Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Page contents last updated on October 28, 2023

Sega Genesis
  • NA: November 24, 1992
  • JP: November 21, 1992
  • EU: November 24, 1992
Sonic Team

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Sonic 2 is my favorite entry in the original genesis trilogy of Sonic games. It's also the one that I've played the most (I can beat the first act of emerald hill zone in 21 seconds). Sonic 3 and knuckles is a very close second, but I feel that Sonic 2 consistently has the best stages from the first 3 games.

Don't get me wrong, Sonic 3 and Knuckles has some really cool stages and probably the best music, but there are some real stinky stages in that game that usually convince me to end my playthrough.

Sonic 2 has a consistently fun run through the different zones, but it does have a couple of wacky zones towards the end. Metropolis zone is a never ending nightmare, concealing a surprise third act to crush your spirit. That's probably the worst of it though. Wing fortress and sky chase are annoying, but aren't very difficult. Aside from these few zones near the end of the game, the zones in Sonic 2 slap.

My favorite zones in Sonic 2 include chemical plant zone, casino night zone, and mystic cave zone.

The gameplay of Sonic 2 is at its core, the same as Sonic 1. However, I believe that Sonic 2 perfects this core gameplay, whereas Sonic 1 is very much a sort of proof of concept of what is possible with momentum and physics based platforming. They learned what didn't work in Sonic 1 (Exhausting underwater levels and waiting for moving platforms) and expanded what did work. The level design of Sonic 2 feels like the developers refined green hill zone from Sonic 1, then stretched it out to be an entire game. Aquatic ruin zone has underwater elements, but they are completely avoidable if you stay on the upper path.

The spindash and removal of the speed cap is new to Sonic 2. There is no limit to how fast Sonic can move through a level. There are times where you can get Sonic to outrun the camera, which is pretty wild. There have been times in chemical plant zone where I was moving so quickly that I clipped through some of the loop-de-loops, and got stuck in the floor. It's a feature, not a bug :P. The spindash is great as an attack and as a means to instantly gain momentum.

A really fast way to rev a spindash is to asign a finger to A, B, and C on the controller, and rapidly tap your fingers on each button successively.

Oh yeah, and Tails makes his first appearance in this game, but I usually play with that little bastard turned off. It's cool seeing him follow Sonic around in the levels (when he can keep up), but he can get in the way and even screw you over in some circumstances. Although, he can be helpful on rare occasions. I once killed the chemical plant boss by jumping on it once, and getting tails stuck in ball form on the edge of the screen, repeatedly bouncing off of Robotnik. Tails makes the special stages a pain, as you not only have to worry about avoiding obstacles yourself, but also factor in the delay of tails following you.

Fun fact! According to sonicretro, Sega appearantly patented the concept of "video game with spiral loop graphics" in 1995 (filed in 1993). Wtf?

I remember picking up my copy of Sonic 2 at a video game store in the Las Vegas area, called "Retro City Games". Back when I lived in Vegas in 2014-2015, I used to be regular visitor at their original location, and they're still around today! I returned to Vegas in 2022 and traded some stuff there during my visit. My particular copy of Sonic 2 is "not for resale", meaning that it was likely a copy that was bundled with a genesis console at some point.

See Also: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 3