I recieved SA 2
for my tenth birthday, and believe it or not, my opinion of it has actually been lowering
over the years. I do enjoy the game still, but I find it disappointing compared with almost every other 3D Sonic title I've played. Bear in mind, however, that I have not played 06, Secret Rings, Black Knight, or any of the Riders Games.
The story begins chronologically after an intro level featuring a fully playable (!) Eggman. He unleashes series newcomer and fan favorite, Shadow the Hedgehog, and together, the two plan to conquer the world. Shadow goes to steak a Chaos Emerald to facilitate this, and the military mistakes him for Sonic, leading to his arrest and the dragging of the heroes into the mix.
By and large, the plot is rather bad, which is a shame, since it takes itself more seriously than any other game in the series (save for 06 and Shadow). For instance, the final boss is a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere
, the heroes pilot a conveniently placed space shuttle in a base that has a teleporter anyway, and a few of the Dark side missions are conspicuous padding, whereas you recieve three Emeralds fairly quickly, making the entire thing lack any sort of pace.
The gameplay is subdivided into 3 parts: Speed (run to the goal), Mech (shoot stuff until the goal), and Hunting (find stuff) Missions. My opinion follows the majority: Speed and Mech are generally good, Hunting is generally bad. Level design is very competent, save for a few mostly harmless bugs and glitches, along with some tediously large hunting missions in the end. Control is mostly fine as well, though I would have preferred Sonic Adventure's looser, more breakneck feel in the speed and mech missions.
The soundtrack is consummately fantastic, though again, I prefer SA 1
's. There are even a few remixed Sonic Adventure songs here, and they all sound worse to me. I will praise E.G.G.M.A.N. though; it's an awesome theme. The voice acting is similarly excellent, though the dialogue can sound kind of awkward at times. ("Why so melancholy?"... seriously, who uses the word "melancholy" in casual conversation?)
Overall, there's plenty of fun to be had in SA 2, but there's a lot more fun to be had in some of Sonic's other 3D titles. I'm in the minority here, but pick up SA 1 before you play this. If you like it, you'll like this too, but it's the better game.