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North America Details

Publisher: Sega
Release Date: February 12, 2002
Genre: Platform
Players: Single Player, 2 Player Simultaneous
ESRB: Everyone

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Game Review

Sep 02 2008 12:17 AM
SA2:B is a port of the Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2 on the GameCube. It’s easily one of the best 3-D Sonic games released, packed with a variety of missions and the extremely popular Chao Garden.

The story (in chronological order) is this. Basically, Eggman has discovered the “Ultimate Weapon” held by G.U.N. (military service). He plans to uncover this “weapon” and use it to bring the world to his knees. What he discovers is a black hedgehog, Shadow, who has the power of the Chaos Emeralds at his fingertips. Shadow grants Eggman one wish, but the Doctor is cut off as a Military Mech attacks them. This is where Shadow displays his true power. At this point, Eggman commands the new hedgehog to get him the Chaos Emeralds, as he plans to use them for destruction of Planet Earth. However, Sonic enters the mix when he is accused for robbing a bank. Confused, the hedgehog is forced to fight a similar Mech, and meets the mysterious Shadow who framed him. It is also where he sees what the new hedgehog can do. The black hedgehog disappears, however, as soon as the military arrives to take Sonic away, not aware that they have the wrong hedgehog. From there, the story unravels as you race through Story Mode. Let’s talk about gameplay. There’s a lot to cover. From the beginning you have 2 choices. You can either choose to follow the villainous Dark side, where you’ll follow the gameplay of Shadow, Eggman, and Rouge, or the rescuing Hero side, where you’ll utilize Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. There’s three basic gameplay styles. First we’ll talk about the Platform style. Sonic and Shadow are responsible here. This style is all about speed, and getting to the end of a level, kind of like Sonic’s stages in SADX. Collect a few rings here and there, do some grinding, and use the Homing Attack to combo up some points. There’s also a shooter style, which is played by Tails and Eggman. This style is a little different. Here, both characters are in Mechs of their own, equipped with guns and boosters on their feet to help you hover across pits of death. Your setup is like this: Use your laser to lock onto the enemies you need to, note that the more you do lock onto, the more points you receive. Let go of the laser and your cannons deal the destruction.

Last is the treasure hunting mode which follows Knuckles and Rouge. Here, you’ll scavenge vast areas for shards of the Master Emerald, and a few other items that will get you to the next areas. There’s also a “Last” story mode, which is unlocked after you beat both the Hero and Dark stories. This mode finishes the story off. Eggman’s ancestor, Gerald Robotnik, has planned to punish the world for killing his daughter and terminating a project on the Space Colony ARK that he had been working on. So, by blowing off half of the Colony, he reveals the Eclipse Cannon, a weapon capable of blowing planets into bits. It is currently at full power, and will be fired just before his execution. The entire team goes up there to fix things, while you control Sonic through the last chamber to cut off the power, and maneuver Shadow to fight off the “Ultimate Life Form,” the Biohazard. Then deliver the finishing blow as Super Sonic and Super Shadow. In the end, Shadow is seemingly lost… Let’s continue. If you’re in a level, and you collect a Chao Key, you’ll be immediately transported to the Chao Garden. The Chao Garden is a place where you can raise small child-like creatures called Chao. In the level, you can also collect crystals and animals to raise your Chao’s stats. The Chao World is really vast. You can compete in races, have your Chao beat up others in a kung-fu style match, take it to the doctor, take it to school, and buy it items such as toys, hats, and TVs with rings that you collect within a level. 2-Player is also pretty fun here. You can choose your game style, choose characters, choose the stage, and battle it out with friends. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle delivers lots of content.

Unfortunately, SA2: B does not sport the best graphics out there for the GameCube. The cut scenes are very rough, and level building and textures don’t look like they’ve been worked on very much. Character models are alright, and the Chao Garden does look a little cleaner, but I believe this section could have been worked on a little more.

SA2:B has a bit of a rock music type feel to it. With tracks from Crush 40, and guitar work from Jun Senoue, the message is delivered clearly. The music seems to match perfectly with the level style and each character’s gameplay has a distinct sound to it. For example, Knuckles’ levels feature some nice rap tracks, while Sonic’s levels deliver really upbeat rock, while Rouge’s levels sport smooth jazz music. It creates a nice atmosphere while you play through this game. Lip-syncing, however, did not make my day. There’s a scene where Tails’ lips start moving one entire second before the voice actually kicks in. This happens often, it’s ridiculous.

Each gameplay style has unique controls, but they’ll be easy to learn. Especially with a small bar at the top showing you the action that corresponds with a button.

The challenge factor in SA2:B is definitely a plus in this game. After story mode, you are able to play the levels you have played in adventure mode, which allows you to choose any level and play it. In addition to this, each level has five goals that you have to achieve, such as a finding a hidden Chao in the level, beating the level in a harder setting, all while getting a ranking based on your performance, “A” being best, “E” the worst. Mind you, there are rewards to this system. For example, if you manage to get all “A” ranks on all missions on all of Sonic’s levels, you unlock a spiffy costume for him that you can use when you play in two-player action. This reward applies to all characters. Also, as you achieve high rankings, you can unlock items that you can purchase for your Chao.

This is probably one of the only Sonic games that were executed really well in 3-D. It’s a fast paced adventure with a good storyline, an interactive Chao Garden, and many unlockables that will have you playing for quite a while.

Final Comments:
This is probably one of my favorite games of all time, simply because it really focuses on the speed a 3-D Sonic game should have. There’s level variety all over the place, and extra missions to complete will keep you busy. The Chao Garden by itself is a pretty cool feature that really depends on your actions. I would recommend this game to anyone, Sonic fan or not.

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