets think about this. If Sonic is trying to hit Dr. Robotnik and then Tails ends up hitting instead of Sonic, were is Sonic going to go when he passes through Dr. Robotnik and his flashing stage? He will probably fall below. Fall where? That varies from ground, water, lava, oil, to a bottomless pit. It's nice of Tails to be in the game, but don't take the fame from sonic. At least you can disable Tails or even play as just Tails in the options menu.
Like in Sonic the Hedeghog, the graphics are very nice. I feel that sometimes I can actually feel the altitude that sonic is in, which is impressive. Sonic was changed a little bit, but it's not very noticeable. His slowing down animation is a little different, that's all. Tails seems to have too much purple as an outline, and it looks kind of bad. This was changed in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which makes me assume that Sega didn't like the purple either. The usage of parallax scrolling makes the game very nice looking, and can make some levels significant. For the graphics, they have improved from well.
The music I have to say is great. Sonic the Hedgehog sported music that was not very good, but at least it was listen-able. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 however has great audio, and is great in the last few levels of the game. So if you wanted to have the volume down on your television, I do not recommend it, because that causes everyone else around you to miss out on the great music.
I would say that playing the game is a must, even after beating it the firs time. Getting all the Chaos emeralds is almost impossible, but this is the first game where collecting them all will turn you to Super Sonic when you receive fifty rings. It was a nice start by Sega, and fixed all the mistakes that Sonic the Hedgehog had. Even though Tails could be useless, he still was good edition to the Sonic series, even back in Sonic 2 for the Game Gear, where he did nothing but be kidnapped. If you want a good Sonic game, I seriously don't know why this game was not already in your collection. Shame. Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 receives a well-deserved ten out of ten for it's fast gameplay, nice graphics, and the edition of Tails. Bravo.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/08
Game Release: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (US, 11/20/92)
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