The original Sonic Adventure took the blue hedgehog into proper 3D for the first time and it was well received by fans, but got mixed reactions from critics. Sonic Adventure 2 accomplished the same feat, by having an awkward camera system, cheap deaths and horrible treasure-hunting levels with Knuckles and Rouge, but it still had some classic moments that only Sonic could provide, plus it introduced the Emo-Sonic known as Shadow, 11 years on…how does it hold up?
Sonic Adventure 2 actually hasn’t aged too badly, sure it still has the many faults it had all those years ago…but it also retains the charm and fun of the original. The Sonic/Shadow levels are without a doubt the best, while the Tails/Eggman levels are mixed and annoying with the constant high-pitch beeping of the lock-on laser you use, while the Knuckles/Rouge levels are still incredibly frustrating to play as you hunt down pieces of the Master Emerald or keys to unlock a door.
The Sonic/Shadow levels are the best because they are fast, well-designed (for the most part) and memorable in every way, sure you’ll suffer a few cheap deaths at the hands of the camera or through a badly placed enemy that knocks you into a sandpit/lava pit, but you’ll overcome it eventually. Besides the 2 campaigns, you can still raise Chao’s to take part in races and karate fights, it’s quite a deep element and one that I miss from modern Sonic titles.
Each level also has 5 missions to do, plus there are 180 emblems to collect by completing levels, gaining A ranks and beating the Chao stages, which is no small feat…simply getting an A rank in itself is a tall order, one that few will be able to accomplish. In terms of visuals, Sonic Adventure 2 looks pretty good…but at times it does look hilarious, especially the cutscenes. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but there are some truly cheesy/cringeworthy moments here…but on the plus side, this Sonic Adventure has had the full HD treatment, unlike the first game which still works in 4:3…sigh…
Sonic Adventure 2 may have its issues like an awkward camera, annoying missions and cheap deaths, but there’s something special about it that makes it impossible not to enjoy…as long as you are playing the Sonic/Shadow levels or raising Chao’s. Here’s hoping Sonic Adventure 3 becomes a reality…