Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis, 1992)

This site exists primarily to amuse me and a small group of long-time readers... anyone else who enjoys it is icing. I try to cover things that are either popular enough to generate interest in this site (Contra) or unknown enough that maybe I'll create an interest in them (Lennus 2).

First and foremost, I do this for fun, not to meet existing standards. Given the abundance of positive responses, I have to conclude that for the most part I'm hitting the right spot for other people too. Comments are extremely welcome on here, whether positive or negative. Even if it's something as simple as "This post was rad to the max" / "This post was ass" or as complex as a page-long diatribe on how people who play WoW are actually all well-off, socially adjusted, successful people who aren't allergic to sunlight OR terrified of lady-parts.

Moving on, here's a game that prompted a great many people to buy a Sega Genesis. Kept the system competitive against the Super NES for a while, it did, as Sonic continued his battle with the nefarious Doctor Eggman. A lot of people... and I mean a LOT... say that this is the best Sonic game out there. So I'm going into this with some pretty high expectations. I'm also going into it while incredibly high. I am the Walrus. Coo coo cachoooo.


This game has the epic sounding "SAYYY-GAHHHHHH." rather than the 'tude-filled "SEGGA!" that some games from the era have. They do what Ninten-don't, damnit!

 It always freaks me out when characters in games have last names, something that we see all the time now. Not just that, but Tails has a FIRST name too. This is the start of Sega's flirtation with "real-world-izing" the Sonic universe, I guess. Tails is also the first of the insipid extended cast of the Sonic universe, which brought us lameness like Shadow the Hedgehog and... whoever that pink cat-lady was.

 This would come to a head... a disgusting, red, pointy pimple-head that popped all over the fans... with the 2006 Sonic game that had him cavorting around with this Final Fantasy esque guy lady. Reminds me of the he-shes down in Soho. Sonic better be careful. Things will be going GREAT until that fateful moment when he reaches down for that red velvet and instead finds a schlong-surprise.

DEAR GOD IT'S SO COLORFUL AND GORGEOUS

I am running through a happy field of sunshine and dreams. There are two glowing trees in the middle of the field, and the wind is warm like the universe's breath. Coo coo cachooooo

This game is more speed-oriented than the original. There's a significant lack of platforming compared to the amount of time you spend BARRELING THROUGH EVERYTHING, and I -really- prefer this type of gameplay. One level in and I'm already enjoying this vastly more than the first game. I mean, the first game is a decent, fun game on its own, but it really seemed like it was THIS game trapped in a regular platformer's body. Sonic's jumping controls aren't the best, so it wasn't a very good fit.

In essence, this game is what I hoped the first would be. Kinda like how the Playstation 4's Higher Def graphics are what I hoped the PS3's HD would be last decade.

 I DID IT! I BEAT ACT 1!

Now I shall retire to the glowing trees, where a beautiful young woman in a ruffled skirt will ride me beneath the afternoon sun as the clouds look on and say "that's m'boy". LUCY IN THE SKYYYYY-YYYYYE

Outdoor sex is incredible. Risky, though. It's a wonder I'm not in jail yet... By God, let's just hope Julio in D-Block is a reader. His manbitches know him as Sweet Tea.

Why does this screen REALLY remind me of a Persona game? If Sonic starts shooting himself in the head to draw out his guardian spirit... it'll probably mean he saw a glimpse of the future Sonic '06.

The first boss is Dr. Robotnik (aka Eggman) in a thrusting drill-mobile. He should track down Dr. Wily and go bowling.

Note how Sonic goes Morph Ball in midair. Also note how Tails follows me around uselessly. USELESSLY! He'd be fine if I were doing two-player, but as it is all he does is bump switches that I've already activated, causing problems for me. It'd be great if I could switch to him, ala Donkey Kong Country. Actually, I'm seeing a fair amount of that game in this one. The colorfulness, Tails' AI, and...the barrel cannons. Yes, this game has barrel cannons.

I wish this were reality so I could fly in the barrel cannon express. I hear it's like a whole new world up there. Stiiiiiir it up!

At the end of the stage, Sonic frees a bunch of little fluffy animals that Robotnik was planning on turning into killing machines. ...yes, these games are actually really disturbing when you find out what's going on. Let's...let's just move on.

LITTLE DARRRRLIN' STIR IT UP!

The second world is the Chemical Plant Zone, a total departure from the greenery. But more importantly, Smooth McGroove did an acapella of the stage music.

Wonder what the blue stuff in the pipe is. One of the things I like most about this series is the way they name the worlds "zones" and the stages "acts". It sets this apart from...well, every other platform series.

 A lot of this stage takes place underwater in this purple goop. This gets pretty irritating, as it's difficult to escape from the goop. Also, there's the ever-present danger of...

 ...asphyxiation. While this is a boatload of fun when combined with masturbation (as any teenager will tell you), it isn't fun at all when Sonic's life is on the line.

 Luckily, he has several lives, and somehow springs out of the deep blue in one piece. The next boss is a tedious fight because the floor constantly collapses; the middle of the room is safe, at least. Once I figured that out, victory was simple.

 Third zone is more gorgeousness. Another difference between this and most platformers is that the zones only have two acts; not the three, four, or more that I'd expect. Two seems to be just the right number, and not one zone overstays its welcome.

Robotnik is back, and he has a giant mallet. The statues on the left and right shoot arrows when he whacks them, but those arrows make great platforms to stomp the mad doctor.

Another set of woodland critters rescued. Onward.

"Maybe Sonic can build a manger for our savior!"

The next zone is ::holds up a cross:: ...Atlantic City. Get ready for the worst road trip ever.

This whole level is a giant pinball machine...sorta. Pretty much everything here is either a paddle or something you can bounce off of. Not pictured are the vast quantities of poor folk lurking about in AC's slums that go on for miles yet somehow manage to not get into any of the city's promotional materials.

Gonna detour for a moment to check out the stage select for the game. It's easily-accessed, and gives us the run-down of what's left. Interesting that Metropolis has three acts instead of the usual two, and it looks like I'm about halfway through.

While Sonic hangs out and peers, I also put in the Super Sonic code. Yes, this game is the genesis of Super Sonic. What is Super Sonic, you ask?

KAAAAA MEEEEEEE!!!!! HAAAAAA MEEEEEEE!!!!

...yes, Sonic can go Super Saiyan. Was Super Saiyan even a thing yet in 1992?

The boss here is Robotnik again, and you have to use pinball flippers to bop him with Sonic. It isn't particularly difficult or complicated, but there are some annoyances like his electric barrier.

Hill Top Zone is the next area. It's... a bit plain. Looks more like the first zone of one of these games than the fifth. Props for the gondola, though.

::Alia bursts through the screen:: 'SONIC! WATCH OUT FOR THE SPIKES UP AHEAD! YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUMP OVER THEM!"

Invincible Sonic is quite sparkly. He shimmers as he scampers to and fro like a Twilight vampire in sunlight, the dandiest of lads.


Well, hey, Twilight did give us one scene that I enjoyed... Bella in short shorts and somehow almost every good sex position at once.

Our hero gets caught bouncing between these two springs for a while at high speed. It was comedy gold until the puking began. BRB, gotta roll another hundo for a quick 'toot.

And we're back, as Morph Ball Sonic takes on a mystic cave. No, that's really the name of the zone. Mystic Cave Zone. It seems like an ordinary cave, not sure what causes it to cross the threshold into Mystic.

Sonic plummets to his death at one point in here. Know what would really suck? If it turned out that those spikes down there were all actually The T-1000.

Robotnik is really into drill-mechs. None of these boss battles are particularly difficult, despite the various frills that get added in to bump up the challenge. This one has sharp rocks raining from the ceiling every so often.

The next zone is - for me at least - the most confusing zone in the game. It's the Oil Ocean Zone, and it's a confusing mess of pipes.

There's also an environmental disaster in the making, as oil spills into the ocean.

Fuck you, BP! Fuck you!

I do like that sweet background sun, though.

After getting lost for what seemed like an hour, I finally get to the end of this area. Time to clash with Submarine Robotnik in a battle for naval supremacy. Not to be confused with the Rousey/Miesha battle for navel supremacy that was waged at UFC 168 recently.

Regardless of who has the superior belly, I just like that both of these women could probably kill me.

It's interesting to me that they use the phrase "got through" at the end of these levels. Most games would say "completed" or "finished" or, in the case of Kung-Fu Master, "URRK".

Sonic, however... he doesn't complete levels, he gets through them. He survives. The dark undercurrent of these games continues.

Metropolis is the next zone. Three acts, but none seem as long or confusing as the Oil Ocean acts. This place is pretty much just a huge techno-citadel with lots of moving gears and whatnot.

Possibly the most annoying Robotnik fight has him protecting himself with a bunch of globes that spin around erratically. This one took some patience. Stick and move, Sonic! Stick and move!

If it weren't for the stage select showing me otherwise, I'd think this was the ending of the game. Nope, it's another stage. Tails is a pretty adept pilot because the plane stays under Sonic no matter how crazily you jump around.

It's the Next Generation of Koopas, as Sonic must contend with an army of... flying mechanical turtles. On the surface, this ridiculousness seems like comedy gold, but when you see Sonic's dark undercurrent, this becomes more like something out of a Harlan Ellison short story.

Here's Robotnik's flying sky-fortress. It reminds me of Storm Eagle's stage in Mega Man X (coming in 2014 to this very site! ...probably)

Robotnik has Sonic trapped between two walls of light. The worst part? Sonic must now watch as the doctor brutally murders Qui-Gon Jinn.

This fight with a ceiling-laser is fairly basic, but it's also pretty irritating. The platforms you use as steps to reach the laser pod...well, they have spikes all over them.

Looks like Sega cranked the challenge up for these last couple of areas.

It's not over yet! Sonic somehow avoids being blown to his death by the wind as he rides the plane again with no protective seatbelt of any kind.

ANOTHER level? Well, this one is just a couple of boss fights. Death Egg is pretty ominous. The question is, what came first, this zone or the Death Chicken Zone?

...yeah, it's late, they can't all be winners.

MECHA-SONIC. He's got a hyperalloy combat chassis. Fully armored. Very tough.

Win that fight, and Sonic chases Eggman around as Benny Hill music plays.

Here's the REAL final boss. This thing is huge and frustrating. It only has a couple of attacks, but the rocket punches are brutal to avoid. I'm probably missing some particular winning strategy.

The place explodes post-fight; luckily, Sonic can outrun any explosion-chain.

He goes Super and proceeds to sail off into the cosmos. AWESOME. Glad he's still rolling. My high wore off as this post went on. You can probably tell roughly where.

Wait! The high is coming back! Love in an ellle-vator! LOVING IT UP TILL I HIT THE GROUND!

And that's it for this game. I find myself thinking that Sega Saturn's killer app, NiGHTS Into Dreams, should have had the uber-mobile, flying Super Sonic as the flying main character instead of a dandy harlequin. Well, missed opportunity.

Great, great game. Enjoyed it a lot more than the first. Looking forward to playing more of this series for the first time ever. The Genesis was a cool little system, wasn't it?




5 comments:

  1. The real-world-izing would come later. Miles Prower is simply a "Miles per hour" pun because Sonic is all about SPEED

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  2. You did the game great justice!
    The music in this one is so choice that I don't even mind if zones are a bit less original. Songs like Hill Top, Oil Ocean, and Metropolis are supreme. Also, the 2-player game has some alternate versions of songs; you should go hear them in the sound test!
    The final battles of this game really are that hard (or at least were for me as a kid). Mecha Sonic's no joke, and you can only hurt Eggman at the very top of his chest and there are so many hazards to avoid. He killed me many a time; it's a worthy final battle indeed.
    The Air Fortress was a really cool level, didn't see many shots of it here but I hope you enjoyed it too!
    If you beat the game without Super Sonic (like me every time), Sonic falls out of the space station but is caught by Tails's plane in mid-air, then the birds all fly around it as before.
    Death Egg = Death Star
    Super Sonic is pretty clearly Super Saiyan; that did exist then.
    I thought Miles was a really cool name as a kid because of Tails. Didn't hear of Miles Davis until high school. Miles "Tails" Prower just has a great ring to it all around.
    Chemical Plant had some pretty cool diverging paths.
    Another neat thing to do is play this game as Knuckles; they put some places for him to climb into it.
    Ahh, so much great stuff. Thanks for the memories.

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  3. Super Saiyan was totally a thing in 1992! I've never been able to clear the maze in Oil Ocean Act 2 myself.

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    1. I actually needed a map to get through that stage. It was definitely the point in the game where I would have given up, were it not for the internet helping me out.

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