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The Way HD Remakes Should Be: Sonic 2 HD
After a nasty bout with a proposed keylogger stuck in the ZIP folder, Sonic 2 HD is back up and running with all issues put aside. The fan made Alpha release has been through quite a shaky ride. Recently announced that the team will be continuing production of the HD remake without head programmer LOst. LOst had at one time held the project random from the rest of the team about concerns of DRM. Not that he wanted to get rid of it but that he wanted to impose it. You can read the full story here and here with corrected remarks made by Sonic Retro. All problems aside now, fans are able to download the Alpha release with no worries at the main website here: S2HD. Be warned that your virus scanner will still trigger so you will have to deactivate it for install. There is no reason to be alarmed. If you are still uncomfortable with this, we’ll update this post when the message disappears from install. I would highly recommend the Torrent download instead of the slow mirrors.
Now, onto the actual game! Being a fan game, it sometimes is hard to get excited for something like this. You see screen shots and maybe even a YouTube video but you wonder how much of that is actually in-game and actually working. Fret not here as Sonic 2 HD is in fact real and badass. This is how HD remakes should be handled. Here we are getting a whole new game but with the feel and careful design of the original classic. All the graphics have been redone and not just “enhanced”. Every enemy, tree, goal post, and boss has new art and animations. Everything is smoother and is somehow even more fluid then the Genesis original. Sonic 2 is a beloved game and one thing that is synonymous with it is the music. The S2HD team has done a great job here, as well. The music sounds fresh and new but hits every beat of the original soundtrack. The speed-up, invincible, and 1-up tracks are just as great sounds as Emerald Hill’s music. The music here isn’t flooded with a lot of sounds and does the job by sounding upbeat, enjoyable, and a modern embodiment of classic Sonic sound.
Gameplay here hasn’t changed at all. It hits every note the original did but just looks so much better. Zones are now strung together like in Sonic 3. No more loading in between Emerald Hill zone 1 and 2. Unfortunately, that’s all that is in the Alpha release. You get Emerald Hill and the first boss and then a nice little credits scene. It is a huge tease. You get a taste of Sonic 2 HD that perfectly preserves the original in a case of new, refined art, music, and animations. This is what every company doing HD remakes should do. I understand remaking Devil May Cry would be a bigger project than this but enhancing the resolution and slapping an HD sticker on it doesn’t mean anything. Pure love for this classic game is what makes Sonic 2 HD great. I am eager to play more of it and am following the project heavily now. If you’re a fan of old school Sonic, you should be as well.
Oh, and Sega, don’t shut this one down. This will surely bring nostalgia to fans and Sonic games will sell more because of this. Look for some Sonic Generation sales on Steam following a full release of him to capitalize. Bank on it!