The last month or so has been an insane time for great iOS releases, and that's true of the new games which are coming later tonight too. And next week–the final days before the iTunes holiday shutdown–is shaping up to be an impressive one as well. However, all of these great release weeks pale in comparison to the child-like excitement inside of me for the forthcoming Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] remastered update. The very first thing I do each morning is fire up the App Store in hopes that it will show gleaming new icon for a Sonic The Hedgehog 2 update, and in fact I've had the original iOS version installed on my device most of the year just so I'd be sure I'd know about the update as soon as humanly possible. I'm a little overboard, I know.
Well, I can finally stop checking the App Store for updates, as Sega has sent word that the remastered version of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 will be launching as a free update to the original iOS game, as well as launching for the first time on Android devices, at some point tomorrow. In the wacky digital world that we live in, "tomorrow" might actually mean later tonight, early in the morning, or pretty much at any point in the next 24 hours, but the big news is that it's coming very soon.
If you think back to May of this year, you'll remember that the original Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] received a similar remastering by none other than Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Simon "Stealth" Thomley, the developers responsible for the amazing remastering of Sonic CD [$2.99] that hit iOS around this same time in 2011. Sonic The Hedgehog, like Sonic CD, was rebuilt from the ground up for touchscreen devices using Whitehead's custom-build Retro Engine. It featured all sorts of awesome new goodies, as well as a ton of secrets to discover, but perhaps most importantly it finally played like a dream with virtual controls.
The Sonic The Hedgehog 2 remake seems to be along those same lines, though I've only spent a short time with it so far and I'm sure the rabid Sonic fan base will be finding even more secrets and new features in the weeks to come. However, one big bombshell that's part of this remastered release is the inclusion of Hidden Palace Zone for the first time ever in an official capacity. Hidden Palace Zone is notorious for being one of the planned environments in the game which was cut out just prior to the game's original release in 1992. Assets for Hidden Palace Zone and other scrapped levels have been floating around the 'Net for a long time, and enterprising modders have re-created the levels in various forms before. However, this is the first time it's being officially included in a version of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 with the blessing of Sega, which is incredibly exciting. Here are a few screens straight from Hidden Palace Zone.
Oh, and speaking of secrets, I've already verified that the same cheat codes that work in Sonic The Hedgehog 1 appear to work in the remastered sequel as well. Tapping S-E-G-A in that order when the Sega logo flashes across the screen after starting the game, then holding down both thumbs on the screen until the game boots up will take you to a level select and sound test screen. Here you can choose any level, including special stages and Hidden Palace Zone, right off the bat. The sound test option is how you accessed the debug mode in the first Sonic, and I'm sure it'll be the same here, though I have yet to discover any working codes for it. In due time, I'm sure.
At any rate, you can grab Sonic The Hedgehog 2 with the link below, and although it's not quite yet the rematered version, the update should be hitting at just about any time in the next day.
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