Sonic is arrested after being falsely accused of crimes committed by another hedgehog named Shadow, meanwhile Eggman threatens to destroy the world in 24 hours with a planet destroying weapo... Read allSonic is arrested after being falsely accused of crimes committed by another hedgehog named Shadow, meanwhile Eggman threatens to destroy the world in 24 hours with a planet destroying weapon if the world doesn't surrender to his ruleSonic is arrested after being falsely accused of crimes committed by another hedgehog named Shadow, meanwhile Eggman threatens to destroy the world in 24 hours with a planet destroying weapon if the world doesn't surrender to his rule
- Dr. Ivo 'Eggman' Robotnikas Dr. Ivo 'Eggman' Robotnik
- (English version)
- President of the United Federationas President of the United Federation
- (English version)
Nowadays I am a videogames enthusiast studying a degree in the subject at Teeside, and I only have that blue hedgehog to thank for getting me this far.
As the Sonic Series has easily been my favourite series of games, I was delighted when Sonic adventure was announced, promising a 3-D interpretation of Sonics 16-bit exploits as well as progressing the series gameplay and direction. Also, gaming gen Sonic creator Yuji Naka was to head development. After waiting an eternity for a proper 3-D Sonic game I was not dissapointed but was left thirsty for more.
Not suprisingly, Naka announced a sequal, aptly named 'Sonic Adventure 2'. Since the announcement, I had been counting the days until I got to play it. On June 23rd, I finally got to experience Naka's latest work.
A game to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sonic, produced by the man who created him was going to have high expectations, and I believe this game has more than met up to them.
The first thing that struck me, as I believe would have been the same for anyone else playing the game for the first time was the astounding quality of the graphics. The first level, clearly inspired by San Francisco looks beautiful, running at 60 fps, not a hint of slowdown and speeding along faster than Sonics 2-D games, which I feel is some achievement in 3-D. The inspired design of the first level has been given the trademark sonic flavour with everything synonymous with the character- loops, ramps, speed boosts, vertigo inducing drops etc. Grinding, clearly intended to appeal to the currently developing youth sport movement is another neat touch that echo's throughout the entire game. Graphically the game gets more and more incredible as it progresses. Levels with egyptian influence contain texture mapping quality that I would go as far to say that it beats anything I have seen so far on any console or PC, including the supposedly superior PS2. Without revealing too much, the space themed levels towards the end are perhaps the most impressive graphically. Sonic levels have always been incredibly detailed with something constantly happening. Even in the first game on the Megadrive, Sonic Team (the developers) would strive to create an 'alive' gameworld, with sparkles in the water, moving clouds and tiny multi-coloured flashing lights in the floor. SA2 continues this awesome trend and avoids the dull, static look of many games in the genre. All of the levels in the game are also incredibly imaginative and fresh in gameplay ideas, whilst retaining a strong play structure in the scoring system and player objectives. One minor complaint I would have would be that I would have liked a little more harking back to the originals aesthetic routes, I think this game trys to be a little to gritty and realistic at times, forgetting Sonic is essentially a cartoon character. There are also a few ideas that that I don't believe fit into a Sonic game too well. The whole supernatural sub-theme with the ghosts and the 'king boom boo' boss all seem a bit of a mis-fit and a tad lame to be honest.
The soundtrack of the game is something I have mixed opinions about. As a soundtrack, it is fantastic. Jun Senoue (the composer) has produced an extremely high quality and varied range of music to suit all tastes, ranging from rock, hip-hop (Knuckles tune is particually good)to techno. However the soundtrack is not really Sonic. With a few notable exeptions, I wouldn't really associate this type of music with a Sonic game, it is generally too serious and is some way of the classic cartoony, bouncy tunes that were found in the earlier games. Sonic CD (1993) had the kind of music I would have liked to have heard in this game. However, the fast pace of the music that is here does suit the action on screen well.
Sonic Adventure 2 is a game that will last, not only because of the classic Sonic Team gameplay, in which they never fail, but the sheer size of the game impresses. 33 levels each with 5 separate challenges means that there is a lot of gameplay to be had. SA2 is also extremely difficult, and quite unforgiving at times. With many games today being critisised for having a short life, SA2 comes as a nice addition to anyones games library.
I don't have enough room to fully justify my admiration for this game, I havn't really talked about the gripping narrative or the brilliant gameplay, or the Chao- the incredible artificial life- sort of like tamagotchis only more advanced.
Naka, the man responsible for the entire Sonic series, NiGHTS, Phantasy Star Online among many other classic, and indeed pioneering games, has added another gem to his CV with Sonic Adventure 2. Although granted, there are some ideas that don't work, there is no doubt that Naka has managed to retain the magic and essence of Sonic in a 3-D world. Something that is often lost in the transition from a 2-D world. It is just a shame that the console that this game is representing will cease to exist in a years time. The potential this game shows, shows that the Dreamcast could compete technically with whats next with ease.
- Jul 17, 2001