Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

In this review, we rescue the forest animals in the Sega Genesis game Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We find out what it’s like playing this adventure game.

This game was released in 1992. We have a little bit of understanding with this franchise. We previously reviewed the prequel, Sonic The Hedgehog. That game got a great score. We also tried the Sega Master version of that game. That game got a decent, albeit, weaker score.

The story is basically that Dr. Ivo Robotnik has kidnapped the forest animals again. He is planning on eventually taking over the world. Sonic the Hedgehog must once again stop him.

This game introduces Sonic’s sidekick Tails. While he goes along with Sonic, he isn’t that helpful in the game itself. He might hit an enemy or two or even collect the odd ring here and there, but otherwise, his usefulness is rather limited in the single player mode.

Much like the original game, you collect rings. If you get hit, you’ll drop a bunch of them (if not, all of them). If you get hit without any gold rings with you, you’ll lose a life and die. Also like the original game, you can quickly re-collect a few of the rings if you are ever hit, though it is unlikely you’ll get even half of them. Fortunately, there are plenty of other rings lying around the level for you to collect. If you collect 100 rings at any time, you earn a free life.

Also along the way are collectibles stuck in TV’s. You jump on the TVs to collect whatever is inside. Some of the collectible items you can pick up include 10 rings (ring icon), shield (bubble), and temporary invulnerability (sparkles). The shield absorbs a hit from an enemy. Temporary invulnerability allows you to pass through things that would otherwise hurt you. Enemies are much more easily defeated with this.

Another thing to find along the way are checkpoints. These are the sticks with the star ball on it. Touch it and you’ll activate it. If you die any time after this checkpoint, you’ll start again at this checkpoint. This can easily help you avoid retracing some footsteps.

What also can be found on the level are various obstacles. There are loops and various hills you can run through. There are also various springs that can get you up to speed. Yellow springs add some speed while red springs generally give you more. There are also springboards throughout the levels as well. In addition to this, there are zone specific obstacles you can run in to. Some levels have pinball flippers while others have oil caps that jump up into the air.

There are a host of enemies you can encounter. Some enemies wander around. Others break through the background and attack you. A number of them have projectiles they fire at you. Most can be defeated by jumping on them, though not all. Beware of enemies that have spikes on them.

The level progression is very linear. Most of the zones have multiple acts. At least one of the zones contains a third act. If you complete every act, you’ll encounter the zone boss. Almost every time, it’s Dr. Robotnik with an additional attachment on his flying machine. Each boss requires multiple hits. Defeat the boss battle, and you’ll be able to free a group of forest animals stuck in a device.

Eventually, you’ll take on Dr. Robotnik in a final battle. If you beat him, you beat the game.

One thing I like about this game is the fact that it takes everything that made the original successful and put it into this game. The fast-paced moments that gave this game a unique look to it has returned. If I’m not imagining things, I’d say it’s possible to run even faster in this game in some areas.

Another improvement is the fact that there are more areas to explore. There aren’t as many acts, though. While the game may veer a little on the short end of things, the multiple routs a player can take through the level is impressive. So, there’s plenty to explore and find in this game. So, the length isn’t a big issue for me in this case.

An annoying thing about this game is that there is a few moments where there are forced surprise hits in the game. You have no real way to react to the hits, so you are just forces to take the hit and move on. This can be a bit annoying in my view. It also doesn’t actually add much to the challenge necessarily either, it just serves to annoy the player.

Another annoyance I have is that the controls can be somewhat finicky at times. Sometimes, you press the jump and Sonic may not jump. In other cases, the momentum works against you and you may find yourself overshooting platforms. It’s not a huge problem, but it is a problem that is present in this game.

Beyond that, there’s not much to criticize with this game. It has great variety, the multiple routs are nice to see, and it has everything that made the original so successful. The controls can be a little fussy at times. There are some parts that are more annoying than challenging, but that’s about it. It’s a very solid game in this respect.

The graphics are great. The backgrounds are impressively animated. The foreground elements also add a nice texture to the game. Some of it is impressively smoothly animated. The characters are nicely drawn. To make things even more impressive, there is even a special 3D level hidden away in the multiplayer mode. While it is pretty basic, it is well thought out. It’s certainly a game hat holds it’s own against its SNES competition. This includes games like Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, On The Ball, and even The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A great job overall.

The music is well done in my opinion. Even on more difficult levels, the music gives some redeeming qualities to the experience. The sound effects are also nicely done. Overall, a nice job here.

Overall, this was a great experience. Though it may lean towards the shorter side of things, the many alternate routs give players plenty to explore. There are also some annoying moments with nearly impossible to avoid enemies and obstacles. The fussy controls can also prove to be irritating at times as well. Still, a lot of what made the original unique makes a return here. The variety of levels have also increased, giving players a reason to play this second game. The graphics are great and the audio is also pretty good. Definitely a game worth playing if you ask me.

Furthest point in game: Beat the game.

General gameplay: 22/25
Replay value: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 84%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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