Thursday, August 17, 2017

Six Days of Sonic: Day 5

VG&CE - October 1992
I'm sticking with the first couple of Sonic games this week because they tie into Sonic Mania best and of course the blog is primarily for items released before 2000. Plus, after the 16-bit era was the Saturn and the Sonic games on that platform are not as good. Therefore, today the scans are almost exclusively for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sonic 2). Unfortunately, I could only find one review for the Genesis release so I decided to add a Sonic CD review at the end of this post. A big difference between the first two Sonic games is the addition of Miles "Tails" Prower in the sequel. Tails is a fox with two tails that he can use to hover though players cannot activate that ability in Sonic 2. In this game he either follows Sonic automatically or is directly controlled in a one-player game, or a second player can control him partially as he follows the first player controlling Sonic.

The October 1992 issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment (VG&CE) features a Sonic 2 hologram on the cover which you see above. As I mentioned in the Day 1 post, Sonic dominated the 16-bit era in North America and this cover is another example of the attention the character received. Below is the three-page preview that appears in that issue.

Sonic 2 did receive a lot of preview coverage and I probably am including more than is necessary so pick and choose your preferred publications if you don't have time or want to read them all. One I will suggest is this interview with Yuji Naka from Sega Visions.He mentions that only nine people worked on Sonic the Hedgehog and for the sequel the team increased to a whole 12 people! This was one of the biggest releases in 1992 and now, 25 years later, hundreds of people work on some of the highest profile games being developed today. It's amazing how much things have changed in a seemingly short amount of time. That being said, there are many great games being published today that are made by small teams, due in large part to the rise of digital publishing which is how Sonic Mania was released (there is a physical collector's edition as well but the game itself is still just a digital code inside the box).

Sega Visions - August/September 1992

Here is a four-page preview from Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) that includes the Sega CD version. However, this is actually not the same game as Sonic CD. Sonic 2 was originally planned to be released for the Sega CD which is the game they are previewing here but that version was eventually scrapped and Sonic CD became its own game that released a year after the Genesis game.

Electronic Gaming Monthly #37

Electronic Gaming Monthly #37

Next up is a preview from Game Informer and one from EGM for the Game Gear version.

Game Informer - December 1992
Electronic Gaming Monthly #38

Last up is a review of Sonic 2 from VG&CE and a review of Sonic CD from EGM. I included EGM's review of Gunstar Heroes so that you can see one of the reasons why Sonic CD didn't get game of the month (by score average it was also beaten by two SNES games: Actraiser 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters -- not the same types of games but I'd guess game of the month goes to highest score). This was a huge month for games; EGM #52 (November 1993) has 16 reviews by the main review crew (Ed Semrad, Danyon Carpenter, Martin Alessi, and Sushi-X), and then Mike Weigand (Major Mike) reviewed 25 more games, though all five did offer scores -- how in the world did they have time to play so many games! I should point out EGM reviews are short; they do not write a lot at all. The review crew of four handed out one platinum and seven gold awards, and three games that didn't even get awards still scored all sevens and eights. Major Mike awarded five more golds so gamers sure had an awful lot of good games to put on their Christmas wish lists, especially on the Genesis. Along with Sonic 2 Sega Genesis gold award winners that month included Aladdin, Street Fighter II' Champion Edition, Gauntlet IV, FIFA Soccer, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Rocket Knight Adventures, and Splatterhouse 3.

VG&CE - December 1993
EGM #52

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