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A Trip Down Memory's Game - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic the hedgehog 2 is the most fondly remembered game of my childhood. Its a classic that was a major giant back when it came out and it introduced the world to Miles "Tails" Prower and Super Sonic,and in the end it holds up just as well today as it did then.
Sonic 2 came out in the U.S. on November 21, 1992 for the Sega Genesis it sold well primarily due to the success of its predecessor and because it came packaged with the Sega Genesis. Six months after its release it had sold over six million copies and had become a best seller for the Genesis. Sonic 2 also introduced a new gameplay element to the series by including two player mode for competitive play, but that's not all it brought. It is often overlooked and it was never widely advertised but Sonic 2 had co-operative play as well as competitive by allowing the second controller to be plugged in the second player could was allowed to control the new character Miles "Tails".Prower,while player one controlled Sonic. This element of gameplay wasn't seen very often in game genres outside of fighting, racing, beat em ups, etc., and it allowed for what was (at least for me at the time) a chance to honestly play WITH someone, not just playing AGAINST someone; and even today it remains an endearing trait of the game.
For those of you unfamiliar with a classic Sonic game, the basic gameplay mechanics are very simple and straightforward. Sonic runs really fast and can jump and attacks by jumping on his enemies. His health is measured in him having rings, you can collect the rings throughout the Zones but if a monster hits you you lose all of them and if he hits you when you have none you lose a life. He also has a spin dash in which the player press down on the d-pad and press the jump button, this makes him spin in place while he gathers speed, when the d-pad is released he speeds off in a ball destroying enemies in his path. This formula has served the franchise well and has remained a staple of most Sonic games until the Dreamcast era.
Another staple of the Sonic series was the level design, Sonic 2 in particular had level design that always seemed to add a new twist somehow, Casino Night zone had the pinball game elements, The Aquatic Ruins Zone had the arrows that you could stand on and The Hill Top Zone had zip-lines that you could use. The Level transition helped give the illusion that vast distances were covered while also adding the impression of getting closer to Robotnik's hideout by showing some subtle(?) clues as to the effect he's had on the surrounding area (i.e. Oil Ocean, Wing Fortress, and Metropolis Zones, where things are more industrialized as opposed to the more natural and somewhat brighter areas at the beginning.) Also there were the Special zones, which if all completed would give the player to turn Sonic into a yellow version of himself named Super Sonic once you collect fifty rings and jump in the air this would give him more speed and invincibility. The chaos emeralds also serve the purpose of seeing the real ending to the game. All of this adds up to fun levels with difficulty curve that is tough, but fun.
All in All Sonic 2 works, it's fun, it's inventive, it's bright, it's what used to be the norm instead of the exception; and it makes it worth going back to visit.