"A worthy sequel to a great game"

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the first video game I ever played, and still remains one of the best I've played.

Back in Christmas 1994, our dad got us a Genesis (we didn't know it was a dying system), and with it was Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Later on, I played the first game, and trust me, it was great. Then I really started to love the sequel.

Sega's answer to Mario, Sonic finally got his Luigi in the form of a two-tailed fox named, ironically, Tails, who eventually grew to become a fan favorite.

Gameplay (10/10)
The original Sonic gameplay returns for more. Sonic's rolling and jumping abilities are back with his super speed, and he's got a new move which stuck around for the rest of the series, the Super Dash (also known as Spin Dash in later games, and turbo to me and my brother). The Super Dash gives Sonic a quick burst of speed as a ball, often taking out anything in front of him. Also, several stages have their quirks, with the pinball flippers and bumpers of Casino Night, and the plane-wing ride of Sky Chase. Also, the bosses are some of the coolest-looking I've seen.

Graphics (10/10)
The graphics in the first had a few flaws, but they were still impressive. Sonic's pale cyan of the previous is now a deep blue, which looks MUCH better. Also, Tails looks pretty good himself, a lovely combination of orange and white. The sprites are beautiful, and the backgrounds have seen massive improvement since the first. Emerald Hill, Green Hill's successor, is a beautiful grove, in contrast to the amazing metallic look of Metropolis. If it looked good in the first, it looks twice as good in the second.

Sound (10/10)
The first game had memorable music and lovely sound effects, and the second game is every bit as good, and much better. The sound effects are pretty much the same as the first game. However, the music is a much different story. Every stage's music matches with the theme perfectly, and I will never forget any of the music for years. The music in this game is actually better than some of the music you hear these days, to be honest.

Story (10/10)
The story is simple, but is pretty good. Sonic has defeated sinister scientist Dr. Robotnik once before, but he's returned, and he's turning animals into robotic slaves to build his space station, the Death Egg (hey, they may rip off Star Wars, but they can do a good job of it at least). Sonic teams up with his friend, Miles Prower (Get it?), better known as Tails, to take on Robotnik and his mechanical minions once more.

Difficulty (10/10)
There's that good ol' gradual learning curve. The first stage allows players to get acquainted with the controls and techniques, which are put to work in later stages. Also, the bosses gradually get tougher, from the easy-as-pie boss of Emerald Hill to the insane final boss.

Replayability (10/10)
You'll love this game enough to play it again and again and again. Also, Sega added a two-player mode, where Sonic and Tails compete in three of the zones as well as some bonus stages to see who is best overall in various categories, like how many rings you obtained, how many powerups you found, and how long it took you to finish the stage. My brother and I would go up against each other a lot, and he came up with some rules because I won so much! Also, if you have a Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, you can use the lock-on feature to play as Knuckles, with his climbing and gliding ability intact, allowing him to find some extra powerups!

Sonic 2 was one of the best in the series (Sonic 3 & Knuckles was close), and it should be ported to modern systems (actually, it was twice - Sonic Jam for the Saturn and Sonic Mega Collection for the Gamecube)

It should be known that Sonic 2 could actually have had a lot more to it. You may have heard rumors of ''Hidden Palace Zone'', ''Wood Zone'', and various other levels that never made it into the game. Hidden Palace is by far the most famous.

Sega designed at least 4 stages that never made it into the game. The rumors were fueled by screenshots of stages that never appeared in the game, and they were eventually proven when someone found a ROM of the beta version on a Chinese website. However, these stages were not completed nor released in the final game. However, their legacy remains known. Sonic 2's beta is by far one of the most famous prototype games known.

With that aside, Sonic 2 is a must for every Genesis owner, and possibly every gamer into the classics, maybe every gamer period. Run, don't walk, to get your hands on it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/20/03

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