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01-16-16 09:34 PM
09-23-16 10:23 AM

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Game Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2


01-16-16 09:34 PM
janus is Offline
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Satisfied with the success of Sonic the Hedgehog 1, Sega released a few years after Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The game was larger, had better graphics, introduced a new character which your little brother could control in order to help you (Metropolis boss, anyone?) and also better music. The arrangements sounded much better and were generally less synthesized. Here is my review.

1 - Title Screen

The theme from Sonic 1 augmented to fill in the empty spaces. Even the main synth sounds better, and I love how the loop concludes. It sounds like pixie dust is falling out of the sky.

2 - Emerald Hill (1-player)

Another very green zone. It sounds much more joyful than Green Hill. The various synth arrangements uplift the mood, while the background drums set the tempo just right. The middle of the loop even has a quieter portion that was well thought-of.

3 - Chemical Plant

A sharp contrast with Emerald Hill. The synth is heavier and more “high-tech”, which is perfect for this plant. The drums are louder and more upbeat in the second part, which emphasizes the technology surrounding you.

4 - Aquatic Ruin

An excellent track that sound like you are exploring some very ancient ruins. They also feel like you are exploring something in the water, as the synth arrangements have this feeling of lightness and “infinity” such themes usually have.

5 - Casino Night (1-player)

MUCH more superior to Spring Yard. The main track sounds much more like a casino, and the background drums even sound a little jazzy. You can almost feel Las Vegas’ neons shining all around you. And despite a loop that ends a little too sharply, the track is excellent.

6 - Hill Top

Not my favorite track of the album, but it does have an “exploring high mountains” feel to it. The main part of the loop makes you feel like your head is (literally) in the cloud. The drum track also give the perfect tempo.

7 - Mystic Cave (1-player)

The heavy synth, both in the main and in the background tracks, are the perfect Halloween theme. In the second part of the loop, you could swear you can hear ghosts howling around you. And the looping of the loop is done very well; also the tempo is excellent.

8 - Oil Ocean

The quiet intro to the track gives the right mood for this “oil spill” level (you can hear it through the track too). The heavy synth in the background is perfect for the high-tech environment where you are, be it for the green “lifts” or the refining plant in the background.

9 – Metropolis

The best track of the album. The constant piston sound is perfect for this city of steel you are exploring, and the heavy synth arrangements show that you are surrounded by high technology (including a razor sound towards the end of the loop). For some reason the mood of this track is rather uplifting.

10 - Sky Chase

A very relaxing track despite the heavy drum in the background. The main track almost sounds like muted brass instruments, which is perfect for this ride aboard “Air Miles.” (!!)

11 - Wing Fortress

It is still in the sky, but it sounds much more epic since this is Robotnik’s last line of defense before his ultimate weapon. Once again the main track almost sounds like real wind instruments, which makes the track all the better. The drums are rather quiet, but when they are used they maintain both epicness and the military feel of one of the last zones you face.

12 - Death Egg

This is not the best track around. It is MUCH too heavily synthesized, and it tries to be scarier than the Mystic Cave. Fortunately the in-game version is rather short so you are not missing much. Just skip it.

13 – Boss

The arrangements are MUCH better than in Sonic 1. The drum is heavier and slightly more upbeat. Plus the arrangements sound more realistic, although you can still here some synth effects in the background.

14 - Death Egg Robot

The final boss battle. It really sounds like one with the constant drums in the background and very dramatic and epic synth effects in the main track. Also, the loop is much longer than the Final Zone, which makes it better.

15 - Super Sonic

Although the following games had better arrangements, this one is more upbeat. It is therefore excellent to represent both the boost of energy and speed you receive from the Chaos Emeralds.

16 - Special Stage

Speaking of the emeralds! This Special stage track is, once again, better than in Sonic one. The intro sounds just like you are starting a Formula 1 race. The core of the loop sounds like it has high-pitch trumpets playing among excellent synth arrangements that are very upbeat.

17 – Options

The (VERY) annoying option screen theme. It loops much too quickly and has very loud and annoying drums and synth effects. Other than the nostalgia factor, skip it.

18 - VS Race Results

When you see how much you have beaten your little brother. The second part of the loop has VERY annoying effects in the background, but otherwise the track is tolerable.

19 - Act Clear!

Like the intro theme, the synth has been updated. Otherwise it is the same track as in Sonic 1.

20 - Extra Life

This one has not changed from Sonic 1

21 – Invincibility

The intro blends in MUCH better than in Sonic 1; otherwise it is the same track.

22 - Chaos Emerald

Same sound effect as in Sonic 1. However, the in-game effect is better since you do not start spinning on yourself to exit the special stage.

23 – Drowning

The countdown before you drown (or time is over in vs mode). It sounds VERY dramatic, with the countdown accelerating as the time passes by. It was well thought-of.

24 - Continue?

The arrangements are better than for Sonic 1, but they still keep the acceleration to tell you to hurry to make up your mind.

25 - Game Over

Same as Sonic 1.

26 - Emerald Hill (2-player)/ Wood

The Wood part was the name of a zone in the beta version of the game. Anyway, it sounds similar to Emerald Hill, just with a slower tempo. It is still good though.

27 - Casino Night (2-player)/ Genocide City

It somehow has a better casino feel than the original one, with a slightly quicker tempo.

28 - Mystic Cave (2-player)/ Dust Hill

It sounds less scary, but it still feels appropriate for a cave. The “flute” that are more obvious in the second part of the loop actually feel kind of strange.

29 - Hidden Palace (unused)

Too bad this zone was never developed. The arrangements, although very synthesized, have a kind of mysterious feel that were perfect to this cave with beautiful waterfalls you were exploring.

30 - Ending Theme (Sweet Dreams)

When you fall off the Death Egg back to Earth. It has a slow triumphant beat I love; it sounds like a variation of the intro theme. The composer made efforts to have the arrangements sound as genuine as possible, which is commendable.

31 – Credits

The tracks were mixed MUCH better than in Sonic 1. Yes, there might still be long drum playing (especially for Casino Night), but at least the tracks (sometimes taken when wearing the speed shoes) blend in well.

Final diagnosis: any Sonic fan should own this soundtrack. It shows a great improvement from Sonic 1 and has some very memorable tracks like Metropolis and Hidden Palace.

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03-27-16 04:01 PM
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I agree with how you feel about these songs. I love Chemical Plant, Aquatic Ruin, and Metropolis Zones as my favorite songs. I didn't realize Hidden Palace had good music before this thread, so thanks for showing me something new.
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09-23-16 10:23 AM
sonicbros is Offline
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Some of my favorite Sonic music is from this game,mainly Chemical Plant and Hill Top
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