"Quite the Sonic game indeed"

After seeing Sonic the Hedgehog released on the SEGA Genesis, Nintendo probably wasn't all too worried about the Sonic series. It was just a one-time deal, right? Nintendo got a rude awakening when just a year later, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released on the Genesis platform. This new game introduced new aspects of playing, such as better graphics, a new ability called the spin dash, and a new friend with the name Miles ''Tails'' Prower, or Tails for short. With this new character, Nintendo started to get a little worried.

Story: 9/10
Dr. Robotnik is up to his old tricks again! Just like last time, Robotnik's goal is to capture all of the animals and to become the master ruler of the world. Sonic decides that he needs to defeat Robotnik yet again, but he has no way to reach high in the sky! Later on, Sonic is greeted by a little orange fox known as Tails. The unique thing about Tails is that he has two tails! Such a rare deformity allows Tails to fly up in the air for a short time. Plus, Tails made his own airplane so that he could reach higher than ever. With this knowledge, and a roster of new tricks and moves, Sonic decided to team up with Tails to take out Robotnik once and for all.

Gameplay: 10/10
Just like the first game, this game has very simplistic gameplay, although timing is the real challenge. The controls are simple: The A button to jump, down + A to spin dash (more on that later), up + A to fly (also more on that later), down + A while moving to roll, right/left to move right and left, and up/down to scroll up and down the stage. It's not as easy as it sounds, though, because the levels in this game can become quite a debacle if you don't know what you are doing. The main focus of this game is speed, but in some stages, you need to solve a puzzle in order to continue. It may involve jumping from platform to platform or moving through an underwater maze. Sometimes the gameplay is easy, like in the very first set of levels, whereas at the same time it can be down-right hard, like in the last group of levels. A new piece of gameplay in this game is the spin dash. When you're either Sonic or Tails, hold the down button and press A. Sonic/Tails will curl up in a ball and gain speed. Keep pressing A while holding down to gain speed, and release the down button when you think you have enough speed (5-7 revs). Now you'll be able to go extremely fast! In some levels, you can actually go off the screen due to how fast you are going. Another new piece of gameplay in this game is flying. When you're Tails, press up + A, and you'll have the ability to fly for about 10 seconds. You'll need to keep pressing A in order to remain in the air. This also works underwater, where Tails can swim up to the surface. Like Sonic 1, there are barely and significant glitches in the gameplay. Instead of jumping through a giant ring like before, there's a new method of getting into the special stages. If you have 50 or more rings when you touch a lamppost, you'll see some stars hovering over it. Jump inside of the stars, and you'll be transported into a special stage where you get to go for an emerald. The gameplay is simple: A to jump, left and right to move left and right. There are three ring requirements you must meet, and if you meet all three, you earn yourself a chaos emerald! There are 7 chaos emeralds in this game, and if you collect all 7 while you're Sonic, well...something special will happen. ^_~

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics have really been updated. The Sonic sprite now looks even more detailed than ever, with more color and a brighter appearance. Tails also looks detailed, and you can even see his two tails moving as he moves! The level design is bright, cheery, and, for its time, incomparable. The enemy animations are also pretty good, but they could have been slightly better. Sometimes if you go too fast, the graphics will get all messed up, but it'll fix quickly so it's really not too much of a problem. The animations on the power-up boxes haven't been improved too much, but they still look okay. Like the previous title, the easier levels are full of color and fun to play, and the hard levels, although also fun to play because of the challenge they provide, look bland and colorless, but still extremely detailed. Just like the graphics, the sound hasn't been improved upon too much.

Sound: 9/10
The sound in this game is quite good, actually. The sound of when you jump and when you roll truly brings back memories. When you are revving up for a spin dash, you can feel the speed. When you are flying, you can feel the flight. When you are invincible, you feel the invincibility. And when you defeat a boss, you can feel the boss exploding--the sound isn't imitation; the sound is real (at least, as real as it gets on a 16-Bit console). Some of the tunes of the levels are quite memorable, and yet, some are really boring. It depends on your taste whether or not you find the sound to be something really good or not.

The Bottom Line: If you've played Sonic the Hedgehog before and you disliked it, I don't suggest that you buy or even rent this game. If you loved Sonic the Hedgehog, then I advise you to give this game a shot. It will be a good game to add to your Sonic checklist.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/19/04

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