Sonic Adventure 2
Review by DreamWolfe
"Shame on you Sega!"
After all the waiting, if I were to sum up how I felt about Sonic Adventure in one word, it would be 'Disappointed'. Don't get me wrong, it's a good game in its own right and had it carried a different name I would've been a lot more pleased with it but after all, this is Sega's flagship title we're talking about here, it's the second Sonic game on the DreamCast and it should have been at least a bit better than the original. It isn't, it's more like a cut down version of the original, I'm not sure it's even worthy to be called an add-on pack.
All you have really is fast running bits (Sonic and Shadow), then you E101 rip-off platform shooting bits (Tails and Robotnik) and finally you have hunting levels (Knuckles and Rouge) and that's it. You repeat those kinds of levels over and over and there's no break in it. The only occasional diversion is the rare minigame you unlock but there were so many more and they were so much better in the original SA. Even the levels can be same, you'll often find that a texture you saw often earlier (say on Knuckles stage on Pumpkin Hill, involving ghosts or bones will be re-used to death on other levels, like Shadow's sky-rail level and that's really not acceptable).
The whole thing feels so cheap and I can't help but feel a little conned by Sega. However, it isn't a BAD game, the bits taken from SA1 are almost as good as the original (the shooting bits being the only ones that they bothered to do any different or better) but without the Adventure sections and without the extra characters, the gameplay is just shallow. You'll find yourself wishing you had more variety, it's not fun when you have six characters but three of them do the same as the other three. In fact it gets stunningly boring after a time. That's really all I can say about the game to be honest because if you imagine what I've told you above, you pretty much know how Sonic Adventure 2 is and it really is a disappointment, it hasn't pleased me half as much as Kingsley's Adventure, which I recently played on the PSX which actually bothered to be quite innovative.
The only thing this game deserves kudos (or 'magickal glory' to anyone not familiar with the American slang or ancient Greek and to be honest, I find the ancient greek version much more amusing) over, regarding any recent platformer (nevermind Sega ones) is the story, it's a Sonic game with a story. Shock. Horror. Gasp. It's good too, it actually makes a rather dull game quite enjoyable and makes you want to press on through the levels just to see what will happen next, if it weren't there then frankly, I would've gotten bored of it a long, long time ago, so it deserves praise for that at least.
Graphics 6 of 10
Dire. For the DreamCast at least, reused textures, reused models and half of them don't even look as good as in the original Sonic Adventure. The only levels that look really good are the Sonic and Shadow ones but this is to be expected because they're always graphics fests and the opening levels for these characters are far more impressive than anything else in the game, probably so that people will hype any demos that get released involving those levels. Don't be fooled, only the start of the game looks that good. Still though, the Sonic and Shadow levels are rather nice and the Knuckles and Rouge ones can be alright if rather dull so it's not all that bad. The cutscenes though are really good in stark contrast to the rest and they are part of the aforementioned neato story, so it gets points for that.
Sound 5 of 10
Same old voice acting, a lot of the same sounds from Sonic Adventure and not a lot new to be honest. Due to the fact that a lot of the sounds were stolen from there, they're rather beefy and impressive but they should've been a little different at least. There's really not much I can say in its defense here except that the music in Sonic's first level is a little nice.
Game Factor 6 of 10
Take E101's, Kunckle's and Sonic's levels from Sonic Adventure. Repeat them over and over and over, reuse enemies, add annoying situations like time limits in an attempt to give the game depth. Furthermore, give it annoying locked camera angles that often gives the game a very 2D-Pandemonium-ish feel. That's Sonic Adventure 2. Unfortunately. However, since it was based off the original Sonic Adventure, some of the gameplay does have merit and it is fun, even if not as astounding and varied as it should have been.
Game Life 5 of 10
You won't want to come back to the game itself, except perhaps Sonic's first couple of levels, to marvel at how with at least a few levels of the game were decent. You may want to come back for the chao stuff, which is decent but has been done better in other games such as Pokémon and Monster Rancher but overall, it's just something you'll probably complete, shelf and forget about and hope that Sonic Adventure 3 is going to be better. MUCH better. Then again, if you can ignore the fact that it is Sonic, you might be able to stomach it a second time around.
Overall 24 of 20
As an everyday platform game? It's average. As part of the Sonic line up? It's a travesty. If you're a Sonic fan, you'll enjoy it just because it's Sonic and you probably should get it just for the sake of it, you can always sell it or swap it afterwards. If you haven't played the original Sonic Adventure yet, please take my advice and get that instead! It is SO much better. If you have a PSX and the original Sonic Adventure, get Kingsley's Adventure for the PSX instead, that's the only recent platformer I've found myself really enjoying.
That's all I have to say really. Shame on you Sega.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/10/01, Updated 07/10/01
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