[Review] SEGA AGES Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – Nintendo Switch

Written by Brett Hill
  • Developer: M2
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date:  20/02/2020
  • Price: £5.99 $7.99
  • Review code provided by Sega

Introduction

Let’s jump into the Delorean and travel back in time to an era not so long ago: the ’90s. That’s nearly thirty years ago, wait, what how did that happen? The ’90s were a far simpler time where you would wake up on a Saturday morning to watch Live and Kicking, play bamboozle on Teletext, choke on tiny toys that you found in your cereal box and try to keep a virtual pet alive. It was also the age of the first real console war. Nintendo versus Sega, two juggernauts in the gaming industry. The famous phrase “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” was born. A scathing media attack on the Big N, but ultimately the Super Nintendo won the 16-bit campaign.

We fast forward to the present day and both mascots live in perfect harmony on the same console. Sonic 2 has blasted its way onto the Switch thanks to Sega’s palindrome series, SEGA AGES. Revisit an all-time classic with a few modern twists thrown in for good measure thanks to M2. With the addition of Challenge mode, Rings Held mode and the opportunity to race through Emerald Hill Zone as Knuckles it’s time to experience a familiar but new take on the Blue Blur’s second outing.

Blink And You’ll Miss Super Sonic

When Sonic 2 was first released, there were no save states or Ring Held mode and to unlock Super Sonic you had to collect all the Chaos Emeralds which was a feat in itself. Often, the attempt left you to rage quit and pull the console halfway across the living room as you yanked your wired controller in anger. This is where M2 jumps to the rescue, letting any player new or old enjoy the series, whether you are a seasoned Sonic player and can take on Eggman with your eyes closed or a complete beginner. There is the original mode which has had a few tweaks to the controls but plays exactly how you remember and is just as difficult. The newly added Rings Held mode makes Sonic much more accessible. When hit, you only lose half the amount of coins compared to the original mode where you lost them all. This made the game easier, especially its boss levels.

Once you have taken down Dr. Robotnik for the last time in either original or Rings Held there is one more mode to unlock, Super Sonic. When chosen, you can activate it at any point in the game. You will automatically start each level with fifty coins which count down whilst being Super Sonic, the more coins you collect the longer you can zoom across the level at turbo speed.

The 100 Coin Challenge mode is also a really fun addition to Sonic 2. You basically have to collect one hundred coins in the quickest time, but what makes it addictive is the online functionality. You can compete with players to try and top the leaderboard. You can also watch their run if you are looking for tips on how to improve your run.

16-Bit Never Looked So Good

Visually Sonic 2 has never looked better. The only problem is the border around the game to keep the original aspect ratio which is fine in docked mode. But, when playing in handheld, it can appear on the small side but you quickly adapt to it. This is common for remakes like Sonic 2 just like the Aladdin and Lion King remakes released last year. There is the option to stretch to fit the full screen but it does look rather blurry. Co-op mode is a blast letting you and a mate play as Sonic & Tails together in split-screen. Also, you can play single player in multiple scenarios with Tails assisting you or ride it solo as Sonic or Tails.

The icing on the cake is the option to play with Knuckles. Being old enough to remember the original, this was possible but you had to own Sonic and Knuckles then plug the Sonic 2 cartridge in the top. Could this be the first case of DLC? Hmmm. Playing Sonic 2 as Knuckles changed the gameplay completely, being able to climb walls and glide made it a little bit easier.

Conclusion

Being able to play this classic on the go brought back so many memories and with all the added features M2 has pumped into it, Sonic 2 felt fresh and new in the same breath. The price is a steal and M2 could have easily given it a premium tag. The Challenge Mode added depth to the game. It became slightly addictive and being able to watch the runs from other players in the leaderboard was a nice touch. The visuals were great on the whole but can look blurry if you change the settings to stretch to fit. It was fun to revisit an all-time favourite and on the whole it was a positive experience and being able to play as Knuckles off the bat was supersonic!

Pros

• Revisit a classic
• Crammed full of extra content
• Challenge mode with online leader board
• accessible for both new players and seasoned veterans

Cons

• Screen can look blurry when in stretch to fit mode.
• No co-op mode when playing the Knuckles version
• Paused menu can feel convoluted

Verdict
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an all-time classic with enough added content to feel fresh, such as its Challenge mode which is a blast. Sonic has never felt so good.
4/5




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