Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Retro special for the cult jump & run

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Retro special for the cult jump & run

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

It's blue, it's prickly, it's damn fast and this year it's been 30 years old: we're talking about Sonic the Hedgehog, of course. Of course, such a big birthday has to be celebrated, so we decided to pay tribute to the Sega mascot with a video for the best game in the series. In our opinion, this is part 2, which was released worldwide for the Sega Mega Drive on November 24, 1992.

Yes, some fans of the blue hedgehog may now want to stone us and refer to the also ingenious Sonic CD, but we're fans of the second part. And let's be honest, a lot more people probably played it than there were ever buyers of the mega-CD extension.

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Sonic 2 in the retro special

1 Fox meets hedgehog 2 Name dispute 3 Fast and prickly 4 Ingenious level design

Fox meets hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the retro special (3) Source: PC Games But let's get to the game. You don't get much of the story there, but Sonic 2 is about the eponymous hero landing on West Side Island and getting to know the double-tailed fox Miles "Tails" Prower, who can even keep up with Sonic's insane speed.

The two become friends and fight together against Dr. Robotnik. The nasty fat man is catching the animals on West Side Island and is also building the Death Egg fortress in space. Well, that doesn't sound like the most well thought-out plan of all time, but the PhD cardboard nose definitely has to be stopped.

In contrast to the first Sonic part, Part Two can not only be played alone, but also in co-op gamble with a second player. Then one takes over Sonic and one takes over Tails. If you play in co-op mode, it is also much easier, because the flying fox has infinite lives. Many gamers have always taken advantage of this and let player 2 fight the boss fights with Tails, because here it doesn't matter if he dies. Sonic, on the other hand, only has a certain number of extra lives.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the retro special (6) Source: PC Games

Name dispute

And speaking of Tails, we must also mention the behind-the-scenes argument over the name of the fox. The character itself was invented by Yasushi Yamaguchi and named Tails. Sega of America wanted to name the fox Miles Prower, however. A name that is a play on the American unit of measure for speed: miles per hour.

It's unbelievable that a play on words that is supposed to express speed can be so lame. In any case, both Yamaguchi and the American part of the Sega group insisted on their respective proposed names, so that in the end the well-known compromise was agreed. Oh well. No matter how stupid the name, the new character gave players not only a co-op option, but also a mode in which Sonic and Tails compete against each other. Whoever reaches the end of the level wins first.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the retro special (4) Source: PC Games

Fast and prickly

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the Retro-Special (5) Source: PC Games In general, the speed was increased again compared to the first part. Sonic now speeds much faster through the eleven zones, which are divided into up to three acts. Particularly noteworthy here is the so-called Spin Dash. If you press the directional pad down and hold down the jump button, Sonic will curl up. If you let go of the jump button, the hedgehog shoots forward as fast as an arrow. In this form obstacles can be destroyed, items can be collected and opponents can be eliminated. Of course, you still have to be careful not to rush into their projectiles or even spikes.

The peculiarity of Sonic is the high game speed, but in general it is of course an easy to understand, but definitely crisp Jump & Run. So you jump over platforms, normal villains on the head and the bosses to where their weak point is. That sounds simple, but of course it isn't, because the opponents are often nasty and the jump passages are demanding. That, in connection with the fast gameplay, ensures then as now that you have to learn the levels.

Ingenious level design

But that is nowhere near as bad as it sounds , because even today Sonic the Hedgehog 2 convinces with wonderfully creative and nicely designed levels, which are accompanied by ingenious music. Our highlight is still the casino night zone, which shines in neon lights and makes us freak around wildly as Sonic. But the chemical plant, aquatic ruin, oil ocean or sky chase zones immediately come to mind.

Each section is different and offers something special. That still provides variety nowadays and back then you sat in front of the tube screen with your mouth open in amazement. Although the game came out only a year and a half after the first part, many already playable and great sections were turned inside out or even completely discarded during development.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the retro special (2) Source: PC Games With only a few games, there is such a detailed insight into the development process. This is partly because Sega later presented changed or discarded levels at trade fairs and partly because an early version of the game was even stolen and released years later.

Despite movies and a planned new game Sega's blue hedgehog is certainly not as iconic as it was in the 90s, but even today Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a real bouncy game pearl that belongs in every retro collection. Fans of Italian plumbers can admit that too. Sonic 2 is a real milestone in the genre.

In this sense: Happy birthday, you rescuing small animals, kicking Robotnik in the big ass, breaking the sound barrier, chili dog addicted devil ... or rather devil hedgehog .

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