Review by wolverinefan
"Decent game with amazing multiplayer."
I've always been a Sonic fan. I remember in school when my best friend who had a Genesis (I didn't...) and he got Sonic in the mail free from Sega. I came over that day and we got to the water level, the one level that still to this day gives me problems. Ever since then I've been hooked. I remember getting Sonic 2 with my own genesis for Christmas and was blown away. Jump to the launch of the Dreamcast and I got Sonic Adventure and truly enjoyed it because it looked amazing and offered a lot of different types of game play. I also played Sonic Adventure 2 when it came out but I hated it. I still have no idea why I picked up the port for Gamecube but I don't regret it.
Sonic has been arrested and so he escapes the police and sets out to find out why he was arrested. It turns out that there is another hedgehog, a black one and he's doing evil things. Dr. Eggman is also about doing evil deeds and is threatening to blow up the world! Off sets Sonic and friends to save the world once again. It's funny, the previous Sonic games haven't had much of a plot, excluding Sonic Adventure but even that didn't have a plot like this one. However, the plot takes over and the game play is a bit lacking in the end. Also, the character development is weak for the new characters. It's a good story though for a Sonic game. I just felt that Shadow's back story was way under developed but at the time of this review a new game focused on him and his backstory has been announced and is due later this year and is something I hope to maybe get when it's cheap or as a gift during the holiday season.
The graphics aren't much better than the Dreamcast version, and they may even look the same. It has been years since I played the Dreamcast version. The cut scenes look decent. In game graphics are nice and colorful. No jaggies or anything can be seen and it all looks good. Some things look a bit blocky but it seems like the style for the newer Sonic games. Not top notch but the graphics work. I also feel they are a step down from the first Sonic Adventure. The opening alone in Sonic Adventure was just mind blowing to me then and still is. The water effects were just wow. Not saying these graphics are horrible. The stages all actually look nice and pretty. Good details and I enjoyed the fake movie posters and stuff in the first level and of course Sonic boarding down the street moved smoothly and looked great.
The sound in the game is pleasant, most of the time. Voice acting is alright, nothing to write home about but it works and it seems like everyone who returns from the first Sonic Adventure maintain the same voice actor. The game also lets you choose from English and Japanese voice acting. I found most of the music to be really fun sounding. However, when I look at Knuckles, I just don't picture rap music. It's probably the worst choice. I really enjoy Sonic's theme and thankfully, the game offers a sound test. The sound effects are nice. Break glass and all that jazz sound close enough to what they should. Sound is an all around good area in Sonic Adventure 2.
The control is good and I am playing this after Sonic Heroes and I have to say, the homing attack of Sonic's actually works in this game so I have no clue why it was so touchy in Sonic Heroes. Anyway, the control is very responsive. The only problem I had with control was when having to move the camera. It was very jerky. You use the Le and R buttons to move it but it just feels wrong since we have the C-stick which isn't used for anything.
The game play is slightly the same from the first Sonic Adventure game but instead of the normal Sonic running levels, we get three game types. Sonic's level consist of running from point A to point B. You can spin and jump. Later you get more moves like a bouncer, coin dash and others. You can also grind but that isn't important until the final level. Tail's levels all take place in a mech except for one racing level which wasn't all that great to play. His levels are a blast to play through. Go from point A to point B and blow stuff up. It's really fun, if not a tad mindless. Knuckles levels are the worst levels I have ever played. You get large areas and Knuckles special skill is to dig. You have to find 3 emerald shards. They are insanely hard to find and it just becomes tedious as you go along. Thankfully, the game never forces you to play 2 in a row but near the end it gets close to doing that. That's the hero side, there are two sides to play as and each side fills in the story. Dark side also has 3 characters and they each play like one of the guys from the hero team. However, the dark side has 90% new levels, only a few are shared which is great.
There are 16 hero levels, plus a final level after beating both sides. I don't remember how many dark levels, I think the same amount though. Each level contains 5 missions. Normal, 100 rings, hard, speed and one other that I can't remember. You get an emblem after each mission and they rank from E-A I believe. A is the best. If you collect all 180 A ranks you get a special secret. The best thing about the Gamecube version of this game is the Battle aspect of it. The game is full of two player stuff. You can do shooting missions against a friend, or racing stages and other stuff. If you have friends and more then one controller, play away. The game also features special characters to use in Battle mode which is good. The Chao mini game is also here to suck away lots of time. I was never a fan but still couldn't resist growing at least one cute little guy. Too bad hero side took me 3 hours to beat with just the first missions. The normal story based game can be completed in under 10 hours. The frame rate is smooth also and the camera is great, for the most part. The Knuckle missions do require a bit of camera work. I just don't think I can stress how much fun the game is, even if it's short. Also, the game is under 20 at the time of this review and I think it's worth every penny. This is also one of the few games that I can see myself going back to and playing once in awhile to try and get those 180 emblems. I do, however, recommend Sonic Adventure DX over this if you don't already own it. It was such a well done game.
The replay value is rather high. The main game may be short but the 180 A rank emblems, chao and two player stuff just makes this a must own for those who play with friends a lot. I still feel though that Sonic Heroes and Sonic Adventure 1 were much better game play wise and they offered more varied game play throughout while Sonic Adventure 2: Battle feels like you are just redoing the same thing over and over and those Knuckle levels are just really bad. This is a fine addition to any Gamecube collection but if you didn't like Sonic Adventure, pass this on unless you have friends and more than one controller because that's where the game truly shines.
Game play 7/10
Replay value 9/10
Final Score 7/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/23/05
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