Reviewed: August 27, 2002
Reviewed by: Drew Thrasher
The fastest game series ever makes its way to the GameCube with its second installment: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. The new first-person Sonic originally debuted with the now defunct Dreamcast, and this new game makes a smooth transition from the Sega console over to the Cube. The only major difference is that the Nintendo version looks like a Nintendo game.
This newest adventure is a battle between Sonic and his evil counterpart Shadow to gain control over all the universe using the Chaos Emeralds. You could be off saving or destroying the world, depending on which side you chose.
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The one thing I will have to complain about with the gameplay is the camera angle, which doesn't always focus right. Sometimes you wont be able to see your character at all. I was looking for pieces of the gems on Pumpkin Mountain with Knuckles, and while trying to rotate the camera around to see if I could find part of it there was another pillar in the way so I couldn’t even see myself at all. Also, you cannot go backwards with a front view. I found trying to retrace your steps, you have to swing the camera around, take a few steps and check again so you won’t fall off any ledges. It got very frustrating sometimes when you could not focus the angle of the camera to where you wanted to go. This was the only major problem I had with the game.
The gameplay ranges from very easy to incredibly hard. Some levels I found myself running through the maps with no problem; other parts I could be stuck on for weeks - Mission Street comes to mind. If you could pass that one on the first try, you are God. You had to run that level perfect or else you would not make it through.
You will also have to learn from your mistakes. For example, you may find yourself running at the speed of light down a narrow road and a jet will fly in and launch a bomb in the middle. Eventually you will have to go back to your last checkpoint and remember to stay off on one of the sides. It’s a waste of a life, but you’ll learn one way or another.
The graphics are solid. It is kind of hard to complain when the Cube is being powered with an ATI card. Sometimes the graphics can look totally awesome, but the game moves so fast that you won’t really have time to enjoy them. The cutscene movies are stunning and they bring out the best in the game. The only bad comment I would have to say about the graphics is that they look very “Nintendo” and not like the original Dreamcast Sonic.
Voice acting is pretty much the same as it has been since the Dreamcast version was released. I have always been a fan of the Sonic soundtracks. In my opinion they have always had the best music, and Battle has the best soundtrack I have ever heard. On top of that, the songs are arranged around the levels you are on.
For instance on the level featureing Knuckles looking around a graveyard for broken gem pieces the lyrics hip/hop rap style music of that stage goes something like “I know its here, I can sense it in my feet, the great emeralds power…” The rest of the sound effects are typical for the Sonic series, nothing really outstanding. I did like the noise the robot that Tails flies makes when it focuses its laser site. It added to the chaos of the game.
The music also plays well into the development of the character. Sonic has the punk/rock music, really helps to bring out his speed and Super Hero characteristics. On the other hand, Shadow, the coolest villain I’ve seen in a while, has this Prodigy-like techno music, which really brings out his evilness. The bottom line - the soundtrack flat out rocks.
Sega does a lot to keep you playing the game for 30-40 hours easily. On top of the two story modes that include around 30 missions, there are a couple of games in those you can play in the Chao World. During the course of the game, you collect these eggs, which you can take to the Chao world. They hatch into these little infants, which you can raise them and have them compete in the Chao world in various races and karate tournaments. You also save your games here, just like in the previous Sonic titles.
It is always very cool to see both sides of the story. I found myself enjoying the dark side of the story this time (most of the time I am the good guy). This is definitely a MUST for Sonic fans. You action/adventure guys won’t be disappointed either. This is the fastest game out for the GameCube and I highly recommend it.