|Posted: January 10th, 2004
|Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is more than just an update of Sonic Adventure 2. It's like Sonic Adventure 2 Deluxe. But for
today's standards, does Sonic Adventure 2 for Nintendo Gamecube battle its way to the top of its genre?
The techno/rock music is original and can be catchy, but not everyone will go for that type of music. There's even some
songs with lyrics, and although they aren't top-notch, they do fit the mood. We don't even know any of the bands the play;
it's almost as if Sega pulled some of these guys off of the street. Otherwise, levels will have appropriate songs that are, for
the most part, hum-worthy. The good thing is that there is a lot of variety. For such a big game, there's also a lot of music
to go around. Almost every level has its own tune different from others. Old Sonic jingles are accurate, but not exactly the
way we want to hear them.
The voice samples would seem better...if you could hear them more. During cutscenes, the music always seems to drown
out the speech (The same problem with F-Zero GX) and there's no way to adjust individual sound levels. Make sure that
the subtitles are on. Since the voices were basically dubbed from the Japanese version, sometimes their mouths don't
move correctly to the sounds we hear. Sometimes I wish (like Mario games) that there mouths just didn't move at all. At
least you can switch to hear the original Japanese voice cast and put English subtitles on. Dolby Surround sound would
have improved the game, but overall, the sound level is average, which isn't necessarily all that bad. For this game,
though, we expected a little more from the sound side.
The controls for each character vary. Controlling Sonic and Shadow is very smooth, although some people will have to get
used to tapping A to dart into enemies in midair. B is punch and roll, which makes sense, because it feels like the old
games. B also performs actions in the action window, like Mystic Melody or Light Dash. Y switches to other actions, if
available (usually only in the Chao Garden).
Tails and Dr. Eggman have it a little worse. A is jump, and then A again to hover. I think it should just be holding A to
hover, instead of pressing it twice. Judging the distance can be frustrating if you don't know the level, and you'll lose most
of your lives in their levels just from falling. It's also kind of hard to shoot while in the air, because while you have to
control hovering, you have to hold B and then let go of B without letting go of A. That can get very frustrating in later
levels, which have more enemies floating around.
Knuckles and Rouge levels involve digging. The sensors on the bottom alert you from even a far distance of an emerald,
which is good and accurate. The controls are easy, but like before tedious. You have to press A twice to glide. B is punch,
but you can't really punch in the air without falling, which is ridiculous. B also allows you to dig for more emeralds. B is
also for swimming, which seems slow in most levels. The swimming style, also used in Super Mario Sunshine, gets
annoying underwater, but fortunately, you won't be swimming too much.
The real problem for everyone is the camera. L and R rotates it, when the C Stick should really be the one to get that job
done. There are even sometimes when the camera goes to a bad angle, and the game won't let you control it! I ridicule a
lot in control. It's not as bad as you may think, but there still could have been lots of improvements.
The graphics are actually quite impressive. Although there's few special effects; what
really got me were the special cutscenes that looked as if pulled from a 3D movie.
There are a couple Eggman threats and attacks where they use these awesome looking
CG animation, and it really makes Sonic Adventure 2: Battle look awesome.
The rest of the game is definitely above average. The framerate is very fast, unlike the
sluggish speed of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut. Even multiplayer modes look
great. Although there are many positive things about the graphics, there's not enough
to bring the score up to a 9.0. There could have been so much more areas with better
lighting or more background. The graphics however don't get in the way of gameplay
and are hardly ever fooling. I wouldn't give this a recommendation for best graphics of
the year, but certainly looks better than other games on the market, and even looks
better than the old Dreamcast version!
There are loads of things to do in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, which is the real highlight of the game. There are 6
characters to play as; one for each level. There are 16 Hero levels, which can be played with Sonic, Tails or Knuckles.
There are 14 Dark levels, controlled by Shadow, Dr. Eggman or Rouge. The story mode is how you unlock new levels. You
can choose to try the Hero or Dark, or you can even play both. I preferred to do one at a time. Although there are less
Dark story levels, it covers more before the Hero story begins, so I would recommend starting with that.
Both stories contain levels that are similar, like Green Forest and White Jungle. Most of the levels are challenging and
contain hidden secrets and upgrade items. Throughout the story are lots of cutscenes and between some levels are bosses,
which also add to the replay. Each level you unlock goes to the stage select screen, which you'll want to fill up. It's also
good to play all the levels so that you'll be familiar with them in multiplayer mode.
Multiplayer mode is fun and definitely addicting you can fight in areas that suit the battle mode you chose. There are two
additional characters for each battle mode in addition to one corresponding Hero and Dark character. A neat feature of
this game is the Chao Garden. You can raise lovable Chao creatures to be in fights and races. The karate fights are new to
the GCN version and are slow, but can be fun to see the outcome. The races are really fun, and as you discover more of
Chao World's secrets, you'll be able to unlock bigger and better ones. You can race with up to four players. The Chao
Garden also unlocks GBA connectivity, which allows you to transfer your Chao to any Sonic Advance game. The Tiny Chao
Garden unlocks even more secrets, so be sure to check it out.
You receive emblems for just about anything you complete. There are 5 missions for each levels, making a total of 150
missions! There are also 30 other emblems making a total of 180 possible emblems to collect! I've already spent 50+ hours
and still haven't found everything! If you want game that will last for years, get this!
The basic design formula for Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is broken into three parts. For fans of Sonic Adventure for
Dreamcast, not much is new, but since on GCN this was re-released (for whatever reason) before Sonic Adventure DX, it
seemed all new to us when Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was released. The three parts are fast stages with Sonic and Shadow,
treasure hunts with Knuckles and Rouge and shooting stages with Dr. Eggman and Tails. Now, the fast stages should seem
familiar because that was basically the entire game on Sonic Adventure DX. What is new are the other types of stages.
Treasure hunts are only fun with another player because it's interesting to see who finds two first. But for one player, it's
not as much fun because you're really competing against yourself. Shooting stages have the same flaw, unless you like
blowing up everything. The multiplayer levels are considerably smaller than the one-player levels, but it just depends if
you can have fun without another player.
Although not too much of the game is multiplayer, it really feels like it should be more multiplayer friendly. I mean a
two-player game is still pretty fast and intense, but it would have been nice to see four players at once-now that would be
frantic. Still, you can't argue that there's a lot to do in this game, and despite only two players, you can still enjoy both the
multiplayer action and one player adventure alike. This game is definitely worth buying. You may forget that Sonic was
great on the platform genre, but this is still a solid adventure game!
Although Sonic Adventure 2: Battle isn't the most enjoyable adventure game out, but it definitely matches any game for
replay. Now that it carries a special price tag for being a Player's Choice title, it's definitely worth buying. It is certainly
the way Sonic was meant to be on next generation consoles and much better than Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.
|Nintendo Reviews Rating: