A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game features a basic "good vs. evil" plot, with Sonic and Tails (and, in this release, Knuckles) going up against Dr. Robotnik to free their animal friends from the mad scientist's experiments.
Positive Role Models
While the focus on the game is action, the game's heroes are all presented as positive forces, working together to help those in need. There's also a focus on the friendship between Sonic and Tails throughout the story.
Ease of Play
The game has simple controls, along with a variety of unique platforming tweaks, thanks to the addition of Tails and Knuckles. The main difficulty comes in navigating the combination of speed and jumps to avoid obstacles.
Violence & Scariness
There's mild cartoonish violence as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles defeat enemies by bouncing on top of them. The heroes also take damage when running into hazards or get hit by enemy attacks. In all cases, there's no blood or gore shown and defeated characters just disappear or fall off the screen.
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Products & Purchases
The game is part of the Sega Ages line, which has been re-releasing classic Sega Genesis games on the Nintendo Switch. This is also part of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, which has spawned multiple games, books, movies/cartoons, and collectible merchandise of the years.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a re-release of the original Sega Genesis classic, available for download on the Nintendo Switch. This new release keeps the classic gameplay of the original, while adding in a few additional features. Characters are presented in a cartoonish and lighthearted manner, with positive influences and themes of both friendship and teamwork. The controls are easy to pick and play, and the gameplay features only mild violence. Players can compete in Time Trials against friends in local co-op play. There are online features as well, but it's limited to a scoreboard to compare against others' best Time Trial scores.
Is It Any Good?
While there are plenty of games that can be considered "classics," there are only a rare few that can really be considered "timeless." Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of those rare gems. Still, as tight as the original already was, this Sega Ages re-release has somehow managed to find room to make improvements. One noticeable change is the addition of the Drop Dash to Sonic's arsenal of moves. The move first showed up in Sonic Mania, twenty-five years after Sonic 2's release, but it manages to fit in naturally. The Drop Dash makes a world of difference in the gameplay, keeping Sonic's momentum going and allowing players to speed through levels like never before.
Back in the day, Knuckles was only accessible in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 if players plugged the game into the original Sonic & Knuckles cartridge. Here, Knuckles is playable from the get-go, changing up the gameplay with his wall climbing and bare-knuckles brawling (pun intended). It keeps things fresh and fun, as does the split-screen two-player mode and the competitive Time Trials. In many ways, Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is so much more than just a re-release of a classic game. Instead, its willingness to tweak to original and to add to the experience makes it, hands-down, the definitive way to take everyone's favorite hedgehog out for a spin.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.