A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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What's it about?
The Blue Blur is back in SEGA AGES SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2, and this time he's bringing a few friends along for the ride. The game is a faithful recreation of the Sega Genesis classic, which once again pits Sonic against the machinations of the mad scientist, Dr. Robotnik. Players can choose to play as either Sonic or Tails, or even team up together, to recover the fabled Chaos Emeralds and bring down Robotnik's Death Egg space station looming overhead. As an added bonus for fans, the game includes the original Sonic & Knuckles add-on content, allowing players to bring Knuckles the Echidna and his unique skills into the adventure. You can also race the clock and challenge friends in the split-screen and Time Trial mode, then post your top score on the online leaderboards to see how fast you are compared to the rest of the world.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the return of classic games. What is the appeal that classic games still hold when compared to more modern titles? What can make one game feel "timeless", while another feels "outdated"?
How does the cartoonish and cute style of games like Sonic affect the impact of things like violence and humor on younger players?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Price: $7.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sega of America
- Release date: February 20, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.