Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sonic Adventure 2:Game Design review

Sonic Adventure 2 original came out on the Dreamcast and was updated for Gamecube several years later. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on Steam is the PC port of the Sonic Adventure 2 game and Battle DLC from the Gamecube version of the game. Note the DLC is still sold separately on Steam although I purchased this as a bundle.

What I liked:
Playing the game is definitely a retro throw back to the good old days. The music is so loud and full of energy its hard to criticise it. The Sonic and Shadow speed levels are still quite fun especially the later levels on the space station where gravity can change the entire perspective. The Hero and Dark story format are kind of cool and provide two perspectives of the story. From a gameplay perspective, the Hero story should be played first as the Dark story goes through the same levels but are generally harder. At the end of the game there is also a final chapter where everybody teams up.

What I disliked:

Boring reptitive boss battles- Most boss battles are rival battles. Regardless of which side you take however, these battles play out exactly the same. E.g. If you play the Hero side, you play as Sonic fighting against Shadow while if you play the Dark Side you play Shadow vs Sonic but both of them are almost exactly the same. The bosses that aren't rival battles are also nearly same but with a slight twist depending on the side you are on. Overall, kind of boring.

Levels- In the game you alternate between 3 types of game play: 1) Speed levels, where you play as Sonic or Shadow where you have to race through the levels. 2) Exploration levels where you play as Knuckles or Rouge and have to find gems and solve puzzles 3) Shooting levels where you play as Tails or Dr Eggman and go through the level as a third person shooter.

As mentioned above, the speed levels are still pretty fun. However it is worth noting the controls aren't precise even when playing with an Xbox 360 controller and awkward jumps to your death are frequent in certain places. One of the worst levels for this is the last few space station levels which are both some of the best levels in the game and worst levels in the game particularly the parts where you have to switch and grid between rails and where missing means instant death.

The exploration levels are either alright or aggrevating depending on what you look for in a game. There were times that I got frustrated at them greatly because of all that searching. It is unique from most other games and some of them were pretty cool such as the level taking place in space where each meteorite has its own gravity. I don't really like their inclusion but they were more pleasant than I expected.

The shooting levels are probably the worst not because there was anything mechanically wrong with them but because they were mediocre. If I wanted to play a third person shooter with platforming, there are tons of other games out there which do that better.

Overall,  2/3's of the game is simply average and not very fun making it difficult to recommend. Time has moved on. With the release of the original 2D Sonic games and the superior Sonic Generations on multiple platforms including the PC, I just can't recommend buying this game. Save your money and buy Sonic Generations instead.

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