As a child, there were a few games I held very dear to myself and considered the top of the top in terms of quality; Banjo-Tooie, Paper Mario, and of course: Sonic Adventure 2 – and now it’s back. Needless to say, the nostalgia is strong with this one.
Sonic Adventure 2 pits Sonic and co. in a cliché plot to save the world when the evil Dr. Eggman gets his hands on the Chaos Emerald. He uses the power of the emerald as well as the death-star-esque machine known as the ARK. As clichéd as it is, the story isn’t all that terrible. While a bit predictable at times, it’s entertaining enough to keep you invested and interested throughout.
The story has two branches, a dark and a hero side, each following the same path just from the other perspective. This definitely adds a second layer of enjoyment to the story as well as allowing for double the enjoyment from the game with each character type – more on that later.
While story is important, gameplay is what truly makes or breaks any game, and thankfully, Sonic doesn’t disappoint. All the standard controls are simple and easy to use, with the only exception being the camera controls. The camera is controlled by the right stick as well as the triggers, which causes some wonky feeling clumsiness and a few instances of not being able to see your character – mainly during Sonic or Knuckles missions – but nothing overall gamebreaking or terribly infuriating.
Each campaign has three types of missions: Your typical running level as Sonic or Shadow, A “Mech” mission where you’ll walk and shoot as Tails or Dr. Eggman, or a crystal hunting mission where you search for three items as Knuckles or Rouge. These missions normally rotate in order, which provides a great variation of gameplay as you play. Each type of mission has one boss battle that normally isn’t very challenging as long as you figure out what to do.
My biggest gripe with the gameplay was what occurred with later on in the game when you begin to change the gravity and you go upside down. At this point, the clunky camera controls make the game somewhat broke to the point of not being able to properly home-in on enemies and basically leads to the most difficult and infuriating section of the game.
Graphically Sonic Adventure 2 falls embarrassingly short.The characters and game locations themselves look fine, but the backdrops and sky boxes are all low quality pixelated real life pictures of actual cities that look like nothing that should ever be in a Sonic game.
It’s also worth noting that, while very minor, Sonic Adventure 2 has a kickass soundtrack performed by the band Crush 40, which definitely brings some of the blander cutscenes together.
After completing the story and spending a good amount of time with the game, I can honestly say that Sonic Adventure 2 has truly stood the test of time. While those going into it looking for a fully reskinned HD remake of the original may be disappointed it’s certainly a great game worthy of a purchase and those looking for a solid game that shows off the great roots of Sonic at it’s best certainly won’t be dismayed – and those looking to taste the sweet, sweet nostalgia will certainly have their hungers fulfilled.