Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) (Genesis/Megadrive) Review

The blue blur is back and this time he’s brought a friend

Sonic_0020_2Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is very similar to the first game and there is a high possibility that it’s a direct sequel.

Doctor Robotnik (Egg man) has again turned the wildlife inhabitants of South Island into to robot’s and it’s up to Sonic and his friend Miles (Tails) Prowler to adventure across some new areas of South Island in order to find and Defeat Dr Robotnik and to save the Island from his Evil Antics.

the only really big change in game play is the introduction of Tails, a two tailed fox who has the ability to fly which makes up for his lack in speed.

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Tails is a very useful mechanic in the game not only because he can fly but also because he can defeat enemies, collect rings and he can even help by dealing damage during boss fights.

Tails biggest downfall is his lack in speed, the problem is that because Sonic is so fast Tails will often get left behind leaving Sonic to get through the the majority of the stages alone, this isn’t as much of an issue during single player because as much as Tails can help with rings and boss fights it is possible to beat the game without him, but on the other hand if you want to play the single player with a friend, Player 2 (Tails) wont be able to keep up with Player 1 (Sonic), this makes playing the single player with a friend pointless which is a shame because they could have fixed this by making single player split screen when a second player joins.

On the bright side Sonic 2 does have another Multiplayer mode, if you select 2 players from the main menu, you will be able to select specific levels from the game which Player 1 (sonic) and Player 2 (Tails) will be able to race each other to the goal and the best part is that this mode does use split screen which makes the game fair for both players to have a good time.

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The games visuals are stunning, again everything is animated amazingly well the environments and backgrounds scroll with the player and some background objects such as clouds, lava and water move by themselves. The only complaint I have regarding the level design is that sometimes its really difficult to tell what is in the background and what will hurt you.

For example it may seem that the flames here can hurt you but they are actually harmless.

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Every zone in the game has its own unique theme, level design and enemies for Sonic and Tails to defeat.

Sonic 2 has 11 zones and provides a total of 22 levels

Emerald Hill Zone

Very similar to Green Hill Zone, Emerald Hill Zone has a tropical theme and provides plenty of loops, slopes and multiple pathways for Sonic and Tails to run through. This zone is super fun and super easy so you shouldn’t have much trouble with it.

Emerald Hill

Chemical Plant Zone

Going straight from a nice tropical vacation spot to the dangers of a factory filled with lots of enemies and toxic water which can kill you very quickly, this zone has multiple pathways and high speed game play which makes it very challenging and it shows that Sonic Team isn’t messing around.

Chemical Plant

Aquatic Ruins Zone

A fun little zone based around some ancient ruins surrounded by a lake, this zone is one of my favorites because you are able to change how to traverse through the zone every time you play it, for example if you stay near the top of the level you will have to adventure across the top of the ruins to reach the goal, but if you head downwards you will have to adventure across the bottom of the ruins and through the lake in order to reach the goal.

Aquatic ruins

Casino Night Zone

A definite upgrade to Spring Yard Zone from the first game, Casino Night is awesome Sonic and Tails will need to run, fling themselves, shoot themselves and gamble in order to survive this crazy stage, Casino Nights is loads of fun.

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Hill Top Zone

Sonic and Tails will be running above the clouds in this zone, Hill top zone requires you to take your time as you will have hills to climb, lava to avoid and lots of caves to explore, this zone is definitely for the explorative types.

Hill Top Zone

 

Mystic Cave Zone

Sonic and Tails will need to explore some dark caves filled with old abandoned mine cart tracks, but don’t relax just yet because it is also filled with lots of traps, spikes and switches, this zone will definitely keep you on your toes.

Mytic Cave Zone

 

Oil Ocean Zone

Literally an Ocean of Oil, this zone is very difficult as it has a lot of environmental hazards and obstacles, players will need to try to avoid falling off of oily slides and will need to use Green furnace flames to help propel themselves onto small platforms in order for them to traverse further through the zone.

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Metropolis Zone

In my opinion the most difficult zone in the game, this Giant factory is filled to the brim with enemies, environmental hazards, large pits of boiling chemicals and the worst part is that the entire zone is like one big maze, this is one maze that I never want to get lost in againMeropolis Zone

 

Sky Chase Zone

During a short plane ride Sonic and Tails need to chase down Dr Robotnik while he retreats to his air ship, during this stage players will need to avoid robotic flying turtles and collect rings, at the end of the stage Sonic needs to jump out of the plane to take on the air ship solo.

Sky Chase Zone

Wing Fortress Zone

Based in Dr Robotnik’s air ship there are plenty of opportunities for  you to fall to your doom due to the many platforms and thin ledges. While avoiding Dr Robotnik’s most dangerous robots yet players will need lots of patience and good timing in order to survive.

Wing Fortress Zone

 

Death Egg Zone

Again similar to Sonic 1 this is just the final boss and get ready for one tough final boss battle because unlike the first game now you have to face two bosses in a row. You will need to defeat Metal Sonic and once you beat him you then need to beat Dr Robotnik in his giant space armour, but if you die you will need to take on Metal Sonic again and you will need to keep repeating this pattern until you can defeat both bosses in a row without dying.

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Players have the ability to choose to play the single player mode as Sonic with Tails, Sonic alone or Tails Alone.

Beating the game with different characters does very slightly change the ending of the game but it so slight that it does not really count as an alternative ending as the final outcome is the same.

Bonus Stages are back but with a big difference, this time Sonic and Tails will need to collect 50 rings and once they reach a checkpoint they need to jump into the sparkly portal that appears above.

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Once they enter the Bonus Stage the player will see Sonic and Tails looking slightly 3D, they will be running through a tunnel filled with rings that they need to collect, if they collect enough rings they will be rewarded with a Chaos Emerald. This may sound easy but it can be very difficult because this time Sonic and Tails are running forward with the camera following behind, also there are many obstacles such as bombs and spikes that if Sonic or Tails hit they will lose some rings.

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Warning: If you enter a Bonus stage when you leave your ring count will be Zero.

Getting all 7 Chaos Emeralds will allow Sonic to transform into Super Sonic once he collects 50 rings in a stage you transform by jumping , Super Sonic is invincible, the only downfall is that you lose a ring for every second super sonic is on screen and once you run out of rings you will lose the super sonic ability until you collect some more.

imagesSonic 2 is an amazing game, it has some really creative levels, the bonus stages are more fun and rewarding, the soundtrack is so good that every time I listen to it I want to dance, the visuals and general game design is beautiful and apart from the pretty bad multiplayer and the fact that sometimes background objects seem dangerous, the game is near perfect.

One of the best games that Sonic Team has ever made 9.3/10

Thank you for reading my review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

Ecco the Dolphin (Megadrive) Review

Halloween 2014 is really close now and since it is already October its time for the traditional Raggle fraggle Halloween blogs.

This years theme is games and movies that you would not expect to be scary but in reality they are.

Lets begin with the first game of the season with the adorable Ecco the Dolphin for the Sega Mega Drive

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Released in 1993 Ecco the Dolphin is in my opinion Sega’s response to Nintendo’s popular game series Metroid

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The plot of Ecco the Dolphin is that your family mysteriously disappears in a storm and Ecco travels through the many dangers of the ocean to reunite with his family, while on on his travels Ecco is told to travel to the Artic to speak to a blue whale called Big Blue. Big Blue explains that these storms appear every 500 years and Ecco is directed to the oldest creature on earth the Asterite.

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The Asterite agrees to help Ecco as long as he travels back in time to an ancient atlantian city so he can retrieve one of the Asterite’s globes that is missing (Globes are those multicoloured circles that the Asterite is made of) After receiving the globe Ecco is told that the storm was a harvest of Earths waters and this is a tradition committed every 500 years by an alien species called the Vortex. After learning this, Ecco travels 55 thousands years into the past and finds the Asterite and is forced to battle, after defeating the Asterite, Ecco is granted a power which turns his Sonar into a deadly weapon which he can use against the Vortex, Ecco is then sent foward in time to the hour of the harvest and this time he also gets sucked into the storm and ends up in the Alien space ship, Ecco then fights his way to the queen to save his family.

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Thats right Ecco is a time travelling Dolphin who fights Aliens, That is freaking awesome

Ecco the Dolphin has really awesome game play, The game is level based, each level gives the player a new objective to complete but unlike traditional level based games Ecco the Dolphin feels a lot like Metroid, the player is going to get lost at certain points of the game. This is due to all of the different paths you can take to help you find your your objective and sometimes you need to solve puzzles in order to move forward for example you may need to push a rock to block of a strong water current in order to take a new path or you may need to use clever strategy to sneak past an angry octopus.

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Ecco the Dolphin is surprisingly a really difficult game, this is due to the fact that just like a real dolphin Ecco can’t fully breath underwater and while playing through the game the player will need to find air holes in order to keep Ecco alive, Personally this was the most difficult aspect of the game for me, because finding air is not easy and Ecco runs out of breath really fast.

Also Ecco can easily take damage from enemies as well as taking damage from bumping in cave walls, luckily eating fish replenishes your health so this aspect of gamplay is not something that people will have too much trouble with.

What is an issue is the games controls, due to Ecco being able to move in a 360 degrees pattern the D-PAD on the Mega Drive controller became a big issue as I found controlling Ecco to be very clunky and awkward. I believe the game could really benefit from the use of an analog controller.

Ecco the Dolphin has a really awesome soundtrack, the music really makes the player feel like they are in ocean and the music changes depending on the scenario of the stage, at first the music feels really relaxing but as the games plot unfolds the soundtrack evolves into something more hardcore and dark. I love this soundtrack, it really helps the player feel the atmosphere of the game.

it is one of my favourite game soundtracks on the Mega Drive and I love every minute of it.

Here is a link to a playlist of every track in the game

Ecco the Dolphin is a really awesome game, apart from the  not so great controls it is definitely a game I reccomend to retro gamers but I do feel that it would not be popular with the modern gamers of today.

I also feel that the game would be a turn off to male demographic simply because you play as a dolphin which is most likely why the game did not do as well as the developers hoped it would back when it released.

I may not have enjoyed Ecco the Dolphin as much as I have enjoyed a lot of other Mega Drive titles but I do feel that is an underrated gem on the system and I recommend it to all retro gamers .

A cute little game which is surprisingly a little bit terrifying 7/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Ecco the Dolphin

if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) (Genesis/Megadrive) review

Sonic the Hedgehog was the first video game I ever played, those of you who know me personally will know that I was first introduced to video games when my Uncle handed me down his old Sega Mega Drive when I was about six years old. When I received the Mega Drive it came with a fuck load of games some of titles I remember were Mortal Kombat 3, Street Fighter 2, Alien 3 and both Sonic 1 and Sonic 2.

I don’t know why I chose Sonic as the first game I was going to play but if I was to take a guess I would say that it was most likely the box art which caught my eye

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The cover art looks great Sonic is adorable but he also has a cocky attitude to him and this really helped Sega reach a wider audience.

Putting the box art aside, does the original Sonic the Hedgehog hold up 23 years later

HELL YEAH IT DOES !!!!!

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First of all lets talk about the visuals, this game is beautiful and everything is pretty well animated, every enemy is unique in the way they attack and move, sometimes even the background objects will move but the best example of this is in Green hill zone as sometimes the grass and plants move about in the wind. The game has seven zones and each zone has three acts, at the end of act three is always a fight with the games antagonist Doctor Robotnik (Egg man)

Each zone is a new area of South Island (Where Sonic lives during the first few Games) The Zones are

Green Hill Zone- Forest Area, lots of plant life and bug like enemies

Marble Zone- An underground lava themed stage, lots of cool secrets and an awesome part where Sonic needs to run away from flowing Lava.
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Spring Yard Zone- This Zone kinda Sucks, nothing really unique apart from there is a lot of springs and also these extremely annoying blue robots which are almost impossible to avoid.
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Labyrinth Zone- By far the most challenging part of the entire game, Labyrinth Zone is an under water themed zone,this makes sonic extremely slow, making it hard to avoid enemies and too reach checkpoints and also he can drown which means annoying your going to die music. Have Fun
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Star Light Zone- My favourite Zone in the game, it has cool music, its based in space and in my opinion the level design is very well done as sonic can take multiple paths to help him beat the zone in different ways, also star light zone has one of my favourite audio tracks from any sonic game ever.
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Scrap Brain Zone- What I truly consider the Final Zone, Scrap brain is very challenging in its platforming and enemy placement, Sonic is now in Doctor Robotniks lab and everything is out to kill you even the background objects. Also Scrap Brain Zone 3 is labyrinth zone with poisonous water which means half the amount of time to find air bubbles.
Scrapbrain

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Final Zone- This zone is just the Final boss, a lot of people struggle with this boss but for some reason I have always found him to be pretty easy. just stand in a safe spot, avoid the electric balls and hope that he appears close enough for you to hit him, eight hits and he’s dead but don’t forget to hit him while he flies away otherwise it counts as a death.
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While you are playing the game, getting 50 rings in either act 1 or act 2 of a zone will allow you to play secret stage so that you can try to collect a chaos emerald, these stages are really annoying and kind of pointless unless you just want to collect enough rings in the secret stage to get a continue. The idea is that if you get all 6 chaos emeralds you will unlock the best ending when you beat the game, This is great but the only problem is that the best ending is the same as the normal ending apart from their are happy dancing flowers, no im not making this up.

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The Original Sonic the Hedgehog is a great game, Sega did a fantastic job, it has great visuals, an awesome soundtrack, unique level, enemy and boss designs and overall its just an awesome piece of nostalgic gold. My only real complaint is that the getting the chaos emeralds is pretty much pointless and that’s not good considering that the idea is to get the chaos emeralds. Overall Sonic is great it is one of my favourite games of all time and it
still holds up pretty well today 9/10

I hope you enjoyed this review
If your respect my opinion I will respect yours
By Padawan

Aladdin (Genesis/Mega Drive) Review

Their have been a lot Aladdin games made since its release in 1993 but the two best selling Aladdin games always seem to cause arguments among fans. When it comes to video games the biggest debate is what was better Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis and a subject often brought up is the Aladdin games people still to this day will argue which version is better the super Nintendo platforming adventure game or the sword fighting action platformer on the Genesis. I was a sega kid growing up and I feel the super Nintendo version gets way to much praise (yes I have played it all the way through) so today I will review and try to defend the Aladdin game I grew up with.

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What I love

A lot of classic licenced games are just a way for developers to make money so the arrangement of levels didnt really matter as long as developers made money and the kids are quiet right?  Wrong this ruined video game experiences for me as a kid because if I was playing a game based on one of my favourite movies I wanted the levels to be in the same order as in the movie so that I got a fun experience which made sense. Aladdin kind of did this and by that I mean yeah the levels are in the correct order for the most part but some levels in the game didn’t make sense as they didn’t follow the movie at all, for example their is a stage in the desert where aladdin needs to find the scarab to open the cave of wonders but according to the film Jafar already had the scarab. This does annoy me but to be honest it doesn’t annoy me that much because there isnt many stages like this in the game and like I said for the most part the level order is spot on.

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For me the best aspect of the game is the animation, sure the super Nintendo version looked gorgeous and was burting with colour while the Genesis version was kind of MS DOS looking with very faded colours. The Genesis version did have one advantage in the graphics department though and that was the realistic animation on all of the character’s, honest to god the animation in this game is amazing for a Genesis game, nthe characters have real looking movements which help bring the game to life allowing to game to feel like your in the movie, Every thing from jumping on a camel, running over hot coal to cutting an apple in half just looks awesome and this is something the super Nintendo version didn’t do so well.

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What I didn’t love so much

You know I said that the overall look of the game is kind of MS DOS looking well sadly I have two gripes about the music in this game the first problem is that the songs are in the wrong order so that kind of ruins the experience and to top it all off the music sounds very MS DOS and this can get really and annoying, really fast. On the bright side it isnt as atrocious as that final stage music in Mc Kids which usually causes me to mute the tv.

My second problem is that the developers werent that creative when it came level design, this caused the game to be very boring and ugly compared to the super Nintendo version. The genie level is a great example to use because its a level which can have no limits. Below is a comparison of both games

Super Nintendo

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Genesis

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My final complaint is that unlike the super Nintendo version the Genesis version has no save feature or password system. This game isnt easy so not having these features is not the best idea since this is supposed to be a children’s game and since the game is pretty short (the ending is lame by the way) it may have been fair to have unlimited continues, but you can gameover in this game and if you do its back to square one, the games awful platforming does not help. You can buy continues (wishes) and lives from the selling dude, but come on kids don’t want buy stuff they just want to progress and kill things.

And that just about wraps up my review, Aladdin on the Gensis is a great game which does have its fair share of flaws
I’m going to rate aladdin a 7/10 a great game which could have been a lot better. Oh and as much as I love this game I will agree  that the super Nintendo version is the better version of the game but at the end of the day the super Nintendo version was made by Capcom while the Genesis version was made by Virgin games so what did you expect.

I hope you enjoyed this blog
This blog was written by Dan (Padawan)