Review by King Broccoli

"See Sonic run, RUN SONIC RUN!"

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was the pinaccle of the exceptional series starring the spiky hero, it was up there as one of the finest Genesis platformers on the market. By using some the classic platforming gameplay that everyone loves the developers came up with a real winner, it's provided myself and many other people some of the finest gaming moments they've ever experienced, it's just a really good game.

GAMEPLAY
The gameplay of Sonic 2 is classic material, it takes the art of running and jumping to a new level! All of the levels are good in length and most are even better in design, there's a large amount of corkscrews, loop the loops and speedy straights to make for a lot of fast paced action. There are a few sections throughout the game that may cause you to think ''What were they smoking when they designed this section?'' but thankfully these areas are few and far between.
Each level has two zones to it, the first usually eases you into the level and gives you an easier play, the second will provide some harder obstacles and has a boss waiting for you at the end. These bosses range in difficulty from ''yaaaaaawn'' to ''@*#$!!!'' and have the potency to provide some very frustrating times for the player. If you're very good then you may find yourself in the Special Stage, in this you're continuously running down a tube with many twists and turns, all you have to do is collect as many rings as you can and try to reach the set quotas. On the whole, it's tough to find a game on this console with a better selection of levels than this one.
The controls just ooze simplicity, the left and right buttons will make Sonic move in that direction whilst any of the action buttons will cause him to jump. His responsiveness to your directions is quite good and makes agile jumping and manouevring a lot easier to do, it removes a lot of frustration from the game.
Along with the entertaining single player mode there's also a two player option, there's four levels on offer for the players to battle it out on. They race through the levels and are marked at the end on such things as total rings, level time, boxes collected and score. It's just a matter of winning more than half to be declared victorious. If you don't have that competitive spirit but still want two player action then you can take control of Sonics sidekick ''Tails'' and clear a path of destruction for the hedgehog, it's a good job to grant your little brother :P.
There's a good amount of pickups that every platformer requires to be found in this game. Of course there's the standard rings, collect fifty and you'll get the chance to enter the Special Level, collect one hundred you'll be given an extra life, get hit without any and you'll perish. There's also boxes scattered throughout the levels that contain handy items such as shoes that make you run faster and temporary invincibility, quite a handy little extra there.
Overall, the gameplay of Sonic 2 is addictive and just pure enjoyment. It's a pleasure to play through and will provide you and anyone else with endless amounts of fun from the moment you push the power button.

GRAPHICS
The graphics are bright, colourful and really appeal to the eye. The majority of the levels are vibrant and picturesque, everything is very clear and sharp making the on-screen action easy to understand. The backgrounds have a decent amount of detail in them, nothing too extraordinary but still aesthetically pleasing to the gamer. Sonic himself has been done well, he's got a host of animations that are pleasing to look at, when he REALLY get's going his legs practically become a windmill, if he stands still too long he'll just cross his arms and glare at the controller, his creators really managed to give him a great amount of attitude.
All of the enemies he goes up against have been made to look reasonably threatening, but certainly not the types of things that will feature in your nightmares, they all look fantastic and share the attention to detail that the hero does. There's a nice amount of special effects incorporated into the game, from the spectacular pools of lava in the Hill Top zone or the flashing neon lights of the Casino level they're always a treat to view.
Overall, the graphics have done a wonderful job in appearing friendly to the player without being too ''cute'', it's a pleasure to stare at them for a large number of hours and you certainly won't get sick of them. There are few flaws in the whole package, it would have been hard to improve on what they've got.

SOUND
The audio aspects have been done superbly as well, the background themes are cheerful, perky little numbers that will lift the enjoyment level of whoever listens to them. Each of the tunes is quite fitting to it's accompanying level and definitely aren't too repetitive. You'll have to play this game for an extremely long period of time before you get sick of the music in this game.
There's a reasonable amount of sound effects, they sound great and never seem to be out of place at all. They have the wackiness that a platformer requires but thankfully are never over the top. They're very soothing to the ear and aren't repeated enough to get irritating. Perhaps they're a bit sparse, bu the ones included in the game are of sufficent quality to get away with this.
Overall, the whole sound scheme is of a high quality. The music can get stuck in your head it's that memorable. Few complaints to be had here, a pretty darn good job all round.

REPLAY VALUE
There is a pretty good lifespan to be found here, it's certainly not the easiest game to finish and will take you a fair amount of time. The great level designs should ensure that if you don't finish the game it'll at least get a lot of playtime. Once you get sick of the one player mode the multiplayer options will make sure that the cartridge stays in the console for an even longer time. It's a game that a person should find extremely difficult to tire of without a lot of playing it.

FUN FACTOR
The fun factor of Sonic 2 is very good, the gameplay is very enjoyable and will always keep you coming back for more. Progressing through the game is a very satisfying experience as is completing the whole thing, there is quite simply a helluva lot of fun to be had from this game, it looks like a kiddies game on the outside but still will entertain the more aged players.

CHALLENGE
The challenge of this game is of reasonable standards but nothing more. The difficulty range in the levels will ease a player into the game whilst providing some tough challenges for them, that is up until the three quarter mark of the game, from there on things become quite a bit more difficult for anyone regardless of experience. The bosses could have definitely been made more challenging because the majority of them are pushovers, the result of this is a very uneven challenge throughout the game.

OVERALL
There are a few flaws in this game, but it's still a very low number. It's a very polished game that is definitely worth pulling out for a good play every now and again, despite it's growing age. If you haven't tried this game or any other Sonic games then it's recommended you go out and try any of them, they're all entertaining and a good solid play. Overall, this is a great platformer that gives out a lot of fun and enjoyment, that's probably why he's a mascot.......
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GOOD POINTS
- A very classy audio/video setup
- Fantastic multiplayer action on offer
- The level design of this game is superb

NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- The challenge range is a bit uneven, easy bosses with some difficult levels
- The health system can be a bit annoying (life bars beat rings any day)
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GRAPHICS - 10/10
SOUND - 9/10
GAMEPLAY - 9/10
LIFESPAN - 9/10
FUN FACTOR - 8/10
CHALLENGE - 7/10
OVERALL - 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/00, Updated 09/10/01


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