I should state now that if you are of the belief that Sonic Adventure 2 is a perfect game, either stop reading now or grow a sense of humor because I am of the belief that nothing is perfect no matter how much you may like it. I should give you newbie's a bit of back story; I've already done this review, but I wasn't exactly happy with the first version. I feel I missed explaining my points clearly enough the first time but I'd like to take another crack at it if you don't mind
Sonic Adventure 2 is Sonic's second full fledged step into the 3rd dimension. (No, I'm not counting "R", "3D blast" or any other spin offs you can think of) Well, Sonic Adventure 1 was a good game, a bit glitchy, but a good first try, so this has to be better right? SA1 sported six playable characters each with their own abilities and play styles, some good, others not so much
and fishing. Well this game sports six playable characters; three with their respective speed, mech and treasure hunting play styles
and three different characters with the exact same three play styles
oh dears. Well I guess I should start off with the speed sections now sporting rail grinding something that would be horribly butchered in later games, and then perfected in more recent games. The light speed dash doesn't need to be charged like the last game and is now there for quick and easy access to straighten yourself out on narrow pathways with a trail of rings, or get yourself up to higher paths. And alas, this is the last game where the spin dash is any sort of good.
Now time for the fun bits, or rather, the negatives which are more fun to write about honestly. I'm going to start off with the personally more offensive of the remaining two play styles and talk about the treasure hunting first. I said this in the original version of this review and I'll say it again; I seriously want to know who said: "the treasure hunting was good in the first adventure game, so let's do the same thing
but worse". The radar in SA1 worked in a way that if you were close to any of the emerald shards, the radar triggered which made finding the emerald shards easier because you might stumble across one of them by accident while gliding around the stage. The one in this game works so that there's a specific one that comes "first" and the radar won't trigger until you happen to be near that specific shard. So as a result, you can run across and even pick up one of the emerald pieces and the radar won't even flicker unless if it's the "first", or "next" one. And even without that bass-aakward system, a lot of the time you have to be sooooo close to the emerald shard in order for the radar to blip. "But there are hint monitors to help you" you might reply, and to that I say; yeah, that would be great if
well, remember that scene from 'Dude, where's my car' where Ashton Kutcher is ordering Chinese food at the drive-through? "an dennn???"
I would kill for that much helpfulness from these monitors.
Later in the game the monitors start giving you hints written backwards, which would be fine if there was some warning that it was going to start doing that. The first time you play you're going to be lost and check the monitors and unless you saw a play through or something beforehand, you're not going to be able to decipher "norom, ereht revo" in the two seconds that it wants to flash the hint message.
Though the reason why this bugs me so much is these are the types of problems you have on your first attempt at making a new play style, but they got it right the first time
Now that, that rant is out of the way we have the mech sections. And my only major problem with them is that I've seen lines on the freeway less repetitive than this. Now, don't think I'm letting SA1 off the hook in this regard either, Gamma's sections while fun to play where just a button mash in the long run. March forward, mash shoot. Plus at times the jumping can be a bit finicky, which is made very apparent in Sand Ocean which involves a lot of jumping.
Though yes, credit where it is due, Treasure hunting aside the levels are quite fun to play for me. Though I think the treasure hunting is just a matter of knowing the layout, once you have a bit more of a sense of where certain landmarks are the levels do get a bit easier. The story is good, but as you may already know I don't play Sonic games for story. The soundtrack is great but c'mon a lot of its Crush 40, so what else would you expect? The biggest gripe I have with this game is the same one I have with Riders and Heroes, it's that I'm basically playing the same game twice. I go from one story with speed, mech and treasure hunting, to another story with more of the same with very few differences game play wise, I just wish the game play varied a bit more between stories.
I think the first time around people got the wrong idea from my review. I thought, and still think the game is good to an extent, but I just cannot bring myself to say it is anywhere near the best Sonic game of all time, I still enjoy SA1 a lot more. I find it somewhere in the middle; not bad, but not perfect either. The game is enjoyable in many parts and if you somehow haven't played the game yet and are thinking about giving it a try now with the Steam release that (at time of writing) they're working on, I cannot stress enough to try it out, but don't buy into the hype and the "BEST GAME EVAR!" talk behind this game and just enjoy the game for what it is, and not what it's built up to be. There's plenty in the game to enjoy but this in my books falls into the "overrated" category. Overrated? Yes. Terrible? Absolutely not
Signed: The Barrel