Review by Snipa_Wulf12
"Good For a Stroll Down Memory Lane"
Sonic Adventure 2 was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast in the early 00's and was subsequently released a few years later on the Gamecube in an updated version called Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. An incomplete copy of the latter version is what you have available for download on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 although the remaining features can be purchased for a few dollars more.
Sonic Adventure 2 is available for download from the Playstation Store for $9.99 cents. The Sonic Adventure 2: Battle Extension can be purchased seperately from the store and will run you $2.99. The game is purchased via demo unlock so if you are left unsure of your decision after this review then I suggest you download the demo to try out the game for yourself. Now on to the meat of the review which starts in the next section; Gameplay.
The way the gameplay works out in Sonic Adventure 2 is fairly linear in spite of the name. After choosing either the Hero or Dark story line, you will cycle through stages as different characters with cutscenes informing you of why you are where you are.
Having had the ability of playing both the Dreamcast version and the Gamecube version of Sonic Adventure 2 prior to this review; this re-release of the game has left the gameplay mechanics intact. You will still be rolling around at the speed of sound as sonic, however, it should be noted that because this game came out in the early 2000's, Sonics speed is closer to that of 2d sonic than the blistering speed of the more recent sonic games such as Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors.
Using the hero story line as an example so as to avoid character spoilers, I will now give a brief summary of the gameplay for the treasure hunter and mech portions of the game.
When entering a stage as tails or his dark story counterpart, you will be in a mobile mech suit and tasked with getting to the end of a level like sonic except you can expect much more platforming, slower level progression, and third person shooting mechanics that may seem slightly confusing and will offer technical challenges to new comers. That being said, are still well put together and function like they were designed.
When entering a treasure hunting stage, you will play as knuckles or his dark story equivalent. You are placed into large stages of varying designs and tasked with finding emeralds. You can tell how close to finding each emerald fragment you are by a radar that flashes at the bottom that changes color and beeps depending on your distance to the emerald.
Talking about the treasure hunting elements is as good a time as any to mention one of the major flaws with the gameplay in all the different gameplay types; the camera. Coming from an era closer to the beginning of 3-D gaming, the camera in Sonic Adventure 2 is glitchy, can and will get stuck behind objects or at awkward angles, and can be downright frustrating. The worst part? You don't have the ability to alter camera sensitivity or change the horrid backwards way that it turns. Contrary to what I just stated, there are many parts of Sonic Adventure 2 where you don't have to touch the camera and it will move on its on which is what saves the gameplay from being too frustrating.
Next up in regards to the gameplay is the multiplayer. There are 4 distinct multiplayer types in the base version of Sonic Adventure 2; Action Race (Racing through Sonic stages with sonic type characters), treasure hunt (Racing to find treasure first with knuckles type characters in knuckles type gameplay), Mech battle (a one on one fight between tails type characters in tails type gameplay.) and Kart Racing (each character has a cart with unique stats and you race along a long track trying to beat your opponent.)
Purchase of the SA2:B add on adds Chao Karate, 6 new characters for the varying modes, and 21 different stages for the varying modes.
Another part of the gameplay is the Chao Garden. This is a mode where you are tasked with raising chao by feeding,holding and caring for them to increase their skills and change their appearence.
The story of Sonic Adventure 2 is fairly simple and easy to understand due to its nature as a sonic game. There are plot twists, surprises, betrayal, and even death but it is all done keeping younger kids in mind. Also due to its nature as a sonic game, expect many cheesy lines and one liners from nearly all characters. And when purchasing this game, you will understand where the hate for the voices of tails and amy stem from, they're abysmal to say the least.
Before I go on I want to make clear that this game came out over 10 years ago on the Sega Dreamcast. 10 years ago. Sega Dreamcast.
Now that you've got that much, the graphics are not that good. They haven't aged all that well although it looks like on this Playstation ported version they brightened some colors to try and make it look better on HD TV's. Despite their dated look, the graphics were done in a way where it doesn't affect much although you may find yourself laughing or shaking your head at what used to be considered good enough to sell.
In regards to the sound, the voices and music aren't mixed together very well and that much was evident in the older versions as well. The characters mouths don't match their voices. Often times the music will over power someone talking or one character will cut off another mid sentence due to poorly timed integration. Again like the graphics, these things aren't punch your TV bad, but rather laughable at how awkward and sometimes poorly done they are.
The music in this game is a whole different topic. The soundtrack in this game is loved by almost all who have played it and while running through stages you may find yourself tapping your foot or humming along. The problems with sonic games have never been about their music.
This game came out yesterday and after the initial 3 hour download, I have already beaten the entire game. It took me about 7 hours including deaths and getting sidetracked while playing. This short play time, however, is alleviated by the emblem system. Each stage has 5 different tasks to do and you can be awarded a grade from E to A on each task. Completionist can probably squeeze out a whole 20 hours from this game total depending upon the difficulty of the tasks, of which some can be annoyingly difficult. Adding to the replayability is the multiplayer where you can challenge a friend to a series of tasks. Compounding the replayability yet again is the chao garden where you can basically raise cute little baby chao to do different things and each character in game can have their own. This mode adds however many hours you want to invest into the little kiddies.
With everything I just mentioned considered I give this game a 7. Before you rage and ask why I gave it a 7, know that a 7 means that although a game has a few problems (like maybe a horrid camera, poor sound mixing, and cheesy dialogue), it deserves to be played and is worth every cent of its $9.99 price tag. If you find that you love the multiplayer system then go ahead and purchase the $2.99 Battle extension, but only if you know you're actually going to use the multiplayer mode.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/05/12
Game Release: Sonic Adventure 2 (US, 10/02/12)
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