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Japan-Only Sonic Adventure 2 Trailer Builds Hype, Shows Oddities

In less than a week, the seas part and Sonic Adventure 2 arrives on XBLA and PSN to save the series from the current complaint of the time period. Since its reveal at Sonic Boom 2012 in July, very little has been seen of the game, aside from a one-level demo for PAX Prime attendees.

While this trailer hasn’t made its way to Western shores just yet, we can grab our first substantive looks of gameplay, as well as a few oddities. Off the bat, some will notice that some scenes are depicted in 16:9 display and others in regular 4:3, black bars and all. We’re not exactly sure what’s up with the inconsistency, but it may be a sign that work was still in progress or some cutscenes cannot be modified without camera clipping issues cropping up, or in the case of CGI scenes, being re-rendered entirely.

Otherwise, the trailer offers little new in details. Expanded multiplayer and Chao Karate will be added in through separate Battle DLC, and while the game has some improved texture work in places, it also gives it a strange diluted look to it. Overall, this is Sonic Adventure 2 as you truly imagined it.

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20 Comments

  • Reply

    Like with SADX 2010, they’re claiming that this is a bona-fide Dreamcast port, when all signs point to GameCube port with artificial restrictions.

    Why do they even try deceiving their fanbase when they know it’ll come back to bite them? It’s like when Nintendo claimed MK64 on Virtual Console didn’t support ghosts because it was “impossible” to emulate the N64 memory card. (I believe it was implemented later on.)

    • Reply

      The best one is Space Channel 5: Part 2, released last year as part of Dreamcast Collection.

      It’s a PlayStation 2 game. Part 2 was never released on the Dreamcast (at least… not in English). Curiously Dreamcast Collection hasn’t been released in Japan yet either, so lots of stupidity there. I don’t think they have the tools to actually port real Dreamcast games, and so have to use PS2/GameCube/PC builds as a base instead.

      Also I don’t know why they keep adding widescreen support yet never fix the draw distances. Doubling the resolution makes the last-generation limitations more obvious.

    • Reply

      They never did add in memory card support for the Virtual Console version of Mario Kart 64. I think it was mostly to eliminate any confusion for additional save data on the Wii’s flash memory. Considering they tried to nurture the Virtual Console service as a way to cheaply put out content without having to do much work-around. Say for example why every Kirby game in the Dream Collection that recently came out, they can all be played with a Wii Remote. If you buy those games separately on the Virtual Console (Namely Super Star and Kirby 64) you can’t use just the remote.

      As for the 4:3 ratio, it’s just another way to quickly put out content without changing too much of the core game. Since games back in the day took advantage of the idea of removing characters or objects from the sides of frames. I mean, look at the Jet Set Radio port that recently came out, if you look for it, you’ll find areas where the game really wasn’t made to be widescreen, yet the people behind the port didn’t want to bother with the assets too much.

    • Reply

      “They never did add in memory card support for the Virtual Console version of Mario Kart 64.”

      Wow, that makes it even more pathetic. Their reasoning for not implementing MC support wasn’t that it’d “confuse” people, it was that it was “impossible” to reengineer Mario Kart 64 to save to the Wii’s internal flash memory instead of to an N64 memory card. Of course, this is the same company who claims it’s impossible to run VC, WiiWare, and disc games from SD and USB directly, and look where that’s got them.

  • Reply

    It’s a good thing I’ve kept my old SA2B disc all these years.

  • Reply

    Dissapointed in the awful rendering distance. Also, the only thing that makes me slightly interested in buying this is Knuckles. Out of all the gameplay, the treasure hunting part.

    Why? Well, “This is Knuckles, and I’m in SPACE”.

  • Reply

    Sega could have made this game amazing when i heard hd remake i was expecting sonic generations style graphics but this barely looks better than sonic heroes
    Oh well i guess sega’s heart wasnt in this project

    • Reply

      You’re confusing Remake with HD Port.

    • Reply

      HD port = a port in HD
      Just so you know.

  • Reply

    For anyone who had questions this is clearly the GC version not the DC one, but man is it me or do the textures look smoother especially on Sonic and Tails? O_o

    I’ve re-played the Heroes story less than a week ago and watching this video already excites me, truly this is one game I’m looking forward to, on another note THE BOUNCING TITS ARE BACK!

    Looks like this one will have a documentary too like Jet Set Radio, I kinda hope they may reveal that one eyed mutant hedgehog concept art or something cool!

    • Reply

      Rated E For Everyone!

    • Reply

      Half Life 1 walking ninjas.

  • Reply

    @ Black Squirrel While it’s true that Space Channel 5 Part 2 never came to DC outside of Japan, I don’t think they “can’t” port DC games but more like it’s easier and cheaper to port from PC/PS2/GC after all they did make Crazy Taxi 2 for PSP and before that port as far as I know it never came to any console but Dreamcast, and let’s not forget the very recent “Jet Set radio” port we got, also there are rumors about a port of Shenmue!

    • Reply

      Jet Set Radio is the exception to the rule, but it’s only a “recent” exception. Unlike the others, there’s a PS Vita port on its way, and that might have prompted Sega to spend more time on that conversion. Or maybe they started caring… but either way it was unlikely to affect Sonic Adventure 2’s “HD” outing because the releases were tightly packed together.

      They set their budgets incredibly low for these ports. It’s not so much that converting from the Dreamcast is “impossible”, but rather, too awkward and time consuming. Also if they’re not doing the conversions in-house they might not be suppling the third party developers with the right assets. Tons of factors might be affecting development.

      It’s frustrating when you realise the amount of effort that went into revamping games for the Sega Ages 2500 series in Japan. A tiny market in Japan gets better treatment than the huge pool of people with access to XBLA or PSN.

  • Reply

    So how about that lighting and shading on those models?

    Oh, wait.

  • Reply

    Well, if it plays exactly like the DC version, or even the GC version, I’d be very happy. Face it, the graphics may be not as ‘HD’ as some of us hoped, but what really matters is (wait for it) the physics. That, and glitches.

  • Reply

    I was really expecting more out of this port. They didnt improve the poly count of any of the models, and with the increased resolution, it really shows how much the game has aged. Theydve been better off if they just left it as a normal port.

    I’d really like them to remake the game in its entirety with the hedgehog engine and to try another crack at the chao garden with expanded online multiplayer. Or maybe to just make a true Sonic Adventure 3 with those features. JUST GET IT RIGHT, SEGA!!!!!

  • Reply

    The Dreamcast was built around only rendering what was in front of the player’s camera, in a bit of a cone-like way. It was fast, but not perfect. When you would turn around very fast, pop-in was noticeable in a lot of games. I can’t speak for the Gamecube version, but I do know if you enable 16:9 in a Dreamcast emulator, it will show oddities on the edges of the screen in the widescreen, although doing a very good job with a lot of games.

    The Dreamcast was basically built for 4:3. Managing to rework the SA2 engine to run 16:9 well is pretty cool, but who knows how hard it actually was.

    The only thing that bugs me is that these GC ports is that they aren’t really the DC versions and all of the aesthetics exclusive to the DC version are lost. The changed GC aesthetics in both SA1 and 2 were inferior, imo.

  • Reply

    I’m late to the party on this article, but I’m pretty sure the 4:3 cut scenes are the ones that were originally pre-rendered, while the 16:9 ones are the ones rendered in game. That’s how most of these things tend to work, if you do prerendered stuff there’s no way you can really make it 16:9 unless you still have the original resources, that or you have to remake them, leave them as the originals, or force them to be 16:9 with awful stretching.

    • Reply

      Revisiting this, yes, you’re right that the CG scenes are still in 4:3 because they weren’t developed with widescreen in mind. There are, however, a few instances within the game where several in-engine scenes are still in 4:3. Mostly on the ARK.

      Of course, you can see why introducing 16:9 in a 4:3 resolution area causes problems. Right before Hidden Base in the cutscene, watch Tails as he’s completely static up until his cue to move (originally off camera) kicks in. Developers usually used the space outside of the 4:3 focus area to keep objects loaded or disappear after they’re no longer needed in a scene. This isn’t endemic to SA2, so don’t take this as me knocking on the game.

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