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The High Point of the Sonic Series
I'm a long time Sonic fan, and I can say without a hint of doubt that this is my favorite Sonic game. Bar none. The game follows the story of Sonic being mistaken for his newly awakened doppelganger Shadow as he tries to prove his innocence. He tries to foil yet another one of Dr. Robotnik's plots and uncovers a shadowy conspiracy over 50 years old.... What can I say about the story? It's excellent. It feels very cinematic and is surprisingly dark and introspective for a Sonic game. While many may criticize the trend of darker, more plot based Sonic games, I found that direction to be the best thing that could happen to the series, and adds a layer of depth. On the technical side, the game had pretty good graphics for its time, but it certainly looks dated now, especially its recent HD re-release. However, the levels still look vibrant and realistic and the mediocrity of the cut-scene graphics is overpowered by the quality of the story. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, easily the best of the series, and a contender for best game soundtrack period. All the songs fit the levels and characters they are associated with and show a broad range without feeling disjointed. Now for the most important aspect: The gameplay. To be honest, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The Speed levels are all amazing- fast paced adventure at it's finest. The only problem there is the atrocious camera. While most people seem to have a great deal of disdain for the Hunting levels, i quite enjoy them. They have vibrant atmosphere and encourage lots of exploring. They may slow the game down a tad, but it doesn't usually hurt the experience.Usually. Except Mad Space. The levels I tend to like the least are the shooting levels, particularly Tails'. Eggman's levels have better design, and Eggman is just a more enjoyable character to play as in general, so he gets a bit of a pass. In general however, I find them slightly tedious. Still, they are enjoyable in their own way and the game would be quite incomplete without them. Overall, this game is just one thrill after another, with a gripping story, excellent music and visuals, and exciting gameplay. Its a must have for any gamer. I give this game 9.5/10 (excellent)
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Good, but overrated
This game was pretty good. The speed stages were fast paced and could provide a good chalenge, and the shooting stages, despite not having the epic feel as the speed stages, were rather smooth, easy to get used to, and pretty unique. The treasure hunting stages aren't that fun in my opinion, but it's two player mode makes up for it since you're trying to find the pieces before your opponent, providing a sense of urgency, and you can have a good time screwing each other over. The story was alright. The eclipse cannon scene was a little bit shocking, but I feel that the Shadow the hedgehog game did it better, since half the moon being destroyed didn't change the plot of the game at all. Plus the whole biolizard thing didn't even feel necessary. It has no motives, no scheme, it was just... there. And also I think the bosses in this game sucked for the most part. I enjoyed the final fight against Shadow/Sonic, Tails/Eggman, and Finalhazard, but besides those all the bosses are either way to easy, repettitive to the point that it gets stale, or just feel gimmicky.

And when you get down to it, it didn't leave much of an impact. In the original Sonic Adventure Super Sonic is fighting a god going berserk. Here they're fighting a failed experiment that doesn't have much of a point besides delaying the protaganists. So Biolizard was a pretty crappy Big Bad. And Shadow's supposed death didn't have any real impact on me since, even though he had a good amount of Character Development, we don't really get to know him long enough to be sad about him dying. I still love this game. Just not as much as Sonic Heroes or Sonic Colors.
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One-third Great
Sonic Adventure 2 provides gleeful, fast-paced, undeniably cool action. Or at least, one third of it does while the rest of the game is almost unplayably dull.

In the first level, Sonic tears off part of an airplane, jumps out, and rides the metal down city streets like a snowboard, doing tricks and knocking cars away. And the level only gets more fun from there, culminating in a Crash Bandicoot-style chase into the screen, running from a massive military truck.

OK, next level. Mechs! Those are awesome, right? In theory. The thing is, they are slow, dull, and feel out of place after Sonic's City Escape. The mech is not at all agile, but at least you're shooting stuff, which is inherently fun. Sorta. But nowhere near as fun as the speed levels, so the mech levels end up dragging the whole package down.

The mech levels are easier to muscle through than the unbearable treasure hunting stages, at least. You have a large area around which to glide, climb, and dig to your heart's content. Your heart's content will be reached in about two minutes, at which point you will have found, if you are lucky, one or two shards. And the radar system has been, erhem, updated, so that the radar only beeps for the shards in order. You could be standing right on top of the third shard and the game would not tell you to dig until you have found the first two. And these levels, particularly later in the game, are massive, and you will be spending a huge chunk of time gliding around the level, searching and searching… hey, remember those speed levels? Those were fun. They're your motivation, in fact, and without them you wouldn't even be playing.

In a nutshell, the speed levels, which take up about ten of the game's thirty or so levels, are the only fun part of the game, and they are the only reason to try trudging through all the others. Thankfully the game has a solid soundtrack, with the last two boss fights having suitably epic songs. But is it all worth it? Maybe once. Just so you can open all the speed levels, get A-ranks in all of Sonic and Shadow's missions, and never touch any of the other levels ever again. If the game were just the speed levels, it would be a spectacular yet short game. But with all the gunk in between them the game is a low point in Sonic's saga.
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Nostalgia doesn't apply here
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.
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3D Sonic that plays closer to the Genesis games, but not quite there yet
I had a love->hate relationship with the original Sonic Adventure. After my initially ecstatic opinion of the game turned sour, I started to desire something that had more of the elements that made the 2D Sonic games fun. An emphasis on straightforward action with levels progressing immediately after another. Multiple routes to take in a level, and hidden areas to look for. A level select to jump to your favorite levels and continue playing from there.

I got all that with this game. I just wish they'd gone further.

The adventure fields were ditched. Instead of roaming around and looking for a level, you go to them directly. Levels are longer, and the level design is a lot more tight. While there aren't really any major alternate routes to take, there's moments where you get to split up and take different paths briefly before they recombine, which addresses the issue but doesn't reach the level of the Genesis games. And the game rewards fancy stunts and skilled movement and platforming, with hidden items, more well-hidden alternate routes that can only be reached by fancy jumping (especially in Final Rush).

But it's not quite there. Remember how you had to play as different characters and gameplay styles in the original Sonic Adventure? While there's nothing quite approaching "going fishing as Big the Cat", the gameplay style changes in each level. Two levels have you driving a car down a very linear road with no alternate routes at all. Many levels have you searching for hidden pieces of an emerald in what later become some rather enormous levels. And there's also levels where you ride a mech and shoot enemies. While these are all action-oriented gameplay styles, I still feel the game would have been a lot better if you only played a Sonic-like style of gameplay all throguhout, with character differences (i.e. Knuckles gliding and climbing walls, Tails flying) accounted for, like on the Genesis.

The original Sonic Adventure was experimental - very flawed, but very creative. This game plays it more safe, but the constant gameplay style switching holds it back a bit from how fun it could have been. Still, not including the fan-made Sonic Robo Blast 2, this is the closest Sonic has gotten to recreating the classic Genesis style of gameplay in 3D.
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