Released on "Sonic Twosday", November 24, 1992, Sega brought Sonic the Hedgehog back to the Sega Genesis for a gaming encore. This Sonic sequel boasted more levels, more challenges, and more special stunts than its predecessor. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was also the first time players met Tails the Fox. The game was one of the most highly anticipated of its time and was hyped accordingly.
Sonic maneuvers pretty much the same as he did in his premiere game with the exception of a new move: the spin dash. Sonic can now curl himself into a ball, charge up his speed, and blast off in a burst of accelertation. Tails is controlled primarily by the CPU, but when controlled by Player 2 he shares Sonic's moves.
Every game needs a villain, and Dr. Robotnik aims to please. He's back and he's brought his evil Death Egg with him. He plans to enslave all of the animals in his evil badniks and use them to overrun the land. It's up to Sonic and Tails to stop him.
During their adventures the duo traverse the following levels:
- Emerald Hill Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Aquatic Ruin Zone
- Casino Night Zone
- Hill Top Zone
- Mystic Cave Zone
- Oil Ocean Zone
- Metropolis Zone
- Sky Chase Zone
- Wing Fortress Zone
- Death Egg Zone
Sonic and Tails work their way through the levels beating up the badniks and Dr. Robotnik's different boss forms at the end of each level. In the Death Egg the duo battle against the mechanical hedgehog Silver Sonic, and then eventually against the evil doctor himself.
If Sonic can grab 50 rings and tag a midpoint post, he can enter the Special Stage to try and snag a Chaos Emerald. The Special Stages are in 3D and feature Sonic the Hedgehog racing down a halfpipe track collecting rings and avoiding spikes. Sonic has to grab the specified number of rings to complete the course and earn one of seven Chaos Emeralds. Completing all the Special Stages and earning all the Chaos Emeralds allows Sonic to become Super Sonic, thus making him even faster and invincible.
Don't forget to slap your Sonic and Knuckles cartridge on the game to play Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a special version of Sonic 2 in which Knuckles travels through the game's levels. There are some areas of the game that only Knuckles can access.
This game has been featured in the Sega Smash Pack 2, Sonic Classics, Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn, and Sonic Mega Collection for Nintendo GameCube.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was originally a much larger game and contained additional levels and a different storyline, but I believe those topics are best left for another day.