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Faster Than the Original - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review
The first Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis managed to gather a loyal following of gamers by offering an alternative to other platformers of its time. It based its gameplay around speed, and it was the top contender for Mario’s crown. Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and you will see that they managed to take the first game’s formula and beef it up considerably with longer levels, more colorful graphics, and even faster gameplay.
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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Gameplay
The first difference you’ll notice right from the start is the addition of a two-tailed fox. Miles “Tails" Prower follows closely behind Sonic, collecting extra rings for the blue hero and allowing a second player to help take down Dr. Robotnik. (You can also play as Tails by tinkering with the options menu.) It’s always fun to play alongside someone else, and Sonic 2’s cooperative multiplayer is just one of the things that made this game better than its predecessor.
Co-op aside, another addition that enhances the Sonic formula is the Spin Dash. By holding down on the D-Pad or analog stick (depending on whether you play using the Wii Remote, Classic Controller, or GameCube controller, all great options) and pressing the jump button, Sonic will roll up into a ball and charge up, only to take off at a high level of speed. It’s a great move, and one that offers that extra kick of speed.
The game’s speed isn’t limited to just the Spin Dash, though. No, there are springs scattered throughout the levels that propel you into countless loop-de-loops and send you running forward, uphill, and downhill at crazy speeds. It can literally get so fast that the screen trails slightly behind Sonic and Tails.
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Graphics and Sound
Sonic’s first adventure was full of color and charm. Sonic 2 actually manages to squeeze even more variety out of its color palette, with bold backgrounds and rich color at every corner. Everything looks livelier this time around. The same amount of praise can be directed toward the game’s soundtrack, which features some very catchy and memorable themes. Later levels feature more serious tracks, but the bulk of this game’s music is upbeat and lighthearted.
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Though Sonic 2 consists of only 20 levels (plus Special Stages where you can collect Chaos Emeralds), they’re considerably longer than those of the previous game. Additionally, there are hidden rings, extra lives, and power-ups scattered literally everywhere, so a little exploration goes a long way. Also, Tails isn’t just there to aid Sonic; the game features a competitive mode where two players can race through a few of the game’s levels. This mode serves mainly as a distraction, but it’s a cool distraction.
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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Overall Score
Sonic 2 easily blows the first game in the series away as it improves on practically every aspect of that game. The only thing that keeps this game from getting a 5/5 score is the fact that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, which are even better, are also available on the Virtual Console. Still, this game’s levels are unique enough to warrant a purchase from anyone who enjoys a good 2D platformer. If you don’t already have a copy, do yourself a favor and download Sonic the Hedgehog 2 immediately.