Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Sega has a wonderful opportunity here. Being able to rerelease some of their biggest titles on different platforms means a whole new stew of gamers could become big Sega fans. So you'd think that Sonic Team might spend some time fixing all the camera problems that plagued Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast, or even balancing the game to the point where you'd spend less time flying around searching for emeralds, and more time playing as Sonic or Shadow. Don't get me wrong--SA2 is still an extremely solid, playable game. But the niggling control problems caused by the sometimes-erratic camera angles tend to keep you from falling in love with the experience after they've caused the death of Sonic or his friends for the hundredth time. And I'm sorry, but the extra multiplayer levels they added for this version don't help matters at all. This series has always been about running really fast through lots of loops and cool obstacles. Changing the main focus to exploration and shooting-based multiplayer minigames was not the best move. I will give Sonic Team one thing, though: The new Chao raising option (where you can download your monsters to your GBA) works so much better than the old DC VMU option. I actually care about raising those little buggers now. All in all, if you're craving a platformer on the GameCube, SA2 is still worth a purchase. Just be prepared for a lot of frustration.
Even with minor additions, the 'Cube version of Sonic Adventure 2 is a letdown. Sonic Team, if you're listening, this is what you need to do: Fix the camera! What's the point of letting you move around in 3D when the forced camera angles and relatively small paths would be better served as 2D? Copy Klonoa 2's side-scrolling style, and then you wouldn't have to worry about the piss-poor camera, because it's taken out of the equation. After you've done that, trim the cast list. Leave in Sonic, Shadow and maybe Tails but remove everyone else. Their levels are slow and boring. Maybe then the blue 'hog with the 'tude will return to his former glory.
I enjoyed this game when it was on the DC, but was irked by the uneven quality of the gameplay and the stubborn camera. Now that Sonic's on the 'Cube, the game looks as good as ever, but the problems remain and irritate me more than before. The Sonic/Shadow levels are fun (straightforward, hi-speed platform jumping and racing), but the ultralame fetch-quests of the other characters bring me down. And though the new multiplayer levels are nice, fixing the horrible camera should have been the priority. My advice to Sonic Team is to put the spotlight back on Sonic, kick the supporting cast to the curb and be done with this nonsense.