Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)

  • Original Platform: Master System
  • Where to get: Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, 3DS Virtual Console

I opted to go for the Master System version of this as people warned me about the amount of blind jumps and obstacles you can’t see coming in the Game Gear version. I’m glad I listened as the Master System version is still really bad at those aspects, so I don’t want to imagine it being even worse.

When Sonic 2 first starts off, it feels great. Sonic is quite nippy and the levels appear to be zoomed out enough to see jumps or obstacles. However, despite his on-screen size, Sonic’s jump is rather large, and the levels are designed around this, so despite initially seeming zoomed out enough, you’ll still have to blindly jump into the screen. Something that the game isn’t afraid to use against you by having an endless gap because you were supposed to turn around and go up instead.

Sonic 2 also features a lot of springs, where you need to launch yourself even higher to jump across gaps you can’t see, and onto tall platforms you can’t see. It’s extremely trial and error. There was even one spot where a moving platform was moving up, and the camera purposefully stops moving so Sonic hits some spikes that only come into view when it’s too late to dodge. Next time, you may try jumping before you get to the spikes, but there are more to the side. It turns out that this is the only spot (that I encountered) where you need to duck. 

The levels have some interesting gimmicks, even if some are a pain to use. You have a hang glider, minecart and pipes. The pipe level is similar to the Sonic Blast one but not quite as frustrating. While it likes to dump Sonic onto spikes, it’s not too difficult to keep collecting lost rings and making it back to the pipes. One odd choice of levels is putting Green Hill Zone near the end, especially as these levels felt quite simple, with no difficult platforming and a huge amount of rings.

Sonic 2 (8-bit) is a fairly poor Sonic game, and not as fun to play as the first 8-bit sonic.

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