Back in January, we caught wind of plans for a Sega emulator that was going to serve as a repository for all kinds of different classic Genesis games. Originally slated for release in February, the Ultimate Genesis emulator was planned to be free and come loaded with Space Harrier II. We haven't heard anything about it since then, and it's hard to say where the fate of the emulator lies as Sega is still releasing standalone emulator games such as Sonic 2 [App Store] which was released mere moments ago.

Much like the original Sonic [App Store], Sonic 2 is wrapped in a seemingly identical emulator wrapper with a fairly awkward menu system glued on top of the original game to handle the various in-game view options as well as starting and resuming your game. Sonic and Tails are controlled with a virtual D-pad and lone button to handle jumping. Just like the original Sonic, these controls work, but things get dicey as soon as you get far enough in the game to need to do more than just run to the left and jump once in a while.

The game can be played in two modes, either full screen and up-scaled or in a smaller window in the native resolution of the game. Like all the other emulated Genesis games, performance is the best on the iPhone 3GS with substantial frame rate drops in previous-generation devices. The performance drop is somewhat mitigated by playing in the smaller native resolution view, but even then significant slowdown is experienced when you drop a lot of rings or when there are a ton of enemies on screen.

The following video shows the performance differences between the devices, although it is much more noticeable when you're actually playing the game:

I feel like until Sega substantially improves their Genesis emulator, we really can just have one review for all of these games, as the following statements really apply to all of them: If you were a fan of the original game, and own a iPhone 3GS or 3rd generation iPod touch, they're worth a look. The controls are far from ideal, but having your favorite classic games in your pocket playable on your phone can be a lot of fun. If you're not particularly tied to the games Sega has released so far, they're completely skippable.

If you have a iPhone 3G of previous device, and haven't played Sonic 2 before, don't let this be your first experience with the game.

App Store Link: Sonic 2, $5.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • munkee

    "If you were a fan of the original game, and own a iPhone 3GS or 3rd generation iPod touch, they're worth a look. The controls are far from ideal, but having your favorite classic games in your pocket playable on your phone can be a lot of fun. If you're not particularly tied to the games Sega has released so far, they're completely skippable.

    If you have a iPhone 3G of previous device, and haven't played Sonic 2 before, don't let this be your first experience with the game."

    SPOT ON!!

    I should copy & paste that to all my Genesis games review.

  • munkee

    "If you were a fan of the original game, and own a iPhone 3GS or 3rd generation iPod touch, they're worth a look. The controls are far from ideal, but having your favorite classic games in your pocket playable on your phone can be a lot of fun. If you're not particularly tied to the games Sega has released so far, they're completely skippable.

    If you have a iPhone 3G of previous device, and haven't played Sonic 2 before, don't let this be your first experience with the game."

    SPOT ON!!

    I should copy & paste that to all my Genesis games review.

  • Scooty

    If I recall correctly, there was also quite a bit of slowdown on the original Genesis version when you lost a lot of rings, so at least some of the slowdown on the iphone title may just be due to faithful hardware emulation.

  • Scooty

    If I recall correctly, there was also quite a bit of slowdown on the original Genesis version when you lost a lot of rings, so at least some of the slowdown on the iphone title may just be due to faithful hardware emulation.

  • MrMan

    Another crappy SEGA game ... damn!
    What's wrong with those guys at SEGA they need a few years to Port those titles and after all they play like crap.

    Sorry but SEGA died after the Dreamcast i think. And they prove it over and over again last time.

  • MrMan

    Another crappy SEGA game ... damn!
    What's wrong with those guys at SEGA they need a few years to Port those titles and after all they play like crap.

    Sorry but SEGA died after the Dreamcast i think. And they prove it over and over again last time.

  • http://twitter.com/Gregz0r Gregz0r

    Why Sega can't make 3 apps and have in-app purchasing, is beyond me.
    They could have Genesis, Arcade and Saturn apps(if they'd just pull their finger outta their a$s) and have their library of titles available inside each app. They'd make so much $$, and it'll kill piracy.

  • http://twitter.com/Gregz0r Gregz0r

    Why Sega can't make 3 apps and have in-app purchasing, is beyond me.
    They could have Genesis, Arcade and Saturn apps(if they'd just pull their finger outta their a$s) and have their library of titles available inside each app. They'd make so much $$, and it'll kill piracy.

  • John

    Stay away from sega's crap. The SEGA name is equivalent to CRAP in the gaming world. All their games are big letdowns, on all platforms! Dragon Rider, what kind of crap is that.

    Their iphone gensis emulator is no good either. Laggy and unplayable. Even if you have a 3GS, i would suggest you avoid this.

  • John

    Stay away from sega's crap. The SEGA name is equivalent to CRAP in the gaming world. All their games are big letdowns, on all platforms! Dragon Rider, what kind of crap is that.

    Their iphone gensis emulator is no good either. Laggy and unplayable. Even if you have a 3GS, i would suggest you avoid this.

  • Loner

    I read some where that SEGA decided not to release the emulator and rethink their strategy for the app store. I hope after this new Sonic fiasco they get real and start doing some of the things that Square is doing and I'm not even a fan of Squares games. I wonder if SEGA even comprehends how much more money they could make if they just devoted some time into this platform and not throw out crappy products that no wants. SEGA must think that everyone wants to play Monkey Ball only on their iPhone.

  • Loner

    I read some where that SEGA decided not to release the emulator and rethink their strategy for the app store. I hope after this new Sonic fiasco they get real and start doing some of the things that Square is doing and I'm not even a fan of Squares games. I wonder if SEGA even comprehends how much more money they could make if they just devoted some time into this platform and not throw out crappy products that no wants. SEGA must think that everyone wants to play Monkey Ball only on their iPhone.

  • Cookies

    Frankly, sonic 3 and 2 were fun on the gamegear...and then it got crap. I'd rather eat myself than play this.

  • Cookies

    Frankly, sonic 3 and 2 were fun on the gamegear...and then it got crap. I'd rather eat myself than play this.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    I downloaded Sonic 2 this morning and I was disappointed to see Sega have made the same mistakes all over again. The worst of which is if you want to get all the Chaos Emeralds it's going to be impossible thanks to the touch screen controls.

    You'd think Sega would at least offer some save states so you can retry things, but no, they just rely on people buying the app out of nostalgia rather than caring about delivering a fun and playable game.

    • Cookies

      The chaos emerald stages were never well thought out but I can definately see how touch screen controls could make that a whole lot worse.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    I downloaded Sonic 2 this morning and I was disappointed to see Sega have made the same mistakes all over again. The worst of which is if you want to get all the Chaos Emeralds it's going to be impossible thanks to the touch screen controls.

    You'd think Sega would at least offer some save states so you can retry things, but no, they just rely on people buying the app out of nostalgia rather than caring about delivering a fun and playable game.

    • Cookies

      The chaos emerald stages were never well thought out but I can definately see how touch screen controls could make that a whole lot worse.

  • 5duc29

    I want this but is there going to be an emulator? I would buy Sonic again and Sonic 2 on there.

    Or maybe I should buy it now...

  • 5duc29

    I want this but is there going to be an emulator? I would buy Sonic again and Sonic 2 on there.

    Or maybe I should buy it now...

  • Passing Breeze

    Outrun, Outrun, Outrun, OUTRUN, OUTRUN, OOOUUUTTTRRRUUUNNN!!!!

    (just bring it on, Sega people, it's a 24 year old rom. And port the Mame-emulator, if you can't make a decent emulator yourselves...)

  • Passing Breeze

    Outrun, Outrun, Outrun, OUTRUN, OUTRUN, OOOUUUTTTRRRUUUNNN!!!!

    (just bring it on, Sega people, it's a 24 year old rom. And port the Mame-emulator, if you can't make a decent emulator yourselves...)

  • MeMelchett

    I don't get it, I think the controls work perfectly, the best sonic game ever on my phone with great controls (IMO), a 5 out of 5 from me.

    • Shibuya_109

      Correction - the best version of Sonic ever is Sonic CD (Japanese release) on the Mega CD.

      • MeMelchett

        I put that as a joint first, I to owned it and I would love to see it ported over, here's hoping.

  • MeMelchett

    I don't get it, I think the controls work perfectly, the best sonic game ever on my phone with great controls (IMO), a 5 out of 5 from me.

    • Shibuya_109

      Correction - the best version of Sonic ever is Sonic CD (Japanese release) on the Mega CD.

      • MeMelchett

        I put that as a joint first, I to owned it and I would love to see it ported over, here's hoping.

  • klouud

    Gosh darn it SEGA! Do you listen to anything the community says?!
    Build from the ground up! Or let that guy that remade Sonic CD take over your iPhone department...

    For such a great company... you are really dropping the ball here.

    Hire the Sonic CD guy and just turn him loose.

    tim

  • klouud

    Gosh darn it SEGA! Do you listen to anything the community says?!
    Build from the ground up! Or let that guy that remade Sonic CD take over your iPhone department...

    For such a great company... you are really dropping the ball here.

    Hire the Sonic CD guy and just turn him loose.

    tim

  • Shibuya_109

    It'll be interesting to see if SEGA's useless Mega Drive emulator will finally achieve 60fps on the iPhone 4G.

  • Shibuya_109

    It'll be interesting to see if SEGA's useless Mega Drive emulator will finally achieve 60fps on the iPhone 4G.

  • Bruteoutlawz

    Im playing this on a 2g ipod touch and it works perfect, no slow down and controls are good

  • Bruteoutlawz

    Im playing this on a 2g ipod touch and it works perfect, no slow down and controls are good

  • http://www.nikdaum.com/news Nik Daum

    There is no reason, other than developer laziness, that an emulator for a an ancient 16-bit system should have any choppiness on modern hardware.

  • http://www.nikdaum.com/news Nik Daum

    There is no reason, other than developer laziness, that an emulator for a an ancient 16-bit system should have any choppiness on modern hardware.

  • Mark

    well i just bought this and i'm happy, emulator or not i dont care its a solid game and still shits all over any gameloft crap. sonic is a solid game, even with the cripppled touch controls

  • Mark

    well i just bought this and i'm happy, emulator or not i dont care its a solid game and still shits all over any gameloft crap. sonic is a solid game, even with the cripppled touch controls

  • ryan

    whats up with all the haters? This is one of the best sonic games and is emulated (almost) flawlessly. Although I found a few pointless bugs the game plays great otherwise and I cant imagine how the touch controls could possibly be improved. They are as good as theyr ganna get. Luckily, sonic2 is a lot easier then sonic 1, so mabe ill be able to beat this one :P

    • Mark

      exactly, there is nothing wrong with the controls, they're touch based how can you possibly improve them!? not to mention there is no slowdown on my 2g ipod touch - and yes it is easier than sonic 1, i always liked sonic 2 better eben on megadrive

  • ryan

    whats up with all the haters? This is one of the best sonic games and is emulated (almost) flawlessly. Although I found a few pointless bugs the game plays great otherwise and I cant imagine how the touch controls could possibly be improved. They are as good as theyr ganna get. Luckily, sonic2 is a lot easier then sonic 1, so mabe ill be able to beat this one :P

    • Mark

      exactly, there is nothing wrong with the controls, they're touch based how can you possibly improve them!? not to mention there is no slowdown on my 2g ipod touch - and yes it is easier than sonic 1, i always liked sonic 2 better eben on megadrive

  • Brandon

    Are people complaining about the slowdown that was present on original hardware? i.e. when you lost a bunch of rings?

  • Brandon

    Are people complaining about the slowdown that was present on original hardware? i.e. when you lost a bunch of rings?