I’m going to try something different with this review. I’m going to take you through my thought processes in real time as I was playing Sonic Adventure 2, Sega’s re-release of the Dreamcast title from 2001.  Please keep in mind, I never played the original (although I did have a DC- still do, actually), so my review has no nostalgia to contend with.

Initial reaction after the game booted:  Ok- this looks kinda cool- the music is peppy, the colors are bright and vibrant.  Hmm, the options seem a bit limited, and why in the world would I PAY to download additional menu and screen themes?  That’s weird-  Well, let’s give this a shot- I enjoy Sonic games… I really like Sonic Generations…

First Sonic level:  Ok, seriously, this is annoying (note, this reaction has been altered for family friendliness-  what I actually said was “this &^&^$&^  game *&^*&^”).  The controls are atrocious-  they’re REALLY slippery, and I can’t seem to time the jumps off of ramps (why is Sonic SNOWBOARDING down a freeway anyway?).  Man, for a game about speed, once you lose momentum, the little hedgehog runs like he’s waist-deep in treacle.  Going up stairs is really painful-  Also, for a series that encourages exploration (even to a limited degree), it feels like I’m required to memorize where everything is the first time through with the understanding that I’ll be playing sections over again to 100% them-  Not likely…

First Boss Battle:  I… I… I need to put this down for a bit.  Why can’t I skip through dialog I’ve already seen SEVERAL times now?  Why is the voice acting so bad?  Who did this translation?  Certainly not Carpe Fulgur, that’s for sure.  Let me see what people thought of the original.  Hmmm “This is a Sonic game that actually takes skill.”  “Considered one of the best Sonic games ever made…”  Sigh- maybe it’s just me.  Let me try again.

First Knuckles level:  Where in the HELL am I supposed to GO?  The “radar” is useless, and the camera is facing the wrong way almost every time I try to move.  Wait- Knuckles can climb?  That’s… kinda cool, actually. This level is too long, by half- but I think I’m getting used to it…

Chao Island:  Ummm- what is this all about?  I can raise critters?  How lame is that?  I just wait around for them to hatch?  Then what?  Is that one over there… AWWWWWW he’s adorable.  I can feed him fruit?  I can pet him?  I can give him animals to play with and his stats go up?  I can bring him to a school?  Interesting-  but back to the game…  Well… maybe a few more minutes… c’mere lil’ chao.

First Tails level:  Is Tails piloting a mech?  That’s cool.  I think I can get the handle of this stage-  I like the missile lock-on mechanic.  Shame about the irritating sound effect with it, though.

Second Sonic level:  Alright- I’m getting the hang of this-  The controls are still WAY too sensitive, and I keep dying a lot, but they’ve done a decent job of bringing a sense of speed.  Running across the aircraft carrier was neat.  Ok, game, you’ve won me over, to a degree.  Sonic fans, you’re going to buy this anyway, and it probably plays just like you remember.  I don’t believe this is an 800 MSP game-  I’d feel more comfortable in the 240-400 point range, especially if you’re new to the series, like I am.  It’s initially VERY frustrating, and it’s up to you to decide if the game’s charm makes up for that.  I can’t in good conscience recommend this until a sale, though.