Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review

Who doesn’t love Sonic the Hedgehog, that spiny blue critter who sped into our hearts 19 years ago? Though his games have wavered in quality over the past two decades, the original 2D Genesis ones are almost universally adored. So how does the port of part two fare on the touchscreen device?

Surprisingly well. Anyone who’s played the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the iPhone knows pretty much what to expect with the sequel. Once again, it’s a direct port of the original game, with no fancy new features added. And once again, we’re disappointed by this– but there are worse things than getting a straight port of an awesome game.

And Tails pulls into the lead!

And while the last Sonic suffered from slowdown and somewhat clunky controls on the iPhone, Sonic 2 fares better in both departments. Some slowdown still occurs, but not as frequently or as obviously, and the controls are about as tight as possible, which is great, because Sonic 2 demands exact input in every stage. Even still, the touchscreen can’t match the precision of a physical controller for this type of game, and you’ll definitely notice the difference during some of the more demanding platforming parts.

But, as in the original Sonic 2, the levels are sprawling and excellently crafted. Each one has long speedways, carefully placed enemies, and multiple looping paths that lead you to the goal. And it’s a good thing you can take different paths, because you’ll be replaying levels often.

A turtle riding a turtle? Will wonders never cease…

Which brings us to another potential downside of Sonic 2: it’s unforgivingly difficult. Gamers these days are used to hitting continue when they run out of lives and carrying on as if nothing happened. In this game, however, game over really means game over. Persistent players can build up the skills necessary to complete the game, but less dedicated gamers might throw in the towel before experiencing the treasures Sonic 2 has to offer.

In any case, we’re glad to see Sonic’s buddy Tails make his appearance on the iPhone, and we still smile every time he falls behind as we zip through the worlds. We’re also glad that the game automatically saves when you receive a call or hit the home button. We just wish the developers had put in more details like this to illustrate that they realized they were making a game for the iPhone in 2010.

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