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Sonic Adventure 2: Battle – Nintendo GameCube

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle – Nintendo GameCube

Platform: Nintendo GameCube

Developer: Sonic Team USA

Publisher: Sega

Release Date: June 19, 2001

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Flagostomos

Sonic_adv_2_battle_box

I didn’t grow up with a Genesis. I thought Mario was the best because I wasn’t even aware that Sonic existed. It wasn’t until I was older and the Internet had become a part of my life that I learned about the great 16 bit wars. But at that point I had already fallen in love with a Sonic game: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

Gameplay:
In the main game, there are three different styles of play. There is the fast action platforming that Sonic games are known for, there are weird treasure hunting stages, and there are sets of levels that have you running in a mini tank blowing the crap out of everything. The game is built around this “Good guys versus Bad guys” theme and has a light and dark side story to boot. The levels vary a little but basically has you running through the same game just with the good and bad version of the character.

You can tell that the most effort was put into the Sonic/Shadow levels. They are fast paced and the environments are beautiful. The music also goes really well to set the pace of the upbeat action. Jumping controls are spot on, save for the levels with the weird bouncy helicopter things. Sonic and Shadow transition flawlessly from running to grinding to spin dashing. This is where you will probably want to spend most of your time.

The other two gameplays don’t fare as well though I’m afraid. The treasure hunting stages with Rouge and Knuckles feel like they were thrown in for story sake, and none of the courses are at all memorable. Knuckles and Rouge handle quite well, but this doesn’t mean that their missions feel any more fun to play. The Dr. Eggman and Tails stages are really as simple as pumping the “B” button and moving forward. There is little to no skill involved in playing their courses, which is sad because the tanks themselves are fun to control.

The other element in this game is my personal favorite: the Chao world. It’s kind of a mix between Tamogotchis and RPGs. You can raise little creatures, called Chao, to become world class racers and karate masters. They can go to school to gain different skills, grow up and evolve and take on the forms of other creatures. It sounds simple but it’s actually very in depth, and if you’re the type of person that likes that kinda thing, it’s a lot of fun.

Story:
The story in this game is pretty clicheic, as well as being lackluster. Sonic is mistaken as being Shadow, “The Ultimate Weapon”, who had recently escaped from a military complex. Shadow was actually programmed by Dr. Eggman’s Grandfather to be the harbinger of death, and Shadow uses everyone around him to his own means to accomplish this. In the end, they realize Shadow’s true intentions, and even he decides that the death of everyone isn’t worth it. There’s other stuff in there, but I’d rather not spoil it for you.

Controls:
The controls actually feel pretty solid, save for one thing: The kart racing. It’s almost like they purposely made it to be a cross between Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. You are trying to steer your car in one direction and end up flying off the edge because you have no real control.

Other than that, each character and their stage types handle really well. You have great control over Sonic and Shadow and how they jump and do their platforming. Rouge and Knuckles feel solid as well, which makes up for their otherwise forgettable playing experience. Tails and Dr. Eggman also feel solid. Their gamestyles feel very fun if they had just spent more time focusing on course design.

Graphics/Audio:
The graphics are as good as you’d expect from a 3D Sonic game. The courses that Sonic and Shadow run through are beautiful, and really set the ambiance for the fast paced action. The cut scenes are animated flawlessly, except for the horrible dialogue. Once you get to the space courses and the ARK then it really becomes quite the spectacle.

The audio is where this game is most divided. As soon as you turn the game on you are hit in the face with an awesome rock beat, the opening selection screen has great music that is played later at the final boss, Sonic’s courses have music you’d hear on the radio, and most of the characters music fits their game style well. All except for Knuckles.

For some reason the developers thought that Knuckles needed rap music for his stages. Rap music. In a Sonic game. And we’re not talking Tupac or um, some other good rapper. We’re talking C-grade rap music that was put together for a Sonic game. I literally shut the music off every time a Knuckles course comes up.

Replayability:
This game has good replay value. Each stage is completed an initial time for the main story, but you can go back to each stage for five different objectives. And then to get 100%, each stage has to be beaten with the best rank. It’s a LOT harder than it sounds, but also a lot more fun than it sounds. It really gives you the feeling of having played the game through to 100% completion.

The Chao World also offers hours and hours of playing, raising your Chao exactly the way you want and making him the best fighter and racer possible. I will admit that the Chao World isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is mine and remains a fun part of my gaming curriculum.

Gameplay: 8
Story: 7
Controls: 8
Graphics/Audio: 8
Replayability: 8
Overall: 8

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is a solid expansion to the original Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast. This game is also now available on Steam and is, in my opinion, worth picking up if you want a good Sonic game. Maybe I’m just looking at it through Nostalgia goggles though. Either way, I’ll remember this as being my first entry into the world of Sonic for all time.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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3 Comments

  1. Frag Winterbrew says:

    I used to hate Knuckles themes but honestly after all these years and playthroughs it ended up growing on me. By the way for the Steam version it lacks controller support and using keyboard for sonic levels are uncomfortable to say the least. GameCube just feels proper(ironically more so than a Dreamcast one).

     
  2. That Knuckles rap music goes way back to his first introduction on the Genesis. When he enters the screen a phat percussion-rap beat drops and it’s pretty gnarly. But I remember this rapping from when I played Sonic adventure 2 on the Dreamcast and it’s awful!!

     

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