Sound: THIS is where the series started making the most memorable of video game soundtracks, with chemical plant and death egg still being two of my all-time favorites. Sound: 9/10
Presentation: Sonic’s received a digital makeover, and is better for it. His new style is slightly glossier and more visually pleasing. Stages themselves are extremely varied and all-around awesome (still looking at chemical plant). Presentation: 9/10
Gameplay: THE SPINDASH! The most important skill in all of Sonic’s history has finally arrived, and boy does it make a difference! Levels are twelve times faster than the original Sonic the Hedgehog as it is, but the spindash makes things mach 5. Like I just mentioned, level layouts are far better built for speed and enjoyable platforming as well, with certain sections having Sonic run so fast he’s almost completely off-screen. As far as difficulty goes, it’s exponentially harder than the original Sonic, but thanks to the XBLA’s save feature (which I abused to the utmost degree, mind you) the game is just plain fun throughout. Good, classic gaming fun at its finest. Then there are the special stages… again, save state abuse is recommended, as these special stages made me cuss at my screen like no other game has in months. They require absolute memorization and are a pain in the neck to complete (especially with the delayed reaction of Tails, if you have him as a sidekick). Luckily, when you beat them all you get another new addition to the Sonic series, Super Sonic! And he pretty much makes any visible challenges left in the game completely irrelevant, so again, all is fun and enjoyable. Gameplay: 8.5/10
Multiplayer: Thanks to Tails, there’s both competitive multiplayer and the ability to play through the story cooperatively. The cooperative gameplay is only helpful during special stages, and there are only four pre-set tracks for competitive, but it’s a nice addition to round out the game. Multiplayer: 6.5/10
Length: The main levels are much longer than the original Sonic, nearly doubling the previous game’s length. Couple that with the special stages, multiplayer and achievements, and there’s enough gameplay here to keep you busy for a while. Length: 8.5/10
Overall: Sonic 2 is a fantastic classic that earns an 8.3 out of 10. It’s the first classic Sonic I really enjoyed, and set in place the formula for my personal favorite, Sonic 3 and Knuckles (go check out the re-reviews through the links).