The hedgehog is back, and
were not talking about Ron Jeremys stellar performance in Terror Firmer
were talking about Sonic. The Dreamcast gained a lot of thunder with the premier of
Sonic Adventure. That killer whale scene at the beginning of the game was just, well,
killer. The whole thing brought Sonic alive in three dimensions at dizzying speeds, and
showed off just how pretty the Dreamcast could be. So what can we expect for the next
lots more speed and prettiness. The playable demo of Sonic Adventure 2 that comes with
Phantasy Star Online allows us a go at the first level, a hyped up San Francisco-esque
city level. Being like the city by the bay, this town has some serious slope-and-curve
action. The level begins with Sonic parachuting from a helicopter with a
snowboard/skyboard attached to his feet. As he hits the pavement, he
"snowboards" down the streets at breakneck pace, avoiding traffic, making
hairpin turns, and generally hauling ass. Eventually youll do some running, a little
box-breaking and some evil robot smashing, and even some rollerblade-style grinds and
skate-style ramp tricks.
Sonic Adventure 2 has it all. While there doesnt seem to be any focus on performing
tricks, the grinding offers a whole other way to get from point A to B a little faster. In
addition, Sonic can now hang off rails, which adds a certain monkeybar je ne sais quoi.
Although the sampling we have available is brief, its obvious that these new
elements increase the variety and replay value of the level. The new forms of movement and
the innovative level design also serve to keep you actually controlling Sonic more often,
rather than just pushing forward on the joystick. We can only hope that similar
enhancements have been made throughout the game.
visuals of Sonic are phenomenal. Billed as the fastest game ever, it certainly looks like
it. At no time, not through all the traffic, grinding rails at breakneck speeds, or being
chased by a huge, out of control, MACK truck (very reminiscent of the killer whale scene
in its predecessor), do the visuals ever lag. The textures are amazing some are
incredibly realistic. As always, the lighting quality is incredibly well-done, and the
camera takes full advantage of these high end graphics. The cinematic quality introduced
in Sonic Adventure is only heightened. And the frame rates are insane.
the playable portion of Sonic Adventure 2 is really impressive, the truly exciting
business starts with what we havent seen before. Expect more minigames and a
thoroughly enhanced Chao system. The Chao raising elements of Sonic Adventure were great,
spawning a whole subculture of enthusiasts, but eventually becoming a bore for most
gamers. A little effort toward increasing the longevity of the Chao aspects of the game
could go a long way in getting our VMUs back into our pockets and getting us to shell out
for new batteries.
Overall, Sonic Adventure 2 looks to be another incredible title. Fans of the previous
installment will not be disappointed as the basic feel of the game remains the same. And
those stalwart fogies of gaming who neighsayed the impressiveness of Sonic Adventure will
be thoroughly reprimanded. In a tumultuous time of uncertainty Sonic will rise again to
remind the mainstream audience just how fun the Dreamcast is. With flashy graphics,
cinematic presentation, catchy gameplay, and lots of bright colors and shiny effects,
Sonic Adventure 2 is speaking the publics language.