My review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The game of my youth, and my first Sonic game ever.
This game is what defined the Sonic franchise back in the 16-bit days, not Sonic the Hedgehog. Bundled with the Sega Genesis shortly after its release, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was likely the most played game in the Genesis library. It was this game that will be the benchmark of all Sonic games, this game that will be compared to other platformers, this game that set the standard of the Genesis, and this game that will be compared to the competitors like Super Mario World. The first thing this game hits you with is bright, vibrant colours. The enemies pop, the environment is lush and green, the sky is blue and Sonic, followed by his buddy Tales, is easy to follow on screen. The second thing this game hits you with is speed. You go fast; so fast that you get blindsided by enemies and obstacles. You collect rings to gain points and lives, and if you collect fifty rings and hit a checkpoint, you can go to the bonus level. The bonus level allows you to collect chaos emeralds, which are used to transform Sonic into a vibrant, yellow, sparkly Super Sonic. As Super Sonic, enemies and obstacles don't damage you, but you slowly use up your rings until they are depleted and you go back to being the blue hedgehog. Oh, and don't think you are invulnerable; you can still be crushed and fall down pits. The story of this game, far as I can remember, is to rescue your animal buddies from the hands of the evil scientist, Dr. Robotnik, who uses them to create mindless robots. You go through various levels ranging from a tropical seaside, chemical plant, casino, oil ocean, mystical cave, volcano level and factory zone. Eventually, you go on board Dr. Robotnik's airplane, and then to his space station, where the final battle begins. The final two battles are tense. First, you fight Metal Sonic, which is pretty much a robotic Sonic with a set pattern and blade saw back. Then you fight Doctor Robotnik in his giant machine. What makes these battles so tense? You have no rings. None. Zilch. One hit and you're dead. And you have to fight the entire battle over. Oh, not just the one battle, but both of them. You die at Doctor Robotnik you gotta fight Metal Sonic again. Seems fair? Nope. But that's what gaming was like back in the 90's. This is the game that set the standard for all Genesis games, and let me tell you, the standard is high. If you like bright, fast paced platformers, give this game a try. It's widely available on cart, and is also available in various formats for the GameCube, Nintendo DS, PS3 and 360. So give it a try. You may very well enjoy it.