Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (JP) is the second game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, succeeding the original and very first Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed and published by Sonic Team and Sega respectively, the game was originally released in its full 16-bit version for Sega's main console, Sega Genesis in late 1992. The game, just like its previous counterpart, stars Sonic as the main protagonist and follows a similar plot and gameplay to its predecessor, but this time adds a new character called Tails, Sonic's sidekick and ally, for the first time. Tails then went on to become one of the most important characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
Like the game it succeeded, the game became one of Sega's most comercially successful products and sold over six million copies, shooting the game up to Sega Genesis' second best-selling game, after the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Due both games' extreme popularity, both have had multiple versions and ports, and were released as downloadable content on the Wii's Virtual Console service. The game was also released as a port more recently on the 3DS's eShop service in the form of 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
As the game is a sequel of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the gameplay behind it is similar to its predecessor, as it uses a similar storyline, concept and is set out as a 2D side-scrolling platformer. Like its prequel, in this game Sonic has to navigate through the two acts of each zone (with some exceptions), picking up rings and hitting enemies on the way, before he reaches the game's antagonist Dr. Robotnik in the end of the second act. However, along with many new additions and changes, Sonic is by default now accompanied with his new sidekick Tails, who would follow him as he travels through the zones, although there is an option to play with purely Sonic himself, or even just Tails himself. Whilst the primary player controls Sonic, a second player can control Tails. As well as rings, the game keeps the Special Stage, which is a special level that can be accessed via the checkpoints with 50 rings, where Chaos Emeralds can be found.
The main objective of the game, just like the prequel, is to defeat Dr. Robotnik and foil his plans of world domination. However, the Chaos Emeralds can optionally be picked up in the game by accessing special stages; collecting all seven will grant Sonic his Super Sonic form. When Sonic collects 50 rings, he will transform into Super Sonic; at this state he becomes invincible to virtually all hazards, and his speed and acceleration will all be increased, but this will consume one ring per second and Sonic will return to his usual form once all the rings have gone. However, the Super Sonic transformation can only be achieved with Sonic, as Tails lacks the ability.
Whilst the sequel sticks to the main principles of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, it does come with new additions and changes. As well as the obvious inclusion of the character Tails, the zones have become much larger and more complex compared to the zones of the original, but they now contain only two acts instead of three, except for Metropolis zone which has three acts and the last three zones which all share only one act. In addition, the game adds a new feature called the spin dash; to execute the spin dash, Sonic or Tails have to rev up while crouching to gain momentum, and then release himself into a rapid rolling attack that can eliminate unprotected enemies and break through walls and certain obstacles.
When all the Chaos Emeralds have been collected, the game will display an alternative ending in which Sonic flies with his companion Tails in his Super Sonic form after Dr, Robotnik has been defeated in the final zone; otherwise, Sonic will fly with Tails in his normal form.
- Emerald Hill Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Aquatic Ruin Zone
- Casino Night Zone
- Hill Top Zone
- Mystic Cave Zone
- Oil Ocean Zone
- Metropolis Zone
- Sky Chase Zone
- Wing Fortress Zone
- Death Egg Zone
- Wood Zone
- Hidden Palace Zone
- Dust Hill Zone
- Genocide City Zone
The game follows a similar storyline to that of the original Sonic the Hedgehog; this time however it takes place in West Side Island, an island which Sonic discovered as he sought to look for more adventures, and here he finds a fox named Tails and both immediately form a friendship.
Everything was going well for them until Sonic's arch-nemesis Dr. Robotnik had once more came up with diabolical schemes, and once again tries to fulfil his crazed dream of building a worldwide empire by once more transforming animals into robots and using the robots to create his biggest space ship yet, the Death Egg. To do this, he needed to steal the seven Chaos Emeralds of the island.
However, Sonic and Tails learn of Dr. Robotnik's plans and once more Sonic sets out on his quest to foil the evil doctor's schemes once more.
Reception & Legacy
The game had as expected received outstanding reception from the critics - the game was so well received that it was very pretty much as popular as the predecessor in all respects and it became the second-best selling console for Sega Genesis of all time, with over 6 million copies sold. The critics approved of heavily expanded and detailed levels, colourful graphics, additional characters and cast etc. The only downside of the game was the two-player mode, which was criticised for its prominent slowdown and flickering. All in all the game was an extremely successful follow-up to the first Sonic the Hedgehog and both eventually spawned many re-releases and ports.
The financial success and popularity of both this and the previous Sonic game had caused Sega to catch up with Nintendo, who along with their renowned Mario series had dominated the gaming world at the time.
Another important aspect of the game was that it was the very first game chronologically to star Tails, Sonic's sidekick and best friend. Tails would then go on to feature in the majority of Sonic games launched afterwards and became a highly significant character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- The game was featured on Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube system, and in Sonic Classic Collection for Nintendo DS.
- In 2015, a special port of the game was created on the 3DS' eShop service under the title 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It added the 3D option and many other features,
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at Nintendo's Virtual Console page
- 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at Nintendo.com
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at Sega's Virtual Console page (Japan)