Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

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Retrology
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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby Retrology » June 1st, 2017, 2:59 am

This was the game that cemented the blue hedgehog's status as a legitimate video game sensation. The first Sonic game was great, but not perfect. The consistency in going fast and tedious platforming was a bit off putting, and zones like Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone provided boring puzzles and jumps.

In Sonic 2, Sega clearly did their homework and significantly made improvements for the sequel. First, there's MUCH more sections where you're running fast and half out of control, and it's exhilarating (There are plenty of focuses on platforming, but these are much fewer and farer in between, and they REALLY save the tedious stage for near the end, Metropolis Zone). Second, there's loads of alternate routes, which means you can choose to explore many parts of a zone at different times. Unlike many derivative games which focuses on maze like design, Sonic 2 never feels like a game designed to be like a maze. The alternate routes all connect to the end/other routes, making this a perfect example of great level design in a platform game.

This game also introduces Tails, but while he is helpful, Sega was only scratching the surface of the potential of this character, which would be fully realized in Sonic 3 & Knuckles 2 years later. He can help kill enemies and collect rings in the special stages, a thrilling series of roller coaster-esque chases for the 7 chaos emeralds. Clearing a special stage 7 times is very challenging, but you will be rewarded with Super Sonic, another introduction to the Sonic series (and another concept that would be fully realized in the third game of the original Genesis trilogy).

With all these concepts, the potential for fun is maximized, and Sonic 2 ranks as one of the most thrilling and addicting games you'll ever play. The controls are crisp and responsive, and Sonic's movement is smooth and precise, which means the challenge comes from skillful timing and not frustrating design. There are many hidden areas in the game, and Sonic 2 rewards you by tossing out plenty of rings and extra lives to collect, and collecting continues is very easy, especially in the earlier stages.

When it comes to production values, Sonic 2 is a marvel. The graphics are nice and colorful, and the stages have both creativity and visual appeal. My favorite stage is the Chemical Plant Zone, featuring a dystopian city in the background around a sea of pollution and chemicals (Not many gaming moments are as tense as climbing the rising chemical waters in Act 2). The synthpop music has also returned, and features the same appeal as the first game.

There's a reason many gamers have Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in their top 10 (me included); There's few games as exciting every time I pick it up and play. The balance of speed and platforming is near perfect, and while not all the additions are perfect (the multiplayer mode is good, not great), what was improved upon was improved upon in a great way. The game presents enough of a challenge but it's easy to make significant progress, and as aforementioned, getting a certain score at the end of a zone will grant you a continue.

With outstanding and complex level design, smooth controls, imaginative worlds, balanced gameplay, terrific graphics and a memorable soundtrack, wine doesn't age nearly as good as Sonic 2.

Final Grade: A+

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 1st, 2017, 5:31 pm

Concur it's a great game, but there is one blemish on my memory of this game. I got it on Christmas morning, and the first time I played the Chemical Zone Sonic got STUCK under one of the loops. Somehow he got wedged into a corner or something, so I had no choice but to reset.

Keep in mind this was back when games were not loaded with bugs so getting stuck was very rare. I thought I had a defective cartridge!

I don't recall it happening again however, and never heard anyone else complain, so it must have been a rare occurrence.

Funny the stuff you remember.

ESauce
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby ESauce » June 2nd, 2017, 5:02 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Concur it's a great game, but there is one blemish on my memory of this game. I got it on Christmas morning, and the first time I played the Chemical Zone Sonic got STUCK under one of the loops. Somehow he got wedged into a corner or something, so I had no choice but to reset.

Keep in mind this was back when games were not loaded with bugs so getting stuck was very rare. I thought I had a defective cartridge!

I don't recall it happening again however, and never heard anyone else complain, so it must have been a rare occurrence.

Funny the stuff you remember.


I actually remember falling through the solid floor in that level a couple times and dying. It was always when I got up to a really high speed and Sonic would speed out of frame and through the floor, so whenever I started going to fast in that level I would slow down out of fear of dying.

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ptdebate
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby ptdebate » June 2nd, 2017, 7:12 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Keep in mind this was back when games were not loaded with bugs so getting stuck was very rare. I thought I had a defective cartridge!


Actually, retro games had plenty of bugs. The only difference today is that developers have a way to easily fix them.

Look at this webpage devoted to the bugs in Sonic 2 alone:

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_2_(16-bit)_bug_list

lynchie137
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby lynchie137 » June 2nd, 2017, 8:41 pm

I loved this game as a kid. And so did my sister. I can remember the two of us playing the two player split screen option for hours on end, laughing our butts off the whole time. Great times for sure.

shootingstar
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby shootingstar » June 4th, 2017, 5:49 pm

I think this is the best Sonic game that has ever been made. I love it to death.

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MoarRipter
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby MoarRipter » June 5th, 2017, 10:10 am

This game had some of the best BGM of any video game ever.

Sut
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby Sut » June 5th, 2017, 3:10 pm

MoarRipter wrote:This game had some of the best BGM of any video game ever.


Amen to that I was humming chemical plant Zone just the other day. That Sega sound chip was awesome in the right hands.

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Retrology
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Re: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Postby Retrology » June 20th, 2017, 2:55 am

Sut wrote:That Sega sound chip was awesome in the right hands.


This. The Genesis handled electronic dance music perfectly, especially the synthpop and techno that were huge in the late 80s and early 90s respectfully.


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