Sonic Adventure 2: Battle review
Sonic Team and Sega collaborate once again in 2002 to bring you Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Nintendo Gamecube.
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, for the most part is a Action Adventure game, but it is actually a mixed bag of different game genres. The game features Sonic and his friends stopping the evil Eggman from taking over the earth.
From its opening movie showcasing its playable characters to its informative and colorful menus and game hub, Sonic Adventure 2:Battle’s aesthetics are a sight to behold.
The main menu features a background of Sonic and his team on one side and Eggman and his team on the other on top of a flowing image.
Just about everything about this game’s presentation, from the stage select menu with its background accurately depicting exactly where a stage takes place, to the use of blue and red in the story select background representing ‘Hero’ and ‘Dark’ respectively, in my opinion is beautiful.
Despite all of the praise that I give to Sonic Adventure 2:Battle’s presentation, I do feel that as a Gamecube title, this game has not aged well into the current generation of Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. But even though Sonic Adventure 2: Battle has this minor flaw, I still feel that due to the colorful menus, simple, but detailed game hub, among other things, that this game’s presentation deserves a high score.
As I’ve mentioned before, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle covers various genres of video games.
This game has high speed platforming stages that features the star of the show, Sonic, and his darker rival Shadow running, jumping, grinding, and at some points, boarding down the city streets through settings like jungles, canyons, and even space stations in order to get to the goal ring at the end of the level.
The blue guy’s best friend Tails, as well as, their longtime enemy, Eggman are playable in their own stages. Rather than the platforming that is usually featured in “Sonic” games, Tails and Eggman’s stages play out in a “run and shoot” or “3rd person” shooter type of gameplay. They have to use their robot walkers to target and shoot enemies, use their to boosters to cross platforms across pits, and to use their cannons in order to solve puzzles which involves blowing up crates, explosives, and other things in order to reach the goal ring at the end of the stage. Another noticeable difference from whats expected in a “Sonic” game is rather than needing rings to survive, Tails and Eggman instead have a life bar at bottom of the screen, which depletes as you take damage, and refills as you gain rings.
Knuckles the Echidna and his newly introduced rival, Rouge the Bat, also get their own gameplay modes in this mixed bag of gaming genres. Rather than racing at high speeds towards the goal ring or shooting their way through waves of enemies, these two have a ‘hot and cold’ treasure hunting type of gameplay where they have to find either the Chaos Emeralds, the pieces of the Master Emerald, or the keys to Eggman’s base. The two hunters aren’t without their own abilities though, as they dig through the ground and walls, glide in the air, swim, punch and kick through containers and enemies, and look through solid objects in order to find their prize.
In between some character’s stages, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle also has boss battles ranging from showdowns between two characters of similar gameplay styles from opposite sides (see: Sonic vs. Shadow, Tails vs. Eggman, Knuckles vs. Rouge) or battles on much larger scales, from fighting military robot walkers, to running from giant ghosts, this game’s boss battles can go from larger than life to a simple score to settle at the turn of a hat.
For the first time in a 3d ‘Sonic’ game, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle has the option of multiplayer modes. With this multiplayer aspect of the game, players are able to enjoy the gameplay of the main game, but, instead of playing to get to the end of the level, the player’s goal is to beat their opponent in one of the game’s main modes of play. Alongside the normal gameplay methods and moves that the cast uses in single player, the game’s Battle mode features additional abilities which adds to the competitive nature of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle’s multiplayer mode.
The main cast, along with some extras, gear up and drive along the highway in a race for first place in Kart Mode. In order to earn a spot in the winner’s circle, players have to pick from one of eight characters and use their karts to avoid walls, turn sharp corners, use ramps to jump over pits, and gain extra speed by using boosts, in a bid for first place. The fun doesn’t have to stop with one player though, as Sonic Adventure 2: Battle’s kart mode, can be played in the game’s two player mode.
Karting isn’t the only multiplayer choice in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, as players can compete in a Action Race. In their fight for first place, players grind down rails, snowboard down hills, and run through toned down versions of the action stages featured in single player, with the fast, blue hedgehog, Sonic, his dark rival, Shadow, the slower, but, very powerful Amy Rose, and Eggman’s creation, Metal Sonic. Although, the goal of the Action Race is to reach the finish first,most of the racers do have tools that speeds themselves up, attacks their opponents, or even stops their rival’s movement completely, for a set amount of time.
In Treasure Hunt race, players can choose between emerald hunting familiars, Knuckles and Rouge, the sluggish and hard hitting, Chaos Emerald guardian, Chaos Zero, or the fast moving and weaker Echidna tribeswoman, Tikal. Similar to the Echidna and Bat’s single player stages, with the use of abilities similar to the two main treasure hunters, the ‘Hot and Cold’ system, abilities that trips the opponent and messes with their controls, and moves that completely stops the other competitor. Treasure Hunt race has two players competing to find either two pieces of the Master Emerald, two keys to Eggman’s base, or two Chaos Emeralds, with the first player to find them first as the winner.
With the mode simply known as ‘Shooting’, two friends (or rivals) get their arms together in a contest to see who can come out on top in a shootout between robot walkers. In Shooting, aside from a few additions that are exclusive to two player mode and having the quick, but weak Chao walker, and strong, but slow Dark Chao walker as playable characters, the gameplay is familiar to the Tails and Eggman stages in single player mode. As with the Action and Treasure Hunt Races, in addition to their original artillery in single player, characters get tools in Shooting such as multiple homing missiles, missile launchers that launch into sky and then comes down on their enemy, and large front end lasers which covers a wide space in front of their walker.
Alongside the shooting, platforming, treasure hunting, and karting, this Sonic game also has a small RPG element with it. This special ‘mode’ as the Chao Garden. Accessible by meeting certain conditions in a Action Stage, the Chao Garden allows players to use items such as Chaos Drives gained from most defeated enemies, or lost animals found throughout most stages to raise the Swimming, Flying, Power, and/or Stamina abilities of a Chao, take a Chao to Chao Kindergarten to learn skills like drumming and singing in the classroom, and have their Chao participate in Chao Races or Chao Karate.
A Chao’s abilities truly come into play when they compete in a Chao Race or Chao Karate. In a Chao Race, by using their tuned abilities, a player pits their Chao against 7 other Chao in a race that can be won by swimming across water, flying through chasms, running along the ground, climbing up cliffs, and using their stamina to run longer in a effort to win first place against the computer or against their friends . While Chao Race focused on racing to the top, Chao Karate puts more focus on fighting to be the last man standing. With Chao Karate, players can use their Chao to fight versus a computer controlled Chao in Tournament Mode or their friend’s Chao in Interleague Mode.A Chao’s abilities truly come into play when they compete in a Chao Race or Chao Karate. In a Chao Race, by using their tuned abilities, a player pits their Chao against 7 other Chao in a race that can be won by swimming across water, flying through chasms, running along the ground, climbing up cliffs, and using their stamina to run longer in a effort to win first place against the computer or against their friends . While Chao Race focused on racing to the top, Chao Karate puts more focus on fighting to be the last man standing. With Chao Karate, players can use their Chao to fight versus a computer controlled Chao in Tournament Mode or their friend’s Chao in Interleague Mode. Using their stats to improve movement, Karate has their stats used to improve of the speed that a Chao attacks, how easily they can dodge incoming attacks, how many hits they can take before they are knocked out, and how hard their hits are.
In my opinion, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle has everything to not only make a Sonic game good, but great. It has gameplay that can be enjoyable on the first playthrough with its story mode, graphics that are a little dated, but still doesn’t make the game any worse, replayability with playing through stages again for unlockables and raising Chao at the Chao Garden, and even competition between others with multiplayer mode and Chao Racing/Karate. But, although Sonic Adventure 2: Battle has these pros, it isn’t without its cons as well. There are some problems with the game’s camera which can not only frustrate a player through confusion, but also outright cause a character to lose a life.
Despite this game’s small flaws and due its big pros, I feel that Sonic Adventure 2: Battle deserves a final score of