Was Sonic Adventure 2 good?

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#1 Posted by fingerprints (37 posts) -

Am I crazy? I remember this being great. I even replayed it 3 years ago and loved it Am I mad everyone? Seeing how bad Sonic Forces was have there ever been good 3d sonics??

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#2 Posted by jeremyf (409 posts) -

I believe that you enjoyed it, but I also believe you are crazy.

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#3 Posted by BaronVonJace (22 posts) -

IMO Sonic Generations was a fantastic game. Loved every second of it and had a stupid smile on my face the entire time. I've never played it but I hear Sonic Colors is pretty good as well.

I tried to play SA2 on my Dreamcast a few months ago. Was my first time playing it. I got to Crazy Gadget and I just could not beat it.

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#4 Edited by citizencoffeecake (1549 posts) -

@baronvonjace said:

IMO Sonic Generations was a fantastic game. Loved every second of it and had a stupid smile on my face the entire time. I've never played it but I hear Sonic Colors is pretty good as well.

I tried to play SA2 on my Dreamcast a few months ago. Was my first time playing it. I got to Crazy Gadget and I just could not beat it.

Yes, I'm with you. For me Generations is the best Sonic game (I haven't played Mania but whatever).

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#5 Posted by BaronVonJace (22 posts) -
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#6 Edited by citizencoffeecake (1549 posts) -

@baronvonjace: My "but whatever" seemed dismissive but Mania looks awesome and I do want to check it out.

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#7 Posted by Axersia (1926 posts) -

I liked the Sonic and Tails levels, but I hated the Knuckles levels. It was a Knuckles level I eventually quit the game on and never came back.

But the Sonic levels were a lot better than the ones in the original Adventure, for what that's worth.

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#8 Posted by monetarydread (2890 posts) -

I remember rnjoying the Sonic levels in SA2, but I also remember the levels with Sonic's shitty friends being some of the most terrible levels I have ever played in a videogame.

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#9 Posted by MocBucket62 (2491 posts) -

I remember my brother and I liking SA2 Battle when we were kids. But from playing it back in college out of morbid curiosity, it does NOT hold up. While yes the Sonic levels are the best, those levels had a loose sense of control that is pretty off putting. Also the robot levels were never good and the treasure hunting levels suck more, but at least in those you can murder Omichaos if anything.

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#10 Posted by Vorsic (85 posts) -

I still play it occasionally and still enjoy it. Some of that is probably nostalgia.

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#11 Edited by Steadying (1902 posts) -

Sonic/Shadow levels were janky but fun (City Escape is still one of the best platformer game levels, ever, period), but the other character's were beyond dull.

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#12 Posted by Steadying (1902 posts) -

Also, kinda off-topic, but I have never been able to get into the 2D Sonic games. I'm actually playing Mania right now and god. The level design just seems completely random and overly complex and wants to constantly stop you from actually, you know, going fast.

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#13 Posted by Relkin (1214 posts) -

The Level Final Rush was pretty fun; that was about it. Sonic Generations is a pretty good 3D sonic, but if I'm being honest the only parts that are actually good about that game are the 2D sonic levels. The 3D Sonic levels in Generations are definitely the least offensive 3D Sonic levels I've ever played, though. I even enjoyed some of them.

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#15 Posted by MVP1101 (251 posts) -

It was always bad but I mostly enjoyed it at the time

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#16 Posted by Rasdaan (28 posts) -

I used to love Sonic Adventure 2. All those hours I invested into the chao garden...

I enjoyed it as a child, but going back to it nearly a decade later, I found it was very clunky, and not that fun.

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#17 Posted by Ungodly (449 posts) -

Sonic Adventures 2 was bad, but that doesn't mean you didn't have a good time with it. To me, the 3D Sonic games suffer the lack of polish that you get from a Nintendo game. Sonic is a little floaty and nothing feels solid, plus there's a lot of clipping.

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#18 Posted by benpack (3756 posts) -

I had a good time with it but I remember even as a dumbass teen I knew it was a bad game.

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#19 Posted by clagnaught (2140 posts) -

I enjoyed it at the time, and I believe it holds up more, at least on a technical level, than Sonic Adventure 1. I'm not sure how much I would enjoy it now.

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#20 Posted by Justin258 (15689 posts) -

I played it on GameCube in middle school and thought it was pretty awesome back then. I'm sure if I tried it now, I really wouldn't be into it.

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#21 Edited by fnrslvr (579 posts) -

I played SA2: Battle a lot on GameCube when I was ~13 years old, enjoyed most of it, even managed to get all 180 of those medallion thingies. (Though I accidentally deleted my save file later on, which was unpleasant.)

I think I might have more of a tolerance for filler than most people do. I thought the Tails/Robotnik robot levels were fine, often kinda technical and satisfying to do well, though they could get clunky and janky in platformy parts and obviously they're not what you come to a Sonic game for. I found the Knuckles/Rouge treasure hunts passable and sometimes interesting, but the narrow focus on treasure-hunting using a "warm/cold" detector got old fast. The regimented split into speed/robot/treasure obviously wasn't ideal -- they could've stood do something more like a Mario-style open-ended level thing with the Knuckles/Rouge stuff, those characters had suitable mechanics and the levels for the treasure hunts were actually mostly interesting enough, to a point where if they actually populated those levels with interesting things to do rather than just plonking a bunch of random treasure drop locations throughout I think they could've been really good.

The jump-dash homing attack thing that Sonic does in the 3D games seems like a point of contention for some people, but I think it's actually the game's best mechanic, and tbh I prefer it over trying to jump on goombas as Mario in 3D Mario games. (Thank fuck for Cappy in Odyssey.) They realized that the good ol' 2D "jump on enemies' heads to kill them" mechanic was kinda bad in 3D, so they designed a mechanic that makes the problem go away. That's good game design. Also, in SA2 they use it for traversal in good ways, e.g. forcing you to make combinatorial decisions about which floating robot enemy to attack next as you cross a ravine, snap decisions to hit the "special" drone thingy when it appears, etc. It can also get trippy in a good way -- I remember accidentally getting Sonic to go into orbit around a jump dash target once, which thankfully you could cancel out of with a button press. There were situations where the jump-dash interacted badly with camera angles to make certain shots hard to pull off, though.

Combine the jump-dash with the grind, the ring dash, and the somewhat janky but mostly good bounce you get later on, and I think Sonic had a pretty satisfying traversal repertoire in SA2. Modern games like Sunset Overdrive ape a lot of it to good effect, which I think implicitly vindicates SA2 Sonic's moveset in hindsight. I think the only major issue I had with Sonic's movement was something Jim Sterling talked about once: Sonic "steers" in a very finnicky and acute way at high speeds in 3D Sonic games, which doesn't gel well with expectations about inertia and also makes it just plain difficult to course-correct. The snowboard sections are really bad at this, which is disappointing because otherwise the snowboard sections are really cool.

The Sonic/Shadow level designs are something I'm mixed on -- I think they're pretty good, if I ignore the jank around the edges and the occasional bad idea (e.g. that awful bit in the Egypt level where you have to go off to the side to retrieve and carry back a key) and the whole issue of all the loop-de-loops and spectacle and whatnot being empty calories. I used to time trial the Green Forest level, which is probably my favourite 3D Sonic level, and which makes speedruns of that level really fascinating to watch. (On this note, SA2 has a surprisingly wild physics engine. It enables some trippy things that speedrunners take advantage of, like running up arbitrary walls if you get the setup right.)

They introduced Shadow in SA2, who is basically the edgiest edgelord hedgehog imaginable, which is exactly what 13-year-old me wanted; and Rouge, who...uhh, yiff? I think I could basically tolerate SA2 levels of cringy character designs and plotlines, even find it endearing in parts (but I want nothing to do with the bestial aspect of Sonic '06) if they got their shit together on the gameplay.

I remember putting more time into the Chao stuff than is reasonable. It was a time of virtual pets, and the main game fed you lots of stuff to feed to your Chaos, and there were a bunch of Chao minigames and different gardens to keep them in and other crap going on, so it was a weirdly addictive thing to check back in on. It's kinda unsettling to think about how much time I must've wasted in that stupid thing now.

I've come back to this game a few times since I was 13. The jankiness of the controls is more evident to me now than it was back then, probably because all old games are evidently mechanically unrefined in hindsight. Otherwise I don't think anything I've said above is badly wrong -- it's a mixed bag, with some very good ideas, some bad ideas, evident jank in parts, some requirement that you patiently play through filler, but a core moveset for Sonic that comes together well and allows a lot of satisfying traversal, which the game would've been better for leaning further into.


ftr, I think my favourite Sonic game has to be S3&K. I played the Master System version of Sonic 2 when I was a kid, which I have fond memories of; I think the Genesis/Megadrive version of Sonic 2 is actually kinda barebones compared to S3&K, and I don't like the level ideasas much as the Master System version. (Chemical Plant is just bad.) S3&K is a much more fleshed-out and content-packed game in every possible way. Mania is probably my second-favourite Sonic game now: it's a very S3&K game that they've taken in some wacky new directions that should probably elevate it to number 1, but I think I just have a greater fondness for S3&K's levels. (Did they have to bring back Chemical Plant? Fuck that place.)

The 3D Sonics obviously don't rate next to 2/3&K/Mania 2D Sonics. I don't think they've ever refined Sonic's moveset to be the kind of traversal crack that I think SA2 demonstrates it has the potential to be, and the level design has been hit-and-miss in a way that leaves open what a good 3D Sonic level should be. (Though I think Metal Harbour and Green Forest are the best candidates.) Should 3D Sonic integrate more open-ended ideas a la 3D Mario, whilst somehow still preserving the speed-traversal-oriented gameplay? What does that look like? (I think 3D Knuckles would do pretty well lifting Odyssey-style level design almost wholesale, so there's that.) I don't think the whole "jumping back and forth between 2D and 3D to satisfy both audiences" approach is doing the development of 3D Sonic mechanics any favours (or even sating 2D Sonic fans), fwiw.

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#22 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15748 posts) -

It was the first game I got with my GameCube, so I have a fair amount of nostalgia in regards to Sonic Adventure 2.

That said, I watched the Run Button LP of it a while ago and i get the strong impression that it MIGHT not hold up to my 10-year-old self's memories... though even in 2002 I think I knew the treasure hunting levels were bullshit.

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#23 Posted by Neurogia (148 posts) -

Sonic Adventure 2, though very unpolished was ahead of its time.

The Sonic and Shadow levels are the most fun.

The Rouge Level "Mad Space" was a huge precursor to Mario Galaxy.

Your mileage may vary, but I had a great time with the game when it was a new release on the Dreamcast.

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#24 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (3017 posts) -

@steadying said:

Also, kinda off-topic, but I have never been able to get into the 2D Sonic games. I'm actually playing Mania right now and god. The level design just seems completely random and overly complex and wants to constantly stop you from actually, you know, going fast.

Sonic was never about just "going fast" in the beginning. The genesis games (and Mania) are essentially focussed around a three pronged design: exploration, speed, and platforming. The levels are designed so the more difficult to access paths (usually the top) are the ones that allow for the most speed. This is where the idea of "speed as a reward" comes from. The easiest path, the one that players will naturally find themselves on without any extra effort, is usually the bottom path and will require more platforming. Exploration is core to the level design, with hidden powerups (and in 3 & Knuckles and Mania, special stage entrances) and access to faster paths.

Some levels are more focused on one element of the design than others, but the best 2D Sonic levels have a good mix of speed, platforming, and exploration. The idea that Sonic was all about going fast constantly only really came about when the series shifted to 3D.

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#25 Edited by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

Yes to both of your questions.

Adventure 2 is probably my most replayed game ever. It's aged, but I still have a great time whenever I go back to it, even though the space treasure hunting levels really do suck.

Your second question doesn't even deserve a full response IMO. Of course, given the fact that the internet always defaults back to "Sonic always sucks" even after Sonic games that everyone agrees are great like Colors and Generations, I'm basically speaking to a brick wall at this point.

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#26 Posted by FrostyRyan (2924 posts) -

It was good.


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#27 Posted by Drachmalius (697 posts) -

Don't destroy my childhood. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was one of my favorite GCN games, and I even forced my friends to play the multiplayer with me (they probably thought I was crazy but humored me). I raised Chaos and replayed the story ad nauseum. Does it hold up? Don't know, don't care. It was amazing to me at the time and I will only hold fond memories of it until my dying day.

There are other good 3D sonic games, but the only one I really put time into was heroes. At some point I just lost interest in Sonic, though I understand Colors and Generations pleased a lot of fans.

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#28 Posted by thievingsince95 (20 posts) -

"Rollin around at the speed of sound!" Man, when I was younger and I first got my gamecube I absolutely loved it. Me and my friend would play that game constantly. And there was like the secret third campaign, and that stupid garden for your pets and stuff. I remembered it so fondly, so last year I went and bought it on sale for like $2.99 on steam, and man that game does not hold up at all. It's definitely a time an place thing, especially if you fit right in the sweet spot for the target age.

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#29 Posted by DinosaurCanada (938 posts) -

So long as I enjoyed it, it is a good game, even after many years.

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#30 Posted by ajamafalous (13820 posts) -

The Chao Garden kicks ass

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#31 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2980 posts) -

It was great in 2002 when I was 12. In 2017 is a fucking shit game.

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#32 Posted by burncoat (559 posts) -

It has some of the best music from a Sonic game. I still hear "I am the Eggman!" whenever I see Eggman.