One of the biggest delights I’ve had playing a Sonic fangame this year was based off a game I admittedly never liked much. Sonic 2 (8-bit), and most of Sonic’s Game Gear/Master System lineup, never struck the same chord with me that the Genesis trilogy did. Controls were never as tight, graphics never as pretty, sound never as catchy, and level design never as interesting. Just about all of that can understandably be chalked up to hardware limitations. But what happens when those shackles are removed, and over 20 years of hindsight from a zealous fanbase can be put into practice?
You get Sonic 2 SMS Remake; and honestly, this is a completely different experience from the original! I think “re-imagining” is more apt. Between general quality of life improvements, a new buddy system, new level design and other secrets, Sonic 2 SMS Remake is shaping up to be its own beast, and an unexpected favorite of mine as a result! Also, it’s playable on mobile devices!
Creative Araya is the brains behind this project, and they’ve given the previous entry, Sonic 1 (8-bit) the same treatment prior. Today though, it’s all about Sonic 2 and all of the new stuff added to make this a very special game. In addition to Sonic and Tails being playable as a duo, a host of other fan favorites make an appearance. Shadow and Metal Sonic team up, Mighty and Ray reunite, and Knuckles and Amy pair together for four different combinations of play; each with their own special abilities. Tails’ flight, Knuckles’ gliding and climbing, Ray’s air glide and Mighty’s hammer drop are all in tow.
The levels are certainly based off of the original, however they go above and beyond by making the game far more forgiving and taking advantage of each character’s abilities. These stages are also given quite a facelift without totally betraying the limiting 8-bit roots of the original. The music is largely the same with a few extra tracks added here and there, and the Special Stage is taken from Sonic 1 (8-bit) and turned into a far more enjoyable experience.
Sonic 2 SMS Remake takes an underappreciated and forgotten entry in Classic Sonic’s library and turns it into a full-fledged, fully-featured experience that every Sonic fan should give a shot.
Check out the booth at SFGHQ here, and stay tuned for more coverage of SAGE 2020!