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Sonic's 2D classics re-reviewed

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Sonic 2 (Game Gear/Master System)
Despite the addition of Tails to the 16-bit version of Sonic 2, the little fox only appears in the intro and ending of this 8-bit sequel.

The gameplay is similar to the first game, but augmented (diluted?) by the addition of new features like the mine carts or hang gliders. The latter are notoriously difficult to control, but repeated taps on 'left' with occasional dives into updrafts should see you over the spikes. Sonic also gets his first loops to run through, although they are far less serene than their 16-bit counterparts, with jerky animation and much less control.


Above: The enemies were less of a threat in the sequel, unlike the terrain

The game is harder too on Game Gear, mainly due to the smaller screen. But compensation comes in the form of an abundance of extra lives. Any decent player would see the life counter hit 9 by about the third level and then never dip below it again. A bit of a poor balance really – much death with hardly any consequence.

The emeralds return, but they are harder to find. One reviewer at the time even said they weren't in the game at all... but he couldn't have been looking very hard. Getting them all unlocks an extra (and good-looking) level, and the 'good' ending.

While the game was highly praised at the time, it hasn't aged as well as the original and suffers from being bigger without necessarily being better. Also, the graphical style is less subtle, which takes away a lot of the magic. As a result, it's arguably the weakest of all the original 2D Sonic games. 

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7 comments

  • oufour - December 5, 2009 1:43 a.m.

    tails is the best sidekick ever. screw yoshi, luigi, navi, and all the others. tails is easily the ebst sonic sidekick and sidekick of all time.
  • A_Dirty_Joke - February 10, 2009 9:43 p.m.

    Miss the games so much. I wish I had my Genesis still. I thought you could also put Sonic 2 on Sonic and Knuckles and could play as Knuckles in Sonic 2.
  • GR_JustinTowell - March 31, 2009 11:38 a.m.

    @A_Dirty_Joke - you're right, but it doesn't change the game that much as it's just a straight character swap. There are a few extra lives hidden up walls so you can climb up there, but it just unbalances the game really. Still, better than nothing - and certainly better than the Sonic 1 lock-on.
  • waffledragon33 - December 29, 2008 4:11 p.m.

    sonic rules and i hape he will return to his greatness
  • theturbolemming - December 24, 2008 3:01 a.m.

    Agreed.
  • Epic_bubbie - December 23, 2008 11:41 p.m.

    Tails FTW
  • Epic_bubbie - December 23, 2008 11:41 p.m.

    Tails FTW

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