Trying (and Failing) to Love Sonic Adventure 2 – A Retrospective

The Golden Bolt
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After learning to love Sonic Adventure recently, I was excited to give the sequel the same shot, to see if maybe I’d come around on Adventure 2 as well. Sadly, that didn’t happen – with so many odd changes and decisions made, I find Sonic Adventure 2 to be a flat-out weird game. BUT, thanks to my research into Sonic Adventure 2’s unbelievably chaotic development, I understand what happened. Even if I didn’t find much to love about it, I found a ton to appreciate about this weird game…even if it may not be in the way that long-time fans would agree with.

Keep the fun going, check out MykonosFan’s video on the history of Sonic game compilations/collections!

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This video is not intended for viewers under 13 years of age, and may contain content inappropriate for such viewers. Parental guidance suggested.

Chapters:
0:00 Intro
3:26 SA2’s Chaotic Development
14:50 Hero Story
19:23 The (Great) SA1 vs. SA2 debate, explained
23:36 Gameplay I – Mech and Treasure Hunting
32:35 Gameplay II – Sonic/Shadow
46:33 SA2’s Successes
51:33 Dark Story
57:35 Adventure 2’s Poisoned Discourse; Last Story
1:07:58 Conclusion

#SonicAdventure2 #Sonic #BigisYourDad

445 Comments

  1. Man I wish we got another Blinx the time sweeper

  2. Lol I played the chao garden for almost 200hrs more than the main game

  3. I like SA2 for being more focused and cutting a lot of the slow-moving fat, although I'm really just not much of a fan of the Knuckles/Rouge stages. Most of the other stuff you complained about doesn't faze me at all though.

  4. I never got into it either, I dunno I guess I was done after the first one and I didn't like that one a whole lot. And yeah I first played them back in the day.

  5. Finally someone else who finds the 1st sonic adventure more enjoyable. The 2nd game bored the hell out of me especially the knuckles sections. My friends all complain the tails sections are the .ost boring but I actually found those personally to be the most interesting and fun by far, guess I'm the weird one though as I stand alone Vs everyone I talk to about these 2 games lol

  6. 39:40 and I thought this whole time that these enemies were hitting me…

  7. Okay, so almost at the 20 minute mark, and I have to say that SA2 seems like it’s based on Sonic X, meaning it’s a game based on a Saturday morning cartoon.

  8. To be fair, no one in japan really played Spyro because the ports there were VERY bad – not like our ports at all.

    Also I never ran into the homing attack issues at all. I don’t think the GameCube port had a lot of the issues you’re talking about.

  9. 58:0758:42
    "The different cardinal truths neither clash nor mesh. No one is invalidated, but nobody is right."

  10. Aside from gameplay I'm annoyed about his running animation unlike on SA1 he starts to run a bit then leans his arms behind, in here it looks slow for me because at a certain speed he runs like a generic normal person idk

  11. If you want to know the truth, the only nostalgia I have with Sonic is playing Forces, which is kind of sad, but when I played SA1, which I played the DX version, and SA2 back to back, I disliked SA1 because it felt like such a scattered mess. But I loved SA2. The thing about 3D transitions, is that you have to change for them. SA1 I feel like doesn’t really do this for a more Sonic like experience, but SA2 changes for that 3D experience. It’s more action and speed oriented, making me focus on rushing through the levels instead of looking for an arbitrary ring capsule. The speed stages in SA2 are my favorites. Although Unleashed and Generations have my favorite gameplay, SA2 has my favorite level designs. As for the hunting stages, they have been downgraded. Also one thing that I never hear mentioned is that there are less shades of colors on the radar then in SA1 making it a tiny bit harder to track down. And the shooting stages, I prefer to Gamma’s stages because they’re simply just longer and feel like better levels instead of just another campaign that was tossed in. I love Gamma’s campaign but it feels kind of unnecessary because he dies, and the levels and bosses go by so quickly. That was my main problem. But SA2 has taken this gameplay style and made it far better. I also hear a lot of hate for Crazy Gadget and Eternal Engine, but I love those two stages because they mix up the gameplay and change how you think about the game. And I also love the story, despite being convoluted. It still has an emotional back-bone to it that not that many others have. Others like Sonic Unleashed have an emotional back-bone, and while I do love Sonic Unleashed’s story, it does feel like nothing happens throughout the entire middle of the game. But just to let you know, that this whole opinion of mine was formed based on one playthrough, with no nostalgia, no extra side content, INCLUDING THE CHAO GARDEN (because frankly, I didn’t buy a Sonic game to babysit), and I was grinning ear to ear for the entire game.

  12. I come back to this game sometimes and find myself not at all having a good time with it and it breaks my heart. Because I adored this game when I was younger, flat out, this game was my shit. So to have the wool pulled out from over my eyes, in a sense, for me to see just how much this game is lacking in so many different ways. It's just sad. It's the kind of game where, for me, the longer I spend away from it, the more I love it. The minute I decide to engage with it again, however, the magic fades. It's depressing. At this point I just kind of play the game with quality of life mods that make the game feel better to play, because let's be honest, Sega is never going to fund a remake of this game and even if they did, they'd find a way to sabotage it mid-development.
    EDIT: also, I'm like 90% sure that there's SOME form of official lore that states that Gerald was researching the Echidna tribe as part of Project Shadow. Additionally, that's probably where he got the whole "hedgehog" idea from, because if he went on holiday in Hidden Palace Zone, maybe he saw the mural of Super Sonic and Eggman duking it out in space. I know that's stretching it and the real answer is that Shiro Maekawa didn't think about any plot holes while writing this game, but I think that explanation is cool so I stick with it as a head canon of sorts.
    EDIT EDIT: ok literally seconds after writing that last part I saw you address that very theory. I should like watch the whole video before commenting first lol

  13. Literally 50% of this video should have been about the Chao Gardens. As someone with hundreds of hours in this game, the Chaos are what made this game. You grind the levels to make your favorite little guy a God tier flying angel boi.

  14. I just realized that you hammering down that a dev lost 20+ pounds, was about weight – not money XD

  15. 4/10 at best

    I've tried liking it, every mech and treasure hunting stage is fucking bad, no discussion. They are bad. Most of the traditional levels are bad, I'm up to the green level with Sonic that takes place on the ARK with gravity. The gravity is terrible, I've gotten like 3 game overs because I'd run off a cliff I couldn't see.

    This game crumbles before games like Shadow and Heroes, no contest. Those 2 are far superior.

  16. When you realise Shadow is Eggman and Maria's legal uncle.

  17. 7:18 – sidenote: here in brazil (the country that pumped the master system and megadrive numbers like crazy, and responsible for almost half of the sega legacy even being archived or ported to the west) the dreamcast sunk.

    all of that due to how poor the comunication for the saturn was with tectoy (sega's main partner, distributer and localization studio for brazil and the whole south american market) things were so dire with the saturn that at the time they prefeered skipping marketing it and just making and porting more megadrive models and games for it instead, to be a budget alternative for the playstation… and the platstation was already the budget alternative for the n64, pc and neo geo at the time.

    sega just had gone from being 80% (or even more) of the market to being 10-20% of it in like 4 years…

    when the dreamcast came, their last bastion left were the low end poor consumers and arcades, and the pricepoint and lack of local manufacturing made the export costs of the dreamcast so dire, that tectoy itself went to a financial crisis and almost went bankrupt.

    sega failed latin america big time, and like, while brazil might have a loving relationship with sega, you just cant deny how much their two 3d consoles really failed one of their biggest and most pristine markets and missed completly the point of why we liked them, as well as not distributing a single dev kit for latin americans to develop games for their platforms.

    it was dire and depressing.

  18. Should mod the Hell out of Adventure 2. Mods make all the difference especially in 2.

  19. Not sure how this game is so bad yet somehow is something I really enjoy. Perhaps it's one of the first games to really spark my imagination, along with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with the many unanswered questions. I can admit the game is bad yet has this charm to me that just puts everything together, even if many things aren't working properly.

  20. All of this is true, even though sa2 is probably my first or second favorite sonic game, it's true and I like seeing this view on the game and if the game was 06 level of bad I would probably still love it considering I found joy in shadow the hedgehog, forces and 06, idk why I felt the need to add that I just did

  21. More proof that Iizuka was a bad lead ever since the beginning

  22. 40:37 I'm… genuinely confused by this. I never hold anything on the control stick until I'm fully loaded into a level with control of my character which in my mind is when they touch the ground. No other level in this game requires you to hold forward at the start of a level.
    In Adventure 1, characters would load into levels from an airborne state (you can hear their feet hit the ground as the screen fades in and they're in their standing-from-jump pose) so forward movement on the control stick would be pointless until they hit the ground
    Hell, in Unleashed they have the "Ready? GO!" but you clearly see yourself starting on the ground at the start of every single day time stage, whereas here you know previously levels start you in the air sometimes because you've played the Hero Story and at the very least Radical Highway (starts in the air and falls immediately onto a rail)
    There is no conditioning here by the game that tells you you have to hold forward on the control stick to break your trust. You can't blame here for a mistake you made of your own accord that not all players make. Not everyone "holds forward like you're usually doing when you start a level" because in this game it serves no purpose

    44:50 do I need to bring up the cheapshots in the Classic games?

    1:02:32 Sonic is literally saying why in the scene you're showing!

  23. Loved this video. SA2B is probably one of my favorite games of all time. I get emotional thinking about the story and the characters. I go back and play thru it about once every few months. But this is a wildly different opinion than I’m used to. I recognize that it’s nowhere close to perfect, but I love it flaws and all. I love hearing people opinions on this game, even when they’re different than my own, especially when they can back it up with evidence of that opinion as well as you did! Thank you for giving this game a fair shake!

  24. Sonic Adventure 1 is great.
    Sonic Adventure 2 is crap in my opinion.

  25. I really seriously do not like this game at all but no matter how rationally you make your argument, you always end up with some fat ass nostalgia brain down your throat, so I'm happy to see a video like this

  26. You're assumptions of why there's a copy of the master emerald in the ARK is.. pretty much 100% correct, grampa robotnik indeed studied the old echidna ruins and Shadow is a copy of Sonic, which is why Sonic can chaos control, he just didn't know it. It's also why Shadow has rocket heelys and dies at the end, he is an imperfect copy. And yes its explained in some manual or whatever, it's not in the game. See Pariah695's analysis of SA2's story, it explains everything about the game's plot.

  27. It was too fun to make, so they decided not to make a game. Instead they made SA2.

  28. This is a great look at the ways the series moved from layered, branching level design to the "hold forward" trope people now use to define the series as a whole. The one thing I was hoping to see spotlighted was the way those development conditions impacted the game's ending. You talk about how the next two games show that Sonic Team was winging it all the way, but the storyboarding for SA2 was almost certainly done before they knew whether the company would even live through the end of the year. Final Story is messy and confusing, just like the rest of the game, but what I've always appreciated is that credits sequence: everyone has come together in the interest of collective preservation (a notion that's increasingly alien to us today) and they experience this sense of finality and change as they reflect on their journey and relationships, the way I'm sure the developers were thinking about their series and company coming to an uncertain end. It feels like it was written to bring a sense of closure that would have been poignant if it were the last title released, and their hands were tied when Sega started to flourish as a third party developer and they had to find ways to reset.

  29. The issue with SA2 is 1/5 is fun Speed levels, and the rest is mid padding

  30. This is the first one of the millions of retrospectives of these games that I agree with

  31. Completely fair. I think it's important to be able to objectively look at things that are important to you in some way and realize that they aren't great. I love both games soooooo much, but both of them are super janky. However, the reasons why and what the final product ends up being are different in each case, and that matters.

    I grew up playing Sonic Adventure 2 and still love that one more, but even as a kid I had an awareness of how stupid the story was. Sadly, I missed the first one back in the day. I knew about the DX version as a kid, but never actually got a copy, which was lucky considering how botched it was. I picked up a Dreamcast about 5-6 years ago and of course got Sonic Adventure 1 and fell in love with it. I'll probably never stop loving Adventure 2 more than the first one, despite the latter being objectively the better game.

    On a separate note, Sonic Adventure 2 is easily my favorite speed running game to watch. It's just so massively broken, and abusing all of the game's insane bugs is a real show of player skill that I don't think any other game really comes close to.

  32. Not a big point, because I dont think the homing attack is perfect, but there is timing to it and its clear from the footage you havent got that down

  33. My review of SA2: sonic and shadow's stages are great……the rest of the game sucks. 😅 I bought it at launch and love the speedy stages, the pacing in the REST of the game is awful, I've only ever played thru one time and I've had my copy for over 20 years now while I will play Sonic Adventure 1 pretty regularly in my worthless opinion it was a MUCH better game

  34. coming from SA1, the open world exploration really made it feel like.. an "adventure"
    as for SA2? it just felt like an arcade experience with stages and i couldn't understand where was the "adventure" part? what was i exploring?
    I didn't feel immersed in the world of Sonic in SA2, even though i love the game so much.

  35. Suprised this comment section is actually fair and it’s not war zone just cuz it hurts your favorite game is the sonic fanbase

    Evolving?

    Jokes aside I’m glad people aren’t hurt just cuz this guy talks about why HE doesn’t like your favorite game good job everyone

  36. I too preferred SA1 to SA2. Tikal and her Mayan theme is my favorite part of it.

    What really annoys me about the treasure hunting stage is how frequent the beeping can get when you're near one of the master emerald shards. I literally mute the audio when I play a treasure hunt stage because the tone and frequency of the sounds is very annoying and really broadcasts audibly further. Anyone who has been around when I play it instantly hated it too. So treasure hunting stages? Mute to eternity.

  37. dont worry you sont need to love the sonic adventure 2 I just blocked you

  38. SA2 owes a lot of it's praise to the nostalgia it garners from the Sonic fans that played it as kids in the early 2000's. When I take off the nostalgia goggles and look at the game today through a more fair and critical lens I definitely see the glaring flaws and it just is not quite as good of a game as I remembered it being.

  39. I AM enjoying Phantasy Star Online by the way, still today. Best game Sonic Team ever made.

  40. In the game's defense, things like you "just falling off the grind rails" and sonic randomly curling out of his ball form in a homing attack are explainable. as for the homing attack, if you press b right before you hit the enemy, exactly what you've described will happen. I don't know why that's a thing, but it is. as for the falling off of rails when trying to jump off them, it's because you're unintentionally trying to do a rail switch. if you're moving in a particular direction before you jump off the rail, it will switch the rail that's in that general direction, if there's no rail in that direction, understandably, you'll just be launched off like what happened in the clip you showed. the way to avoid this is to just jump before you move instead of the other war around.

    also, when they "gave the chaos emerald to tails for saving station square in the last game" they meant stopping eggman from detonating the missile at the end of tails' story specifically. I'm not sure if you picked that up or not since the joke seemed less like "he didn't save station square at all" and more like "yes, he saved them but it ended up like this anyway, so why did they care?" I just thought I'd put it here anyway.

  41. I felt like the only Sonic fan who disliked this game, so seeing this pop up was kind of cathartic. It was super interesting to see your perspective on everything the game tries to tackle!

  42. I've dug hours into the chao gardens in this game with my best friends and family but I suck ass at the action stages I only know the fastest places to get the best animals lol

  43. I honestly still find it funny that on Rouge's bank vault mission i got such an insanely lucky setup for the emeralds that i got an S rank on the first run. I dont even remember playing for more then 1 minite

  44. SA 1 and 2 need a rebuild with better connection between them

  45. Thanks for watching! I know I'm playing with fire a bit on this one, but hopefully I brought a new perspective to the Sonic Adventure 2 conversation. If not, Big's still your dad. Subscribe for him to come home.

    If you wanna keep the party going, make sure to check out my buddy MykonosFan's video covering the history of Sonic game compilations! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU2RunwfCmM

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