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by Sega

ss_sa2battle_gcn_01-01.jpg (6877 bytes)When I played Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast , it was over a system generation ago, and I was hooked. The game was fast, exciting and incredibly detrimental to my relationship with my wife and children. It was very difficult for me to walk away from that game. It was with a little trepidation that I placed Sonic Adventure 2: Battle into my Gamecube. I worried that a second helping of Sonic might have more lasting repercussions on my marriage. I’m happy to say it didn’t. It’s not that Sonic Adventure 2 isn’t an entertaining game, it’s just that it’s so much like its predecessor that there doesn’t seem to be any real reason to play it.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_04-01.jpg (7125 bytes)The plot of the game is as incoherent as the original although not nearly as fragmented. In the original Sonic Adventure, you had to complete all of the individual characters’ levels before the story even began to make sense. Sonic 2 follows a more linear approach to storytelling. Gone are the character select screens and the player is forced to play as one of the provided characters. The new "spin" that Sonic 2 offers is the ability to play through the game as the bad guys. This choice has no real effect on the gameplay. It’s just more of the same.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_03-01.jpg (8196 bytes)There is a lot of variety to this game. There are your traditional platform elements, some shooter levels, and even a little kart racing thrown in for good measure. Although the game excels at giving the player lots to do, it doesn’t strive to make those levels all that challenging or interesting. The levels featuring Sonic are the most entertaining, but they feel too few and far between. The shooter levels featuring Tails lacked any real depth, and the treasure hunting levels with Knuckles were simply tedious.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_08-01.jpg (8364 bytes)As I played, I kept telling myself, "I should really be enjoying this." But I wasn’t. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the game more if I hadn’t played the original Sonic. The nice thing about this being on the Gamecube platform is that there are a lot of Nintendo devotees who haven’t had the opportunity to spend some time with the little hedgehog and his friends. I can recommend the game without reservation to people who haven’t played the original. But for myself, Sonic Adventure 2 just felt too much like its predecessor.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_07-01.jpg (8757 bytes)Sonic lends itself well to the Gamecube controller configuration. For as comfortable as the controller is, I’ve found that the X and Y buttons have never been that conducive to intuitive game lay. In playing some games, I’ve even forgot they were there. Sonic primarily uses a two button configuration to move the action along, and that works just fine.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_09-01.jpg (9200 bytes)Sonic Adventure 2 packs a lot of modes to play. There is a bevy of multi-player games that add to the replay value of the title. Some folks may enjoy the game as a multi-player title more than single player adventures, but it’s doubtful. The game also incorporates a mini game involving raising little chaos and then having them fight. Sonic is the first game to take advantage of the Gamecube’s ability to interface with the Game Boy Advance. You can download your chaos into your Game Boy, train and raise them on the move, and then upload them into the Gamecube for battle. I found that I spent almost as much time with my chaos as I did playing through the game. I really enjoy raising and training the little guys, but I found myself a little uncomfortable when pitting my little guys against other chaos.

ss_sa2battle_gcn_10-01.jpg (9995 bytes)All in all I’m left feeling a little ambivalent about this game. It looks great, the music is only mildly annoying, and the controls are extremely tight. There’s just little incentive for former Dreamcast owners to play the game. As a reviewer I should be more objective and not let my past gaming experiences color what games I review now, but I just can’t. However, I can say that Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is probably the best platformer available for the Gamecube, a distinction I’m confident won’t last very long.

Jason Frank   (04/18/2002)


Ups: Pretty visuals; multiplayer modes; chao raising; GBA interface.

Downs: Multiplayer modes; just overall lackluster.

Platform: GameCube