Bonjour et bienvenue sur jeux vidéo Avis de ToriJ. Last year for Thanksgaming Month I decided to pit two of the greatest platformers of all time against each other, and this year I intend to continue the tradition with Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog 2!
Mario 2 originally hit our shelves in October 1988, and Sonic 2 would come out four years later. This time around both games would give us the ability to play more than one character; Mario offering us Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad, while Sonic gave us Tails as a secondary character. This time around Mario would only be single player, while Sonic became multiplayer. Interesting how their roles reversed since their last installments.
Not only do you have your choice of character, but each character has their own stats to take into consideration. Mario is the most balanced of the four characters, and is naturally the best for beginners. Luigi has the highest jump than anyone else in the game, Peach can float for a brief amount of time, and Toad may as well be a tanker. His power and speed stats are at max with his primary drawback being not able to jump for shit.
Luigi's jumping works as a double edged sword. Apparently, there IS such a thing as too high for Mario games. When you're facing Birdo, Luigi will jump right over the eggs and take longer coming back down. Toad can barely jump over them at all, and Peach may be able to float like a butterfly, but she's the weakest of all of them.
At least the whole screen is covered this time.
Sonic goes for an old school multiplayer experience made complete with a split screen. I can understand if this can be nauseating. Especially in a game where SPEED is the primary factor. Keep the barf bag close by.
Sonic and Tails races to the finish in this 2 player mode. I have to hand it to Tails, it takes serious balls to challenge someone like Sonic to a race. Sonic play style is the same from the first game, but everything is a lot more smoother mechanics wise, and the difficulty's received a much needed downgrade. Tails is pretty similar to Sonic, only he spins his tail to pick up speed so he isn't as fast as Sonic. There are no boss fights in multiplayer, it's just a race to the finish. I'm kind of disappointed because I would have liked a co-op mode like how it's done in single player, but I can't complain too much.
The worlds in both games has been cut down since the last installment. Mario only has three levels per world, while Sonic has two. How do the games make up for these cuts? Mario does it by being harder! While Sonic's difficulty went down a peg, Mario's noticeably went up a notch. I had problems just on level two and three of the first world.
Mario has Birdo who appears as a miniboss in each world leading up to the main enemy. Sonic just has the one boss in Dr. Robotnik that appears near the end of each zone. Mario introduces a whole cast of new enemies, some of them becoming iconic like Shy Guy, while Sonic mostly has the same ones, and if they're different they were so forgettable in the first game that I can't tell them apart. What Sonic 2 does introduces that stick with you is Tails, and he's a great supporting character. Jumping, and flying around on screen while you're going through the stages. I just can't imagine Sonic running around without Tails anymore.
If at any time Mario feels vastly different than its predecessor, that's mainly because the game wasn't originally a Mario game. It was turned into one later on because Nintendo felt the real Super Mario Bros. 2 (later named the Lost Levels) would be too outdated by the time it would come out to America, so this is what we got instead, and boy, am I glad. Mario 2 is a huge step up from the first game in gameplay and level design.
While it doesn't have the trademark mushroom and fireflower, it does offer you hearts that makes each character bigger like they would be with the mushroom. You can jump on enemies, pick them up and then throw them across the air. There are boxes with Pow on it that helps take out multiple enemies at once, the star and turtle shell makes a return and there's no annoying time limit so you can take as much time as you want. You can even backtrack.
The backdrops in this game are gorgeous, and the music is just as memorable as the first game. Being able to switch between characters before the start of each level is a great addition, and even provide a level of strategy as you consider the strengths of each individual character in the game.
Best stage ever!
Sonic 2 gives you the option to play as Sonic or Tails, and you can have Tails accompany Sonic as seen above. The stages are fun and creative, even introducing a Casino stage where you can fly around like a pinball. The visuals are slightly improved from the last game, and the music is still pleasing to listen to, but I still don't think it has anything on Mario's soundtrack.
While Mario switches it up a lot in its sequel, Sonic is more or less the same with a few additions, and if future games in the franchise are any indication, that's a GOOD thing. Sonic still has most of the same power upgrades, as well as the objective of rescuing animals from Dr. Robotnik.
At the end of the day, I have to give the victory to Super Mario Bros. 2. The game just has more characters, newer features, enemies, and still manages to feel like Mario despite not even being a Mario game originally.