|Sonic the Hedgehog 2|
|Developer: Aspect Co. Ltd|
|System(s): Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear|
|ROM size: 512 KB|
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ２) was made in Japan by Aspect Co. Ltd for the Sega Master System and later ported to the Sega Game Gear. Even though it shares its name with the 16-bit version of Sonic 2 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, it is not a port, as it contains entirely different levels. It was released slightly before its 16-bit namesake, making this game host to the first appearances of both Miles "Tails" Prower and Mecha Sonic.
The Game Gear version contains noticeable differences from the Master System version. The changes made in the portable version give it a reputation of being one of the hardest Sonic games in existence. Some choices appear to have been intentional, by design: for example, the boss music is different and some boss areas have different layouts. However, many of the difficulties in the GG version result from its smaller screen and its scrolling: the player is left more open to being hit, in a way that some might label 'cheap', due to not being able to see obstacles and enemies around them but beyond the range of the screen. The scrolling is the same in the Master System version, but it is not as big a problem as more of the surroundings can be seen.
Strangely, Tails appears in every title card and has an almost complete sprite sheet, but is only seen in the opening and ending cutscenes, as well as being depicted helping Sonic on the box art. It is possible that he was originally intended to be a playable character, but was cut for time issues.
Sonic the Hedgehog's friend and sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower has been captured by his nemesis Dr. Robotnik on South Island, and the player must direct Sonic to retrieve Tails and the six Chaos Emeralds. In the good ending, achieved if Sonic acquires all the Chaos Emeralds, he stops Robotnik and frees Tails. In the bad ending, if Sonic has failed to obtain all the emeralds, Tails is not shown to have been rescued. Some fans have speculated that Tails might have died in the latter case.
This game improved upon its 8-bit predecessor in many ways. This includes the ability to grab back rings scattered when hit by an enemy, as well as being able to smash through certain walls. Moreover, one of the major difference from its predecessor is its speed: Sonic 2 is faster than its prequel and is closer to that of the Mega Drive games. However, the Spin Dash from the 16-bit version of Sonic 2, a move specifically designed to provide speed, was not implemented; but this may be simply because the 8-bit version was released earlier.
Uniquely, this game includes levels in which Sonic must ride a mine cart (unique until Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, at least) and a hang glider. Other new items include large bubbles in underwater levels, which raise Sonic upwards until he hits a ceiling, enemy, or obstacle. Sonic is also able to skim across the surface of water if he picks up enough speed.
There are seven Zones in total, each comprising three Acts. In the final act, that Zone's boss is faced, without any rings to grant protection against attacks. Rather than facing Robotnik himself, Sonic most often battles robotic animals, such as a sumo pig and a circus sea-lion.
At the end of Acts 1 and 2 of each level, a panel is spun, which signals the end of the Act and provides a reward based upon the picture it ends on, which itself depends upon the player's items:
Item boxes, as in all the classic 8- and 16-bit games, resemble monitors. The items offered in Sonic 2 are largely the same as those in its prequel, although the restart marker and shields have been removed.
Chaos Emeralds are scattered throughout the stages. Each is found in the second Act in each of the first five Zones. If the player collects these and then destroys Mecha Sonic (called Silver Sonic in the English manual) in the sixth zone, they will obtain the sixth Emerald and can access the true final stage (Crystal Egg). This is required to obtain the 'good ending'. If all the Emeralds are not collected, the game will end after Mecha Sonic's destruction.
Many levels also contain a unique method of transportation, such as the mine carts in Under Ground Zone (revisited many years later in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I), the hang gliders in Sky High Zone, and the giant air bubbles in Aqua Lake Zone.
|93||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 9 reviews|
|92||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 7 reviews|
|Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)|
|Sonic games for the following systems|
|2006 Sonic the Hedgehog | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine 2007 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Sonic Spinball | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island 2008 Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) 2009 Sonic Chaos | Sonic & Knuckles 2010 Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I|
| 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog 1992 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 1993 Sonic Chaos | Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine 1994 Sonic Drift | Sonic Spinball | Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble 1995 Sonic Drift 2 | Tails' Skypatrol | Tails Adventures | Sonic Labyrinth | Sonic 2 in 1 1996 Sonic Blast |
Prototypes Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear prototype) | Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) AutoDemo | Sonic Chaos Sample | Sonic Drift (demo) | Sonic Spinball (8-bit) Prereleases | Sonic Triple Trouble Prereleases | Sonic Blast Prereleases
Unreleased Sonic's Edusoft