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RTTP: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (via 3D Classics)

Boogiepop

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Dec 9, 2009
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Thanks in part to RK128's far more comprehensive and in depth look back at the Sonic series, I've decided to come back to my old goal of playing through all the beatable games.

So to start, a link to my other Sonic R/LTTPs:
Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure 2
Shadow the Hedgehog
Sonic Heroes
Sonic 06
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic 4: Episode 1
Sonic 4: Episode 2
Sonic the Hedgehog Game Gear
Sonic 2 Game Gear
Sonic Chaos
Sonic Blast
Sonic Labyrinth
Tails Adventure
Tails' Sky Patrol
Sonic Spinball Game Gear
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic Spinball Genesis
Sonic CD
Sonic Unleashed Wii
Sonic Unleashed HD
Sonic Colors DS
Sonic Generations 3DS
Sonic the Hedgehog (3D Classics)

Anyway, though I'd played through it in the past, I figured I'd use the 3D classics as a nice excuse to go back through good old Sonic 2, this time forcing my way through with all the emeralds.

And I do mean forcing, as there are two things I needed to say screw it and use save states to lock myself in to being able to try in repetition. The first of these is the bonus games. Now, my childhood self found these to be the best of the original bonus games, but in retrospect... they're probably the worst. The tech just isn't there, making for slightly iffy hit connections (not usually a huuuuge deal, but getting all the rings when they're in a row next to one another is slightly finicky). And because of the "graphical flourishes" of the bending track in particular, it just often doesn't allow enough time to react. This is especially a problem in single player, as Tails SUCKS here. The slower reaction of the way he works means he WILL get hit, so god help you if he ends up with a decent chunk of the rings (or worse, in front of you). So yeah, this ends up in a LOT of trial and error, and considering a failure kicks you out here normally, I can't imagine a lot of kids managed to legitimately earn Super Sonic, at least without a second player there to help out, or a LOT of memorization and time put into this. I, meanwhile, brute forced it with save states as mentioned (IE dumped a save state at the start of the minigame and kept retrying until I got it).

As a result of all that... I had Super Sonic by Mystic Cave Zone. And while it's neat, I REALLY wish they had made the trigger to go Super a little more optional, as while it IS neat... it's honestly more of a hindrance than a help for the most part, especially considering most people who get it would get it late, IE just in time for Metropolis and Wing Fortress, where it's honestly a good bit of a pain more than anything else.

Now for the other thing I created a save state for: creating a save at the start of the Death Egg. And let me just say that I'm glad I thought to do so, as the Death Egg is just plain mean. It'll eat through your lives at a crazy pace until you get the pattern down. I mean, I get that it's supposed to be a difficult finale, but I really think the whole "no rings" thing was a mistake that drags the game down in a silly way, as that choice made it a serious spike that's more an exercise in memorization than anything else. Similarly silly: not putting a goal post between Silver Sonic (that's what this variant is called, right?) and the Death Egg Robo. As a result, you're sure going to grind Silver Sonic's movement patterns into your brain. And while he's intimidating at first (the whole "can't just jump normally on his head" thing, plus a pattern that'll probably kill you a few times before you realize "okay, it's spin, dash, spin jump, spin, spin, spin jump with spikes"), once you know the pattern he's a trivial time waster that'll only kill you if you get impatient and sloppy. As a result, I actually went into this playthrough with Silver Sonic's moveset still memorized from when I failed an attempt at beating the game a good while back, since the game just drills it into you. Oh, and the Death Egg Robo is a huge pain. Because it's legitimately challenging, you may ask? No, because the hit detection on those hands is at the very least finicky to get down because it's not visibly super clear, and honestly probably more than a little wonky in general. Oh, and the rocket hands will probably kill you at least once because they come out fast enough that you kind of have to know that happens rather than being able to react. So it's pretty much "frustrating as hell until you figure out the timing to not hit the hands, and then really super easy", which I wouldn't call a particularly good thing.

But yeah, other than that, it's an interesting and fun little game with a lot of great levels and especially tunes. Well, the pinball stuff in casino night is a little funky to control, but still. All in all I think I prefer 3(+K), but it's not a bad game at all. It's just that the ending is pretty BS and probably forced quite a few kids through the (honestly pretty easy outside of Wing Fortress) rest of the game a good number of times before they got the final boss down. Still, certainly not a bad little game, and it really does hold up quite well. And the 3D Classics version is of course a top notch port job that's easy to recommend.
 

DMNBT

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Sep 7, 2015
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Uh...I never went with Tails in a Super Sonic run...I always went Sonic solo if I wanted the 7 emeralds...
 

Maedhros

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Apr 16, 2010
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No rings on the last stage was the biggest kind of bullshit Sonic 2 brought to the table...

That or Metropolis Zone's Mantis...

I dunno, Sonic 2 isn't really a game I have many fond memories. Most of what remains in my memory are the bad parts of it, like the trifecta of shit, Hilltop, Mystic Caves, Oil Rig.

Most of my good memories from Sonic 2 comes from the special stages and the first stage.
 

RK128

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Jan 6, 2014
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Good to see you are going back to some games :D!

I enjoyed Sonic 2 a lot on my Vita (PSP Sega Genesis Collection version) and its a really fun 2D Classic era game :).

Great controls, awesome soundtrack and some killer level design. The special stages are annoying with Tails and the Death Egg Bosses are really hard :l. But still, its a great game :D.
 

Stevey

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Jun 21, 2014
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This is the best Sonic game of all time.
Remember when it released on Mega Drive?
Unbeaten to this day.
And that special stage music.
Timeless.
 
I got a chance to play my original Genesis copy back in November before it went into storage. I didn't get too far though. I was thinking of getting the 3D classics version on 3DS. I have Sonic 1 and I enjoy it.

Does this one also have a stage selection screen at the beginning?
 

Boogiepop

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Dec 9, 2009
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I got a chance to play my original Genesis copy back in November before it went into storage. I didn't get too far though. I was thinking of getting the 3D classics version on 3DS. I have Sonic 1 and I enjoy it.

Does this one also have a stage selection screen at the beginning?

Yeah, I didn't use it, but there's a stage select there at the start.
 
I played a bit of Sonic 2 on my friend's PS2. I got to this part of the second stage where you have to jump on some moving platforms, and if you fall you are in water and have to get up again on some blocks. It didn't help that Sonic controls really slippery.

Then I played some Sonic & Knuckles and thought that was a little better. I wanted to maybe get Sonic 2 on 3ds, but I think I'll wait for a sale or something.
 

MrBadger

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Dec 5, 2013
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I think the majority of Sonic special stages are cool looking, but completely garbage to play. Off the top of my head, the only ones I like are Blue Spheres, Knuckles Chaotix and the ones in Sonic Rush. I've heard good things about 3D Blast's, though. But yeah, Sonic 2's are trash and I've never even had the pleasure of fighting a super sonic final boss in any Sonic Advance game.

The special stages in 2 are greatly helped by the Taxman remasters on iOS, though. But that's iOS

As for the game itself, I still enjoy playing through it, but I think it falls apart around Oil Ocean. Metropolis Zone isn't even a metropolis, but I suppose translating "Bullshit Factory" proved difficult for Sega.
 

Jebusman

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Nov 10, 2013
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So I must've played more Sonic 2 than I realized, because going back to it now, I have zero problems with the Sonic&Tails combo doing the special stages. The timings and the movement delay are almost muscle memory to me now, so I mess up very infrequently if ever.

I also got it down to the point where I was consistently getting Super Sonic before the end of the first zone (since there are.... 8 total goalposts before the first boss? I remember one or two of them being a bitch to get to).

The final boss sounds pretty hard though. No rings? That's pretty tough.

Eh, it's less of an issue than you'd think, depending on how many lives you have to burn. It follows a set pattern (like almost all the bosses) so it's a matter of trial and error to figure out what to do. The first part (Silver Sonic) I found infinitely more difficult than the actual final boss.

Edit: The Final Boss of Sonic 2 with Knuckles is infinitely more bullshit. Knuckles lower jump height does not help.

It is a kind of a bummer though that you go through all the trouble of collecting the 7 emeralds, and then don't get to go Super Sonic during the final sequence, but Sonic 2 Super Sonic always felt like a late/not very balanced addition. Especially in Mystic Cave.