- Original release year: 2001
- Consoles: Dreamcast, GameCube (later: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)
Back in 2001, Sonic Adventure 2 was released as part of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 10th anniversary celebrations. It’s hard to believe that it’s now 15 years later and we’re celebrating Sonic’s 25th anniversary, but here we are. Man, I feel old.
When Sonic Adventure 2 was first released on the Dreamcast, reviews were generally fairly positive. For a start, the largely redundant “Adventure” hub world sections were removed (yay), Big the Cat was removed (yay), the game was more streamlined (yay) and Tails was back and placed into a slow, robotic suit with guns attached (oh for fuck’s sake, Sega!).
So here’s the thing with Sonic Adventure 2; I really don’t know if it’s better than the first Sonic Adventure game. Sure, it’s a little more streamlined and refined it some areas, but the problem is; this time you are forced to play abysmal crap like the Eggman and Tails stages or the frankly annoying emerald collecting, Knuckles and Rouge the Bat stages. Unlike the first game, which was split up in character scenarios (e.g. You could just play through Sonic’s scenario and worry about the other crap later), Sonic Adventure 2 is split up into just two chapters; The Good Side and the Evil Side. The good side is made up with levels starring Sonic (traditional), Knuckles (emerald collecting) and Tails (slow, gun shooting). The evil side is made up with levels starring the newly introduced Shadow (traditional), Rouge (emerald collecting) and Eggman (slow, gun shooting). Once you beat both sides, you unlock the final chapter, with the final boss battle (you’ll turn into Super Sonic and Super Shadow).
Gameplay-wise, the game is very similar to Sonic Adventure 1. Basically, the traditional Sonic and Shadow levels are, more often than not, brilliant and everything else ranges from bad to plain average. There’s no denying though, for example, the opening City Escape level is nothing short of fantastic. It starts well, with Sonic falling from a helicopter in the sky, landing into the busy city of San Francisco (well, it looks like San Francisco), with his gliding board (it isn’t a skateboard, whatever it is), gliding down the hills and zipping over ramps. Eventually, you’ll find yourself running through the city, grinding down rails, speeding through loops and running down a hill, being chased by a huge monster truck. It’s simply awesome. Another great Sonic level, sees our hero racing through an awesome forest location.
So overall, the Sonic (and Shadow) levels are great, but they just ruin it by padding out the game with the boring levels staring the other characters. A shame, but Sonic Adventure 2 is still worth playing. It’s also worth noting, that there’s a hidden 3D remake of Green Hill Zone that can be unlocked. It’s no where near the level of awesomeness found in Sonic Generations, but interesting nonetheless.