Review by Truck_1_0_1_
Too Similar to the First Game... But Its Still Good!
When I first played Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I was 11, in the year 2000. My sister's friend had played a lot of it, and she brought it over one day. While she and my sister played it sparingly, I invested a hell of a lot time into it, and I can complete the game nowadays with ease. When I played Sonic the Hedgehog for the first time ever in 2006, I was somewhat disillusioned with this installment, as this game was far too similar to the first (especially in the very first zone). Again though it does not mean its a bad game, and it still has the best multi-player of any Sonic game ever. As always, we move on to game play, to shed a bit more light on this great game.
Game play: 9/10
Still a shade below perfection, and that is too bad because aside from the tedious, difficult, and broken special stage, the game play is basically perfect. The running and jumping is the same as the first Sonic, and there is very little here game play-wise to make it stand out from the first Sonic. The same power-ups (ring, shield, power sneaker) are all present and accounted for, as well as the usual ring and time bonuses. This Sonic game though is the first to have a multi-player feature, and, to date, it is the best Sonic multi-player experience you will ever have. Only three of the eleven zones are play-able, however this is the only Sonic game where you can play out the full level against another opponent, and makes for great times indeed. At the end of each level, there are certain criteria you are graded on; time completed the level, rings collected throughout the level, rings at the end of the level, televisions smashed, and points collected. The winner of the majority of these criteria, wins the level, and then you continue on until a winner is crowned. If everything is tied after four levels, you take part in a Special stage, to crown the victor. And here is the game's only downfall game play-wise; the Special stage. You begin in a cylindrical, half tube, and you are automatically propelled forward. You have to collect a certain amount of rings before each checkpoint, in order to continue on. Now this is all fine and dandy, however there are bombs that will cause you to lose X amount of rings at any given time. Simply put, the bombs either do not work sometimes, or sometimes the game goes buggy, and you will be hit multiple times by a single set of bombs (you are temporarily invincible after being hit). Furthermore, the layout of the rings is poorly thought out, and sometimes, you cannot get to as many as you need to collect. Otherwise, game play is fantastic, as well as the story.
Sonic is flying in his plane, when he suddenly notices a nice, green island. He settles down, and decides to take a small vacation (if only it were this easy in real life...). Upon arriving though, he discovers that a fox with two tails is following him around, even at Sonic's incredible speed. Sonic befriends this fox (named Miles 'Tails' Prower), and decides to let him stick around. One day, an explosion is heard in the island, and Sonic investigates, only to find out that it is Dr. Robotnik himself, back to claim seven more Chaos Emeralds, in order to fuel his, "Death Egg," a huge space station (that is eerily similar to the Death Star from Star Wars). At that point, it is up to Sonic and Tails to bring down Robotnik, and try to crush his dreams yet again. Graphics will be next.
While improved, and more colorful than the first Sonic title, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is still not at the level its sequel is. Sonic looks a little bit different, and Tails looks great. Both are very detailed, and both have their own unique animations, and styles. The enemies look even more detailed than before, and they seem more polished than they were in the first game (for example, the bees actually look like bees now, and they also are smoother and crisper). The backgrounds are just as lush, detailed, and fantastic as they were in the first game, no questions asked. Robotnik also looks slightly different (read: better) than he did in the first game, and his egg-mobile also looks a bit different. The special stage looks great; very colorful and vibrant. Not much more to say other than the graphics are superb! As well as the sounds.
Fantastic music here (well, in every Sonic game), and every track in the game is memorable, I myself merely have to think of the zone, and I can recall the music, note for note. Nobuyoshi Sano is the man behind the music in Sonic 2, and he was a master at creating music for Sega games (with this game being no exception). The sound effects of the characters all return in this game, as well as a few new sound effects (for when you turn into Super Sonic for example, or when Tails flies). The music for the two player levels is different from the single player levels (in my opinion, they are inferior), and the special stage also has its own unique sounds and music. Is this a replay-able game though?
Replay ability: 9/10
For its relative simplicity, as well as the two player mode, this is a great game replay-wise. There is a lot to do, and the two player game just adds such depth to the experience, helping the game become more lasting than it could have been. Obtaining Super Sonic is fairly difficult though, and as such, that too will have you plugging away at this game for hours. Nothing wrong here...
Buy or rent?
Most people received this game as a pack in when they bought their Genesis 2 (I am the only person amongst those I know who had to buy the game separately), thus there are many copies out there. Just go out and buy it if you have not already!
Sonic the Hedgehog brought Sega into the limelight, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 caused Sega to remain there for many years, and including this game as a pack in was pure genius, as virtually every person who purchased a Genesis in 1992 or beyond, had this game along with it. From the fantastic graphics, to the catchy music, to the brilliant two player mode, and the addition of Miles 'Tails' Prower, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a winner, through and through.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (US, 11/24/92)
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