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Can someone tell me why SA2 is so highly regarded?

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Sonic Adventure 2 is a grossly overrated game. I have no idea why people regard it as the best Sonic game of all time. SA1, now THAT was a good game. Sure, you had to deal with the treasure hunting and mech stages, but at least you played most of the game as Sonic. In SA2 however, you spent 1/3 of the game as Sonic, and the other 2/3 in crappy mech stages and UNGODLY treasure hunting stages. Sonic Heroes was better than this trash.

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Just wanna point out that SA1 had more alternate gameplay styles than SA2 and a higher ratio of them to Sonic's stages than SA2.

I like SA1 more, but.

And honestly, I think it's a combo of nostalgia, the fact that it had a huge story focus, and was a lot of people's first Sonic game, especially if they'd only owned Nintendo consoles before.

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Both the Adventure games are pretty nostalgia fodder nowadays. I mean yes they're both still playable and enjoyable to a degree, but they aren't some shining stallions or something. For the longest time SA1 and SA2 where kinda the only "good" Sonic games to go to anything before Unleashed, and even then Unleashed and onward were so different in gameplay style that they still stayed relevant as the only 3D Sonic games that kinda had a more "SM64" level of early 3D freedom (that's a big thing to say of course, but you guys understand what I kinda mean).

 

They haven't stood the test of time very well however. Both seem pretty aged when played today and you aren't under the nostalgia goggles so much anymore. They're both largely games that don't know what they want to be with their varying forms of gameplay types, cutting only a fraction left for any normal Sonic game play. This is kind of a common theme in Sonic's 3D history of course, but for the longest time, and still even so by some people, it for whatever reason got/still gets the pass and people turn a blind eye to boring fishing, chasing, shooting, and emerald hunting. While they're not all agonizing forms of gameplay (and heck I even enjoy Tails/Eggmans shooting stages from time to time), it's not hard to say you'd prefer more "Sonic" levels.

 

In a nutshell, today, all of those 3D Sonic games are pretty mediocre and can really only say that Unleashed/Colors/Gens and the debatable Lost Worlds are the only Sonic games that are in the range of a little over mediocre to good video games for Sonic's 3D history. SA1/SA2 are definitely not the "Ocarina of Time" of Sonic by any means at all as some kinda put it up to. Too much alternate gameplays with Sonic being the only really passable thing at the end of the day, but even still not the greatest thing ever (Sonic is seriously all over the place in SA1, go play it again).

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I think it is the best Modern Sonic game because I enjoy it. I like to play the Speed levels I like the mech levels and there is mostly 3 or 4 treasure hunting levels which if I'm in the right mood can be enjoyable. I also want to say when I hear people say stuff like "Sonic Heroes is better" it hurts me physically. Sonic Heroes was a good game but it pales on comparison to the awesomeness of SA2. Sure it has it's flaws but you can only expect that from it being Sonic's second 3D game. There are a lot of things I don't like in SA1 but I don't say that it's terrible. And also calling the game "trash" is completely idiotic and adds nothing to the conversation.

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The first thing that you must bear in mind when discussing Adventure 2 is that the game if 14 years old, judging it by modern standards is doing the game a disservice since it just didn't have the same kind of money and hardware to work with that today's games do. 

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I'm inclined to not even respond to such an obviously inflammatory post, but I'll explain anyway because, quite frankly, I thrive on conflict.

 

Another area in which SA2 is superior to it's predecessor is how the characters handle, Knuckles' controls in particular are a vast improvement over SA1. Gone is the awkward attack combo of Adventure 1 which forced Knuckles to a screeching halt whenever he needed to break something (which was often), instead Knuckles has a new punching combo which allows him to attack without breaking stride, it's a seemingly small thing but it makes a world of difference. Digging is also improved as it can now be activated by simply pressing the attack button in the air instead of having to press both attack and jump on the ground, in which case you were just as likely to preform either of those actions as you were to dig. And on an even broader scale I think SA2 Knuckles accomplishes the rare feat of being a video game character who's just plain fun to control, regardless of his actual objectives. Sonic himself also sees some improvements, he has some more weight to him which makes him more satisfying to control in general, especially his jumps, which were exceedingly floaty in SA1. The Light-Speed Dash is also vastly better than in SA1, as it no longer requires a long charge up period which defeats the purpose of using it for shortcuts. 

 

 

As far as mech shooting goes I often see people say they like Gamma better. I understand where they're coming from but I actually prefer SA2's shooting. For one the ability to aim any direction without moving that direction is a welcome addition and it works surprisingly well considering it's done with only one button and one analog stick. The Vulcan cannon is nice as well, allowing mechs to attack without the need for a lock on. Admittedly they are clunky but, well, they're mechs, I expect them to be clunky, but that's just my feelings on the matter and I can understand why people consider it a problem.

 

The biggest problem with SA2's game play is that the control scheme suffers from being rather cluttered, especially when it comes to the speed characters. It's clear that the dev team was trying to keep things simple but they ended up going too far with it and mapped way too many actions to a single button.

 

Level design is also an area where SA2 falls short of SA1, they're much more linear. Paradoxically however I also think that this linearity, despite being a negative, probably benefited the game overall, linear levels are much easier for a dev team to manage, so scaling back on the level layouts probably helped with SA2's superior technical stability. The linear levels also allowed for some more cinematic moments so that's a plus I guess. As far a treasure hunting goes locking the radar was stupid, there's no getting around that fact, but the actual treasure hunting concept itself, while different from the more traditional Sonic, is not bad. A few of the stages suffer from poor design decisions (such as everything regarding Security Hall), but for the most part, if you go into them with the right mindset, they can be pretty fun. As far as mech levels go the major design flaws are mostly relegated to Tails' stages, which can be chalked up to them being a last minute addition, with the possible exception of Sand Ocean Eggman's stages are actually a blast to play (Cosmic Wall anyone?).

 

I also hear the Chao Gardens were much improved but I've only played the GCN version of SA1, which added most of SA2's improvements, so I can't say how significant they are.

 

As far a story goes Sonic Adventure 2 is one of the best in the franchise. It's dark yes, but no more so than its plot demands, and it's a pretty solid plot too. SA2 sets out to create an engaging narrative and it succeeds. The characters are written as being three dimensional and relatable; Eggman is presented as a genuine threat, which actually makes it feel like the heroes need to stop him, rather than their battle just being a formality; and the story actually carries some emotional weight (if you didn't feel at least a little sad at the end you're probably dead inside). As far as plot holes go people often say the story falls apart if you think about it for five minutes, what you don't hear people talk about is the fact that everything falls back into place if you think about it for five more. Most of the supposed plot holes are based on could be explained better but they're not actually plot holes. There is one true plot hole I can think of in the game and it's one that nobody ever talks about, that being the one regarding Tails' Chaos Emerald.

 

Ultimately Sonic Adventure 2 is indeed a deeply flawed game. That said there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons why it's held in such high regard. Its story remains one of the best in the franchise to this day. It's game play may be bogged down by a number of issues but when it's good it's really good. SA2 is in some ways superior to SA1, inferior in others, ultimately I think they balance out; the only reason I rank SA2 higher than SA1 is its greater technical stability otherwise they're equal.

Even with all the stuff he could do, knuckles never seemed that interesting to drive around, just as twitchy and in as many ways as everyone else. Comparing favorably to SA1 knuckles isn't the best metric, SA 1 Knuckles was the height of "we probably have to", his story spending longer getting to his levels than actually doing them. Does Knuckles even have a Hot Shelter?

Shooting, though, was a real problem. In SA2, every time you let off the stick above a certain speed you spend a second or two doing this canned stopping animation and everyone involved should have known better, it makes these characters a chore to move around.

Story wise, it has pretty major problems, from not communicating Shadow's amnesia correctly (even though the memories he retains seem that they shouldn't lead him to do basically anything he does), to Tails needing to find the president to find out that the signal was coming from the thing that just shot the laser, to rouge teleporting to the ark when the others leaving from the same facility need to take a space shuttle that Eggman has for some reason, to shadow knowing about A rouge the bat who is a government agent but not figuring out that this is in fact that same rouge the bat, when rouge managed to find time to steal the master emerald, why they're keeping emeralds in a prison, those sorts of things. Some are plot holes, others are just problems.

Rouge and the master emerald, for instance, was she expecting to run into Eggman by doing this? How'd she find his base after conspicuously not following him? Some wiki says a tracker bug, nothing like that is shown or brought up. Continuously asking for leaps in logic like that are great ways to bury a story.

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Sonic Adventure 2 is a grossly overrated game. I have no idea why people regard it as the best Sonic game of all time. SA1, now THAT was a good game. Sure, you had to deal with the treasure hunting and mech stages, but at least you played most of the game as Sonic. In SA2 however, you spent 1/3 of the game as Sonic, and the other 2/3 in crappy mech stages and UNGODLY treasure hunting stages. Sonic Heroes was better than this trash.

 

I just want to point out the irony that for a lot of people, Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes are both considered to be awful games as well, so in addition to all the decent analytical responses above, it would probably be worth trying to step back and look at your preferred Sonic games a little more objectively.

 

Like, if you can say Sonic Adventure was a "good game" while explaining how so with a sentence like "Sure, crappy stuff crappy stuff crappy stuff, BUT AT LEAST...!", it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to see how people could think Sonic Adventure 2 is a good game going along the same compensatory logic.

 

Whenever someone likes or loves a Sonic game that is considered "bad" it is pretty much always because there is some feature/design (or several) that greatly appeals to them that offsets the damages from the awkward parts.  Even when fans claim an awkward entry is the best Sonic game, obviously the good stuff just REALLY appeals to them enough to completely overshadow the bad stuff - if they even consider the bad stuff to be "bad stuff" (I love the 360/PS3 Werehog platforming now that I fully understand how to manipulate ledge grabs and leaps etc for speedrunning, as an example).

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Heroes better than SA2?

That's a laugh. At least I didn't have to play every stage four goddamned times with four teams that were practically the same except for their difficulty with SA2. Plus, I wasn't bogged down for 3 minutes fighting multiple enemies with 30 hitpoints so I could get pass a gate - every enemy in SA2 took ONE hit to kill and I could get though the stages faster Treasure Hunting in Mad Space than I could fighting Pawns and Hammers in Frog Forest.

Only thing better about Heroes is the absolutely gorgeous art style of its levels. You can give me that over SA2 any day.

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Well, I like it more for it's story and characters. Yeah, the story has plot holes, but it was engaging nonetheless, and really, isn't that all that matters? Beyond just that though, I feel the gameplay styles in Sonic Adventure 2 are criticized to an unfair degree. People tend to dismiss because they're not very Sonic, but I say who cares? All that matters is that they're fun. and I do think the Speed and Mech stages are fun. The Treasure Hunting stages leave a lot to be desired in a lot cases, but they're not all bad. Sonic Adventure 2 most certainly isn't the best Sonic game out there, I'll take Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic 3&K, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Generations over it any day, but I certainly wouldn't call bad or even overrated, especially now.

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With the way I've seen (and, admittedly, experienced myself in the past) people use it, I think it has reached the point where the word "overrated" just carries little to no meaning nowadays. It comes off as bitterness on the part of the user for people liking the things that they dislike.

 

At any rate, part of the reason why Sonic Adventure 2 is still remembered fondly by some might have to do with its Gamecube rerelease, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. Now, pardon me if I'm projecting a bit here, but I can't be the only one here whom it was the first Sonic game that they actually owned, having been a Nintendo console owner for all of my life. I have my grievances with the game nowadays, but I just can't help but have sentimental value towards it as a whole. It's the genesis reason why I'm a fan of the Sonic franchise at all.

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Well lets just say SA2 had unique gameplay styles, and the more current "modern" sonic games are just recycled boring gameplay with tiny edits from sonic 06.

 

Also you didn't need to "boost" to win a level.

 

Also shadow, and chao and multiplayer and crush 40 and well thats about it.

 

oh darn i forgot to mention, the mech levels to me were fun as hell.

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Sonic and Shadow has some fun stages while the other four (Tails, Knuckles, Rouge, and Eggman) had crappy stages and the worst controls. Don't forget about the Chao Garden, can someone add that in, ok thank you. The game is rated like 5/10, what ProJared would say, "A bowl of Lucky Charm cerel/10.". This is getting me confused now...

SRB2 Username: SmashBro30.

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Being the first Gamecube game, it introduced a lot of new people to the Sonic series, so people appreciate it for being their gateway game into the franchise as well. SA2 is also a lot more serious than most of the previous games, and set the tone for the next few other than Heroes, so is marked for better or for worse as a turning point for Sonic.

 

I don't particular care much for it, never have done, but it did come out at the right time to get a lot of new people in.

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Just wanna point out that SA1 had more alternate gameplay styles than SA2 and a higher ratio of them to Sonic's stages than SA2.

 

I think it's more that in SA1 you had the choice of just going through Sonic's levels like in the original games, while in SA2 you're forced automatically to play as another character mid game. This is especially bad in Dark mode where it takes a good while to get to one of Shadow's speed levels (and they make the minority of the story). Next Gen and Heroes only worsened this problem. I think this method is where Sonic's supporting cast earned most of it's bile, because you were being FORCED to play them and in some case couldn't play the main Sonic part without doing a large amount of alternate play style elements first.

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To some extent I think a lot of 3D Sonic games are actually good, or if not good then have a lot of good stuff in them that make some of them worth going back to from time to time, and they would have been better games if the devs displayed any sign of priority and competence. I think 2006 and Shadow are the only truly awful main 3D games, even if I really hate Heroes and don't think SA1/2 are all that amazing anymore

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