Genesis Review – Sonic the Hedgehog 2

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The Sonic series is an all time favourite – but my favourite of all the games is Sonic 2 for Sega Genesis! I remember playing it at my babysitters’s house with my brother. We got all the way to metal sonic and had a game over! Anyways, I thought that I would review this gem of a game considering Sonic Mania has been recently released for consoles!

In terms of story – it is thin but sets the backdrop for a fun adventure. Egg Man has plans of taking over the world with the Chaos Emeralds and by building a giant Death Egg space station. It is up to Sonic and Tails to to collect the Chaos Emeralds and put an end to Egg Man’s plan!

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In terms of gameplay – this is a fast-paced platforming game! Players run and jump through large stages with tons of secrets and enemies. There are numerous types of powers that make you invincible and once that make collecting rings easier. Rings are used both to gain extra lives (you need 100 to get one) and to keep you alive. If you run out of rings (and you loose them all by getting hit) you die! If players are good, they can also find check-points that act as warps to secret levels (if you have 50 rings) to collect the Chaos Emeralds and unlock super sonic!

Overall, the tension of wanting to go fast and not wanting to loose your rings works great, leading to an overall really satisfying and responsive game. The more you play, the more fun it gets because you learn how to quickly navigate through all the levels effectively! One of the additions that Sonic 2 brings is the addition of the ability to charge up your speed while standing still, which is really helpful in going from 0 to 100 quickly! Also, a second player can now take control of Tails the fox and play cooperatively with Sonic. Tails takes damage but never looses rings so playing with another player is not only fun but makes the game a bit easier to navigate.

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The levels of this game are fantastic ranging from classic zones like Emerald Hills to brand new zones like Chemical Plant and Mystic Mountain and my favourite Wind Fortress Zone! The levels often have numerous paths and tons of secrets which make exploration really rewarding and fun. Many zones also introduce really interesting mechanics that make each zones unique – like the rising water in Chemical Plant zone, and the lava in Mystic Mountain. This is the pinnacle of Sonic level design!

Each zone (comprising of 2 levels) also has a boss. These bosses start out easy but do get a bit harder by the end of the game. I enjoyed the bosses because while the were fairly straight forward, the later bosses often require a bit of problem solving to figure out how to dispose of them!

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In terms of graphics, this game still looks fantastic to this day! The game is so fast and has little to no slowdown (thanks to the blast processing)! Each area has a distinct look and the sprites themselves looks great. Sonic and Tails also have great animations that really help to bring them to life. The music is also great and really feels energetic and upbeat – except when you are running out of air! The shift is music when you are in danger really emphasizes how close you are to dying which ramps up the tension and the fun!

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In summary, this is an exceptional Sonic game – and maybe the best! It is fast, challenging, and is more rewarding the more you play it! If you have a Genesis, this game needs to be apart of your collection. Overall, I give this game a final score of 9/10 and a designation as a Top Pick!

Final Score: 9/10

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