Today is November 21. On this day 25 years ago in 1992, the hit sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released for Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive. Its predecessor set the bar for speed platforming games, and Sonic 2 only raised it that much higher. The game was faster. The graphics were sharper. There were new characters. Not to mention a 2 player mode.
Full disclosure, the first game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series I played was Sonic 2. I received it with the Sega Genesis as a Christmas gifts many years ago.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: New Characters, Mechanics
Sonic was Sega’s answer to Mario. Mario had a sidekick, his brother Luigi. This game introduced us to Sonic’s sidekick, Tails.
Tails followed you around “helping” you and basically mimicked every move you made in the game. If you were a wrestling fan a few years ago, think of it as Damien Sandow as Miz’s “stunt double.”
It also introduced to one new move to Sonic’s arsenal, the spindash. This is where you duck and press the jump button to build speed.
Whenever I play the one game without this move, the first Sonic the Hedgehog, I am completely lost. Mostly because I started playing this series with the second game.
The Stages and Music
I have to say, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had some of the best stages in the series. Those stages, also had some killer music. My personal favorite song was always from the second stage, The Chemical Plant Zone.
That music was just amazing! Sure, game music these days is of a nicer quality, but they just don’t make video game music like that anymore.
Then there is the level design. My personal favorite stage was the Casino one. They could have made that pinball and slots stage a whole game these days. Release that as a downloadable game, Sega! In fact, why haven’t they? I’m not counting that weird Sonic Spinball game.
I mean, I would a lot of time in these part of the stages alone. Great mini-game!
The 2 Player Mode
There was a competitive 2 player mode. While not the greatest, at least they tried to include something in the game. My brother and I played this mode all the time even if it wasn’t quite up to par with the single player. It would be nice if they could do a remake of this with full functionality of the single player mode and the ability to play both split screen and online.
Fun little tidbit, if you hooked up a 2nd controller, you had limited control of Tails. You could do a little co-op action, as limited as it was, it was a great Easter Egg to find.
How You can Still Play Sonic the Hedgehog 2
If you want to play legally, and don’t have access to the original Sega Genesis, you can purchase this game on Android, iOS, and for PC through Steam. It is also available through Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on Xbox One. It has been released several times in different compilations over the years.
Earlier this year we were also treated to the amazing Sonic Mania which is a throwback to the original series. Check out that review while you are at it.