In 1992 if you weren’t lucky enough to have upgraded to a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis system and still had a humble Master System you might have picked this up. Interestingly the Master System version was released slightly earlier than its 16-bit counterpart so no one can accuse this of being a soulless cash-in at least. Aside from sharing the same title it is a quite different game in how it plays.
In Sonic 2 we get introduced to the character who would become Sonic’s famous sidekick, Miles “Tails” Prower. However he is not playable as in the Mega Drive version, instead Dr Robotnik has captured him!
As with the previous game, Sonic is still on the hunt for Chaos Emeralds which are hidden across the various stages. There is lots of variety in stages throughout the game, Sonic now gets to ride mining carts and fly on a hang glider!
Sonic can now pick rings back up when he takes damage unlike the previous Master System game, however in boss fights you do not get a chance to collect any rings which makes them a bit tougher than the Mega Drive games. Also there is no spin dash ability in this game, despite Sonic gaining this ability in the 16-bit version.
On the whole this game is worth a look for Sonic fans who haven’t yet had a chance to become acquainted with his 8-bit antics before. It is sufficiently different from the first Master System game to warrant a look, however it is noticeably easier this time. It probably goes without saying that the Mega Drive version is a much better game all round, but judging what system this was released for it is hard to complain really, it was a solid purchase at the time and is still worth a look for nostalgic Sega fans today.