| |Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is a re-vamped version of the Dreamcast second installation of the ever popular Sonic.
The single player game is essentially the same game; Sonic and Dr Eggman do battle for the possession of the all powerful chaos emeralds.
The levels and character are split into various scenarios. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are the good guys while Shadow, Dr Eggman and Rogue are the bad guys.
When you start the game you will pick what side you wish to play, the bright and happy Sonic team of the dark Shadow team.
Sonic and Shadow (Black clone of Sonic) share the fast paced levels, while Tails and Dr Eggman battle each other in Wallace and Gromit style "Wrong Trousers" type machines. Knuckles and Rogue (A greedy female bat; like most females!) take part in scavenging for pieces of the broken Chaos emerald.
The Sonic and Shadow levels are fast and furious; they are undoubtedly the best levels in the game and if not the best of the entire series of Sonic games. This is what Sonic is all about; he's a hedgehog that moves at incredible speeds, that's how it's always been.
All this changes when you come to the Tails and Knuckles levels. The Tails and Dr Eggman stages are "OK" although they are not by any standards fast and flowing. These stages consist of hovering around in the "Wrong Trousers" while trying to blast the evil Dr Eggman. These stages are also very easy; you will find yourself passing the stage on the first attempt.
And now for the Knuckles stages. You are placed in a large, sometimes too expansive level. You must hunt around for an age looking for fragments of the chaos emerald. The first couple of knuckles stages are tolerable but when you come to the third or fourth Knuckles stage you will find yourself disgruntled with the laborious job of hunting for another half hour.
You will find that only about one third of the game consists of the fantastic Sonic Stages. This essentially kills all the excitement and adrenaline you had while playing these stages.
The game lacks the classic Sonic game play; more emphasis should have been put on Sonic, with less, much less attention paid to other two characters.
The Chao mini game that featured in the DC version has made it over to the Game Cube with some new features. As before you feed your little creatures animals. In the DC version you could only perform limited activities with them.
Now there is Chao Racing, which demands high speed and endurance and Chao Karate, which demands brute strength.
These statistics can be altered by feeding the Chao different Chao Drives. These are coloured energy sources which are scattered around the levels in the main game. The appearance can also be changed as in the first game. Feed the Chao a lion and it will take the appearance of a Lion and so on. These looks can deform if you feed your Chao many different animals though. This makes for some added entertainment although it is only young kids, who will benefit from this section.
The big change in the game Cube version is the two player modes. There are now nearly four times as many levels for the Game Cube.
Every stage in the game can now be raced on, with some stages having some graphical mixes and enhancements. In addition to this there are now six new playable characters. This is a great and should provide many hours of multi player fun.
The graphics in the game are slight improvement from the DC version. The textures and shadows have all been tweaked and the frame rate is also slightly smoother.
One thing that hasn't been improved is the camera. As in the DC version the camera view still swings wildly and can hinder your view when you need to jump somewhere
. you may not be able to see the target. This is very frustrating as you will be jumping in to the unknown.
Unfortunately the sound hasn't been improved. Virtually every track in the game is insipid rock music with yodelling lyrics. There should have a health warning on the box as it could damage your ears and maybe your sanity.
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle could have been fantastic but Sonics cling on type mates seem to drag him down to their level. A Sonic game should feature Sonic and not a load of other boring characters with their own tiresome levels. There are moments of greatness in this game and for some of the time it's great fun, plus there are all the great multi player games. Let's hope Sega's next Sonic game will feature more of our little blue friend more than this episode.