Game Info:

Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Developed By: M2
Published By: Sega
Released: February 20, 2020
Available On: Switch
Genre: Action, Platformer
ESRB Rating: Everyone, Mild Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: up to 2 players
Price: $7.99

I would like to thank Sega for sending us a review code for Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2. You guys rock!

Sonic the Hedgehog has been on fire lately. With a recently released box office smash hit movie, to the successful throwback title called Sonic Mania, the little blue hedgehog has made up for the years of obscurity and mediocre games. It appears that the culture as a whole loves the classic Sonic of the bygone 16-bit era, and it appears that Sega loves it too. That is why they have systematically released many of their old Mega Drive/Genesis titles for everyone to enjoy in a collection called Sega Ages. Sure, Sega is finished making game consoles and peripheral hardware, but their classic titles are still considered to be a hallmark and gold standard of the industry. This especially proves to be true in Sonic’s sophomore debut on the Genesis in 1992, Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Being a part of the Sega Ages Collection, Sonic 2 brings back everything that we remember from the original platform and then some. For one, the game is not exclusively limited to being played by Sonic and Tails. The blue blur’s “frenemy” from Sonic 3, Knuckles the Echidna, is also available for play. It is interesting that Sega would add this feature because it was actually something that players could do on the Genesis itself. When Sonic and Knuckles was released in 1994, the cartridge had “lock-on technology,” which allowed players to connect another cartridge on top of the Sonic and Knuckles hardware. When Sonic 2 was connected to the cartridge, it unlocked Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which is a completely separate game that can now be accessed in the Sega Ages title. So, in essence, you are getting two games in one!

Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Strong Points: Maintains original Sonic 2 experience; pixel-perfect graphics; plenty of new features for fans
Weak Points: Short gameplay; port carries over the glitches
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence with smashing robots

There are no major differences to the core gameplay of this newest release to that of the original. The visuals have been cleaned up for a “pixel-perfect” finish which looks nice on any screen. The game has not been formatted to fit the widescreen view, however, and a colorful border now wraps around the screen to give the game its original dimensions. I found this to be a little restricting while playing it on the Switch in handheld mode. It honestly reminded me of playing on a Game Gear, so you can take that for what it is worth.

Just like the original, this newest version of Sonic 2 features races through levels that two players can compete in. This “combative coop” mode is probably one of the most underrated parts of this game, considering that it adds quite a bit of replay value to the title, especially for families. My son had never played this game before, so I was pleased to show him all the twists and turns of the Chemical Plant Zone and also to show him just how fast I could complete it. Parents can use this mode to prove to their kids that they still have skills behind the controller.

On a more technical note, I tried using some classic speedrunning glitches to see if the game can be broken. It’s a little harder to do in this newest title, but yes, the Switch port can be broken just like the original to beat the game in under 17 minutes. There are times when the title will glitch out a little, as well as the transition between the levels, but that is the way the original game was, so if anything, the Sega Ages title is holding true to the original title, software issues and all.

Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls – 4/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, much like all the first generation Sonic games, keeps the violence to a “robot bashing” minimum. All the enemies are mechanical, so there is no blood or gore. The theme of an alien blue hedgehog speeding around a fictitious world may be too silly for some players, but chances are that kids will love it! The movements on the screen can get quite fast, and some players have actually gotten motion sick through playing this, so that is important to note.

Overall, Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 can easily be considered the definitive version of the original title. It has all the features that players remember from the golden age of the Sonic franchise, and then some! Beating the game will unlock the “Super Sonic Mode” which allows players to fly through the game as the golden Super Sonic (or Super Knuckles) without collecting all the Chaos Emeralds. It’s these little additions that make this Switch exclusive a great purchase for any fan of the franchise.

About the Author

J.R. Sommerfeldt

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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