(PlayStation Network)

Sonic Adventure 2 (PlayStation Network)

Game Review

Sonic Adventure 2 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Nathan Michalik

Shadow runner

Ever since the release of Crazy Taxi on the PlayStation Network, people have been asking SEGA to port the extremely popular Sonic Adventure 2 to PS3. Originally released in 2001, the game was not only one of the showcase titles for the Dreamcast hardware, but also an extremely innovative experience. Later the title would be ported to Nintendo’s GameCube, where it quickly became one of the console’s best sellers.

The story starts out with everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog escaping from the military. Things quickly escalate as Sonic discovers the armed forces are confusing him for a mysterious new dark hedgehog released by the one and only, Doctor Robotnik. The mysterious hedgehog identifies himself as The Ultimate Life Form and goes by the name of Shadow. With treasure hunter Rouge the bat completing the maniacal crew, Eggman and his newly established squad embark on a mischievous plot. It’s up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to stop Robotnik and his team from collecting the chaos emeralds required to control his latest contraption, the Space Colony Ark.

The story mode is split between the two sides (Hero and Dark), but both of these tales intertwine to tell the complete story. The plot is well written, decent in length and progresses nicely without slowing down.

Each story is split up into three main types of levels. The Sonic and Shadow stages are arguably the best in terms of level design and gameplay. These maps are essentially races with additional areas to explore. Ranging from a city highway to deep space, the environments look stunning and fit the universe well.

Meanwhile, Knuckles and Rouge both share the task of collecting the missing pieces of the Master Emerald to neutralize the power of the Chaos Emeralds. These maps are similar to the Knuckles gameplay in the original Sonic Adventure; players will run, glide, and climb around sandbox levels using a radar to find the three gem pieces randomly scattered around each level. Most of these stages are not timed, giving everyone plenty of time to explore at their own pace.

Last but not least, Tails and Robotnik use bipedal tanks to blast their way through each level. Taking a leaf out of the old popular jet-fighter game, Afterburner, the tanks can be controlled to lock on to enemies and fire missiles. They are fairly simple levels, but at least they offer a change of pace.

Those who finish both Hero and Dark story modes will be treated to a third hidden story named ‘LAST’. This final piece of the puzzle is part of what makes Sonic Adventure 2 a classic; the surprise twist of events and final boss are both excellent additions to the experience.

To increase the replay value of each story, you’ll be able to collect and equip hidden power ups for each character, allowing them to reach paths from earlier levels that were blocked. For example, Sonic will obtain the ability to use the light dash to quickly traverse lines of rings.

Between each level, gamers can raise cute little critters called Chaos. By collecting crystals and tiny animals throughout the story, players can then use these items to infuse attributes to their Chaos. These include running, swimming, and climbing. There are races, as well as plenty of secrets in the Chao Gardens to add to the overall value of the title. If you pick up the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle DLC, you’ll also have access to the Chao Karate mini-games.

While the title offers multiplayer, it’s limited to split-screen, and the level selection leaves a lot to be desired. Most stages are minor revisions of the maps from the single player story. If you pick up the Sonic Adventure 2 Battle DLC, you’ll unlock more characters, levels, and Chao mini-games.

The re-mastered stages look superb on the PS3, and the frame rate doesn't suffer from slow down like the Jet Set Radio remake. Sadly, the camera hasn't been adjusted and can be blindingly difficult to manage at times. Overall, the game is fairly simple, and most, if not all, deaths are usually caused by the camera getting stuck around corners or refusing to centre behind your character at high speeds. It isn't a deal breaker, but it’s common enough to be noticeable.

The soundtrack is easily one of the best in Sonic history. Each character has their own style of music to suit their personality and maps. It’s almost impossible not to like the theme song ‘Live and Learn’ by Crush 40. Sound effects are crisp and clear, and provide a nice balance of classic and modern Sonic.

Conclusion

Sonic Adventure 2 offers the same thrills as its Dreamcast and GameCube predecessors without sacrificing too much. The online features from the Dreamcast title are unfortunately stripped, and the GameCube extras are only available as paid DLC – making this PSN download worth skipping if you already own either of the original titles. But for those who haven’t yet experienced the fast paced adventure, this is a stellar port of an old classic.

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User Comments (18)

Samholy

#4

Samholy said:

nice review.
i had the gamecube version and played it 3 times. which is excellent considering a gamecube title.
i really liked it, and its quite hard to try and get the best scores in every levels.

my only downside was the Chaos world which was...NO. the guys were fun to care of, but the minigames were a total mess and pain. races and combat were SSLLLOOOOOWWWWWW and you barely could do much in there.
raising Chaos was only fun to see variants and use your damn earned crystals.

get this people. the best sonic game i played.

theblackdragonAdmin

#5

theblackdragon said:

@Epic: Not only were there two different reviewers involved, but there's two different consoles in the mix as well. If we could keep the comments here focused on this review, we'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

Big_Gamer

#6

Big_Gamer said:

I remember this being Fun except the horrible camera and boring non sonic/shadow levels

CanisWolfred

#8

CanisWolfred said:

Yeah, this game still has plenty of thrills after all these years. I'll be skipping the PSN release, but I love the GCN version to death, glitches and all.

irken004

#9

irken004 said:

Being the first time I've played this, I'm enjoying it so far. Some of the chao stuff should be pointed out more since I didn't know what I was doing half the time, but the chao are neat too. I'd rather have more Sonic/Shadow levels though, and less Knuckles/Rouge stages.

Varia01

#11

Varia01 said:

The review was written TODAY? I was expecting a 6 or 7, but this is a real shocker, so I agree with the comment above me, though I'm just a kid I haven't played it yet, but on Metacritic, Sonic Adventure 1 was only in around the 50s in the reviews.

NathanUC

#12

NathanUC said:

Sonic Adventure 2 is a different style of game compared to Sonic Adventure 1 in most aspects. Right now, the Metacritic is a 70 for this title with four reviews. As with all games, some people will like it and others will not. There are plenty of games that score highly that I don't really care for. It's the nature of this wonderful wonderful gaming beast.

Ginkgo

#13

Ginkgo said:

Preface: I don't mean my comments to be negative, so please don't perceive them that way. I'm just conscious that I don't understand.

It always amazes me that people still care about Sonic and other old timers like Mario, but clearly they do. There is a big market for these games. I have tried but I just can't share the enthusiasm. My time is scarce. Why play this when the Uncharted series or other more modern games exist.Games have improved so much over the years.
I guess I am just missing a nostalgia gene or something...

NathanUC

#14

NathanUC said:

@Ginkgo What you say makes sense, but to me, they are somewhat different styles of gaming. There are days I just want to sit down and play a game for a few minutes and there are days I want to sit down for hours and experience something more. Games like Sonic are excellent games to only sit and play briefly while games like Metal Gear and Uncharted are awesome games to play for long periods of time. It's similar to TV shows vs Movies; sometimes you just want one or the other but that doesn't make one better than the other.

Samholy

#15

Samholy said:

@Jon_Talbain
hell yeah! its glitches added some value hahaha it happens sometimes with glitched games. Gives it a second life, or some kind of challenges to accomplish. like shortcuts :-p

rjejr

#16

rjejr said:

I played this right after SA 1 on the Dreamcast. I loved the first game but the finding stuff levels just killed this game for me. This was supposed to be a Sonic game, not Myst.

Knux

#17

Knux said:

Great review! This is about the right rating this game should have. I personally think that this is the best 3D Sonic game aside from Colors and Generations.

I'm really disappointed that Sega didn't go the extra mile and included online multiplayer. The only reason that anyone who owns the older versions would get this would be because of the trophies.

Since I already own both the Dreamcast and Gamecube versions (and I'm tight on money at the moment), I'm going to hold off on the PSN version for now. But I'll download this sooner or later.

XD375

#18

XD375 said:

I really want to know how Sammy Barker would have reviewed this one, seeing as he did most of the other Sonic games.

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