Sonic 2 was released on New Years day in the US, although some would say foolishly, as the impact of its release would likely be muffled by the New Years celebrations. This however, didn’t stop Sonic 2 becoming the best selling 2D Sonic game and furthermore – one of the best selling platform games of all time.
Sonic was the blue to Mario’s red, combining lightning fast movement with vast and plush areas to explore – an antidote to Mario’s far more compact game levels.
Sonic’s design allowed for new ways for players to move around levels that were often larger in size than those in other games. These levels mainly consisted of half-pipes, loop-the-loops and ramps as parts and pieces of some very unique navigational situations. In this episode of the franchise, you could also race through selected stages with a friend in a simultaneous two-player split-screen VS mode – a first for platform games.
Sonic 2 had the first fully simultaneous competitive two-player mode and some say that this episode was also the greatest moment of the entire franchise.
It reportedly propelled Genesis unit sales to that which surpassed the legendary Super Nintendo and helped secure Sega as a powerful force for years to come.