While most people thought that the day would never come when Sonic would end up on a Nintendo console back in the days of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis, it has happened. Although only a port of the Sega Dreamcast game; Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic has indeed come to the Nintendo GameCube. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is based on the blue hedgehog; Sonic and his many friends and foes. You take the role of good with Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna or the role of the villains known as Shadow the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman and Rouge the Bat. Turn on the GameCube and prepare to follow an interesting story while playing the levels.
Gameplay: Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is a bit different from classic Sonic games in the sense that there are three types of levels you will most likely be playing. First of all you have the choice of playing as Hero or Dark. You can play the one you didn’t play first after. Depending on Hero or Dark mode, the story will be quite different but it will overlap with the other mode’s story. Before most levels, there will be a little clip, which are quite enjoyable to watch. As you progress in the story, I’ll be switching between characters. When playing as Sonic or Shadow you’ll be playing the action stages. When you play as Tails or Dr.Eggman, you’ll be playing the shooting stages and when you play as Knuckles or Rouge, you’ll be playing the treasure hunting stages. Not all gameplay modes were created equal in this case and I’ll explain why right now.
Now, this is classic Sonic gaming. The main object is to blaze to the end of the level as fast as you can while collecting as many rings and destroying as many enemies as you possibly can. You can stop and explore but that isn’t really the point unless you’re looking for the lost Chao. Remember these levels usually require your reflexes to be top notch if you expect to get an A rank. Tough at times but really fun to play, these levels will leave you wanting more.
While it’s an innovative idea for a Sonic game it is quite lame. Tails’ plane turns into a weird shooting machine thing while Dr. Eggman also has one. Seriously I want fast-paced action in a Sonic game not this. You walk around blasting your way to the finish with little problem. This isn’t fun but rather tedious as you wait for a Sonic or Shadow level where you can have some fun. The only real fun part is trying to rush through the level as fast as you can while locking on to many enemies at once to get a higher score but in reality, this shouldn’t be anywhere near a Sonic game.
These stages revolve around you attempting to collect three pieces of the master emerald as either Knuckles or Rouge. Knuckles looking to use it for good or Rouge because of her love for jewels. Unlike the other characters, Knuckles and Rouge can glide to help you out and do many other things after finding the upgrades necessary. You have a radar that helps you find the pieces of the master emerald. No color means you’re very far away, green means you’re closer, yellow means you’re close, red means your really close and when it’s red and you have a “!” symbol above your characters head you’re extremely close. If you want to get a good rank in these stages you have to hurry and find the emeralds fast. The faster you find them the more points you receive. Running around frantically looking for the pieces of the master emerald makes the hunting stages fun. Although some people may not like them because they don’t really belong in a Sonic game.
You can play 2-player multiplayer in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on the Action, Shooting and Hunting stages. You select the character you want to use and the stage and your set. You then either race to the finish, shoot your opponent or search for the pieces of the master emerald. In 2-player mode, you can acquire special powers for collecting certain amounts of rings, which can help you out or damage your opponent. In addition to special powers, you have some other characters to choose from in 2-player mode. For action race battle you can stick with the original Sonic or Shadow, or you can also pick Amy or Metal Sonic. Metal Sonic is faster than the original but can’t collect rings for special powers. He does, however, have a shield, which you can use to protect yourself with from your opponent’s powers. In the shooting stages you can stick to Tails and Dr.Eggman or you can try out Chao Walker or Dark Chao Walker. In the treasure hunting stages, you can use the original Rouge or Knuckles or use Tikal or Chaos Zero. A 2-player battle is quite fun to play and will be enjoyed by many. It may get quite boring eventually but there aren’t any real problems with it.
Graphics: Since it is a Dreamcast port, you shouldn’t expect anything extraordinary from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle but that doesn’t stop it from having some quite decent graphics. The characters are well detailed and look really good for the most part but not as good as they could look obviously. The stages look nice and please the eyes for the most part but some of the things in them such as posters on the walls could be improved quite a bit. The enemies are mostly fine but once again not top notch. Some of the backgrounds look great while others should be significantly improved. One thing that did impress me lots was the look of the Chao’s and the Chao garden. The Chao’s look really good and so does everything in the Chao garden and kindergarten including the animals you find in the action stages and give to your Chaos. The game looks good but it’s not anywhere near where it should be.
Sound: Most of the sounds in this game are excellent and accurate. You won’t hear a sound you don’t expect when something happens. From collecting rings to destroying enemies, everything works well. The background music really differs from level to level, some like the first level in Hero are superb while others are plain annoying and belong somewhere else like the second level in hero. The voice acting can’t be judged to well; it really depends on what you expect the characters to sound like. For example, some people like Sonic to sound like a hedgehog with lots of attitudes while others want him to sound like a small and cute animal. I personally find the voice acting to be excellent. Overall this game’s sounds and music are really good for the most part.
Control: While there are different controls for the different types of game modes, most of them work well and are easy to learn. Sonic has his classic moves while still learning new moves as you progress through the adventure. The other characters are also very good when it comes to controlling them but you may be angry at the amount of weapons available for Tails and Dr.Eggman. Controlling the characters isn’t perfect but it is extremely good. Now here’s the part where this game loses marks, the camera is extremely annoying and hard to control. It can often cause you to go tumbling into a bottomless pit or get struck by an enemy suddenly without being ready for it. Other than the camera, which can sometimes make you feel the need to throw your GameCube across the room, the controls are really good.
Lasting Appeal: In Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, there are five missions in each stage and for every mission, you finish you receive an emblem. You also get emblems from doing some other things. There are a total of 180 emblems so you shouldn’t expect to get all of them fast. Also, lots of them are quite hard to get and some of the levels are just really fun to play causing you to play them over and over again. Then there’s multiplayer for you and your friends (you do have friends, right?). Who could forget Chao? There’s a whole lot to do in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle but you might get bored before you finish it all. Expect a good amount of time playing this game though.
Final Say: A great game for most people if you can stand the mediocre shooting stages and in some people’s case the hunting stages. A good game to play with friends and raising a Chao is loads of fun. This is one title you should consider especially if you’re a Sonic fan.