'Sonic the Hedgehog 2' comes to Android and iOS
For $2.99, remake adds new features and zones
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was my very first video game.
To this day, nary a month goes by when I don't play through it just for fun.
It's a game wrapped in nostalgia for me, and I know I'm not alone on that.
Twelve years ago, I downloaded a fan game called "Retro Sonic" on my Mom's old Windows 98 PC.
The developer of that engine, who went by the pseudonym "Taxman," would eventually become something of an ascended fan.
Over the past few years, Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Simon "Stealth" Thomley have created officially licensed remasters of classic Sonic games, all built on that same engine I tried out so long ago.
So by now, we know what awesome advantages the Retro Engine is capable of.
Taxman's adaptations of Sonic CD and Sonic 1 brought smooth, 60 frames-per-second gameplay, widescreen support, and multiple playable characters, features that Sonic 2 also enjoys.
But make no mistake, this port is a cut above the rest in five specific ways:
First, the game features online time attack leaderboards. As someone who prides himself on skill, this little feature adds so much.
Included in those leaderboards is an excellent boss attack mode.
Taking down every boss as quickly as possible is a fun way to kill a few minutes.
Third, Sonic 2's famous two-player splitscreen mode has been upgraded for the Internet age, and aside from the typical problems with people disconnecting midway through games, it's a lot of fun.
Best of all, it includes almost every zone in the game, compared to the original's three.
Fourth, Sonic 2's pixelated, jolty Special Stages are now rendered in 3D, which makes them less confusing, but no less challenging.
Of course, the biggest addition is the unearthing of the Hidden Palace Zone, which was left on the cutting room floor back in 1992.
The search for Hidden Palace is really what kicked off the Sonic hacking community in the late '90s, and to see Taxman and Stealth officially finish it really brings everything full circle.
Really, the only complaint I can think of is that the game is currently only available on iOS and Android devices.
It does work a lot better with touch controls than a lot of titles, and if you have the right equipment you can always plug in a USB pad.
I have every confidence that Sonic 1 and 2 will be coming to other systems sooner or later, but for now, this remastering is undoubtedly worth your $2.99.
Overall, this is THE definitive version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
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