Review by Vyse_skies
"Sonic Adventure 2 is, without a doubt, the best Sonic game in existence."
Having played and being wowed by Sonic Adventure when it was first released on the Dreamcast I knew for sure that I was going to have to buy Sonic Adventure 2. I did buy it and man was I impressed. Sonic Team took a great formula and improved each and every area and Sonic Adventure 2 was born.
The visuals are some of the best on the Dreamcast. Levels are in full 3D, are well presented and are full of style. Character models look great. Each level feels new, from the bustling City Escape to the action packed space level Final Rush. This was just what Sonic should look like in 3d.
I loved the music. The rock soundtrack had a great ring to it and set the stage ablaze with fantastic songs from Crush 40 and Jun Senoue. They make Sonic look cooler than ever. Though a dominant rock theme was present, there are other tunes which suit each of the games area's/environment's well. Some levels feature rap, others techno. Evey theme is well preformed and none feel out of place.
Now to the main part. The gameplay, and there is a lot of it. You definitely get your moneys worth. SA2 requires you to collect 180 emblems which requires a lot of patience, practice and care. There is one story which you can play out from two different perspectives. The Heroes side (consisting of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) or the Dark Side (consists of Shadow, Rouge and Eggman/Robotnik) Across both storylines you'll play through over 30 challenging levels. Each level is made up of five challenges which vary depending on the level. They normally require you to do something in as fast a time as possible and normally with the highest score attainable. Getting both is no easy feat without plenty of practice. Upon finishing a level you'll get a rank from A - E. A= perfect. E=Abysmal. Can you obtain an A rank in every level and every challenge? Believe me you'll unlock something special if you do.
Levels don't just require you to reach the end as fast as possible. They require skill, precision, persistence, patience, speedy fingers and a ton of style. You'll also need to know the best route, grinds and places to go in order to get the very best ranks. For example, City Escape, the games first level is full of ramps that you need to do trick off of while going at insane speeds. They're very easy to run past and slowing down is not an option if you want to get a good time. So what does that mean? Yes, you have to restart. Practice makes perfect. SA2 is not a place for idle fingers and thumbs.
Next there is the Chao garden. This has been improved on every level and is kinda like a virtual 3d tamagotchi. The Chao require intense care that consists of: excessive amounts of feeding of food and animals; petting and carrying to make it happy; teaching- to help with its creativity; breeding- so you can give birth to new Chao (you need to keep that cycle going on forever. Unless you're evil and bring about their extinction), and of course races, lots and lots of races. Well if your aiming for the big 180 emblems you don't really have a choice as you need to meet specific Chao garden requirements in order to get certain emblems. Raising Chao is not for the feint of heart. It is a daunting task and requires a lot of patience.
An interesting feature with Chao is the Hero and Dark gardens. After raising a Chao in a normal garden it will evolve in to either a hero Chao or an evil, dark Chao. get a hero Chao and you'll unlock the heaven/light garden. Get an evil Chao and you'll unlock a hell/dark garden. There are many unique ways of raising a Chao and each garden can help towards their progress. All three gardens are distinct and original and are pretty cool.
In conclusion, Sonic Adventure 2 is gaming magic at its best. Towards the end of the Dreamcasts short life if gave life to a diverse range of fantastic titles: Shenmue 2, Rez, Headhunter, Phantasy Star Online 2 and Sonic Adventure 2. It's a shame that the DC didn't survive because we may have even seen a Sonic Adventure 3. Sonic Adventure 2 proved that Sonic could compete with the very best platform games around and has given Sonic the right to mark his territory in the 3D platforming area. SA2 was a rarity, a gem, a king of platforming gaming and I have yet to play a platformer that competes with it. Buy it now and if you can't find a DC version anywhere, buy the Gamecube version. Believe me you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/23/09
Game Release: Sonic Adventure 2 (EU, 06/23/01)
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