Day - Celebrating 20 years of
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
really twenty years ago today that one the biggest sequels in
history was released? Yes, it is. Tuesday 24th of November 1992 was
dubbed as 'Sonic 2s Day' by Sega as they released the blue
hedgehog's second adventure on the same day
across North America and Europe - only a few days after
the original launch in Japan, which. That date was also a
event for this author, as Sonic the
Hedgehog 2 still remains the only game
personally bought on the very same day of release.
It goes without saying that Sonic 2s Day was a massive
success all over the world and helped cement Sega's foothold in the
console race with Nintendo. Sega gamers lapped up the game, but just
what did the critics think? Well, we thought we would
look back twenty years and find out.
There is a bit of uncertainty as to who actually had the UK premiere
review of Sonic
2 as both Mega and CVG had cover dates of November 1992 with release dates of 15th October
1992. Purely on alphabetical reasons
and that they claimed that it was a "world exclusive" first
review, we will take a look at CVG.
Sonic 2 got off to a great start with CVG giving the game a 'CVG Hit'
with an overall rating of 94. "I wasn't really a fan of Sonics (sic)
first effort but Sega have worked wonders with this," said Paul
Anglin. "The most impressive, not to mention enjoyable part of the game
is the bonus stage - those high speed two player thrills and spills are
simply amazing." Tim Boone added that "the only thing that lets Sonic 2 down slightly is the difficulty, initially it's not that much harder
than the first game. It's better than the first game, not enough to
induce an adrenalin overload, but more than enough to keep everyone
game went on to get a 94% in the six-page review in Mega issue 2
with all four main editorial contributors commenting on the game.
2 is a wonderful game,"
stated Neil West as he closed off his
main review. "The moment you start playing it you'll be completely
hooked, and that's why it's a classic." Paul Mellerick added that "this
really is just a turbo-charged version of the original," while Amanda
Cook had hoped that she would be "gob-smacked" but was only pleasantly
surprised and Andy Dyer stated that "Sonic
2 is, perhaps, what the
first game should have been."
|For the MegaTech issue
11 coverage on 20th October, the team produced a special 14-page mini
booklet to review the 95% rated game, detailing each zone, bonus stage,
Dr Robotnik's many appearances, and finally reviewers comments. "At
first sight it looks like the improvements are only graphical,"
commented Paul Glancey, "but as you delve further into the game, you
realise that the acts are much bigger than before... Sonic II is the
perfect start to this new age of great-looking, great-playing
2 is, in my opinion, the best
platform game on the
Megadrive," stated Tom Guise. " It doesn't matter if you have the
original, it really is such a good game that it is an essential
|With the first
issue of Sega
Zone on 28th
October, the review's intro stated that this was the first real review
2, whatever that meant.
Whatever, the four-page review covered
the game in detail and was given a 'Mega Zone' accolade and an overall
rating of 92. "Sonic 2 is... smaaart... faster, bigger...," stated
Duncan MacDonald. "However, if you DID want to pick holes in Sonic 2,
you could say that maybe it was a bit too similar to the first game...
Then again it is a sequel so what would you expect? And even being
deliberately cynical about things, you'd find it hard to fault the Sonic 2 gameplay - it really is an essential purchase."
released on the 28th of October was the second issue of Mean Machines Sega,
cover dated November 1992, which gave the game
an overall rating of 96. "Sonic II has certainly impressed me enough
to be named the most impressive roller coaster, pinball,
one-armed-bandit, platform game to date," enthused Paul Davies, "and
you just gotta get it." Julian Rignall was in agreement with his fellow
reviewer as he stated that "if you miss Sonic II you should be
committed to a loony bin!"
|Sega Force issue
12, cover dated December
1992, came out on 5th November 1992 with the Mega Drive version of Sonic 2 receiving a 97% rating. Chris Knight commented that the game
was "brilliantly presented, with the kind of graphics and totally
addictive gameplay most developers would kill for, Sonic 2 more than
lives up to all the hype..." Mat Yeo was also in agreement, although
his main gripe "is that the two-player game looks a bit squashed."
the same cover and release date, Sega Power issue 37 gave the
spiky hedgehog's second adventure a more lukewarm reception with an
89% rating. "As a stand alone game, it's almost excellent," commented
Dean Mortlock. "You soon realise that Sonic
2 is effectively how the
first Sonic should have been done. We know it's gonna do really well
but it's not quite there..."
|Also out in
November 1992 was the fourth
issue of Mega
Drive Advanced Gaming, which
awarded the game 93%. Taken
the shared duty of reviewer were John Davison and Julian Boardman. "If
there is anything at all wrong with the game, is that the first few
levels are far too easy. On the whole though, it is superb... One of
the few Mega Drive titles that should be on your 'must have' list."
|For the Christmas
Special 1992 issue of Sega
Pro, Dino Boni gave the game
a thorough eight-page walkthrough style
review and a ProScore of 94%. The only noteworthy critical comments
in the ratings box itself: "Beautiful sprites and stunning animation...
Constant rip-roaring action... Very tricky to complete for the first
time and even trickier to complete with all the emeralds... Worthy
sequel to a classic game."
|There always has to
be someone trying to
stand out from the crowd by doing something different and this time it
was with the launch issue of GamesMaster which came out on 3rd December 1992 (cover dated January 1993). The Sonic 2 review consisted of comments from experienced videogaming
journalists like Andy Lowe, Les Ellis and Jim Douglas, who decided to
give the lowest rating of all - and by some margin at that - with a
65%. Reasonings behind the low rating included "far too easy to
complete... not enough to go back and explore after you've sorted
Robotnik... Technical excellence alone does not make a good game...
doesn't quite justify itself as a sequel... Don't bother with it." You
can read the full review yourself to get the complete lowdown on the
review. Swiftly moving on...
in the footsteps of GamesMaster magazine was Bad Influence (the magazine), which was based on the other
minor hit videogaming TV series. It's hard to tell when issue 2 of Bad
Influence was released as the
only date on the cover is 1993, so one
would assume that the release date was in the month of January 1993.
"It almost seems fashionable to slate the spiky one at the moment,"
stated Paul McNally interestingly, "and I feel guilty doing it. If Sonic 3 includes gameplay it'll be one of the best games ever. Sonic 2 doesn't and pays for it." Baffling words when the final verdict is a
full marks rating of five stars.