It’s certainly not an eternal question, but for classic game-players (I try to avoid the word gamer, ugh) it’s still a very good question: which is better, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or Sonic the Hedgehog CD?
It’s a good enough question that even though Youtuber kiro talks’s video about the differences between them has several common things about to that I ordinarily consider flaws, that would ordinarily cause me to think not to link to it (especially its editing, its length, being drawn out, and asking leading questions), the question, and its answers, are useful enough that I’m linking to it anyway.
Because it’s really instructive to view the differences in design between the American and Japanese Sonic sequels! Yuji Naka helmed the American sequel, Sonic 2, but headed a team made largely of Americans, and although a lot of Western-made games for console Japanese consoles are bad, Sonic 2 is legitimately great! Meanwhile, IMO of course, Sonic CD has some interesting ideas and great moments (the time travel mechanic could have been awesome) but its level design is a bit lacking.
Not to seem either jingoistic, or its opposite, but it isn’t often that a mostly-American team from that time could show up a Japanese team on largely equal footing, and this is one time that it happened. But both games are very playable, and the differences are instructive of some fundamental differences in approach.
Sega was going through some internal strife at the time, which became more and more prominent in the later days of the Mega Drive/Genesis and especially in the Saturn era, and it could be argued that it meant that, while I believe the strife was largely over in the Dreamcast era, the company wasn’t in the place it could have been by that point, and it may have contributed to the system’s failure by its output not being strong enough to challenge the Playstation 2.
When Japan & America Made Different Sonic Sequels (Youtube, 21 minutes)