Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Sonic The Hedgehog returns — and this time he's got a pal! Er, well, he did... but that no-good Doc Robotnik has kidnapped the two-tailed Miles Prower (aka Tails). It's the blue blur to the rescue!
Sonic 2's emphasis is more on ring collection and exploration than baddy-bashing. The controls are identical to the original's but Sonic can bounce across water, float inside bubbles, hang-glide and trundle along in a mine cart.
All seven Chaos Emeralds have to be found to gain access to the final level, South Island, where Robotnik's holding Tails. But before tubby can be tackled, end-of-level guardians such as a seal, pit creature (similar to the Sarlaac from Return Of The Jedi) and robot Sonic must bite the dust.
The first couple of levels are bland and strangely coloured but the graphics which follow are great Sonic's as detailed and smoothly animated as ever, scrolling's slick and (most) backgrounds are attractive. The Aqua Lake Zone's cool — plenty of watery antics, quality music and a serene colour scheme.
A mass of secret rooms and paths, hang-gliding and mine carting give levels a completely different feel to those of Sonic The Hedgehog — unlike those MD owners and their spot-the-difference Sonics.
Although not quite as good as its predecessor graphically, Sonic 2's superior gameplay gives it the lead.