Sonic Adventure 2 Review
The legendary sequel to the first Sonic Adventure proved to be one of the greatest games of all time and introduced one of the greatest anti-heroes in gaming.
The first Sonic Adventure proved to be the best selling game for the Dreamcast with nearly 2 million units sold. SEGA decided to pull out all the stops for their next game as it would be Sonic’s 10th anniversary. Enter – Sonic Adventure 2
The story this time is split between two sides “Hero” and “Dark.” Surprisingly, the story actually begins with Dr.Eggman as he infiltrates a military base in an effort to retrieve a super-weapon that belonged to his grandfather.
Using his new Egg-Walker combat vehicle, Eggman comes across the super-weapon which is revealed to be a Black Hedgehog named Shadow, who Eggman initially mistakes for Sonic. Unlike the other characters in the game, Shadow orders Eggman to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and bring them to him aboard the Space Colony ARK.
Sonic on the other hand had been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. He escapes and uses part of a helicopter wing as a snowboard. After evading military pursuit and dealing with a combat walker codenamed “Big Foot”, he finally meets Shadow face to face who had stolen a Chaos Emerald and the military mistook Shadow for Sonic. After a brief introduction Sonic is captured and sent to Prison Island.
Meanwhile, Knuckles pursues Rouge the Bat over ownership of the Master Emerald when Eggman intervenes. Knuckles decides to smash the emerald in order to prevent it from being stolen, Rouge then sets off to find the shards of the Master Emerald before Knuckles does.
Elsewhere, Tails and Amy decide to break the law and assist Sonic in escaping captivity and proving his innocence.
Overall the game is more story-driven this time and it works as it feels the series is maturing along with the audience that grew up with the games. However, things are not what they seem.
Gameplay is unchanged since Sonic Adventure 1 but there are some new features and even though there are six playable characters you only play as three per side. The three gameplay styles that are available are Runners, Shooters and Treasure Hunters. Sonic and Shadow use the Runner style with a get-to-the-goal gameplay. Tails and Eggman use combat walkers to shoot everything between them and the goal and finally Knuckles and Rouge need to find 3 pieces of the Master Emerald.
Overall the gameplay is unchanged from Sonic Adventure 1 but there are some differences.
One is the change of Sonic’s shoes; throughout the game there is advertisement for a product called Soap Shoes and Sonic even wears a pair due to the new grinding mechanic. Both Sonic and Shadow can grind along certain surfaces at high speeds. This marks the first time grinding was introduced to the Sonic series and would eventually become a series staple.
Another is the introduction of the Egg-Walker and Cyclone Walker as Tails and Eggman have the Shooter gameplay style. Both of the walkers are equipped with life bars so even if you have zero rings you wont die instantly.
In addition, Tails and Eggman use Vulcan cannons and Lock-On Blasters to dispatch enemies.
Finally, the Treasure Hunting stages are more vertically oriented and the radar only picks up the signature of one shard at a time.
Returning from Sonic Adventure 1 is the character upgrades. Each character has their own upgrades and players can find one item in each level. Sonic has Light Speed Shoes and the Light Speed Attack once again. But this time he also has access to the Flame Ring which allows him to break Iron Containers, the Bounce Ring which enables the use of the Bounce Attack and the Magic Gloves which allow Sonic to grab and throw enemies.
Shadow has the same upgrades minus the Bounce Ring and the Magic Gloves.
Tails has a vulcan cannon and Lock-On Blaster upgrade, a jet booster which enables hovering. While Eggman has similar upgrades with one exclusive to him being the Shield which boosts his defence and max health. Knuckles uses the Hammer Knuckles which is used to destroy Iron Containers, the Shovel Claw returns however now Knuckles can perform a Dive Attack to dig. He also has an Air Necklace to remain underwater indefinitely and sunglasses which can detect hidden items.
Rouge has the same items minus the air necklace and her arsenal is more toward kicks rather than punches.
One power up they all share is the Mystic Melody which is used for missions.
Absent from this game is the inclusion of a Hub world, instead each level has five missions. The first mission is a story mission, mission two is to collect 100 rings, mission three is to find a Chao lost in the stage somewhere, the fourth mission is a time trial and the final mission is complete hard mode.
After beating a stage, players are given an emblem and a rank, the ranking system goes from E being the lowest to A being the highest. Collecting all 180 emblems unlocks a bonus level – a fully 3D version of Green Hill Zone.
Players don’t just get emblems from Stages and beating the story mode but for beating boss rush mode, the go kart mini games and competing in the Chao Garden.
The Chao Garden is one huge positive about the game. It is basically a virtual pet simulator, here you can raise a Chao and have them compete in races or karate tournaments.
I personally find very few flaws with the game but I should mention that sometimes characters do cut one another off and some of the bosses can be difficult. Getting all 180 emblems is no easy task but with enough practice you will get there in the end. While Sonic Adventure 2 is not my all time favourite Sonic game I can personally give it an S rank. I’d suggest getting it on Xbox Live Arcade or the Playstation Store to find out for yourself.