Review by Arcademan6
"Good, but frustrating as all hell."
You might be wondering why a Sega fanboy like me is giving the sequel to DC's 2nd best launch title a 7. Well, You should know that ambition can be good, and it can be bad. In this case, BAD. Many new features and such have done nothing else but annoy me. Let's tear into Sonic Adventure 2!
Gameplay: Sonic Adventure 1 was Sonic the Hedgehog's first true 3D game. It could've flopped, but it worked out, aside from some camera issues. This game also tries a few new things, but really fails in my mind. First, the whole Hero/Dark issue. I enjoyed how SA1 had individual games for each character, so we got into each character and their gameplay options. In this one, each character switches off between levels. We never get to play as the character we want. Big hit for me. Then there's the novel idea, grinding with offically licensed Soap grinding shoes. Damn you Sega! Sonic's last level, Final Rush, has tons of rails, requires lots of switching rails, and the whole level is suspended over a bottomless pit. And, because some idiots complained about level length, it's 12 minutes of pain and frustration. The level size in Sonic Adventure 1 were perfect, they were long, yet not long enough to force me to travel long distances to get where I was. This game forces you to memorize the locations of every trap so you won't get killed multiple times 6 minutes into the level, forcing you to start all over again. Anyway, The fishing (Big), racing (Tails), and hammerwhacking (Amy) are gone. Tails is in a big robot with a rocketlauncher, Amy doesn't do anything, Sonic still zips through levels, and Knuckles still digs for emerald shards. All the Dark characters, gameplay wise, are carbon copies. Shame. Also, there are no Adventure fields anymore. No more secret Chao eggs. No more Bright Pink ball telling you where to go (It's replaced by an annoying mecha chao. At least you can chuck the poor bastard around :P). No more hidden emblems. All secret items are found in the levels themselves. Really disappointing in a way... Expected better.
Story: Sonic, the original fuzzball with an attitude, gets captured by the military. Oh swell. Sonic breaks out of a military helicopter and snowboards through the streets and gets chased by a crazy truckdriver. After all that, he meets Shadow, the 'Ultimate Lifeform'. Shadow hightails it outta there, and Sonic AGAIN gets captured. Tails heads to the prison to bust Sonic outta there, And gets into an encounter with Eggman in a robot. Knuckles fights over possession of the Master Emerald with Rouge the Bat (with a grating voice...), when Eggman tries to gank it under Knuckles nose, Knuckles shatters it and must find the shards. You can go and play either side at any time, and reveal more about the story from both points of view. The Story IMO is not as good as Sonic Adventure's, but it has some cool elements to it (We get to know Eggman's grandfather, Gerald. How swell.). Eh, it's ok.
Sound: The music is not as memorable as SA's. The voices of Tails, Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles, and Eggman are ok, but Rouge sounds like a guy trying to talk like a girl (too highpitch, too soft, etc.). The sound effects are fine.
Graphics: 0_0. Whoa.... These are some of the best graphics ever pumped out of a console (that includes PS2, you raving fanboys). Everything animates smoothly. The mouths on the characters don't go in sync with the words too well, but at least they don't move their WHOLE FACE while speaking. Rouge has bouncing boobs (We've come a long way since 1991). Some of the secret items (Magic Hands, Heavy Gloves, Sunglasses, etc.) look badass on the characters. Chaos are still annoying little runts (It's fun to beat them like redheaded step children, hee hee). Big advancements here.
The Pits: Let's get into The Pits! Sega, we know you can make a very ambitious project work out (Shenmue, IMO), but you really wrecked my gaming experience with all the features I could have lived without. Grinding, for sake of the blade, this is friggin frustrating as hell, and about as much fun as amputating my own hand. I need to check the credits again, because you hired a really guy sounding girl (or girl sounding guy) for Rouge. Were the boobs really necessary? I normally don't get off while watching bats run in slowmotion with the chest bouncing like it was Baywatch. The whole Hero/Dark thing was a nice touch, but next time make sure that the characters on one side aren't carbon copies of the other side. We want some diversity, people. Oh, and Sonic Team, never, EVER make a level like Knuckle's part of the final stage again! Swimming around, trying to find a switch, the stupid camera switches and I get killed by a damned laser. Oh, forgot to mention, the camera angles. They're HORRIBLE. It never points in the right direction. I've died many times because the idiot camera. Camera problems was the last thing on my lists of things to bring back in SA2, and it's worse than ever. All Sega players, watch out. You will end up pulling out your hair in frustration.
Buy or Rent?: It's kinda hard to beat the game within a weekend rental. Mostly because you spend most of the time getting to the end of a level and losing your last life, causing you to curse, throw your controller, and restart from the beginning. Sega, don't **** up the next version with ambitious ideas. And tweak that camera. But if you're a big Sega fan, pick it up, I made it sound bad, but it's a whole lot better than, what, Rayman 2 for PS2. Hell, the game is better than much of the tripe surrounding that system. Pick it up if you want a good, but frustrating, platform game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/06/01, Updated 08/06/01
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