Liam: I know literally nothing about this game. When we had finished the first iteration of the list of 30 Red Faction was in this place, there was no way we could honestly complete a marathon of the last thirty years of gaming without playing a Sonic game. I have always been a Mario person myself, but it would be a great disservice to the legendary blue hedgehog to be unceremoniously missed off our list.
Sonic Adventure 2 is being played on the Dreamcast. A criminally underrated console which was years before it’s time. A built in modem for playing online games (not seen in console gaming before although both N64 and Sega Saturn’s had networking capability), 480p resolution none of the interlaced frame nonsense, a controller which contained a screen (via a memory card) way before the Wii U and massively scaled games nothing like seen before. Shenmue for example is still credited as one of the most impressive games of all time.
On a non-gaming note, I have pulled multiple ‘all nighters’ as part of my job over the past few years and the most difficult time to stay awake is between 3am and 5am. I’m hoping whatever Sonic Adventure 2 has to offer us, it will keep my energy levels up.
Joel: In the late 90’s and early noughties, there was an evolutionary leap in the graphical capabilities of home consoles. This meant a significant paradigm shift from the traditional flat, side or vertical scrolling games to almost everything becoming 3D. This, in my opinion and I may be alone here, meant an entire generation of ruined platformers. Ever play Sonic 3D? yeah, you know what I mean then. I didn’t even like the wildly popular Mario64. Platformers should be side-scrolling and two-dimensional. Evidently my views are supported, at least in part, by devs as the most recent crop of platformers have moved back to the traditional 2d model. I hadn’t played Sonic Adventure 2 until I picked up that Dreamcast I’m always banging on about and was a little apprehensive about it. The single player mode has its plusses and minuses, but is passable. Not as good as Sonic 1, 2 or even 3 but I gave it a good go and didn’t hate it. The choice of playing as either “hero” or “dark” players in an interesting feature. Fortunately, we’ll be playing in two player mode, which barely resembles the single player adventure and can be broken into four distinct game types:
This is possibly the lamest thing I’ve ever done in a video game – and I’ve played Britney’s Dance Beat. You pick a Chao and then pit it against your opponents Chao in a nail-biting hobble/swim race across a pond. You can cheer for you Chao and everything – but not too much mind… You don’t want to run out of cheer! After about half a century they cross the pond with one of them the winner. Clearly its stupid as Rachael had actually gone away, leaving her controller unattended and I still somehow lost.
In all the other modes, you pick whether you are on the hero or dark side…
VS Race – P1=Sonic, P2=Shadow
This is good stuff. If you remember the half-pipe bonus stages on Sonic 2 – imagine bringing them into full colour, multi-tiered rendered landscapes. I really enjoyed these. There are 4 courses and each take about 3-5 minutes to complete. First to two wins, wins.
Shooting – P1=Tails, P2=Robotnik
This is OK – not great but OK. There’s feature in this game, it’s on certain levels in the 1p story mode as well, where your character rides these weird mech-walker things which can jump and shoot. The objective here is to shoot your opponent 3 times without falling off the level or getting left behind by the moving POV on the screen. A bit like one of those constant scrolling Mario levels, except in 3 dimensions. Rachael had some trouble with this that I didn’t get a good look at it to be honest.
Hunting – P1=Rouge, I think, P2=Knuckles
This had some potential: These characters have the ability to glide and climb up any vertical/vertical-ish surface, as well as dig in soft ground. The stages are set in big open multi-tiered, multi-island arenas with various hazards, baddies, falls etc, the objective being to find two parts of a broken emerald. You have a radar of sorts at the bottom of the screen, more a colder/warmer system, which beeps when you are in proximity to a shard. Digging in soft cliff faces/ground unearths rings and powerups. The first go took ages as I had no idea what I was doing, but once I got the hang of it, bashing out a level took about 4 minutes. Again, as with all the vs modes, first to two wins, wins. You can also attack your opponent from afar after you collect certain quantities of rings. There are various attacks depending on how many rings you have.
So – predictions then… I think I’m going to give Liam a rightkicking at this one. I should probably do the decent thing and have him over ahead of time so he can at least grasp the controls before we play… Unless he thinks he won’t need to.