Welcome to the next post in my year-long series “Play or Pass” that takes on the proverbial “must before death” theme with video games. Every other week I will be covering one or two games from “32 Video Games You Have To Play Before You Die,” a list compiled by BuzzFeed based on a reader poll. I will not be critiquing the list itself, but rather I’ll be discussing each game or games in whatever manner feels fitting and will attempt to answer a couple simple questions: Have I played [insert game name here]? If yes, do I consider it a “must” and why? If no, do I want to play the game before I die? I’ll be going through the games in the order in which they appear on the BuzzFeed list. Good? Good. Let’s get on with the games!
Week eighteen: (23) Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Well…this just isn’t my month, is it? Because here’s another Mario Kart situation. And it’s only with slightly less embarrassment that I must admit that I’ve never played a Sonic game. Though, I don’t feel quite as terrible about it, for you see, I grew up in a Nintendo household.
In the pantheon of “versus” battles, Coke vs. Pepsi, pizza vs. hamburgers, french fries vs. tater tots (sorry, I’m hungry), there also exists the one that dominated my formative years: Nintendo vs. Sega. And at the time, because money is money and the consoles and games were relatively expensive, if your family was into gaming, your folks were likely to only get you either the NES or the Sega Genesis. Why mine picked the NES, I don’t know, but they did, and so Mario was my guide away from Atari and into the grand world of spritely, 8-bit adventures. In the span of about a year, a number of my gaming friends also adopted the NES. Not a single one that I knew had a Sega Genesis. Of course, through the school’s halls I heard that other people had the Genesis, but they were not my friends. I simply didn’t have any regular access to the Sonic games. And it was really only through television and magazine ads that I knew they even existed.
It probably didn’t help that the Play or Pass specimen this week, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, came out when I was in high school – a time when I had started to move away from “kiddy” Mario games and into more “adult” PC gaming. (Not that my prejudices spoke volumes, Super Metroid and Super Mario 64 were just around the corner, after all.) But even by then, I only knew of one acquaintance who had a Genesis, and it’s not like we were on enough of a common ground to swap consoles. Plus, Nintendo had quite firmly taken root in my house by the mid 1990s, so it the chances of Sonic invading the castle were particularly slim.
All this comes down to the fact that I just don’t have much to say about Sonic the Hedgehog, game #2 or otherwise. I understand that it wouldn’t take too much time out of my life to try a Sonic game now, but I don’t hold onto any associated guilty (like with Mario Kart) in not doing so. I think I’d enjoy Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in principle (I do like going fast in games), but I don’t feel any reason to put that into practice at the moment. Someday, maybe.
Have I played the Sonic the Hedgehog 2?
If yes, then do I consider it a “must?”
Tell me, good people of Sega fandom, what’s your favorite Sonic game and why?
If no, then do I want to play the game before I die?
Thanks, but I’ll pass. Unless the day comes when I don’t.