GameStop, Inc.

find a game:

Title Screen
more screens (7)

Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Replay: 7
Overall: 8.4

Sonic Adventure 2
Released: 20010619
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team
Genre: Adventure

Review by: Viper

Normally I write exclusively Nintendo reviews, so writing about Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Team’s newest, most popular platformer, makes me feel right at home. Nintendo and Rare are the King and Queen (you decide which is which) of the platform genre, thus us Nintendo 64 gamers know what to expect when we sit down with a new platformer. However, Sonic Team is no newcomer to the genre, and the Sonic franchise proves this.

Enter Sonic Adventure 2, the sequel to Sonic Adventure, which debuted with the Dreamcast in 1999. Sonic Adventure 2 will probably be known most of all for its dual story playability. (If there is a term for this, I haven’t heard it. If not, I just coined that one.) Basically you get to choose to play as the “Hero” squad or the “Dark” squad. The same story line progresses in about the same manner no matter which squad you choose. Of course, you do get to see the story unfold from a different perspective. Initially this seems like a wonderful idea, until you realize that you are essentially playing with the same characters.

In each of the squads there are three different characters that you must control, these three characters are paralleled between the squads as follows:

Action Speed Class – these characters run about in a high speed action setting where collecting rings, bouncing about on spring boards and zipping through loops and corkscrews is the norm. This style is what the Sonic games grew up on.

     Hero – Sonic – The blue hedgehog returns.

     Dark – Shadow – Claims to be the ultimate life form, basically a black robotic copy of sonic.

Armored Shooting Class – These characters walk about in a large mech style robot that is equipped with homing missiles and Vulcan cannons. Coins don’t serve the usual purpose of sustaining life for these guys, instead they replenish life when you collect them.

     Hero – Miles “Tails” Prower – Returning as well, but this Tails won’t be doing and helicopter style jumps while sitting in his mech.

     Dark – Dr. Eggman – This IS Eggman’s style, he fits this class to a tee.

Treasure Hunter Class – These characters are equipped with radar so that they can hunt down various emeralds. Like Sonic and Shadow, rings act as a life source, get hit with zero and you’re toast.

     Hero – Knuckles – Using his large knuckles, Knuckles (heh) will learn how to dig and bash things, he can also magically fly.

     Dark – Rouge the Bat – A more natural flyer, she gets upgrades on her feet to assist her with the digging.

The class system offers a lot of variety, but usually you will learn to dread a certain class. Personally I get sick of the treasure hunting fairly quickly. The Sonic and Shadow levels are typical Sonic fashion. A lot of the time you will find yourself becoming a spectator while you watch the little blu (or black) ball bounce and roll about the level at intense speeds. Sure, the level design is crafty, and some of the setups leave you saying, “cool”, but I like to play my games.

Sonic Adventure 2’s visuals were indeed awe-inspiring. The first Sonic level instantly reminded me of Crazy Taxi with the steep, narrow roads jutting through rows and rows of tall apartment buildings. The later jungle levels looked very nice while Sonic and Shadow clutched vines and gave out their best Tarzan yell (okay, maybe the Tarzan yell was omitted due to developer issues, but I substituted they yell adequately enough with my own vocal chords). The speed of some of the levels is amazing (In the Genesis days this was called “Blast Processing”), the Dreamcast manages to render the large worlds at an incredibly quick game speed.

The sounds in Sonic Adventure 2 are so Sonicesque that you’d swear you were playing the first Sonic on the Genesis all over again, however some of the music takes a downward spiral from the G-days. Collecting rings, springing on springboards, losing all of your rings, charging up the rolling ball attack all have could-be-trademarked sounds that send me right into nostalgia mode. Additionally there is a lot of digital speech in this Sonic Adventure. Every main character speaks; unfortunately the voice acting is sub par and lacks a lot of emotion. I found myself picturing the voice actors sitting in a dark room meticulously reading their lines as if their family’s lives were depending on them to finish the dialogue before the launch date. Occasionally the vocals are drowned out by the background music (or the background music is a song that also has vocals, which is very distracting). Silencing the music (or using quiet music without vocals) during an important cut scene would’ve been nice, thankfully there are captions.

Overall the music in Sonic Adventure 2 isn’t all that bad, especially the traditional “videogame style” music. However, the music that has vocals becomes extremely annoying after hearing the song repeat more than once (which it will, guaranteed). “I am the Eggman” will get stuck in your head and you will turn on Britney Spears’ newest album by choice just to clear your mind. The hip-hop style tracks during Kunckles’ levels add a nice feel to the game, but the lyrics are awful, and could have been gleefully omitted. In fact, the music in the game isn’t bad at all, it’s the annoying vocals that ruin it. Note to Game Developers – Don’t use vocals in music if that music is going to repeat even ONCE. Digital Redbook audio is nice, but don’t overdo it.

Sonic Adventure 2 does feature a 2-player mode, but the options are limited until you complete a few levels in the single player mode. Basically you can pick a class and play a single-player level against your friend. Unfortunately not all of the single-player levels are available in the two-player mode, but the multiplayer is only fun for about 10 minutes anyhow. In addition to the class modes there is also a kart-racing mode (based on a single player level) that you can unlock, but like the other modes, it doesn’t have any lasting appeal either.

In the end Sonic Adventure 2 was too short of a game. The single player levels differ in difficulty greatly. Some you finish in one try no sweat; others have you shouting obscenities at the screen. The game is really nice to look at, and sometimes really fun to play, but this isn’t consistent. Being a self-proclaimed platform game expert I found Sonic Adventure 2 to be missing a few platform necessities.

     1) Where the hell is a free look camera? When I don’t know where to go I’d like to be able to look around in the first person so I don’t need to make blind jumps into oblivion.

     2) Why does the camera suck so much? More than once I found the camera getting stuck behind walls and obstacles leaving me sightless while I confront evil things.

     3) This one is minor, but when I kick the bucket on my last life I’d rather not be popped out to the main menu where I have to pick my mode, my quest, and wait for the level to reload. A nice “Continue? Yes No” screen would have suited me just fine.

Sonic fans will love this game, people who play a lot of platformers will enjoy this game (as I have) and all of you “hardcore mature” gamers probably won’t touch this game because it looks somewhat “cartoony” with a “kiddie” feel. I am excited to see what Sonic Team has in store for the GameCube in the next year.

- We have 1 review for Sonic Adventure 2 (1 Staff, 0 Member)

 � Recent News about Sonic Adventure 2


 � Recent Forum topics on Sonic Adventure 2



Network Hookup
Register for FREE :: - Not a ConsoleCity member? Register for FREE today.