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As you might have heard, from many, many people, Sonic Adventure 2 hasn't aged well. The voice acting for the English version was poorly cut, the camera is hard to control, and there are a few glitches. While I can work past the poorly edited cut scenes, the other two are completely dependent on the player. Also, many people have complained that the mech levels and the treasure hunting levels should not be a part of a Sonic game.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was released on June 19, 2001, a remake of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Gamecube. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is the eighth-best-selling Nintendo GameCube video game.
So why am I writing about this today?
I have noticed that recently there has been an increase of SA2B hate.
Well, news flash! SA2B isn’t a bad game! Or at least not as bad as everybody says...
Let’s start off with looking at the other side.
So the main problems that most people have with this game now is the mech levels, the treasure hunting levels, the story, and the camera and voice acting.
Killing two birds with one stone, let’s address the elephant in the room, the elephant that apparently no one can really see. The mech and treasure hunting stages weren’t bad at all. While people complain that these aren’t “sonic concepts,” when have Sonic games ever been about one thing?
Take a look at more recent games. Forces and Boom both have a light whip that can be used to swing from place to place. Generations introduced different dimensions. Colors had the wisps and their power-ups. Unleashed had the were-hog. Most games have introduced at least one new feature, even Sonic The Hedgehog 2 introduced Tails.
So why do so many people complain about this game?
A recurring theme within the complaints that I've read is the time it takes way too long to complete these levels. While I agree that it does take some time, once you get the hang of things it shouldn’t take longer than five minutes. Except for Mad Space, THE worst level of the game.
However, experienced people can even get through cannon’s core, where you have to play as all characters with the exception of shadow, in under the seven minutes they give for the fourth sub-stage.
Now that we’ve talked about that, let's talk about the story. Spoiler alert!
Eggman learns about project Shadow, a weapon his grandfather Robotnik created. He awakens it with a chaos emerald and the dark hedgehog promises to help take over the world. Shadow steals a chaos emerald, fights a G.U.N. robot, and meets Sonic. Shadow is confused as Sonic and everyone mistakes him for the other.
And this is a really weak plot point considering Sonic is famous and everything, until you realize that it’s night time and like, honestly, a fast hedgehog, who else would it be?
Sonic escapes G.U.N's capture in one of the greatest levels ever (honestly, I prefer green forest, but the music is extraordinary). He and Tails turn into convicts.
Anyways, while all of this is happening, Knuckles and Rouge argue about the master emerald until Eggman tries to take it and Knux smashes it. As the echidna goes off to find the pieces, Rouge follows Eggman to the ARK. She is a government spy, and she gives up a chaos emerald to earn their trust.
Then the three go to G.U.N's island prison base where they encounter Tails and Amy. Amy also mistakes Shadow for Sonic. Eggman fights Tails while Amy goes in search of sonic and rouge goes to look for three chaos emeralds. Sonic and shadow fight and the island explodes.
With almost all the emeralds, Eggman tells the president that he has 24 hours to surrender the planet or he will destroy it, then blows up half the moon. Sonic and Tails track down the president where they learn that Eggman is at the ARK.
When the team crashes at the ARK, the master emerald shards are lost in space. After a second fight, Rouge gives Knux her shards after he saves her from a fall that she could have dealt with, because she has wings, and a lot of weird heavy breathing.
Tails gives sonic a counterfeit emerald to reverse the power of the cannon and he almost uses it until Eggman threatens the lives of Tails and Amy. Eggman demands the chaos emerald and Sonic tries to give him a fake one. However, Eggman captures sonic in a space pod that is set to explode and Tails says, “How did you know it was a fake?” letting the doctor know that it is actually a fake.
Then Sonic is sent out into space and the pod explodes, but not before he uses the fake chaos emerald to chaos control out. Thinking Sonic is dead, Tails fights Eggman, only to have Sonic appear on the tip of the cannon and announce his presence, causing Shadow to go after him. They fight in an endless race map which is perfect for getting extra lives and rings.
Also, now that I think about it, Sonic could have just put the fake emerald into the cannon without telling anyone he was alive and there would be no problem.
Anyways, Eggman puts the last chaos emerald into the cannon and starts it up. The ARK starts falling and a video from Robotnik plays telling everyone that the whole plan was to have the ARK fall into the earth to get revenge on the people who took away his research and killed Maria. Eggman realizes that if the plan is successful, he will die as well.
In the end, they all end up working together to stop the ARK with the restored master emerald. With the exception of Shadow, he pouts until Amy's begging reminded of Maria's real plea, to help the people. He goes to join them, only to run into the biolizard after finding them. Shadow fights it and it uses chaos control to attach itself to the outside of the ARK.
Knuckles uses the master emerald to stop the chaos emeralds and they realize that the ultimate life form is making the ship speed up in its crash course with earth. Sonic and Shadow then get into their super forms and fight the final hazard, using chaos control to send the ARK back into space. This uses up all of shadows energy and the black hedgehog falls to the earth.
Once back on the ARK safely, the group talks about all their misfortunes and how they will strive to be better.
I will never understand how many people think that plot is bad. There is actually a story here, which is more than some Sonic games can say, and there are very few plot holes.
Also, they made a whole TV show based on the plot (of this and the first Sonic Adventure) and I loved every minute of it. Well, not every minute.
Now the last thing we have to take into account is the cameras and voice acting. The reason I put these two into the same category is that one of them is completely the players control and the other is not.
The voice acting, no matter how bad anyone thinks it is, isn't entirely SEGA's fault. It costs time and money to redo scenes in a video game just to make the words match the lips, or the time frame. However, the background music could have done with a little less volume.
As for the cameras, I've been playing this game my entire life and I have rarely had any problems with the camera. Sure if you try to go off course, it might get “stuck” on something or might turn the wrong way, but this mostly happens with the mech and running levels, which is actually kind of explanatory in itself. These levels, you are meant to go on one course, or the short cuts, which means the camera is designed to show you what you need to see when you need to see it. For example, if you're running in metal harbor, the camera is usually always faced the way you need to go, because you don't need to look to the sides for anything and the camera won't get stuck on anything. Point proven, the camera problem is the players fault.
While I may just be blinded by nostalgia or something more, like common sense, I believe that people are being too harsh when calling SA2B the worst Sonic game of all time. Given the main points I've addressed, people can't really make the argument that it didn't age well, because I believe something that is good when it comes out will always be good, just like how Amy will never stop mistaking other hedgehogs for Sonic.