Bashing Sonic 2: Electric Boogaloo

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Dek Rollins, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. Ravenfreak

    Ravenfreak

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    Sonic's final sprites are definitely my least favorite from the classic series. I loved the swirl in the running animation from the prototype, and I wish they kept that in the final game... Sky Chase zone's music is great, but auto scrolling levels don't necessarily fit a game that's based around speed. The final boss has a really shitty hit box, making it the most difficult to beat out of the classic games. Metropolis zone just outright sucks, the music is great though. Let's also not forget that the player cannot fly as Tails, but the AI can.
     
  2. Only for viewing

    Only for viewing

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    Death Egg Robot is incredibly stressful to beat, I've only done it like two times at most without help from Debug Mode. Often when I get to Death Egg Zone in a full playthrough, I simply choose not do it at all.
    Granted, I've only ever played the Taxman version of Sonic 2. Not that I've ever really felt its touch controls were too imprecise (quite contrary, it actually felt good to play), buuuut I might have lost some precision thanks to that.

    Wing Fortress Zone's layout is very confusing and I wish I understood why. It's all fun up until you get the 1-Up Monitor at the leftmost wing, from that point onwards it's all just a mess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  3. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    Where do I start...?

    I honestly feel like Sonic 2 streamlined the gameplay a little too much. While Sonic 1 could feel like a clunky platformer at times, Sonic 2 feels smoother at the expense of expansive level design. Often the stages feel a little... barren somehow compared to 1, CD, or 3&K.

    I personally agree with this assessment and I think a large part of it might be due to how a majority of the levels were designed by an American team that had to fall back on what other platformers of the time were doing. I often find myself unable to finish it because it isn't all that appealing creatively for me. I've never really made it past Chemical Plant when I used to play it and I can't imagine what a slog it might be to play Metropolis.

    The art direction for the game certainly has less of the zanny Japanese surrealism and a more grounded American cartoon realism. Sprites for the Badniks, for the most part, take a lot of American design cues which is only natural when you have artwork from the Japanese members of the team filtered through American sprite artists. Even Sonic, Tails, and Eggman look a bit more like their American designs than the Japanese artwork; it's subtle but there. I believe a lot of the concepts for levels were submitted by the American team as well, but I'm not sure. Someone feel free to correct me. It's not to say "Japanese > American concepts" here, but maybe the art direction is less interesting to me because it's more of the same.

    That said, the music really excels here. I would say Nakamura-San's music for Sonic 1 was overall a bit more J-pop cinematic in it's approach while Sonic 2 is more wide-appealing pop mixed in with some cinematic moments. The ending theme, Nakamura's "Present" for Sonic Team, is honestly one of my favorite pieces of music in the franchise.
     
  4. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    On a daily basis when I got my MDII with it included; I was 15 by that time. I usually got them on first try except for the 6th and maybe the 5th; the last one was somehow easier despite its (very appropiate) chaotic design. Of course, avoid playing as Sonic and Tails to accomplish such a task unless you have a decent player with you to control Tails.

    While Mecha Sonic wasn't that hard once you learnt how to land hits quickly (so your life isn't at risk for long enough to make a mistake), my entire playthrough was dedicated to store lives to fight the giant mecha. I think one thrid of my sessions was getting the emeralds, another one going through the remaining zones, and the last third spent on losing lives at Death Egg. The only good thing about this is that it felt a decisive moment of real danger after going easily throught the zones (Metropolis is annoying, but isn't lethal that often).

    Another important thing to say about all the classic games we've been bashing recently is the length of the levels has always been a bit wrong: they may be too long in S3K, but are quite short in S2 in most zones, and S1 zones are both things because acts are short like in S2 but three acts make zones feel eternal, and CD is either thing depending or your playstyle.

    Other than that, I think I wouldn't say anything others haven't already said, except one thing: I usually prefer the 2pVS music over the 1p tracks for the related zones. They sound good on both cases, so it's just a minor grievance.
     
  5. Rudie Radio Waves

    Rudie Radio Waves

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    Oh boy.
    • The art style isn't as nice or consistent as Sonic 1.
    • Metropolis gets way too hard way too quickly.
    • Hidden Palace Zone's boss in the 2013 remaster is harder than any other Eggman encounter (barring the Death Egg)
    • I beat all the Special Stages by quitting and restarting them.
    • I hate Wing Fortress' music.
    • Hill Top is a bit boring. I like the lifts though!
    • If you know the trick, the final boss is waaay too easy. Same goes for Robo/Mecha/Silver Sonic, given you can strike three hits every time it stands still.
    Also, I like Oil Ocean! And the rest of Sonic 2 as well.
     
  6. kyasarintsu

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    Whenever I get to Metropolis, I think to myself "well, this isn't so bad" only to turn back to my old annoyance somewhere halfway through act 2.
    Beyond some cheap seahorses, I don't dislike Oil Ocean like I used to. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it when it returned in Mania, too.
     
  7. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Actually I kind of agree. The concept was interesting, but it's way too sluggish and intricate, and if you can't aim those bombs just right, you lose quickly or the boss just lasts forever (though maybe I say that because I'm not as fluent with the touch screen controls). Even the Death Egg boss works on the rule that if you can master the strategy and controls, it can be over in seconds.

    Hell the fact the mobile port never got a proper console release is a big annoyance.
     
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  8. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Sonic 2 is by far the worst of the classic games.
    - The level design is bland and uninspired, and often so generic that you could swap layouts between zones without it feeling like a different zone (and MZ3 is literally this).
    - Level progression is all over the place, both thematically and in terms of difficulty.
    - Sky Chase is just a two minute long unskippable cutscene, where nothing much happens.
    - Special stages are an exercise in memorisation rather than skill, and not all that interesting visually either.

    Something that illustrates my point: pushing.

    In Sonic 1's Marble Zone, there are areas you have to push a block onto a button, or into lava, in order to progress. This small puzzle element makes the level a lot more interesting.
    In Sonic 3, there are multiple cases where you can push things to reveal secret areas (Angel Island, Flying Battery) or progress (Ice Cap, Sandopolis).

    Nothing like this exists at all in Sonic 2. There are no pushable objects.
     
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  9. Overlord

    Overlord

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    * This, though obviously not a factor for me now.
    * Metropolis's badniks
    * Oil Ocean in general (Mania improved on it drastically)

    That's about it, though.
     
  10. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Chemical Plant is an annoying second level, but it was also born of a time when second levels in games were annoying to encourage repeated rentals. Marble Zone is a far more punishing level, I think. If you play Sonic and Knuckles alone, Flying Battery is a huge spike up in difficulty after Mushroom Hill. So while it is an unfair difficulty spike, it's a product of the game's time. I think the difficulty spike from Green Hill to Chemical Plant Act 1 in Sonic Mania is a bigger sin, actually, because that's a modern game where those standards no longer apply.

    I think Sonic 2 is very enjoyable up until Oil Ocean Zone and at that point I usually turn the game off. Oil Ocean is inoffensive but dull and Metropolis is awful. I do like Sky Chase because it provides a nice cinematic moment and gives the player a breather, but it loses its charm after repeated playthroughs. Wing Fortress is a good level I think, but it can't excuse the drudgery of Oil Ocean and Metropolis. Death Egg's bosses are iconic and memorable, but I don't think they are well-designed, because it's essentially an issue of memorising their patterns, and then you'll never die except from impatience.

    Sonic 2 is definitely more stream-lined in design than Sonic 1 and 3. I wonder how much Mark Cerny was responsible for the level design in Sonic 2, because I feel as though it has his stamp over it. That's not inherently a bad thing though, and I like Sonic 2 a lot in the sense that the levels are easily readible to those not familiar with Sonic games. I think there's a reason why it's the most popular game with the general public.
     
  11. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester

    ♡ ! Resident Jester
    I always went into the Options menu and set myself as "Sonic Alone" because I found that having Tails would actually screw me up, I think it was a psychological thing, you "think" you have enough rings so you let your guard down, only to find that half the rings are held by Tails and he plows right into a set of spiked bombs...

    Also, I must be the only who actually loved the fact that EHZ went straight into CPZ, but I think that's more childhood specific to me, I remember always wanting to get to SBZ in Sonic 1, but it was always too difficult, so to go from the first level to what looked like a last level filled me with a major sense of accomplishment =D
     
  12. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    While I appreciate the more fluid transitions in 1 and 3K, I admit they didn't bother me much in 2 despite being more jarring, though maybe that's because I actually played 2 player with my brother for my first few plays, so finally trying 1 player and seeing there was a variety of new areas in that mode between each level was quite fun.

    Yes I was a dumb six year old who thought 2 player represented the whole game. :P
     
  13. Overlord

    Overlord

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    The ring requirements are also higher with Tails. The only time I've ever got all the S2 emeralds legitimately is as Sonic Alone, that's one criticism I forgot to add.
     
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  14. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester

    ♡ ! Resident Jester
    They are?

    Well that explains it! No wonder I couldn't do it as well as a kid >=(
     
  15. Palas

    Palas

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    Here's a funny story and a nitpicky complaint I have about Sonic 2 on behalf of at least a few non-native English speakers.

    The character selection features "Sonic & Tails", "Sonic Alone" and "Tails Alone", right. But for anyone who doesn't speak English, it's easy to assume "Alone" is actually Sonic and Tails' last name, which would make them siblings, or at least related. They could have put it as "Sonic" and "Tails" only, but they needed to accidentally instill false lore in the minds of who knows how many people.

    Didn't happen to me because I didn't play as a kid, but if I had gotten the game before I knew English, I'd totally think that, and the cartoons would never say otherwise so I'd keep at it.
     
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  16. Not being able to fly as Tails always bummed me out. Tails was pretty much useless to me until Sonic 3K and beyond.

    The zone order makes little to no sense, but all the zones still stand out on their own with fantastic art and music.

    The special stages are probably my favorite in the entire series, but damn are they unforgiving if you don't have them perfectly memorized. Unlike in Sonic 1, there's at least a reason to collect the emeralds. Super Sonic is fun, but I do wish he factored into the story more like was originally intended.

    2P is a joke, but still a welcome addition. I strongly believe 3K did it better, even if it's still lacking.

    I'd say overall the game improved upon 1, but we had to wait for 3 (and Knuckles) to get a complete Sonic experience.
     
  17. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    To be fair about the Special Stage ring requirements, they probably assumed that you would switch to one character alone if you didn't actually have two players.
     
  18. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    Don't worry, most Genesis/Mega Drive titles didn't get localised anyway. They were probably already used to it. :)
     
  19. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    I think the first time I got the emeralds legit was with Knuckles lock-on, though maybe because entry requirements and ring totals were much more merciful as Knuckles.

    Also I had trouble remembering the different level select code for KiS2. :P
     
  20. Mana

    Mana

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    That's the thing though, it wasn't meant to be played alone. Mushroom Hill is only so easy because you have to go through Death Egg Zone first and you probably need a breather before you go through the second half.

    2 does this deliberately when no other Classic Sonic game does.