Sonic reigns supreme in second outing
Ah, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega’s top mascot has had a bit of a revival lately. From trilogy games on the Genesis and other systems developed by Sega and its competitors to comic books and various merchandise, cartoon series and two blockbuster movies, Sonic and Co. are living large. He reached a similar zenith in his second game — Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — which also introduced fans to his equal-yet-unique partner, Miles Prower aka “Tails” (because he’s a two-tailed fox) who joins our favorite blue speedy demon in a new battle to stop Dr. Robotnik.
In Sonic 2, Sonic and Tails and their friends are enjoying peaceful days on West Island until Dr. Robotnik and his cronies arrive, kidnapping the inhabitants, and transforming them into robotic slaves. The slaves would help Robotnik search for the legendary Chaos Emeralds, which he plans to use to power his space station. With Robotnik’s latest threat, It’s up to Sonic and Tails to find the Emeralds to foil Robotnik and his dreams for world domination.
Gameplay in Sonic 2 is much like the first Sonic game, but with some new additions. Each level or “act” (there are 20 in total) will have you bashing enemies and avoiding various hazards such as spikes and bottomless pits. While dashing through you must utilize some patience and timing to avoid these various obstacles. Sonic is still easy to control but he now also has a cool new trick called the Spin Dash. This lets him go even faster and take down more enemies. Tails has the same skills, but his two tails give him a little more flair.
Sonic 2 has the option of Sonic or Tails going after Robotnik alone or joining forces in either single- or two-player modes. Robotnik has some new allies in the form of a robotic monkey named Coconuts and a robotic crab named Thrasher whose shell is comprised of a pinball bumper. With Robotnik having new methods to attack and hench bots to carry them out, the usual powerups (Rings, Speed Sneakers, and invincibility) are vast and abundant, but Sonic and Tails can take advantage of a new power shield that gives temporary protection against hits.
The graphics are of 16-bit quality, but they do an excellent job of shining, whether it’s characters or backgrounds. Each stage is bursting with high energy color; the Chemical Plant Zone, Metropolis Zone and the bonus stages are my some of my personal favorites.
I was pleased with Sonic 2’s music from beginning to end as it paired perfectly with the stages, beat by beat. The Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Casino Night and Mystic Cave zones hit the spot with special recognition for the Sky Chase Zone for its relaxing beats.
Sonic 2 is worthy of revisiting often, especially if you want to experience 16-bit gaming at its finest. There is no doubt that Sonic 2 would be a sure-fire hit game to introduce to a new generation of gamers looking to experience good old-school gaming.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a certifiable banger in the annals of video game history. One of the best sequels ever released kept Sega in the 16-bit wars and gave us legendary Sonic gameplay that still holds up. Spin Dash on blue blur.