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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

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Sega has been on fire with classic Genesis releases on Xbox Live Arcade. The last few weeks there has been Ecco, Sonic and Streets of Rage. This week brings us the second in the classic Sonic Series. Let’s just say that 2-D speed still looks sweet.

For 400 points you can get one of the best of the sonic games on your 360. It, for the most part, is just like the original that was released back in November of 1992. This time thought you get to save your game and there is a graphical smoothing feature that makes the game look like smudged water paints. The sound has been translated well in this port, unlike the port of Streets of Rage 2, which had flaws in the sound effects. The colors are bright and vibrant on an HD set, but why can’t they just resize the screen instead of having borders. The controls handle like they did on the genesis version and all the animations are intact.

Another nice add-on that wasn’t in the original — for obvious reasons — is online multiplayer on the tunnel race sequences. This gives a bit more replay value in the game, but it could be an issue in the future finding a match to play with a random person.

Achievements are fairly easy minus a couple, as in beating the game in under an hour and collecting all the chaos emeralds, which if you play as the duo of Sonic and Tails is a problem as Tails tends to mess up in the bonus levels.

Sonic 2 is a must have for any 2-D fan and being 15 years old doesn’t hurt its enjoyable game play. Some younger gamers may not see the appeal but the older crowd should enjoy this classic.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: Wii.


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About Ryan Thompson

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    It would have been nice to have online co-op, especially considering there is off line co-op. Lazy.

  • http://therage800.com TheRage800

    You can resize the screen in the options menu.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/09/13/123326.php Ryan Thompson

    Not completely, you can also remove the wallpaper. When you resize it the image is also distorted and its not a true widescreen image. When I meant not resizing it, I meant the image is in the native 4:3 ratio. Yes it can be stretched but its not full screen even with that.

  • Andrew Ogier

    Ken, the problem with online co-op is that lag would be cause a detrimental effect on the speed of gameplay. The devs of the Sega Vintage Collection haven’t got very solid network code implemented into any of their ports (look at Streets of Rage 2 for a good example)…and in Sonic, speed is everything. I guess they tried online co-op on the test network, found out it didn’t work too well, and dropped it out of the final release. A shame, yes, but chances are the game would be virtually unplayable online with it included.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    I downloaded the trial version of this and Sonic 1 recently.

    I’m really not impressed with with the smoothing. It looks pretty crappy, IMO. It makes the letter and numbers look strage and not necessarily difficult to read, but odd enough that it just looks strange and is kind of jarring.

    And for 400 points each (or essentially $5 each), it really doesn’t seem worth it to me.

    I’ve already got the Sonic Mega Collection Plus for Xbox, which also became compatible with the 360 a while back with a compatibility update, and for $20 at original retail (you could probably find it even cheaper than that used now), I got pretty much the entire Genesis Sonic Library (including all of the main Sonic Games… the various version of ‘locking on’ the previous Sonic games with Sonic & Knuckles, and several of the obscure games like Mean Bean Machine, Spinball, and 3D Blast), as well as several other Genesis games that are unlockable, and several of the Game Gear Sonic games.

    And, if my 360 ever gets the RROD and I have to get a new one, the games will be compatible with it right off the bat without having to hassle with Microsoft for weeks to get the lisence transfered.

    I’m not totally against the XBLA, but some of the prices plus the inconvenience of what happens when/if your system dies out makes me want to find alternatives to downloading the games from the Live Arcade whenever possible, limiting the ones I do download to a select few.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    If your system dies and you send it in for repair, they transfer the license to the new unit. If you get it back and still find a problem playing any of the games, they can transfer the license to your referb.

    The problem is when you “voluntarily” go out and get an Elite. Yes, the MS support technician said, and I am paraphrasing here, “since you voluntarily upgraded to an Elite, there is nothing more we can do.”

    I emailed my MS rep about this, and am waiting for a reply. I am having a problem with my Sonic the Hedgehog game reverting to Trial every time I play it, yet if I re-download from the “Unlock Full Game” menu in-game, it becomes the full game, until I quit to the Dashboard. It is quite irritating. Like I said, I am waiting to hear back from MS on this.

    Andy, it is possible for online co-op in these XBLA games, it is just really irritating that they will not take the time to make it work. Especially when they are charging $5 for a game I own many times over.