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Sonic the Hedgehog 2

ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2

Developers: Sonic TeamSega Technical Institute Publisher: Sega
21 November 1992
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 [ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2] - cover art
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3.83 / 5.0
0.5
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1,664 Ratings / 9 Reviews
#451 All-time
#5 for 1992
The fight for the chaos emeralds continues as Sonic is joined by his new sidekick, the flying two-tailed fox Miles "Tails" Prower. The two race to stop their nemesis Dr. Robotnik and his plans for world domination with his new construct, the Death Egg, an armored space station built to utilize the destructive potential of the emeralds.
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Speed limit
Yea i dont get Sonic. Why make a game which plays so well at high speed, and yet have level design that effectively punishes you for going fast. Everything in this one is so polished, from the fluid gameplay to the adrenaline pumped music. I dont understand why they choose to give the player so many tools for speed and then place enemies and traps in the middle of the course, and there is no way someone is fast enough to react to those. I played and enjoyed a couple of sonic games when i was a kid, but playing this one now it becomes apparent how flawed of a concept this is.
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Threntall 2016-06-24T19:11:52Z
2016-06-24T19:11:52Z
3.0
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This sequel was made during hectic conditions, considering Sonic's creator felt misused by Sega of Japan and went to America to make this sequel with the help of the Sega Technical Institute (who, believe it or not, don't make calculators). The overall improved speed, fluidity of movement, and refinement of small things -- such as, air bubbles being more frequent, less luck-based -- make this a great sequel.

However, it lacks the polish of the first. The visuals are too busy at times, the soundtrack isn't anywhere near as good as the first -- yes, Chemical Plant is amazing but the rest isn't -- and the later levels feel cheap and confused. The game focuses on speed yet it throws in enemies who you'll hit while zipping down a lane, counteracting its intended goal. I didn't have this problem with the first and it sours me here. A good sequel but not superior to the first, even if it is much faster and colorful.
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-03T23:14:18Z
2016-04-03T23:14:18Z
4.0
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8.5

Sonic 2 is pure nostalgia for me. Even moreso than 1 it brings me to my childhood and it has this charming aura for me that makes it so easy to replay. It’s variety and “fun factor” is a major step up from 1 and it was the reason many 90s kids got the Sega in the first place. The hype with 1 was real, but many systems were sold on the promise of 2. I think it holds up to this day and besides the slog of the Metropolis Zone, it’s an absolute gem.
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FatherMcKenzie 2023-11-06T03:15:40Z
2023-11-06T03:15:40Z
4.0
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While I'll always prefer the third entry into the sonic franchise, I will say that this is still a solid entry thanks to it improving on the formula set up by the first instalment.

It's tempting to say that my appreciation for this game mainly stems from the introduction of tales (I am a fox furry after all if you couldn’t tell from my avatar) however here he's only implemented as a sidekick that follows sonic around given how he isn't a playable character in this game. His main gimmick is to collect items that sonic would otherwise miss to address the criticisms of the first game where he would barely miss items he ran past. You'd think that having a sidekick would be the full extent on what this game had to offer over its predecessor, you'd be wrong as this also introduces the classic spin dash that was absent in the first title, leading to much better level design to accommodate for this new move. Speaking of the level design, it's has much better art direction as the locations aren't nearly as generic here as they were previously. This is due to the game having a better colour palette as well as more creative settings for each level for our heroes to explore in. If I were to criticise this game, it would be the final boss as I don't think it's possible to defeat both Robotnik and metal sonic in one go without emulating the game, there should be an achievement for completing this task due to how unfair these two fights are back-to-back. At least the ending is satisfying and not just because you overcame this ridiculous challenge.

I feel the third game is where the franchise begins to become flawless as despite these additions, it's still a fairly basic if solid game. The difficulty is tough but fair (save for that awful final boss) and it’s a ton of fun to revisit even to this day.
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Foxylover92 2021-06-23T00:23:54Z
2021-06-23T00:23:54Z
4.0
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Flawed
Genuinely do not understand the hype behind this game to this day, it makes me believe the way to draw in an audience is make a game look really good and sound really good and they'll just accept it. The control is decent, the visuals are good, and the music is good, but then the level design is absolutely awful. I feel like with something like a highspeed platformer the idea to get across is rewarding a player for going fast while also dealing with the obstacles ahead, but that's not possible for Sonic 2 without repeated playthroughs as trying to go fast will result in you crashing into an enemy without any real reaction time. The game also has questionable collision, with several times where I was crushed in Chemical Plant while being on top of the block. At the end of the day it's cool that the control is good, but the level design itself is just plain bad and it makes the levels a chore to go through. I lost interest the minute I got to Chemical Plant and my interest slowly fell more and more the more zones I went through.
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CKSkies 2021-06-29T03:06:02Z
2021-06-29T03:06:02Z
4.5
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The first Sonic the Hedgehog did not succeed in swaying me. Sega thought that their audacity to spurn the undisputed video game champ of Nintendo was totally justified because they claimed Sonic’s unequivocal awesomeness would render the likes of Mario null and void. All we had to do as gamers was take a chance on its competition and help usher in Sega’s gaming empire. While Sonic and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive provided a worthy alternative to Nintendo’s systems, the company did not eclipse Nintendo’s presence and dethrone them from their seat as the king of the gaming medium. Given that Sonic was the juggernaut that Sega paraded in this battle they created, it’s a wonder how they ever fathomed a chance of winning. Admittedly, Sonic had charisma, appeal, and a performative prowess that outmatched anyone from Nintendo’s mascot line up. However, the “blast-processing” mumbo-jumbo Sega touted was nothing but a cheap gimmick (what a surprise). As lame as it sounds, Mario has persisted because his platforming is practical and suitable for the world he resides in. Sonic’s blisteringly fast momentum did not bode well with the constant obstacles that constantly halted his trajectory. In fact, the first Sonic title presented so many walls, enemies, and awkward platforming sections in Sonic’s way that it seemed as if speed was discouraged. Fortunately, gaming is littered with sequels that strive in mending the blemishes of the previous title. Considering Sonic’s popularity, the release of one was inevitable. One year after Sonic’s debut, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the sequel that could potentially convert skeptics like myself by overhauling all of Sonic’s flaws and finally impact Nintendo’s reign over the industry.

One can only tweak Sonic so much before going overboard. He’s a simple character with a restrained array of abilities. The blue hedgehog’s prime asset is his speed which can get bogged down from over complicating it with the frills of upgrades. Sonic would have faltered even more if Sega granted Sonic with as many power ups as Nintendo did for Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3. Any enhancement to Sonic would have to expand and or accommodate his sprightly nature. Given that Sonic already zooms across the map like a bat out of hell, making him faster would’ve rendered him unplayable. The developers wisely decided to augment a component of Sonic’s speed that wasn’t his maximum potential. Climbing up inclined ledges in the first game tended to be awkward due to not having enough innate momentum to scale up the next platform. The game assumes that the player should be blazing through the level, but fails to consider all the assorted enemies and numerous collisions with the walls along the way that upset the rate of movement. Sega’s solution to this common dilemma was the spin dash, a manual method of gaining momentum for getting over those stubbornly steep ledges or simply for a quick boost. Crouching and holding down the jump button will cause Sonic to rev up enough kinetic energy by spinning in place, and releasing him will cause Sonic to dash while curled up in a ball with enough speed to overcome a number of platforming hurdles. Sonic can also utilize this move for the assorted roller coaster loops and plow over most ground-floor enemies. The spin dash is a stroke of genius that compliments Sonic’s swift and alert gameplay while also greatly compensating for the abrupt cessations at the core of Sonic’s faulty design. In the grand scheme of Sonic ingenuity, the introduction of the spin dash is akin to inventing the wheel: a requisite for any Sonic game whose inclusion in Sonic 2 consigns the first game to the prehistoric dark ages.

If the player didn’t immediately launch themselves into the game with the pressing of the start button, they may have noticed that Sonic is sharing the space of the open-faced emblem in the game’s menu. His golden, furry compadre smiling at the player and gesturing his fist is Miles Prower, who is thankfully better recognized by his nickname “Tails” because his full name is a god awful pun. Long before Sega gave Sonic enough friends to fill a penthouse orgy, this plucky fox with a genetic mutation was his first and only aid in saving the woodland critters of Mobius from becoming Robotnik’s mechanized slaves. As subsequent entries in the Sonic franchise were released, Tails' role as the mechanical wizkid and his quest for self confidence is extrapolated, but not so much here. All we see pertaining to this in his debut here is him escorting Sonic through the sky via a biplane. However, one aspect of Tails seen here that remains consistent throughout the series is his supporting, second banana status to Sonic. Like Luigi before him, Tails is the “little brother” character for the second player, intending to have significantly less impact and precedence. Tails even takes the secondary role a step beyond Luigi as the game sets Sonic and Tails on the field simultaneously. The second player will hardly get the sensation that they are playing as Tails because the camera will solely focus on Sonic, leaving Tails in the dust as Sonic zips around at the speed of light. Tails also cannot die, which ultimately makes the second player ideal for dealing with the Robotnik encounters while Sonic sits back and fondles his chili dog. Talk about being insignificant! Player 1 also has the option of playing as Tails as a solo venture, but who would want to play as a character that is slower than Sonic without any special attributes? Adding Tails to the experience was a slight sampler of the bloated character roster that Sega always planned for Sonic.

The first game’s core problem was not the lack of the spin dash or a buddy that follows Sonic around like a dog. Sonic’s debut title misfired due to the questionable designs seen across most levels in the game. Lethargic platforming sections and trudging slowly through water was completely counterintuitive to Sonic’s ideal purpose of sprinting through levels. Green Hill Zone, the starting level of the first Sonic game, was the only area that granted Sonic reasonable legroom to strut his stuff. Unfortunately, the game peaked at Green Hill Zone as every following level decided to inhibit Sonic at seemingly every step of the way. Emerald Hill Zone, Sonic 2’s first level, treats the player to the same standard of quality as Green Hill did, but there is something peculiar about it. It doesn’t take a staunch Sonic enthusiast to notice that Emerald Hill Zone looks exactly like Green Hill Zone, almost down to the name. Emerald Hill possesses the same tropical foliage, mountainous towers of earth, a sparkling body of water in the background, etc. A few minor differences include a color pallet swap for the wasp bots, monkeys flinging coconuts from the tops of trees, and corkscrew sections that share the space with the inverted roller coaster loops. Starting the game with a remixed Green Hill Zone is refreshing and all, but it might signify that not only is the game repeating itself, but Sonic is already out of ideas.

When I stated that I’d be happy with the first Sonic game if it only included Green Hill Zone, I was being hyperbolic. Repeating Green Hill Zone to the extent of a full game would be like a cereal that has nothing but marshmallows: the nuance is completely gone. Upon further consideration, perhaps Sonic 2 upholds the idea of only offering Green Hill Zone. No, I don’t mean almost the exact same level repeated ad nauseam like Emerald Hill, but levels that recreate the design and essence of Green Hill Zone using it as a template. My worries of Sonic 2 repeating the mistakes of its predecessor were relieved with Chemical Zone, the level that follows Emerald Hill. Despite Chemical Zone displaying a more sterile, urban setting, the fabric of Green Hill Zone is interwoven in Chemical Zone’s industrial intricacies. Double helixed ramps zigzag through several connecting routes as complex as the DNA structures they are modeled after. Pneumatic energy pushes Sonic through a series of tubes whose channels are so roundabout that it's liable to make the player feel dizzy. Downward ramps are so steep that it’s a wonder that Sonic’s inclined acceleration doesn’t make him catch fire. When Sonic reaches the bottom of these slopes, he jets off so vigorously that the camera struggles to catch up, hitting the wall on the right side of the screen as a result. One moment in the second act that breaks this whirlwind pacing is when Sonic must climb a series of moving blocks to avoid drowning in the rising pink water.(?) Somehow, platforming sections involving ascension don’t feel as jarring as those found in the first game, most likely because they still require movement. Chemical Plant Zone is an electrifying playground that exemplifies the pinnacle of Sonic’s level design. If not for Green Hill Zone serving as the precedent an entire game earlier, I’d declare Chemical Plant as the ultimate classic Sonic level.

While Chemical Plant is the stand out level in Sonic 2, the game does not suffer from a massive decline in quality after experiencing the best that the game has to offer. While not as intense and multifaceted as Chemical Plant, each subsequent level still uses Green Hill Zone as a source of inspiration. Just the name of Aquatic Ruin Zone may be enough to send shivers down the spines of anyone who was traumatized by the painful, underwater slog that was Labyrinth Zone. However, Aquatic Ruin might be a testament that the developers learned their lesson and adapted accordingly. Aquatic Ruin is modeled with two distinct layers, one being the rocky ruins over the water and one being submerged in the drink. Accidently dipping into the water while speeding through the dry route is a soft penalty, but traversing the underwater path is as viable a means to navigate the level. Sonic’s speed is only slightly reduced as opposed to wading through water at a snail’s pace, and bubbling spots for Sonic to breathe are seen more frequently. Eventually, the two paths will intersect by the end of the level, a fantastic conclusion to the zone and another example of the layered design from Green Hill Zone in full effect. Casino Night Zone is a fully realized version of Spring Yard Zone, a flashy nocturnal setting beaming with the pizzazz of city nightlife. This zone marks the beginning of Sonic levels themed around casinos, with pinball bumpers and slot machines galore as part of the level design. Hill Top is a craggy, volcanic crater that further expands on the ascension sections seen in Chemical Plant. Mystic Cave is the most labyrinthine level that still manages to offer multiple paths, and Oil Ocean presents a series of cannons whose implementation in the level is similar to the pipes in Chemical Zone. The only level that shits the bed is Metropolis Zone, the final fully-fledged level with multiple acts. This level’s unfair enemy placements and the sections involving the bolts where Sonic has to rev up them on the nut recalls some of the worst aspects from levels seen in the first game. Sega evidently didn’t grasp how to execute a Sonic’s game’s difficulty curve smoothly as Metropolis Zone and the finale level Wing Fortress digress back to Sonic 1’s flaws in the name of amping up the challenge near the end of the game.

I still find fault with the fact that Sega insists on crafting Sonic games with a punishing arcade difficulty in mind. Yet again, the player only has a piddly three lives to complete the game and losing all of them blows the player right back to the very bottom. Even though this still irritates me, I suppose I can’t fault the developers too much for at least making survival easier for the player. While boxes containing extra lives still aren’t placed generously, the player now has the opportunity to stack lives without having to collect 100 rings. If the player manages to finish a stage with an estimated ballpark of at least 50 rings, an icon of Sonic will appear. Doing this in succession will net the player an extra life. Having around the same amount of rings when reaching any checkpoint also transports the player to this game’s special zone in a haze of red light. Special zones in Sonic serve as opportunities to net one of seven prized Chaos Emeralds and since checkpoints are fairly commonplace, the player could potentially acquire all seven of them after the second zone to use Super Sonic. As lenient as that sounds, the half-pipe sections in the special stages are no cakewalk, but at least acquiring rings and avoiding bombs is feasible unlike the rotating game of chance presented in the first game.

I’m not sure the additional perks in Sonic 2 could prepare the player for the final bout against Robotnik. Just like the first game, the mustachioed mechanical madman will appear at the end of each level’s final act as a boss. He hovers around in the same pod, but he still has some crazy new ideas to conquer Sonic. Ultimately, every new trick Robotnik has up his sleeves results in the same easy roulette of boss encounters from the first game. That is, until Sonic reaches the zenith of his Death Egg battleship for the final duel. Before Robotnik must face his blue adversary for the last time, he decides to release an ugly, hostile robotic model of Sonic known colloquially as Metal Sonic. Metal Sonic has had many appearances in later Sonic titles with more coloring and a sharper-looking sheen, but his clunky bronze form shows his humble origins like Marvel’s Iron Man. He also doesn’t pose much of a challenge, but the same cannot be said for the Death Egg Robot that Robotnik scurries into once Sonic has defeated his mechanized mirror. Robotnik’s mech is unpredictable and punishing, and the player must flirt with the stingiest of high hitboxes to do any real damage to it. Super Sonic would’ve been nifty and apropos for this climactic confrontation, but the developers thought it wise to deprive the player of any rings. Not only will the player die upon getting hit even once, but they will also be forced to fight Metal Sonic again. The process of fighting both of these bots will most likely drain the player’s lives, causing the player to go back to square one even at the final bout. If you can claim that you’ve never lost all of your lives to the Death Egg Robot and were crestfallen at the result at any point while playing this game, you’re a liar.

I love it when developers can take some time to honestly reflect on the faults of their games and use what they’ve learned to craft a smoother experience for the next title. One would not expect this type of introspection with Sonic the Hedgehog as Sega basically used their new mascot to bite their thumbs at Nintendo like rude little miscreants. Upon seeing the final product that was Sonic’s debut, Sega realized that all the boasting they did made them look like total jackasses as they didn’t have a leg to stand on. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an exemplary sequel that finally proves Sonic’s capabilities with expanding on the first game’s one exceptional attribute: Green Hill Zone. Using the multilayered design and lenient range of obstacles of Green Hill Zone, Sega formulated a bevy of levels that arguably surpass Green Hill Zone in complementing Sonic’s lighting-fast velocity. I still think that some aspects of this game are rather harsh, but the overall product wouldn’t make me feel duped if I hypothetically cheated on Nintendo with Sega by purchasing a Genesis console back in the day.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T19:07:53Z
2017-07-21T19:07:53Z
7.5
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Catalog

sadgirl2023 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2024-05-23T17:09:03Z
Windows / Linux/Unix / Mac
2024-05-23T17:09:03Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sadgirl2023 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2024-05-23T17:07:13Z
Switch
2024-05-23T17:07:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sadgirl2023 ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-23T16:20:53Z
2024-05-23T16:20:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FinleyUnreleased Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2024-05-23T14:04:37Z
Windows / Linux/Unix / Mac
2024-05-23T14:04:37Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bewater ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-22T12:00:49Z
2024-05-22T12:00:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
The_Great_Annihilator ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-22T11:55:27Z
2024-05-22T11:55:27Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bel3 ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-22T03:21:33Z
2024-05-22T03:21:33Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Dranem ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-19T20:09:09Z
2024-05-19T20:09:09Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
asdp ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-19T15:05:28Z
2024-05-19T15:05:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
to play.
Kata4evr ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-19T14:42:20Z
2024-05-19T14:42:20Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ghashgul ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-18T20:07:59Z
2024-05-18T20:07:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jovanjovan ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ2 2024-05-18T15:50:21Z
2024-05-18T15:50:21Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  

Comments

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  • Previous comments (36) Loading...
  • feargm 2022-11-21 15:54:02.925698+00
    happy 30th!
    reply
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  • 666LILGILGAMESH666 2023-03-21 06:47:56.830284+00
    the 3ds version is sick
    reply
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  • babyclav 2023-04-21 17:47:07.146705+00
    This feels like the first sonic game they wanted to make but for some reason didnt
    reply
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  • Revolution666 2023-11-04 13:41:02.926112+00
    Not really sure what makes this one SO much better than the first, both are great.
    reply
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    • babyclav 2023-12-30 20:17:05.87717+00
      Idk why you're pushing this meme. The levels in this game are far and above Sonic 1
    • omo_ree 2024-01-13 02:58:20.123375+00
      look its the classic series people dont get angry at holding right to win yet
    • LuraEternal 2024-02-09 02:20:18.487897+00
      no marble zone
    • Joe_Kloos 2024-02-19 01:30:00.308271+00
      I never said holding right to win was always a bad thing. I am saying there's a correlation between how often a Sonic game lets the player travel at mach 10 and how well received it ultimately is over time. There is a threshold but Sonic 2 doesn't cross it too far compared to other games released afterward. It's a solid game but that's coming from someone who already liked the first.
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  • 0megalen 2024-03-30 15:23:06.663377+00
    This is such a giant improvement from Sonic 1 like wow
    reply
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  • tonitaste 2024-04-10 03:47:33.355668+00
    The magnum opus.
    reply
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  • hugo6849 2024-05-20 21:59:40.295304+00
    The final boss is ridiculous
    reply
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