I don’t know about you but when I think of the Sega Mega Drive, the first thing I think of is Sonic The Hedgehog. More specifically, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 which came out for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1992. A 16-bit classic by anyone’s opinion developed by Team Sonic and Sega Technical Institute and a direct sequel to the 1991 release of the original Sonic The Hedgehog (also on the Mega Drive – there were also releases of Sonic on the Sega Master System but we won’t go into those now. Although they were apart of the same franchise all sonic releases on the master system were their own distinct individual games with no links to the mega drive releases).
The story of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 builds upon the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Dr. Robotnik is plotting to take over the world with his army of animals he’s placed into robots, and continues to seek the power of the chaos emeralds – this time, to construct his ultimate weapon, an armored space station known as the Death Egg. Sonic, who has now befriended and teamed up with a new character, Tails, must progress through the levels, collect the emeralds himself, and defeat Robotnik.
Just like in the first game there are a number of hidden secrets and special stages that can be entered into when you pass a checkpoint with the required number of rings and by jumping into the circle of starts that shows above the checkpoint.
One very cool thing about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is that 2 years later Sonic and Knuckles was released. Although released 2 years later these two games (and also Sonic 3) share a common link that was only made possible by the special ‘lock-on’ slot of the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge allowing you to insert another game into the top of the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge unlocking new functionality. If you insert Sonic 2 into the Sonic and Knuckles game cartridge you would unlock the ability to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2, even though Knuckles was not introduced into the Sonic family until 1994. The same can be done with Sonic 3, but again even more functionality can be gained by using the Sonic 3 cartridge since both those games were developed as one large game (more on that later).
All in all Sonic 2 for the Sega Mega Drive is a great game. If you are into retro gaming or a fan of Sega in general you really should hunt around for a copy of Sonic 2. In my opinion it’s probably the best Sonic game ever made (before Sonic started looking all weird and wide-eyed) and the first game in the franchise to include ‘Tails’ for co-op or single player companionship was great.