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Can someone tell me why SA2 is so highly regarded?


kdotj24
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I like Sonic 06. Do not care what hyper defensive fans may say it was fun to me. I was born 89. I literally grew up with sonic as it was my first game ever. The reason SA2 and games moving forward were so fun was because they were trying their best *to no real payoff* to age sonic and it felt they were aging him with me. It felt as if I was growing with sonic and in that the storys and characters grew up. With darker tales and more mature looks. SA2 did all of that perfectly to me. The game may not have been perfection but back then it was pretty amazing. And sega kept it up till Sonic 06 in which yet again sonic was older and the story even darker but sadly it was rushed and had no QA testing what so ever. I do not think sonic will ever be what he was back in those days. After 06 I have not really set my bar to high for games but the memories of SA2 and 06 still rest gently in my heart.

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I honestly think it's time people started discussing the positive aspects of the game again instead of dwelling on the negative. There are many, such as its action movie-esq take on Sonic, the characters it brought to the series. But perhaps this is best continued in another thread.

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Can someone please PLEASE tell me what the freaking heck is wrong with the Knukles/Rouge Stages?! They play just fine, and are actually fun! Is spyro 3 also a bad game cause you spend a HUGE majority of it gliding around and collecting gems?!

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The thing is Spyro is a lot more free roaming, you can collect gems however you want and whenever you want.

 

In the Knuckles/Rouge stages, at least in SA2, you're limited to finding them in a specific pattern due to the castrated radar, even though all the emeralds are there, but near invisible to find due to their size and camera issues. It's pointlessly linear and time consuming. Get rid of that one problem and they'd likely be a lot more enjoyable, if still a bit tedious in places (eg. Security Base).

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As someone who played SA2 for the first time in 2008/9, I found it deeply flawed. So much so, I couldn't actually be bothered to finish the game.

Story was neat, but flawed. Gameplay was flawed through and through. The speed levels were pretty damn fun. Everything else was a chore. The treasure hunting was mechanically sound, but the level design was atrocious. They increased map size and made a strictly worse radar. Emerald shards were small and no longer glowed and so became difficult to spot amongst the cluttered environments. The hint system was too vague and in later stages became bullshit ways of artificially increasing difficulty (backwards text that told you the opposite location to where the shard actually was, etc......fucking bullshit).

Mech sections were mediocre. Eggman's levels were miles better designed than Tails' imo, though I confess I didn't play all of Eggman's stages cause I stopped playing after security hall. The latter felt shoehorned in to create the Tails vs Eggman conflict. But even discounting all that, it was just 100% average...no...100% below average would be more appropriate. I didn't hate them till late in the game, but I didn't enjoy them either. Simply being tolerable is not good enough, when it takes up 1/3 of total levels and probably more than that in terms of playtime (speed stages were all extremely short).

In general I just felt it was poorly designed. The story and certain other aspects of the game were good and I did enjoy them, but the bad parts were significant enough to turn me off playing. And that speaks volumes about the game. Meteor herd and security Hall caused me to stop playing the game. That's how bad they were. Perhaps if I had played it during my formative years, I'd have enjoyed it more. But I didn't.

All this said, it's not overrated. Not any more at least. It perhaps was at launch, but nowadays it's flaws are well documented and well understood.

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I think it's also that, the mechanics in SA1, while feeling unique, still had a rather fluid 'Sonic-y' feel to them. Knuckles and Gamma felt faster and lighter to play as compared to jittery SA2 Knuckles/Rouge or the clunky mechs. Some of the extra moves were appreciated, but not really enough to make their overall feel better.

 

The level design can be taken as a 'step forward, step back' since while it was nice they tried for more original levels for each individual character, it didn't necessarily make them better. I'd rather play in a slightly tweaked Windy Valley or Red Mountain than in either a bland or ridiculously labyrinthian level of flat pathways and tediously handled gimmicks.

 

 

 

 

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LindseyWalker

As someone who played SA2 for the first time in 2008/9, I found it deeply flawed. So much so, I couldn't actually be bothered to finish the game.

 

I think this is a big problem with modern fans of the Sonic franchise, they didn't play the Adventure titles when they came out. Modern fans were either too young when the games came out or didn't own a Dreamcast. Hey, it wasn't unusual at all to not own a Dreamcast and it wasn't common to own a Gamecube when Sonic Adventure 2 Battle came out, and even then, the game was a year old and lost quite a bit of it's lustre.

 

I never owned a Dreamcast, but I did play these games when they came out at a friend's house. A lot of the really cool things that were in Sonic Adventure 2 are things we take for granted now. The graphics were absolutely incredible and it's no exaggeration to say that the game had better graphics than anything that was on Playstation 2 at the time (the big Dreamcast rival in 2001). The animations were also really smooth and even though the camera clearly sucked back then the presentation was top marks!

 

The Treasure Hunting sucks now and it sucked back then but, honestly, people didn't really have a big problem with the Mech sections. Maybe it's just because we have a higher quality expectations now because of the much better mech-shooting type games that have since hit the market. Everyone appreciates the Speed levels now but back then they were unbelievable. That level of speed, twisting and turning blew everyone's minds and made it far easier for everyone to forgive the game's misgivings. These stages were revolutionary, make no mistake, and no game came close to reaching Sonic Adventure's contemporary 3D speed and twisting until much later racing games. 

 

I don't think you can get the full appeal of these games unless you played them when they came out. They've aged just like other great platformers because they've been eclipsed in every way since, such as Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot 1 and Donkey Kong 64. They were killer apps back then, and everyone wanted to buy a Dreamcast for these games because, back then, they were truly brilliant games.

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I think this is a big problem with modern fans of the Sonic franchise, they didn't play the Adventure titles when they came out. Modern fans were either too young when the games came out or didn't own a Dreamcast. Hey, it wasn't unusual at all to not own a Dreamcast and it wasn't common to own a Gamecube when Sonic Adventure 2 Battle came out, and even then, the game was a year old and lost quite a bit of it's lustre.

I never owned a Dreamcast, but I did play these games when they came out at a friend's house. A lot of the really cool things that were in Sonic Adventure 2 are things we take for granted now. The graphics were absolutely incredible and it's no exaggeration to say that the game had better graphics than anything that was on Playstation 2 at the time (the big Dreamcast rival in 2001). The animations were also really smooth and even though the camera clearly sucked back then the presentation was top marks!

The Treasure Hunting sucks now and it sucked back then but, honestly, people didn't really have a big problem with the Mech sections. Maybe it's just because we have a higher quality expectations now because of the much better mech-shooting type games that have since hit the market. Everyone appreciates the Speed levels now but back then they were unbelievable. That level of speed, twisting and turning blew everyone's minds and made it far easier for everyone to forgive the game's misgivings. These stages were revolutionary, make no mistake, and no game came close to reaching Sonic Adventure's contemporary 3D speed and twisting until much later racing games.

I don't think you can get the full appeal of these games unless you played them when they came out. They've aged just like other great platformers because they've been eclipsed in every way since, such as Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot 1 and Donkey Kong 64. They were killer apps back then, and everyone wanted to buy a Dreamcast for these games because, back then, they were truly brilliant games.

So what you're saying is essentially that the reason SA2 was so beloved was because it was played by moat fans when they were most impressionable, I.e. Young teens or Pre-teens, as some have alluded to earlier in this thread.

Quality wise, other platformer of a similar era hold up better. Super Mario 64 still is fun to play and complete inspite of its flaws. I can't say the same for SA2. Graphically, I've never said there was a fault. It is a great looking game for its time, but that's not the issue. The issue is how it plays.

Sent from my D5503 using Tapatalk

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LindseyWalker

So what you're saying is essentially that the reason SA2 was so beloved was because it was played by moat fans when they were most impressionable, I.e. Young teens or Pre-teens, as some have alluded to earlier in this thread.

Quality wise, other platformer of a similar era hold up better. Super Mario 64 still is fun to play and complete inspite of its flaws. I can't say the same for SA2. Graphically, I've never said there was a fault. It is a great looking game for its time, but that's not the issue. The issue is how it plays.

Sent from my D5503 using Tapatalk

 

Yes, that's definitely partly true. What I'm essentially saying is that the games were experimental and unless you played them on release you can never truly appreciate how impressive they were. They didn't hit the mark by today's standards but back then, when all this high-speed 3D was a new concept, the games were incredibly impressive and the nitty gritty downsides were more easily forgiveable. The fantastic presentation just helps that along. Sonic's always was a technical showcase series, right up until Heroes.

 

I'll give you a good comparison. Dynasty Warriors 3. By today's standards, it's certainly not anything special, but back then, it was jaw-dropping and it was often compared to hollywood block-busters. A lot of people who don't get Dynasty Warriors now never played DW2 or DW3 on release. No one in their right mind would say Dynasty Warriors 3 is brilliant now (it's been far left behind) but back then it was untouchable in it's genre.

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The Knuckles treasure hunting stages are the shit yo how could you?! D: I'm sad we haven't seen a return of rap music in a Sonic game since then because I LOVE the music in those stages...

Anyway. For me, it's a good Sonic game mainly because it was Sega's last good one before we got Sonic Unleashed. This was the Dreamcast's swan song, but you could also call it Sega's own swan song since this was the end of their being a first party developer and you could tell they put a lot of effort into this. Sonic Heroes came a few years later and it was a major step down from SA2 imo. The story was weaker, the controls were worse and the graphics were ugly and way too shiny. SA2 looked cooler, there was nothing cool about Heroes. Then came ShtH and Sonic 06 and...well..

Besides, SA2's ending is fucking beautiful. I recently watched my boyfriend play the game again and I got teary eyed watching it because it was so well done (if you ignore that Shadow came back straight after ugh). Plus the fact that it seemed like a farewell to SEGA Enterprises and hello to WE R SANIC HEROEEEES! Ugh. ;-;

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ThePrinceOfSaiyans

I'm sad we haven't seen a return of rap music in a Sonic game since then because I LOVE the music in those stages...

I don't traditionally like rap, and I agree with you. Something about those tracks, man...

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It's serious revisionist history to consider SA2 to be fondly remembered only because fans were young and impressionable back in 2001. Far too many critics praised the game upon release for that to ring true, and although the port didn't fair quite as well, it was hardly considered mediocre, let alone bad. Most critics seemed to like it in 2001 even more than me, an avid Sonic fan. I was 15 when the game came out, but I could see that it, like Adventure, was far from perfect thanks to the dodgy camera, linear mech levels and disappointing radar. That said, these were simply not deal breakers for me back then (or indeed, for many others). I remember people tended to enjoy at least one of the score-attack based mechs or the exploration-based emerald hunting, rather than hating both. I preferred the emerald hunting but the mech levels were fast-paced enough that they never bothered me much.

 

Nowadays, in the age of AAA games and inexpensive but innovative digital games, it's not as easy for people to tolerate, and I understand that. I was frequently annoyed by the constant tank battles in Arkham Knight, which didn't half remind me of the reception that SA2's mech levels get. Come to think of it, scouring the city for 243 Riddler trophies has gotten old to be honest. I know some people like it but for those of us who aren't so bothered, it's a drag when you have to find them if you want to complete the game. At least most mech levels and emerald hunts went by pretty fast... Either way though, that's not a deal breaker for Arkham Knight for myself. That doesn't mean it hasn't soured the game for many others. Maybe in a few years people will look back at this game less favourably? Who knows. That doesn't change the fact that the majority love it for its successes now and rightly so. I don't think it's fair to judge it as lacking simply because it doesn't possess the quality of the rare, exceptional games like Mario 64. You don't see many people criticising Arkham Knight for having a less expansive and varied open world than GTA V.

 

Maybe I don't enjoy either Adventure like I used to. Does that mean their initial success was unwarranted? I don't think so.

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It's serious revisionist history to consider SA2 to be fondly remembered only because fans were young and impressionable back in 2001. Far too many critics praised the game upon release for that to ring true, and although the port didn't fair quite as well, it was hardly considered mediocre, let alone bad. Most critics seemed to like it in 2001 even more than me, an avid Sonic fan. I was 15 when the game came out, but I could see that it, like Adventure, was far from perfect thanks to the dodgy camera, linear mech levels and disappointing radar. That said, these were simply not deal breakers for me back then (or indeed, for many others). I remember people tended to enjoy at least one of the score-attack based mechs or the exploration-based emerald hunting, rather than hating both. I preferred the emerald hunting but the mech levels were fast-paced enough that they never bothered me much.

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I'm not sure I get the Arkham Knight comparison outside the Batmobile. Do you need to collect all 243 Riddler trophies to complete the story? 

As I say, I take issue with the treasure hunting stages in SA2 because of the poor level design and the horribly castrated radar they implemented. Didn't help that the hint system was broken and the emerald shards themselves were hard to identify visually - particularly compared to SA1 where they were large and glowing and thus easy to spot. That and the fact that completing the treasure hunt stages was mandatory if you wanted to complete the story.

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LindseyWalker

There's nothing wrong with that and constantly pointing to SM64- a "once in a blue moon" game changer that will literally never be recreated again- and asking why can't every game be like that is kind of ridiculous.

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Yes, the expectation that Sonic would continue to be on par with Mario was naturally there, but we all know how history turned. It's also interesting to note that technological advancements and an increase in quality control beyond what the Adventure games could feasibly be afforded never actually gave Sonic equal footing with modern platformers again anyway. There wasn't even an argument to be had that any modern game could touch even Donkey Kong Returns or Rayman Orings. Yet the Adventure games were nonetheless worthy console headliners.

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LindseyWalker

I think a big reason is that a lot of the key quality in Sonic Team left. I did some digging on the staff members who worked on the Classic Sonic games and a lot of key staff like Ohshima and Yasuhara left Sonic Team at the point of the turn-around of quality. It's sad that we will never see another Sonic game on the level of current Rayman or Donkey Kong but Sonic Team can put out games that are at least good.

 

I mean, we shouldn't really be settling for second best, but there are other great platformers I would love to play a real sequel too, like Jak, Spyro and Crash and, well, we all know what happened there. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

SA2 SUCKED!

Hi, since you're still relatively new, I thought I should tell you that we foster a rather vocal environment on this site, so brief, one-liner posts are not really looked highly upon here.  From the rules-

  • Post quality is important for your reputation and the reading pleasure of other members. Type in understandable, decent English. Be sure to check your grammar and punctuation so people don't think you're an idiot. If you can't think of anything to post that's at least a sentence then we'd rather you didn't post at all. Making a post that's just one word is really lame and we'll strike you if you do it.

 

Expanding your posts with respectful reasoning and elaboration is the key here. ^^

Edited by Tara
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I can see why it was so well received back then, however it's very clear that the game just has not aged well. On top of that, the additional gameplay styles are just boring in my opinion, and don't belong in a Sonic game. The Tails stages I don't mind to much, I can just blow straight through them, but the Knuckles stages are so painful to slog through. Only a third of the game is actually Sonic gameplay, and when you are buying a Sonic game, that really does not look terribly great on paper. I think the game is decent regardless because of the Sonic stages, but it certainly isn't anything to write home about today. 

As I said, it was impressive for the time on a technical level and it was the last Sonic game which was generally considered to be good before the dark age hit. I think those reasons and nostalgia are what keep it so highly regarded today. However, in my opinion, compared to Generations and -I'm going to have to be brutally honest here- even Lost World (which even then had similar issues, albeit to a lesser extent), it just doesn't hold up that well. 

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PickleBrows

Sadly, age comes to most things eventually. I think only the likes of Tetris and Pac-Man are able to saunter own without worrying about that since there isn't much to them that can age.

Sonic Adventure 2 is a product of its time and was a good game at the time of its release.

The issue is not that SA2 has gotten worse,  I mean the copy you played in 2001 will function exactly the same today. The problem is that we're spoiled with nearly 15 years of hindsight. We've moved onto to new technical advancements while SA2 never can.

As for the game's design, it's all subjective and it's a two way street really. You might like something you hated back then or vice versa. For those looking for a "Sonic" game then the statistic of only 10/31 stages actually meeting that criteria is going to be off-putting. Your enjoyment of SA2 is going to be entirely based on how much you enjoy the other two gameplay styles. Back when people were younger, I can imagine the game as a whole could appeal to them. Go really fast with Sonic, go shoot at stuff in big mech with Tails and go off to wacky locations for treasure hunting with Knuckles. 

I can imagine kids really did get a kick out of that setup back in the day but by now many people have grown up, their tastes have changed and consequently so has their outlook on SA2. Nostalgia means they will look back on their time with it fondly but those who venture into it again after all this time are likely to have different views on it now.

I personally prefer SA1 myself for various reasons but that's for another time.

 

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CottonCandy

I think it has to do with it being the first sonic game on a Nintendo console and to most kids it became their first sonic game. I can see why SA2 was a well loved game, it intoduced Shadow, it has a gritty story, it has a memorable soundtrack, and it has the chao graden. I was one of those kids who was obsessed over SA2, I considered it to be one of my favorite games ever...

However, things changed 14 years later. Playing the game as an adult, it's clear that the game didn't aged well. The controls are mediocre, the camera is pretty bad, the audio mixing is laughably terrible, treasure hunting stages are a snooze-fest and the story makes no sense. Does that mean the game is now bad to me? Well, no. 

I still have fun playing the game despite it flaws. The chao garden still impress me to this day, the sonic/ shadow stages are still fun to me, I still don't mind the mech stages, the story( while flawed) is still interesting, and the soundtrack will always be my top favorites. 

I think Sa2 falls under being a product of it's time, kinda like the first adventure game. That's doesn't mean there's nothing good in it and I don't think people are delusional when they find something good in SA2. 

Edited by CottonCandy
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Over-rated as it was, Sonic Adventure 2 is still the last good game Sonic had on consoles before Generations.

(For a note, Colors was just 'Passable' due to Ken Pontac's shitty script, and Unleashed was... 'Meh'.)

Edited by ZDozer
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