Sonic the Hedgehog for the Game Gear was a legitimately solid title that, while flawed in several regards, still managed to establish itself as a viable alternative to the Mega Drive release. It was an even more impressive effort considering the game was not developed by Sonic Team but by newcomer Ancient on vastly inferior hardware. With the Game Gear adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 though, Sega deemed it fit to assign a new developer to the handheld series – Aspect.
Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) is back, and he’s captured all of the animals on the island! He is holding me in a place called the Crystal Egg. In order to free me, you have to find and bring the six Chaos Emeralds. Dr. Eggman made me write this. He says he’s waiting for you, and he’s created six really nasty robots in order to ‘get rid of you once and for all.’ I don’t know what he has planned, but Sonic, please be careful!
To be fair, the game is not entirely meritless. The 8-bit visuals hold up reasonably well, as do many of the better chiptune melodies. While the sense of speed is inferior to its forerunner, it at least seems to operate more smoothly. It’s regrettable that these details are pointless since the core experience is so broken.