Review by stonedwal

"A near perfect sequel for everyone's favourite hedgehog"

Sonic the Hedgehog returns in an all new adventure. After the success of the first game, Sonic 2 become one of the most hyped games of all time. When the first screenshots were revealed, many people thought it would be a direct re-hash of the original game, just with new levels. They were wrong. Sonic 2 introduces a new character, Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, into the mix. Tails idolises Sonic, and mimics everything he does. The best part of this is that now a second player can play the game by controlling Tails. Sonic 2 also introduced a new 2 player split screen mode. This is a competition between two players, which takes part on a small selection of the games levels. Players compete in categories such as Total Rings Collected, Pickups received and Fastest completion time.

Sonic 2 is a faster game all round. Sonic has been graphically redesigned. Sonic also seems to run faster, as well as having some new moves, such as the Super Spin Dash. The levels are now much bigger, so you won’t finish them all in under a minute. The old special stage has been dropped in favour of a pseudo 3D ring chase. Instead of collecting the chaos emerald, you have to earn it by collecting the requested amount of rings, and dodging all the bombs, to make sure you don’t lose the rings. This special stage is also 2 players, as it appears in the VS mode, where it is a competition between the two players to collect the most rings. Trust me, this mode is damn competitive. Sonic 2 also introduces a Metal Sonic into the mix, a creation by Dr Robotnik to counteract Sonic.

If you missed out on playing the original (there are a few that did), Sonic is a hedgehog with special shoes which allow him to run at super fast speeds. His nemesis, Dr Robotnik, is bent on world domination, and intends on achieving this through the help of the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic’s mission is to stop Robotnik in his tracks, and, if possible, to find all the Chaos Emeralds.

Graphics: 9

Much improved over the original. The slightly redesigned Sonic looks a little better, but not much different from what he used to (he is now slightly taller). Stages are filled with wondrous amounts of colour. Enemies are all designed well. Tails is also looking quite well too. But what is most impressive is the special stages. They are just mad! Running through a 3D tunnel was something I thought I’d never see on the G/MD. Sonic and Tails look great in this mode too. Overall, a great looking game.

Sound: 10

Another brilliant musical score. This one is just as catchy as the first, even introducing a few better songs (Wing Fortress just captures the mood). Sound effects remain relatively the same, clear, crisp and pretty darn good. No issues here.

Story: 8

I’m gonna take the story from the instruction book (which I amazingly still have, and it’s in one piece, which is suprising, because it was one of those horrible fold up do’s that Sega put out).

‘Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, the Fox, cant sit still when Sonic’s around. Ever since Miles was a baby fox, he’s dreamed of being like Sonic. He loves to run after Sonic, waving his 2 tails behind him (if he has two tails, I wonder if he has two butts :P), trying to keep up with his hero!

Mostly, Sonic lets him trail along. But sometimes, just to show off, Sonic explodes in a burst of super speed and leaves him behind. Miles doesn’t give up. He whirls his tails like a helicopter rotor and takes off flying til he catches up.

All the animals call Miles by his nickname, ‘Tails’, because of his 2 special tails. And one day they saw an astonishing feat…

They were all together in the forest, watching Sonic perform (perverted animals). Sonic would run, spin and jump in his Super Spin Attack. Then ‘Tails’ would whirl like a turbo engine and blast off in his Super Dash Attack. What a show off!

Suddenly, ‘Tails’ just couldn’t help himself. He took a running start, curled up his tails, -- whoosh – he was spinning like Sonic!

But now something frightening is happening. Sonic’s friends are disappearing. In their place, nasty metal robots are popping up all over the island. The mad scientist, Dr Robotnik, is at it again!

This time, Robotnik’s planning a global disaster. He needs workers to create a doomsday machine that can take over the world. So he’s trapping all the animals, turning them into robots, and forcing them to build his ultimate weapon, the Death (star :P) Egg! (there ain’t nothing like animals slaves to get a job done)

Robotnik now rules the factories, refineries and cities! He’s grabbed control of everything, except the 7 Chaos Emeralds. These magnificent gems are believed to hold exceptional powers. With them, Robotnik could have the entire world at his grasp. And he’d never let go!

The Chaos Emeralds are buried somewhere on the island. Only one tough dude with spiky hair has the speed to find them first!

Help Sonic stop the devious scheme of the demented scientist! Spin like a speedball through space. Grab the speed sneakers and loop ‘til your dizzy. Twirl over the twisting speedways and rocket through tunnels. Balance and blast over a bubbling ocean of oil!

Find the emeralds, free the animals, and squash Robotnik forever! (or at least til Sonic 3)’

Hmm, it’s no Final fantasy, but it will do for a platform game. There’s not much more you can really do than this though.

Gameplay: 9

This is where it’s all at. The game still plays the same, apart from the new special stage. The Super Spin dash helps in a lot of situations, but also makes the game easier. The game is still too easy. There are now 11 zones, as opposed to 7 in the original. Seven of these zones have two levels, one has three, and the remaining three are just one level each, as opposed to the original’s six levels with three zones and one final level. The levels are a mixed bunch. Emerald Hill Zone is fast paced, while Casino Night Zone is slow paced. Thanks to some great sound work, the mood is really set in the aforementioned levels by the pace of the music. Having the option for a second player to control Tails is great, but in the end makes the game a lot easier, as Tails has unlimited lives. All you need is for the second player to do the work, and the game is as good as done, or at least up to a certain point (no spoilers though, play through yourself). The only way to avoid it is to let Sonic do the work I guess. Getting all seven chaos emeralds is a much more involved job this time, and you also get rewarded for it (wink wink, I’m not giving it away though)

The two player mode is fantastic. You have a choice of 3 stages, and a special stage. There are several categories tested, such as who collected the most rings overall, and who recorded the fastest time. If all categories are tied after the two acts, a special stage is used to decide the winner. Special Stages get very frustrating in two player mode, due to the fact that the player at the front is the one who gets the most rings, so effectively it becomes a fight to stay in front. Unfortunately sometimes the fight doesn’t stay in the game (my brother the famous ‘controller un-plugger’). In the end though it is a great mode. The only problem with it is the framerate gets a little dodgy in places, and its nearly unplayable (still not as bad as Perfect Dark though :P)

Lastability: 8

Once you finish the single player (it takes a few goes, it took me two weeks), you might want to go through it a few more times, to capture the emeralds, or view the other routes through the stages. I remember some magazines even had fastest time competitions on Emerald Hill Act 1 (mine is 0’23, it is possible to get 0’00 with the slo’ mo cheat, but they don’t count). But you’ll grow tired of single player, and move on to the VS mode. This will provide many-a-days fun, and will eventually lead to this game sitting on your drive for a while to come. Then again, if you purchase Sonic and Knuckles, you can go through it again with Knuckles (an added bonus on the final boss due to his lack of jump height).

Pro’s

- New playable character
- VS Mode
- Brilliant Soundtrack
- Improved graphics
- A little more of a challenge than the original

Con’s

- Still too easy

Overall: 9

Another brilliant effort from Sega. If they can get the difficulty right, Sonic would be looking at a 10. Only minor issues hold it down from the glory it deserves. If only someone could discover the formula used for playability in these earlier days so they could use it on some of the newer systems.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
1992
Sega
Sega Megadrive/Genesis

Sonic the Hedgehog returns in an all new adventure. After the success of the first game, Sonic 2 become one of the most hyped games of all time. When the first screenshots were revealed, many people thought it would be a direct re-hash of the original game, just with new levels. They were wrong. Sonic 2 introduces a new character, Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, into the mix. Tails idolises Sonic, and mimics everything he does. The best part of this is that now a second player can play the game by controlling Tails. Sonic 2 also introduced a new 2 player split screen mode. This is a competition between two players, which takes part on a small selection of the games levels. Players compete in categories such as Total Rings Collected, Pickups received and Fastest completion time.

Sonic 2 is a faster game all round. Sonic has been graphically redesigned. Sonic also seems to run faster, as well as having some new moves, such as the Super Spin Dash. The levels are now much bigger, so you won’t finish them all in under a minute. The old special stage has been dropped in favour of a pseudo 3D ring chase. Instead of collecting the chaos emerald, you have to earn it by collecting the requested amount of rings, and dodging all the bombs, to make sure you don’t lose the rings. This special stage is also 2 players, as it appears in the VS mode, where it is a competition between the two players to collect the most rings. Trust me, this mode is damn competitive. Sonic 2 also introduces a Metal Sonic into the mix, a creation by Dr Robotnik to counteract Sonic.

If you missed out on playing the original (there are a few that did), Sonic is a hedgehog with special shoes which allow him to run at super fast speeds. His nemesis, Dr Robotnik, is bent on world domination, and intends on achieving this through the help of the Chaos Emeralds. Sonic’s mission is to stop Robotnik in his tracks, and, if possible, to find all the Chaos Emeralds.

Graphics: 9

Much improved over the original. The slightly redesigned Sonic looks a little better, but not much different from what he used to (he is now slightly taller). Stages are filled with wondrous amounts of colour. Enemies are all designed well. Tails is also looking quite well too. But what is most impressive is the special stages. They are just mad! Running through a 3D tunnel was something I thought I’d never see on the G/MD. Sonic and Tails look great in this mode too. Overall, a great looking game.

Sound: 10

Another brilliant musical score. This one is just as catchy as the first, even introducing a few better songs (Wing Fortress just captures the mood). Sound effects remain relatively the same, clear, crisp and pretty darn good. No issues here.

Story: 8

I’m gonna take the story from the instruction book (which I amazingly still have, and it’s in one piece, which is suprising, because it was one of those horrible fold up do’s that Sega put out).

‘Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, the Fox, cant sit still when Sonic’s around. Ever since Miles was a baby fox, he’s dreamed of being like Sonic. He loves to run after Sonic, waving his 2 tails behind him (if he has two tails, I wonder if he has two butts :P), trying to keep up with his hero!

Mostly, Sonic lets him trail along. But sometimes, just to show off, Sonic explodes in a burst of super speed and leaves him behind. Miles doesn’t give up. He whirls his tails like a helicopter rotor and takes off flying til he catches up.

All the animals call Miles by his nickname, ‘Tails’, because of his 2 special tails. And one day they saw an astonishing feat…

They were all together in the forest, watching Sonic perform (perverted animals). Sonic would run, spin and jump in his Super Spin Attack. Then ‘Tails’ would whirl like a turbo engine and blast off in his Super Dash Attack. What a show off!

Suddenly, ‘Tails’ just couldn’t help himself. He took a running start, curled up his tails, -- whoosh – he was spinning like Sonic!

But now something frightening is happening. Sonic’s friends are disappearing. In their place, nasty metal robots are popping up all over the island. The mad scientist, Dr Robotnik, is at it again!

This time, Robotnik’s planning a global disaster. He needs workers to create a doomsday machine that can take over the world. So he’s trapping all the animals, turning them into robots, and forcing them to build his ultimate weapon, the Death (star :P) Egg! (there ain’t nothing like animals slaves to get a job done)

Robotnik now rules the factories, refineries and cities! He’s grabbed control of everything, except the 7 Chaos Emeralds. These magnificent gems are believed to hold exceptional powers. With them, Robotnik could have the entire world at his grasp. And he’d never let go!

The Chaos Emeralds are buried somewhere on the island. Only one tough dude with spiky hair has the speed to find them first!

Help Sonic stop the devious scheme of the demented scientist! Spin like a speedball through space. Grab the speed sneakers and loop ‘til your dizzy. Twirl over the twisting speedways and rocket through tunnels. Balance and blast over a bubbling ocean of oil!

Find the emeralds, free the animals, and squash Robotnik forever! (or at least til Sonic 3)’

Hmm, it’s no Final fantasy, but it will do for a platform game. There’s not much more you can really do than this though.

Gameplay: 9

This is where it’s all at. The game still plays the same, apart from the new special stage. The Super Spin dash helps in a lot of situations, but also makes the game easier. The game is still too easy. There are now 11 zones, as opposed to 7 in the original. Seven of these zones have two levels, one has three, and the remaining three are just one level each, as opposed to the original’s six levels with three zones and one final level. The levels are a mixed bunch. Emerald Hill Zone is fast paced, while Casino Night Zone is slow paced. Thanks to some great sound work, the mood is really set in the aforementioned levels by the pace of the music. Having the option for a second player to control Tails is great, but in the end makes the game a lot easier, as Tails has unlimited lives. All you need is for the second player to do the work, and the game is as good as done, or at least up to a certain point (no spoilers though, play through yourself). The only way to avoid it is to let Sonic do the work I guess. Getting all seven chaos emeralds is a much more involved job this time, and you also get rewarded for it (wink wink, I’m not giving it away though)

The two player mode is fantastic. You have a choice of 3 stages, and a special stage. There are several categories tested, such as who collected the most rings overall, and who recorded the fastest time. If all categories are tied after the two acts, a special stage is used to decide the winner. Special Stages get very frustrating in two player mode, due to the fact that the player at the front is the one who gets the most rings, so effectively it becomes a fight to stay in front. Unfortunately sometimes the fight doesn’t stay in the game (my brother the famous ‘controller un-plugger’). In the end though it is a great mode. The only problem with it is the framerate gets a little dodgy in places, and its nearly unplayable (still not as bad as Perfect Dark though :P)

Lastability: 8

Once you finish the single player (it takes a few goes, it took me two weeks), you might want to go through it a few more times, to capture the emeralds, or view the other routes through the stages. I remember some magazines even had fastest time competitions on Emerald Hill Act 1 (mine is 0’23, it is possible to get 0’00 with the slo’ mo cheat, but they don’t count). But you’ll grow tired of single player, and move on to the VS mode. This will provide many-a-days fun, and will eventually lead to this game sitting on your drive for a while to come. Then again, if you purchase Sonic and Knuckles, you can go through it again with Knuckles (an added bonus on the final boss due to his lack of jump height).

Pro’s

- New playable character
- VS Mode
- Brilliant Soundtrack
- Improved graphics
- A little more of a challenge than the original

Con’s

- Still too easy

Overall: 9

Another brilliant effort from Sega. If they can get the difficulty right, Sonic would be looking at a 10. Only minor issues hold it down from the glory it deserves. If only someone could discover the formula used for playability in these earlier days so they could use it on some of the newer systems.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/24/01, Updated 02/25/01


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