Released in 1992, one year after the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s big contribution to the series was the introduction of two-player games of Sonic. It was also a Japanese/American co-production this time, by Sega Technical Institute.
The key to this new two-player game was the introduction of the new character – a fox called Tails – who plays alongside Sonic throughout the game.
In single-player mode Tails is controlled by AI by default but you can choose to play as either Sonic or Tails alone from the options. In Two-Player VS mode the game uses a weird, squashed split screen mode to allow Sonic and Tails to race against each other separately. It’s a pity Sega decided to keep this squashed display and didn’t fix it like they did in the 3rd Sonic game, but it is what is it… headache-inducing…
If you ignore the squashed split screen mode, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is again a work of sonic and pixel artistry. Sega push the graphical style, gameplay mechanics, level designs, traps, tricks, and everything else to another level in this sequel. As if to poke fun at the criticisms that the first Sonic was “more like a game of pinball than a video game”, Sega even included a pinball level in this game – and it works brilliantly well.
Once again: you’re fighting Dr. Robotnik and freeing trapped wild animals, and once again you’re zipping through corkscrews and doing loop-the-loops at a hundred miles an hour, and it’s great fun.
A new bonus level sees Sonic (and Tails) collecting rings in a third-person tube-style running game. The tube dips and twists as the player avoids running into bombs while collecting as many rings as possible.
Another solid gold retro gaming classic; loved by Sega fans and speed freaks worldwide.