Review by Dude Love Fan
"A great 10th anniversary present to Sonic fans and a game to show Dreamcast owners everywhere their console's still got it."
Just recently I got back into playing my Dreamcast, and as such I decided to buy a few more games for it. So after trading in some N64 games, I was able to pick up 9 new DC games. Though 3 of them were sports games I will probably never play, the remaining six were quality titles that I expect to put some time into, one of those being Sonic Adventure 2. I am ashamed to say that I hadn't got around to playing it until this week, but let me tell you, this game is absolutely awesome and I am glad I got it. It's also interesting to note that this is the last Sonic game on a Sega console, and in this reviewers opinion they gave Sonic a happy 10th birthday, and a warm farewell. Luckily though Sonic is still around and fast as ever, albeit on other consoles. Alright, enough small talk, and on with the review.
I have to be honest, I am truly impressed with the graphics in Sonic Adventure 2, I think it holds it's own well with even current generation Playstation 2 games. I am particularly awed by the characters themselves. Each of them look spectacular, from Sonic, to Shadow to Tails, and Knuckles, heck even Dr. Robotnik looks good in this game :) The stages themselves are well done, and very detailed, as are the backgrounds which can be photo-realistic at times(though I think this is because they ARE photos LOL). I have noticed only very slight slowdown on rare occasions, usually when Sonic brakes on his board and sparks spew everywhere, and also in the chao gardens when you drop off a full load of chao drives into the area. Other than the two aforementioned areas, I haven't noticed a speck of slowdown in what is a very fast moving game. You would think that there would occasionally hbe problems in the Sonic and Shadow levels due to their speed, but they flow perfectly, and the only problem I have found with them is the occasional draw distance problem, nothing that affects gameplay mind you but enough to know that there's more stuff in the distance you can't see. This game also has something I have seen very little of on the Dreamcast, CG cutscenes, and I have to say they look GREAT, they are easily on par with what is being put out today. Overall the graphics are a testament to what the Dreamcast can do.
The music style from Sonic Adventure 1 is back and in full effect. I thoroughly enjoyed the high energy tunes for the Sonic and Shadow levels, and even the rap/hip hop stuff from Knuckles was good too. Sound effects are what you would expect them to be, with the standard sound for gathering and losing rings, as well as the sound of Sonic getting ready to speed boost. The invincibility sound and Speed shoes make their return from Sonic Adventure 1 although I always preferred the version from Sonic 2 on the Genesis. Even the voice acting is good this time around, I always thought the introduction scene in Sonic Adventure 1 was the worst voce acting I had ever heard in my life(referring to the police officer who said, "Oh No our weapons are useless!") This game though has some quality voice acting, none of it sounds wrong and the actors convincingly portray emotions, and there are very few times when it sounds "off". Better still if the English acting doesn't cut it for you, you can switch it over to the Japanese track. I haven't used this option as I know no Japanese, but I feel it's a nice touch.
There just aren't enough words to describe the gameplay in Sonic Adventure 2, though a few come to mind right now, Amazing, Awesome, and Frustrating. Most of the time the game plays amazingly with lots of jumping, running, shooting, and treasure hunting. Then there are the times where you just wish you had a brick you could chuck at your TV screen in sheer frustration. While I loved most of the game, there were a couple of boss fights that had me screaming at the TV, not to mention one of the final levels with Shadow. Though it can be hard as all get out sometimes, there is nothing like that sense of satisfaction you get when you finally beat that boss you have been trying to beat forever. All griping aside, the gameplay is excellent overall. But te gameplay doesn't stop at the story mode, there are mini games to unlock and chao to raise. In the area of mini games, there are 2, boss mode, and Kart Racing. The Boss mode allows you to do a time attack fighting the bosses from either the Dark side, hero side, or all of them. The Kart racing is a neat feature IMO that allows you to, you guessed it, race karts. While not as full featured as Mario Kart, there is still fun to be has here, and with the feature to download new tracks, there is a lot of flexibility(well, there are no new tracks but you can get the existing ones). Speaking of downloading, this is a very neat feature that allows you to download events, tracks for kart racing, and menu themes for the game. I cannot say if the site and content is still up as I don't have dial up to test it with. And last but not least there are the Chaos, everyones favorite tamagotchi wannabee :) In all seriousness, Chao are cute little things, and fun to raise. You also have the ability to take your Chao to school to learn new things, and take them into your VMU to play Chao Adventure 2. You can also race them, and even get emblems for doing so. Overall the variety of things to do in Sonic Adventure 2 makes the game a lot of fun, and gives the game a lot of replay value.
While I want badly to give the game a perfect score, the memory of wanting to pull my hair out on some stages just won't let me give the game a 10. However the bits of frustrating areas in the game shouldn't stop you from picking up what is otherwise a darn near perfect game. If you have like the sonic games in the past I urge you to get this one if for no other reason that to say you have the last Sonic game on a Sega console. But I assure you if you picked up for that reason and gave it a shot, you would be happy you did. This is a great Sonic game, a great 10th anniversary present to Sonic fans and a game to show Dreamcast owners everywhere their console's still got it.
OOOWWWW Have Mercy!!!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/06/05
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