Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review: Adding to an already great game

SEGA. Screenshots taken by Eric Halliday.
SEGA. Screenshots taken by Eric Halliday. /

Thanks to Sega Ages, Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s return on the Nintendo Switch is better than imagined with much-welcomed new features and additions.

Developer: M2
Publishers: SEGA
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: February 20, 2019

Earlier this week, developer M2 and SEGA dropped Sonic the Hedgehog 2 via its Sega Ages series. Wow, did they do a lot more than I expected.

Little back story about me, when I was growing up I spent a solid chunk of my childhood on Sega. And that time was very heavily spent with Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I had the all the others, from the first one to Sonic CD, but Sonic 2 was always my favorite.

The music was stellar, the stages were varied without being obnoxious and, okay, I also felt like it was the easiest of all the Sonic games so it was a game young me could beat. Also, it had the best looking bonus stages in my opinion.

Needless to say I am very familiar with the source material. So when I saw there was a remake, I not only took my controller but also a fine tooth comb.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
SEGA. Screenshots taken by Eric Halliday. /

First thing I noticed when I started this game was the exceptional start-up screen. Similar to the beginning of a Marvel movie when you catch glimpses of their other films, you’re treated to a weird showing of famous Sega characters leading up to Alex Kidd presenting a screen that then plays the game. It was incredibly unnecessary and I loved it.

From there you are presented with a ton of options. First thing I did was go through video settings. Not only are there a ton of resolutions to play this game in but there’s also filters, pixel smoothing and backgrounds to turn on and off.  I thought this was awesome, though, admittedly I liked the default stages the most so I felt like being offered a free dessert whilst full.

When starting the game, you have four choices out the gate. This also surprised me. Instead of just being a standard remake of the original, you get the option of playing regular Sonic 2 or Sonic 2 (and Knuckles). This allows you to play as the aforementioned Knuckles who can glide through the air and climb walls. Knuckles adds an interesting spin on the game as his ability to climb through stages can either make stages a cake walk or get you nonsensically off track.

After picking the version, you’re then given the option to play normally or to play with Rings Held. Turning this on not only starts stages with a set amount of rings but it also makes it so that when you’re hit you lose only half of your rings as opposed to the traditional mugging of all of your rings. It’s a really nice quality of life feature for people like me who are old, tired and just absolutely done challenging themselves for no reason.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
SEGA. Screenshots taken by Eric Halliday. /

In addition to the regular game modes, there is also a challenge mode when you have to get 100 rings as fast as possible. An excellent unlockable mode opens up to you upon beating the game where you can start a new game with all of the Chaos Emeralds. This allows you to play through the game as Super Sonic every time you have fifty or more rings. As someone who was never good enough to get all the emeralds it was a treat to finally be able to enjoy this feature.

Honestly, I already went into this remake excited. It was a chance to sit back and enjoy a game I’ve loved for a solid portion of my life but this was still a pleasant surprise. For just about eight bucks, M2 could have just thrown us an emulation of the vanilla Sonic 2. Instead they gave us a ton of options and something that added replay to an already great game. I definitely recommend getting this.

Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2 adds a ton of excellent features to an already great game. At its price point, it’s not a question of “should I get it” but more a “why haven’t I yet”.. M2. . Sonic the Hedgehog 2. 9

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.