Sonic Adventure 2 (PlayStation 3) Review

By Az Elias 09.11.2012

Review for Sonic Adventure 2 on PlayStation 3

Back in the days when SEGA was a First Party console-maker, it was all about Sonic the Hedgehog. The blue blur's first fully 3D 'go anywhere' platform game came in the form of Sonic Adventure in 1998. Initially met with quite a lot of praise, it spawned a sequel: Sonic Adventure 2. This, too, received a positive reception, and just eight months later was ported to Nintendo's newest bit of tech, the GameCube, with some extras as Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. After a High Definition release of the first Sonic Adventure on non-Nintendo platforms in 2010, finally the much anticipated update to the sequel has arrived as a digital download on PlayStation 3's PSN, Xbox 360's XBLA and Windows PCs.

For those that didn't play the original release on either Dreamcast or GameCube, Sonic Adventure 2 presents players with two story paths to choose from: Hero and Dark. Both sides have three characters and three types of gameplay stages. Sonic and Shadow sprint through loopy, bouncy, platform levels; Knuckles and Rouge glide around areas in search of three pieces of the Master Emerald; and Tails and Eggman blast through stages in robot suits, shooting enemies as they go. The cheesy storyline once again has Eggman trying to destroy Earth and build his empire, with the mysterious black hedgehog Shadow seemingly set on bringing destruction to the people, too.

Ten years ago, Sonic Adventure 2 seemed awesome. Fast-paced Sonic levels, no unnecessary hub worlds to get from level-to-level, less pointless characters to play as in frustratingly annoying stages (Big the Cat, anyone?), a huge upgrade to Chao raising, and so on. There was much to be happy about for Sonic fans. Unfortunately, it was riddled with numerous glitches and an annoying camera that affected enjoyment considerably. Surely SEGA patched that all up in this HD remaster?

No. No, it hasn't. In fact, just about all of the problems from the original game seem to exist in the HD version. Boy, what a difference ten years make. The controlling of the characters feels so sloppy going back to it now, with the slip-slidey nature of them the cause of silly hits or deaths. Instead of being able to play through the game smoothly and focusing on nothing but playing, one part of the mind is always thinking about trying to keep tight control of the character to stop it from falling off ledges or trying to cling to a wall properly. Then there is that limited camera that can only move left and right, which does no favours when the view point is too close to the floor or too far above. Why couldn't a free control camera be incorporated to the right stick?

Screenshot for Sonic Adventure 2 on PlayStation 3

It gets worse. We all know Sonic games have been the subject of some quite terrible voice acting, but it doesn't become more apparent until you actually play one of the first games in the series that introduced it ten years later. Tails always had one of the worst voices, but it's so hard not to cringe at every single line he speaks more than ever, now. To be fair, most of the voices seem to suit each character well, but it is the quality of the acting itself that is horrible. Tails in particular (it's hard not to pick on him) speaks slowly, almost as if he is pausing after every word, and Amy is a constant annoyance. Even one of the most complained about problems with characters' voices being completely drowned out by the music at random intervals has not been fixed. Characters still speak over and interrupt one another in what are possible attempts at more realistic acting, but it ends up sounding like a mess. Additionally, the change up of music during cut-scenes, cutting off the track before it, just sounds incredibly amateur.

Wait, new glitches are in this upgrade, too? On more than a couple of occasions, repeated beeping sounds and glitched noises can be heard during certain tunes and cut-scenes. It is understandable for new errors to occur in any port, but the fact still remains that SEGA did nothing to fix any of the glaring problems that nagged Sonic Adventure 2 way back.

It's not all bad. Apart from giving the game a lovely, shiny new lick of paint that makes graphics look very smooth and colourful, surround sound for the great soundtrack and even 16:9 widescreen has been added; the latter of which is very welcome considering the fact that the HD upgrade of the original Sonic Adventure two years ago was left in 4:3. Trophies/Achievements and online leader boards, in particular, are also very pleasing additions -- everyone knows how online rankings should be tied into all Sonic games. Extras brought in with the GameCube's Battle version have been separated and are available as download content for a small fee, which mainly includes multiplayer characters and Chao Karate. This comes as no surprise since the same thing happened with the DX part of the original for its HD release.

One of the most popular features of Sonic Adventure 2 was always the Chao raising, where players bring animals and power ups obtained from enemies to their cute little pet in the Chao Garden to change its appearance and increase its stats, with the aim of competing in and winning events containing running, swimming and flying. Players can own multiple Chao, name them, raise them and breed them. It's very much like an even cuter and far more fun version of the Tamagotchi. It wouldn't be a bad assumption to say a lot of players spend far more time raising Chao than in the stages themselves; such is the addiction of the critters!

Screenshot for Sonic Adventure 2 on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


Be careful with what nostalgic memories can do. While you may have a fond recollection of playing Sonic Adventure 2 when you were 14 years old, this game's age shows in its controls, camera and voice acting. If you still own the Dreamcast or GameCube versions, whip them out and have a quick blast; bear in mind that not a lot has changed if you find the gripes annoy you. That said, it's not unplayable, but it's just an incredible shame SEGA didn't bother to patch up such glaring problems. Really, though, the only people Sonic Adventure 2's HD remaster will appeal to is Sonic fans. Ignoring the obvious faults, however, there are tons of stages, with plenty of emblems to collect for beating specific tasks in each one, as well as boss rushes, multiplayer, and, of course, Chao raising. For those unsure, best wait for a price drop in the future.


Sonic Team




3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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