Crazy part is, I knew very few kids that actually owned anything Sega related. Maybe I just gravitated towards fellow Nintendo fans, or maybe it was just sheer coincidence, but regardless, my experience with Sega's were limited to say the least. There was one kid who I considered a good friend, although we hardly ever hung out outside of school. Anyway, I remember one day he brought his brand new Game Gear to school that he had just received as a "present." It was Christmas or his birthday or anything like that, but rather just another day like every other. I was confused as to why exactly he got a present, as I was quite jealous, and discovered that him and his family were Jehovah's Witnesses.
This meant that they didn't celebrate holidays or birthdays, and in lieu of that, his parents would randomly buy him presents for no reason other than it was the right thing to do since he wasn't getting anything on the normal days that other kids would be. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him, and despite his faith he would have liked to get presents like every other kid. Either way, he had a Game Gear, and while I wasn't entirely sure why, I was jealous, if only because it was something cool that I didn't have. He was a huge Sega fan, and loved Sonic to death, as he was always drawing him, talking about him and hating on Mario.
When Sonic 2 came out, I of course knew little about it. This was of course before the heyday of the internet, where video game information was super easy to obtain. Other than magazines, we learned everything about video games that we knew from friends. As archaic as it sounds - and trust me, it was - I almost am envious of those days and how simple and stress free they were. All I knew about this game was what my friend told me. He taught me how to draw Sonic and his new friend Tails, and despite my lack of intimate knowledge of them, I knew I liked them for being different.
Sonic was the equivalent of the cool kids in school, and Mario was the nerdy kids, who might have had a better future in store for them, but in the moment, all they wanted to be was equal with the cool kids.
Anyway, it wasn't until I went over to another friend's house, who I can't even remember how I was friends with him, was it until I played Sonic 2 on a console. Playing with Tails was fun, as it was a nice change of pace for an alternate or second character to have different moves and abilities and overall just play differently than the main character. I still couldn't help think then that while I liked the characters and the premise for the game, it just wasn't as fun. It was too fast, too wild, too hard to control, and made me think everything was just a speed run and not actual levels you would need to traverse like normal platformers in order to beat them.
Playing it again makes me feel this all over again. It is a fun game, and it's fun to revisit the cool things they introduced into gaming, but ultimately, I feel like it is just trying too hard to make something different than the "norm." A two-tailed fox is perfect for being original, but as a Nintendo fan, it may have been cool back in the day, but now, it's still trying to live in the past.
And you're lucky, dear readers. I had a "what does the fox say?" joke lined up that I never used. You're welcome.