What if one of the most ignored features of the Classic Sonic series not only became the spotlight of the game, but also became vital to your survival?
Well, we already answered this question last year, so what if we did it again, but on a different game?
Sonic 2 - Score Rush, direct sequel to Sonic 1 - Score Rush, is here to get you rushing for score once more!
You probably already know the drill, but in case you haven't played last year's installment, here's a nice refresher.
Essentially, this ROM hack focuses around one gimmick: the Score Rush. You start with 5000 points, and your job is to keep your score as high as possible. Defeat badniks, collect rings, get power-ups, touch starposts, beat levels, beat bosses, and so on. However, the score will gradually decrease, and you absolutely, truly don't want it to get to 0.
Of course, a score based challenge would be easy with the 50 thousand points bonus given to you by the score tallies, so I got rid of the score tallies entirely, meaning that only what you actually do in the level matters, in terms of score collection.
Now that this refresher is out of the way, let's talk features.
All three gamemodes return!
That's right, every single one of the three gamemodes from last year returns!
- Score Rush: The original gamemode from back in 2020, when Sonic 1 - Score Rush first got the gameplay scheme it's been known for, now in Sonic 2! Get to the end of the game with the highest score you can.
- Endless Rush: With its randomized level selection, progressing in difficulty as it goes on, the Endless Rush is sure to provide you lots of fun! Beat as many levels as you can while keeping your score up!
- Quick Rush: Whether it's for training, or to get a quick burst of fun, the Quick Rush lets you play one singular level of Sonic 2 with the Score Rush gimmick! How high can your score get?
Even more new moves!
All of the moves that have been added to Sonic 1 - Score Rush have been brought back for Sonic 2 - Score Rush. And there's more! In fact, here's the full list of new moves!
- Drop Dash: Originating from Sonic Mania, this move is sure to provide a quick burst of speed to Sonic, which is useful in this time sensitive scavenger hunt for points!
- Super Peel-Out: This move, from Sonic CD, is a pretty solid alternative to the Blue Blur's already established Spin Dash!
- (NEW) Insta-Shield: With the power of this move from Sonic 3, Sonic becomes immune to even the mightiest of hazards if timed correctly, and can even be used to quickly decimate Sonic 2's more hazardous boss fights!
- (NEW) Flight: With the presence of Tails in this game, it's just fair to bring some difference in gameplay amongst characters. The flight from Sonic 3 will allow you to reach new heights, as well as achieve ridiculous combo chains!
- (NEW) Flight cancellation: Because I didn't think Tails was enough of a beast in this ROM hack, flight cancellation has been added, allowing Tails to roll back into a ball and FURTHER extend your combo chains! Beware, though, once you cancel a flight, you can't go back to flying!
- (NEW) Bullet deflection: The (arguably overpowered) bullet deflection system from Sonic 3 makes its way to Sonic 2 - Score Rush, especially protecting those characters with a moveset focused on aerial movement from a number of bullets coming on their way!
Love the sheer power? Abuse of it at will! Don't like this much power, and prefer a more vanilla gameplay experience? Or do you just want to give yourself a handicap? You can revert all the way down to the original Sonic 2 experience by going to the settings!
Keen eyes may have noticed I've mentioned "characters with a moveset focused on aerial movement", and, aside from Tails, who else would fit this requirement? Ray the Flying Squirrel? Charmy Bee? No way, it's naturally...
Exactly, you can play the entirety of Sonic 2 - Score Rush as Knuckles, who's been fully integrated in the game and brings with him his moveset! Achieve EVEN MORE ridiculous combo chains by gliding and strategically clinging onto walls!
Such diverse characters with such unique movesets, playstyles, and skill ceilings. Surely it would be unfair if they shared the same leaderboards. Well, lucky for you, there are...
So many leaderboards!
Three leaderboards, one for each character, times two difficulties, means six leaderboards for the Score Rush, and six more for the Endless Rush! And for you fans of the Quick Rush, one hell of a scoreboard to fill out! And, just like its predecessor, all of these leaderboards, among with your settings, are stored in SRAM, allowing the game to remember your best achievements. And, for those of you who can't play along with SRAM, you don't actually need it to enjoy Sonic 2 - Score Rush as it is!
Of course, just bringing over the gimmicks from Sonic 1 - Score Rush to Sonic 2 with no modifications wouldn't make for an enjoyable experience, so here's a list of the most important changes:
- The invincibility is even more invincible! While you're invincible, the Score Rush timer will halt completely! Rack up points, or blast through the level with no worry of the ever looming, ever present score! This should make for interesting changes in routing!
- Sky Chase is banned! From Score Rush and Endless Rush, and it's because of an exploit that allows you to get hundreds of thousands of points. You can still play it in the Quick Rush, though!
- You can touch starposts in any order! No more touching starposts in a specific order to maximize points! Route things however you want! However, they just give you points now. No more checkpoints.
- Choose your direction in Chemical Plant! The tubes used to be timer based, but with the timer gone, new solutions had to be adopted. Hold up as you enter to take the upwards route. Don't hold up as you enter to not take the upwards route.
- No. More. Gambling. All slot machines in Casino Night have been changed into score dispensers. Speaking of, you can only use each individual dispenser once, getting booted out at a second attempt at getting free points.
If you're a returning player, I hope you've been looking forward to play this installment of the Score Rush! If you're new around here, I hope I managed to get you interested in this entry! And, if you haven't, also check out Sonic 1 - Score Rush, available at the Sonic Hacking Contest 2022 vault!