I didn't agree with the original headline. Thanks for allowing an open topic.
Having played and beaten both the Dreamcast and GameCube version, I can tell the game -- in its purist core -- does not hold its weight too well today.
The story and English voice acting are whack, and what were they thinking when they decided to celebrate Sonic's 10th anniversary with the whole Shadow x Maria tragedy storyline? This game is suppose to be about Sonic
. The voice acting is flat. The actors don't sound like their trying very hard to deliver lines (though given the circumstances behind the voice production and their communication with Sega, it's not entirely their fault but that's them embracing the obstacles and not overcoming them as actors). Those were all cosmetic details though. Moving on over to the important features, the levels bare very noticeable flaws. The level design for all the levels require too much jumping and have too many obstacles in them. Green Forest feels broken to me now as a result and I used to love that stage all around, and controlling Sonic feels like maneuvering a car tire now (it's not terrible but it's just awkward now). The radar and time limit for the Death Chamber and Egg Quarters stages can go straight
But the game's soundtrack, the darker atmosphere, level art design and detail, and re-playability are impressive. As Solid SOAP mentioned, it's a game that it's designers had a lot of fun making. They used to be a very inspired bunch and the move to San Francisco caused an environment shock to the team that, according Senoue-san, was a big deal in their lives. Said shock can probably been seen and heard in the game's level art and music, and I thought they were a little ahead of their time. I still remember the City Escape textures resembling very closely to the famous city's environment, which I happen to live by fairly close to, and I was blown by its accuracy. The game still looks great with a component cable (I don't use Dolphin emulators). I thought Shadow as a character was at his best in this game too, before he overstayed his welcome to the franchise in later game. The two-player mode, Chao Garden, the early Hero and Dark levels are still kinda entertaining (maybe it's because I'm totally burned by the game, I dedicated about 300+ hours total on both versions. I'm been done with the game for years until recently). Netting combos still feels very rewarding. The grinding is still awesome, most of Radical Highway was breathtaking.
Overall, it was a great game in its time. I think it's still a passably decent game today, if somewhat underrated by others. There's still many to like, but the primitive controls, dumb story, and unnecessarily bloated (and somewhat superficial) level design will turn off people as they get deeper into the game. When I look back at it now, I ask myself "Man, why the hell did the level designers thought having bottomless pits in all stages was a good idea?" or "Why the fuck did they make this stage solely around rails?" or "Why the hell is it so clunky to move Tails and Eggman?" and so forth.
Maybe it's one of those games that the more you adjust to its flaws as you play, the more fun you'll have. I was probably one to overlook such flaws as I bought into the hype of the game as it was coming out in 2001 (and hell I was hyped). I had a legitimate blast when I played it the first time on the Dreamcast and later on the GameCube, but now it's just not as grand as it used it be. But I don't hate Sonic Adventure 2. I never did.
EDIT: Rearranged my "review." I guess I have more to say than I thought!
This post has been edited by OKei: 13 August 2012 - 04:25 AM