Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Saidian, Apr 19, 2015.
The Chao Gardens have always been, and will always be, the best part of the Sonic Adventure games.
Eh, I never hated Sonic Adventure 2, and really I still don't, but out of the main 3D Sonic games I like (pretty much every one except Shadow and '06 (haven't gotten to form a solid opinion on Lost World)), I probably come back to it the least along with Heroes. The game people refer to the most when referencing bad controls seems to be Heroes, but honestly I don't see SA2 as totally innocent either. I wouldn't deem it as bad, but something about Sonic and Shadow's handling feels "jittery" compared to SA1 for me. Knuckles and Rouge have the same issue, and Eggman and Tails are far too stiff.
I used to hold SA2 and Heroes about where I place SA1 (which is a little below the Boost games) as far as general enjoyment whenever I go back to them goes (which doesn't mean a full-game playthrough necessarily), but they've fallen a lot from there now that theres's more, better games. I didn't even care about the Chao Garden, but I think it would be cool to see it revisited since a lot of people seem to like it. I think what made me look back so fondly on SA2 is the multiplayer, which was been the absolute best for any 3D Sonic game. Heroes and Lost World would be close, but Heroes loses points for having to unlock most of the modes, and Lost World is weird because both players have to know exactly how to handle Sonic if you want to have fun, and that really takes some time. I'm sure that would've been better in a more accessible game.
But anyway, back on-topic, yeah, SA2 (and SA1, for that matter) haven't held up amazingly, but really, this is nothing new. I wouldn't say I would like to see the Adventure formula revisited, but I would like to see multiple characters brought back in gameplay. The thing about Sonic's Stupid Friends™ is that it's not so much them that suck, but the fact that they do things which clearly pad out the game. I can somewhat appreciate that they tried to do something different with them, but it was tolerable at best in SA1, and it seems like they actively tried to make them worse in the sequel :v: Sonic's friends haven't been playable in a main 3D Sonic game without at least half of the cast doing something irrelevant and/or tedious, so the blame tends to gets placed on them rather than their context.
I know it's probably not something that really took a lot of time to make, but I like how the characters are handled in Sonic Runners, for a recent example. You have Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles all handle slightly differently, but they all have the same objective. And while Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are the only ones really relevant to the "plot", you can unlock other characters to use whenever. This is pretty much how I'd like to see it approached in a main 3D Sonic game, except maybe make the extra characters only playable in Trial or something, and also make unlocking them not stupid
I honestly never had a problem with the SA2 treasure hunting or mech levels, but more the Rouge and Tails ones. The Rouge levels have annoying gimmicks slapped on and the Tails levels just aren't as fun as the Eggman ones.
Like, the Eggman stages have you blowing shit up all the time, but the Tails ones almost seem like they're designed to be gauntlets you rush to the end on. They just don't seem to have as much time spent on the design.
Chao garden still rules though. SA2 is probably one of my favorite games even if it's objectively mediocre and hasn't held up very well.
Sonic Adventure 2 to me is much worse than the first Adventure game, and on its own merits is pretty mediocre. While SA2 is more technically competent (which has allowed it to aged better over time), I feel it took the flawed aspects of SA1 and amplified them to an even worse manner, rather than actually fixing them (level design) or doing away with them completely (genre roulette).
Treasure hunting stages are twice as big, which wouldn't be so bad if the hints weren't aggravatingly cryptic and the radar was neutered to only detecting one emerald at a time. Mech shooting stages controlled much clunkier (and for some reason Tails was stuffed into one...ugh) and felt slippery at times. Even the speedy platforming stages are a lot more automated and linear, they almost seem like a precursor to the boost games as there is very little playspace and a general lack of exploration or environmental gimmicks. And the worst part was that someone had the brilliant idea to streamline all playstyles into each story mode. I'm also not fond of its darker and edgier / "realistic" tone it had in both narrative and artstyle (which I feel obviously gave way to the likes of ShTH and Sonic 06).
SA1 in contrast I think its largest problem was the genre roulette, and even then I can partially forgive its inclusion as it was Sonic Team's first attempt with Sonic in 3D. SA2 has no excuse for not only preserving those aspects, but also retooling them to be designed even worse.
I'm mostly staying away from this, since I know I'm doing a video of my own on SA2 in a few months, and I'll need to make my points then. But one thing I've often wondered is this:
When the game was revealed in 2000, early trailers showed only three playable characters: Sonic, Knuckles, and Eggman. They also showed Sonic in levels that would end up being Shadow-only, like Sky Rail. There was a pretty sizable backlash to this at the time, particularly in making a game where Tails wasn't playable. In fact, he didn't appear in the trailers at all.
So I think it's pretty conclusive that the game was changed during development to include more characters. That's why everyone has a clone, and why Tails is restricted to mech shooting. I wonder if the game would have turned out better/more cohesive if they hadn't changed this?
I would imagine we would have had mostly the same levels, maybe a few less, just experienced by one character instead of two. I doubt the game would have seen much improvement from this except maybe in story cohesion.
I have a hard time believing Shadow was never planned to be playable though, otherwise why introduce another hedgehog? Unless he was only going to be playable in the Last Story only or another 2P exclusive character, both of which I doubt.
I always thought Sonic Adventure 2 was pretty bad, even at the time I felt the Tails/Eggman portions were pointless and boring, the Knuckles/Rouge portions were boring, difficult to navigate and headache inducing…
The only good portions were Sonic/Shadow. I felt the same about SA1, that the Sonic portion was the only worthwhile element.
Frankly, I've never understood why anyone held these games in high regard. They marked the departure from what made Sonic a Sonic game, and not just in terms of the physics. They pursued realism in the graphics, which a lot of games did at the time to showcase the hardware, (which the series is only now correcting) to the detriment of the series signature aesthetic. They also replaced the acclaimed electronic soundtrack with a cheesy “rock”.
In a nutshell, well better than what was to proceed it, Sonic Adventure threw the baby out with the bathwater. The series lost all vestiges of what was perhaps it's best quality, the Design! It seems like gameplay critique gets 99% of the attention, and people hardly ever concern themselves with the design aspects, which I think is sort of ignorant…
There are games similar to Sonic around, someone had posted one of a simple rolling ball game just a month ago. It was similar to Sonic… Certainly the physics are majorly important, but it seems like people time and again ignore that the series was stripped of its signature design. I see classic-style fan games all the time to which stylistic qualities appear to have been completely overlooked. I find it baffling that so many people appear deaf to this.
Well, story cohesion still would've been a big improvement. Sonic Adventure had a significantly better story, IMO. I do agree it probably wouldn't have changed much gameplay-wise. It is bizarre, though. Shadow only has four stages of his own.
I think it is possible that Rouge, Shadow, and Tails were at one point planned as 2P-only characters. The game definitely had a bigger focus on 2P, which was only expanded further in Battle. Chaos, Tikal, Big, Amy, and Metal only show up there. Shadow in the last story would've made sense, though it would've been a bit odd to restrict him there.
I like the Knuckles levels, but not the Rouge ones. Must be the layouts. The Tails/Eggman levels get on my nerves pretty quickly since the big mechas fall easily when you're near an edge, and their size makes them an easy target for enemies that shoot stuff...
As for Sonic, that homing attack launching on its own against the Golem made me so angry... !
But I spent so much time raising Chaos with my brothers and friends, playing the levels while singing the themes with them, that, hmm, I like the game as a whole. Good memories. I agree with the review though, without the nostalgia, one can find it pretty bad.
I honestly can't hate the game, despite its flaws. Yes, it features several gameplay styles that serve to detract from potential fleshing out and polishing of the core Sonic gameplay, which is why I can't consider it a good Sonic game.
However, count me as another one of those people who came back to it time and time again, essentially because of the Chao Garden. That shit was just comfy as fuck, and it was a blast seeing my friends make their own Chao that would compete and interact with mine. With that becoming the main part of the game, the Action Stages basically became mini games where you could gather Rings, Animals, and Emblems for your Chao. And honestly, when looked at as mini games, those Action Stages are a lot more enjoyable for me. They all suffer from a lack of being polished and fleshed out, and being treated as a side distraction makes that all the more forgivable. The Speed Stages are just that, high octane, linear, platformers, and they're fun for what they are. The Mech Stages were fun for me, as they featured more traditional platforming and simple-minded, arcade styled, button mashing shoot 'em up goodness. The Treasure Hunting Stages were the most cozy to explore, and the music in them helped immensely.
As for the rest of the game itself, the grimdark-story revolving around a blue talking hedgehog, cheesy dialog, and poor voice track overlapping has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure for my friends and I. Certainly penetrates into the "so bad it's good" territory for us.
And that fucking 2 Player mode is great for parties.
To summarize, the game is flawed to hell and back. The fact that I have to laugh at the story, characters, and dialog to enjoy it, and the fact that I have to treat the main game and the side game the way I would treat the other to enjoy it, tells a lot about how "well made" it is. But that aside, I do get much more enjoyment out of it, when playing it this way, than I do out of most other games, regardless of how I play them.
Question that's popping up in SSMB because of this- do we actually have sources for the whole "originally it'd have been just Sonic, Eggman, Knuckles" trivia bit, or was it just people assuming since only those three are mentioned in the E3 trailer? Do we have sources for the whole "Tails is in due to fan outcry" bit, too?
From what I've heard, that was always just fan conjecture. There's no indication from Sega or Sonic Team this was ever the case. People just thought it was strange that only Sonic Knuckles and Eggman were the only playable characters shown, as it seemed very deliberate.
I don't really think it's fair to call it straight up "bad". Even though the SA games are far from my favourite Sonic games, they are at least tolerable at their worst moments. The best moments though, ARE the over the top things that happen, just because Sonic is fast and when things go fast, we have fun. While these things aren't impressive now with all the fancy new games they got, in 1999 and 2001, that was why we liked Sonic. Seriously, who the hell didn't smile the first time the whale was breaking the dock behind them. That was totally rad to see, was really a great showcase of the system, and all the while remained fun. This is why, despite the technical flaws and how it hasn't aged horribly well, I don't consider either game bad.
Besides, considering how much Sega has clearly always struggled to make a 3D Sonic game, these games could have turned out a lot worse.
Most of it is bolstered by causality that all the other characters not featured shared almost 1:1 gameplay with those three characters. Then we also have to consider Sonic in Sky Rail and unused animations the trailer shows but is never seen in game. Then we further have those reports that SA2 was originally to have Shadow's story progression style.
But hard factual evidence? I don't think that's ever been disclosed, and honestly, I don't think it ever will be.
Shadow wasn't originally playable, right? He was the final boss, Terios. Then he became playable and stole some of Sonic's levels (ex: Sky Rail).
That much I think is proven, so it's easy to extrapolate that it's the same for Tails and Rouge.
Honestly, I used to love it when I was younger. The Emerald hunting levels pissed me off of course, but now I find them completely unbearable. I would have absolutely no problem with any of the Sonic / Shadow levels, and I didn't mind Eggman / Tails' levels. But I despise with an absolute passion Emerald hunting. I found the levels far too big, and there were far too many levels as well.
It's the only reason I won't go back to play it. I have the HD version, but I had to stop at Aquatic Mine, because it is so damn tedious.
Just a couple months ago I replayed this for the first time in about ten years, and it was...a lot better than I was expecting. I went into it with all the harsh criticisms in mind that ProJared had, and then some, but I found myself enjoying almost every bit of it. The degree of my enjoyment varied depending on the character, of course, but playing through the story was thoroughly fun. It wasn't until I tried completing secondary missions with certain characters that I began to be truly frustrated.
I had forgotten how much this game improved over SA1, as well. The absence of a pointless hub world made a bigger difference than I'd remembered. The treasure hunting and mech stages were greatly improved by having their own dedicated levels. The boss fights were much better, and the game was improved on some technical levels, as well.
There were better Sonic games before, and there have been better Sonic games since. But although SA2 is overrated by many due to nostalgia, it's still a pretty good game. I'm going to say there's more good in there than bad, even.
I hadn't played this game until the HD remake came out. I've come to hate it. For one thing, it's incredibly slow; while this does a lot for fixing the collision detection over the first game it just makes the supposedly "fast" stages pretty dull. Then, there's the harsh physics, typified in the missile-boarding section of Metal Harbor -- if you move the controller just a little bit out of position, Sonic and Shadow lose all of their speed, making the game more like The Irritating Stick than anything else with Sonic in the name. Furthermore, the requirements for ranking are pretty asinine, especially considering how a lot of things in the game that give you points aren't mentioned anywhere (the hoops in Pyramid Cave, jumping at the end of grinds in Sky Rail or Final Rush/Chase). This also doesn't get past the fact that several stages, Crazy Gadget in particular, are pretty flat and boring! Aside from the gravity gimmick, there really isn't much of anything to that level.
Plus trying to do spin-dashes is just painful due to the amount of time you have to wait for it to charge. At least in SA1 with the unlimited dashing you could go about as fast as your reaction times could carry you, but here it just emphasizes how nasty and unforgiving the game is!
The treasure-hunting stages were inexcusable, but most of the mech stages were pretty aggressively okay, and since they weren't as beholden to the nasty physics I feel like I can actually casually start up the game and probably play one of those levels and not hate it. But they also don't stand out, and they feel less thoughtfully designed than Gamma's stages in SA1 -- particularly because they're their own levels, and not Sonic's levels expanded or developed on at all. The first feels like a take on the same ideas as Sonic 3/K does with different character abilities leading to different paths through the stages, but the second just makes me wonder why they spent the time developing these new stages at all and didn't try to make a couple levels that were more in line with Sonic's abilities.
And I have nothing good to say about Pyramid Cave.
… I dunno, I still do like SA2 as one of my favorite of the 3D titles, and I seriously don't get the gripe with the treasure hunting. Then again, I'm always the weird one… :B
Pyramid Cave is nothing compared to stages like Mad Space, Aquatic Mine, Egg Quarters, Mission Street.
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