Well, the 'Cubes been out here in New Zealand for a year now, and for that year, I've had my Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. The game was the most appealing Launch title, and was a first, Segas mastcot on the rival system, Sonic on Mario's home turf. While Sonic Adventure 2 was on Segas ill fated Dreamcast, The Battle version has made it to the 'cube. Does the hedgehog still live up after a year in my hands, lets find out.
The game starts of by you choosing a Story, you play ether light or dark - save the world or take it over. The light side starts off with the Hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, being held captive in a Military Helicopter (code named GUN). Sonic escapes, complaining of the lack of food OR a movie, and rips of a chuck of helicopter wing, uses it as a Airboard, and tried to escape down the streets of San Fran. Sonic wonders why he was held captive in the first place, but as he reaches the edge of escape, a Black hedgehog appears, and like every bad guy, tells Sonic of his Doom. Sonic uses his brain and realizes that the military have mistaken Sonic for this Black 'hog. Sonic tries to attack, but no in time, the black hedgehog uses a Chaos emerald to warp. The story continues as Tails aids Sonic in all the ways he can (don't think sick!!) And Knuckles joins in to protect his life, his emerald.
The Dark side of the Adventure starts with Dr Egg man(aka Ivo Robotnik) sneaking into a GUN compound in search of the weapon, code named Shadow. Dr Robotnik finds, not a weapon, but a black hedgehog claiming to be "the worlds ultimate life form" Shadow seems power full, and invites Robotnik to the Space colony "ARK". Also a bat called Rouge challenges Knuckles to posesion of the mythical Master Emerald, a powerful Green emerald with powers capable of neutralizing the energy of the chaos emeralds.
The Sonic/Shadow levels- OLD SCKOOL! These levels are downright FUN! There a bit linear, but they have enough obstacles to challenge everyone. The one thing Sonic is well known for is displayed well in these levels: SPEED!! and lots of it! You'll very rarely stop, if at all when you "Rolling around at the speed of sound. Sonic's Loop-de-loops are back, along with a new thing, Grinding. Shadow and Sonic are both equipped with SOAP shoes (shoes you grind rails with....duhh). In some level Grinding is required, but it most, its just a novelty. Also, Shadow doesn't "run" per say, but skates on Hover shoes. not anything to affect the game play, but it just add that "bit" to it. But really, these re-define fun in a game.
The Tails/Robotnick levels- Tails puts his Tails to a rest and sits back in his latest invention, the Tornado III. But he's joined by the Famous Egg-shaped scientist, Dr Egg man in his Eggmoblie. The levels involves 2 ways of defeating enemies, ether firing a missile directly by pressing "B", or by holding it down and "Locking on" to combos of enemies. The more you can get in one combo, the more points you get.
The Knuckels/Rouge levels- This is Knucles! and i'm Back! Knux and Rouge take hold of "searching" levels. You goal is to locate 3 items in a very sizable areas. You don't search blind, but you are aided by a Beeping radar type system at the bottom of the screen. It changes color Green-Yellow-Red, and beeps - as you get closer - the beeps are more frequent. Some of these can me a bit....well....bad, but you get used to it. Knux and Rouge also get a Dig upgrade in the game, to allow them to find the items underground.
By far the Sonic/Shadow levels are the best. Infact, it would be very wise for Sonic Teams next original Sonic game to have all characters focus around this style, its Sonic at its best, so get everyone else in on it! The Tails and Eggman stages are a bit off setting from the gameplay, but not bad in any sence. The Knux Rouge levels are mostly good, but you gotta know what your doing, and after a while, you will.
Chao, Chao are a A-life, kind of like a virtual pet, but you host many of these in a place called the Chao Garden. To get to this garden, you need to find a Key in the action levels. Once you have the key, you can access the garden anytime as that character. Chao evolve to be stronger, and according to what character races them, to be Light or Dark (even neutral, some don't want to take sides). Also, the Dark and Light Chao garden are availble depending on the Chao themselves. But why make chao? why raise them? To take place in the Chao racing and Chao Karate of couse!! The Chao are "cute" per say, and some gamers have dedicated there lives to make the ultimate Chao, and that can be a very great task. The Chao system also links up with the Gameboy Advance, into the Tiny Chao Garden, to raise you chao on the run!
The world "Battle" at the end of the title isn't just there to take up space on the box. It points towards the Multi-player aspect of the game. There is 3 Multi-player modes each just like the 3 styles of game play. Each mode has 4 characters to take part in, Sonic,Shadow,Amy Rose and Metal Sonic all take use of the high speed levels. The robot levels don't have you racing to a goal, rather Tails, Robotnick, Dark and light Chao use their mechanical inventions to battle each other till the end. Then comes Knuckles, Rouge, Tikal and Chaos Zero multi player modes to find the bits of the emerald. Also there is a Mario Kart style Kart racing mode. Here there are 3 tracks to race on as the Characters in the Game.