"Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is Platforming at its best!"

Several years ago, Sega's flagship character, Sonic the Hedgehog, teamed up with Tails and many other assorted animals to take down the Robot-loving freak, Dr. Robotnik, in Sonic the Hedgehog 1.

Sonic made his way in this sequel in a VERY big way. Sega employed all the same formulas from the original Sonic the Hedgehog that worked so well, and it paid off big time. The story is great, the gameplay is basically the same but enhanced, the graphics couldn't look better, and the music is, as in every Sonic game, spectacular.

The story for Sonic 2 is simple, yet for platformers, its just perfect. Whereas games like RPG's are based upon an intriguing storyline, its satisfying to play a fresh platform game such as Sonic 2 with a simple plot that gets you into the game yet doesn't keep you in the dark.

Tails has been captured by Robotnik, and its up to Sonic to rescue him, as well as give Robotnik another piece of humble pie. The player, as Sonic, is charged with the task of not only stopping Robotnik and saving Tails, but also collecting the Chaos Emeralds hidden in various Zones, and finally stopping all of Robotnik's evil henchmen as well.

The gameplay is the same as its predecessor: fast paced, action packed, and easy with the controls. Fast paced is Sonic's middle name, and Sega did a good job of making sure the game didn't move too slow, because the game would really be bad if Sonic could not rush through each Zone with great speed and precision. Though the game is VERY fast paced, each level is quite big and full of lots of depth. The game includes lots of secret passageways and new places to explore, which is great. The addition of different vehicles to use in certain levels adds to the fun and excitement of the game. The great thing that this game has over its GameGear counterpart is that there are a lot of added levels to make the game more exciting and lengthy.

The graphics of the game are amazing. The level designs and lighting effects are top notch, and a lot of detail was put into them, particularly in the background. The color scheme of the Genesis bears little difference to the GameGear version, and is very impressive as well. And how can you complain when Sonic, Tails, and Robotnik look bigger and better than before?

The enemies in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are very creative, original, and pleasing to look at. Each enemy has their own distinct features, and this is saying a lot for the age of this game. The robotic details of the game are quite impressive, and they really do pass as very intelligent robot enemies. The way these enemies are designed was definitely used to show their evil personae, and it succeeds with flying colors.

The sound of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is great, to say the least. The tracks used in the game's levels are all fast paced and exciting, which is great, and it matches perfectly with the speed the game moves. Moving at Sonic Speed and listening to the fast paced music all adds to the great platforming experience Sega brings in Sonic 2.

The sound effects could use a little work, though. Every time you jump, it makes the same sound, which gets old at times. Hitting enemies and bosses makes the same sound as well. I find it a little hard to believe that every enemy dies the same way with the same sound. In conjunction with that, whenever Sonic is hit produces the same "Rings clattering all over the map" sound. That gets old and boring, and i'm sure Sonic has a little more guts than to take his hits with a sound like that. This is probably the most notable flaw in the game.

In terms of replayability, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 offers a good amount for a Platformer of that generation. There are plenty of levels to explores, with many complex paths and passageways to choose from in each. Two endings to the game, Chaos Emeralds to find, and all around fun that comes from playing through the game over and over will keep you coming back for more!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of my favorite platform games of all time. Sega deserves a lot of respect for putting up a very high quality series and a sequel worthy of running with the likes of high caliber competition (Mario, Link, etc) released by the Super Nintendo system of the time.

If you don't have this game, you really should get out and find a copy. Its worth every penny. So get out there, buy the game, and enjoy the world of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sonic would be proud.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/14/04

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