Written By Shaun McCracken

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is essentially a port of the Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2, but with a couple of new features. One, you can now raise Chao in your GBA instead of the small and monochrome VMU that the DC used. You can aslo save your Chao on the go with any Sonic Advance game for the GBA. Second, you can now play against another person simultaneously, which wasn't offered in the DC build. Hence, that is why it is called "Battle". But is the inclusion of a two-player mode enough to entice those who own the DC version of the game to buy the GC version? Hardly, it's just an exra, much like the online options offered in games today. If you plan on using the feature often, then perhaps it may be good enough reason to get the GC version as well. But really, this is for those who never expreinced SA2 the first time around (like myself). So now I have to evalutae this game against other GCN titles, which as a result makes SA2 fall a little short of the better platform offerings on the system.

SA2B takes place after the first Sonic Adventure, but quite frankly, the plot always remains the same no matter what. Dr. Eggman (or the doctor formally known as Robotnik) is in search of Chaos emeralds once again to use them in some way to destroy the world. Even though we have extra characters thrown at us, the dynamic really doesn't change. It's Sonic vs Eggman (or Shadow), just like it has been for over 10 years. Speaking of extra charcters, I'm not sure why Sega tries to force feed them to us by forcing us to play their stages. In the first SA, they each had their own story, but now they are connected. And if I want to play a Sonic game, why do I have to deal with everyone else to get to the main character? That is one of the problems with SA2, you have to go through stages you don't want to play to get to the ones you do. Not only that, stages that involve Rouge or Knuckles are needlessly tedious. At some point, I spent damn near an hour trying to complete one of their stages.

While the idea forcefully playing as a character you don't want to play as sucks, at least we can choose sides in the story mode. SA2 is broken down to good or evil, and the story as well as the stage design changes. That, was a god idea. But both fall into the trap of forcing you to play as a certain character to proceed.

The level design is kind of strange in this game. You play through the story completing each stage, but then you have to access them again somewhere else and complete certain goals. While this does add some replay value, the way you have to go out of your way to access this, like it was some other game completely is strange. Why not have the world map available in the story mode? It would have been less of a hassle, really. Also, you are ranked for your performance on each stage, which is hard to please on what needs to be done. I can be fast or navigate the stage pretty well, and still end up with a D or E rating. There is just so much done in this game that causes confusion that should be rather simplified seeing it's material.

Another thing to complicate things further is the camera. Why does Sega opt for the worst camera design the could develop? It's like trying to figure out why the designers of Resident Evil feel that control scheme is helpful in making quick escapes. But the camera, the thing that helps show WHERE YOU ARE, should not affect the gameplay. At times, it does in SA2B. You can't get a good view on what is behind you, some platforms are not visible, and at some points the camera will swing around and affect your direction you are moving in. If the camera design was more solid, the game would be a lot more enjoyable. It's still fun most of the time, but when the camera gets in the way, swearing ensues.

The graphics of SA2B are pretty good, even if it is a port of a DC game. I'm not sure why Sonic Team decides to use photo-realistic textures in these worlds (which at some points, would work in an action game), but they do look pretty good. Fairly crisp, and in some cases, better than a handful of Gamecube titles. The framerate is nice and smooth (which is more than I can say for SADX), and flows nicely. The biggest problem again is the camera. I would like to have a more optimal view of the action, or have better control of it. Perhaps take the Jet Grind Radio approach and have a button assigned to have the camera face forward if it drifts off the character a little.

I have mixed feelings about the sound. If the music tracks did not have lyrics to them, I think I could tolerate them more. But there are some songs in the game that are just cheesy, Metropolis Street Racer cheesy. The songs that have no lyrics are actually decent and tolerable. The voice acting is fine for what the game is, we're not expecting realism here. Sound effects are serviceable as well.

Final Thought

If the camera was fixed or at least user friendly, I could look past the odd design issues the developers have come up with. While the game is fun in most cases, there were also times where the camera affected the gameplay, as well as the needless 20 minute search for three emerald shards in the Knuckles or Rouge stages. I think if you can tolerate these inconsitencies, the game may be worth owning. There is a good deal of gameplay to be had here. If you own the DC version, like many have said, there's no reason to deal with this version. It's virtually identical. But, if you're itching for a platformer, this will challenge you in more ways than one.




Published By :

Developed By:

Year Published :

Players :

ESRB Rating:



The game would probably be a lot more fun with a better camera and a larger focus on Sonic.

Sonic Adventure DX

Sonic Heroes

Super Mario Sunshine

2003-2006 SPM

All writings and created images are property of SPM, unless otherwise stated or declared. Original content may not be distributed or copied without permission of the author of this site, unless otherwise stated. Game boxes, consoles and names are trademarks of their respective companies, and do not indicate any affiliation of this website.