(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains unmarked spoilers. The game is over a decade old and well-known amongst our readers, so we deemed it unnecessary to refrain from spoilers. If you’ve never played the game before, you’ve been warned.)
In a franchise like Sonic that has been on such a rollercoaster of quality for the past twenty years, Sonic Adventure 2 somehow sticks out in the franchise as possibly the most polarizing game in the series. To one part of the fanbase, it’s the pinnacle of Sonic. Because it was the first major Sonic title on a Nintendo platform, many people cite SA2 as their introduction to the franchise. And yet to others, the game symbolizes the start of everything that nearly killed the franchise forever. So as I review Sega’s recent digital rerelease of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I feel it’s necessary to frame the game in context.
Outside of the broader fanbase context, I – like many others – have my own personal relationship with SA2. I was but a wee child when it first came out for the Dreamcast in 2001, and I spent a frightening number of hours engrossed in the game. It wasn’t my first exposure to the series; that title goes to Sonic 2 on the Genesis, whose predecessor and sequels received a similarly obsessive amount of my attention. In fact, the sole reason I asked for a Dreamcast for Christmas in 2000 was so that I could play the original Adventure. So, being the fanatic little child I was, Sonic Adventure 2 earned a special, fuzzy, nostalgiatastic place in my heart. The question, then, is: eleven years later, can it keep it?
Later today the Retro crew are going to be hosting a Sega Heritage Collection showcase. We’ve been in contact with Ben K. as to when we can show the games off, and he was kind to let us know that we can go ahead and show off all three games as of this week.
We’ll be taking a look at Nights into Dreams, Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure 2. You can expect our fond recollections of all three games and an exploration of each game’s features before their release date. Well, except for Jet Set Radio, you can get that now on Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam. But if you’re still on the fence about any of these titles, be sure to check out our livestream later today at 4PM. You can also check back here for a direct link to the feed as well.
It’s been unclear when the Jet Set Radio port and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Death Rabbit will actually be released. So far both games have had the “Summer 2012″ date attached to them, but now SEGA has announced more specific release dates for the two titles. Hell Yeah! will be released in North America on September 25th for Playstation Network, September 26th for Xbox Live Arcade and October 3rd for Steam. In Europe the game will be released for all platforms on October 3rd, the price is 1200 Microsoft Points/$14.99/£9.99/€12.99/AUD$19.95. SEGA also released a new trailer (seen above) showcasing the various ways you can “pimp up” the main character of the game, the Dead Rabbit.
Jet Set Radio will arrive a bit sooner on most platforms and will technically still be released during the summer. Playstation Plus users on PS3 will be able to buy the game from September 11th, while non-Plus PSN users will be able to buy it from September 18th. On Xbox Live Arcade and Steam the game will be released on September 19th and on Playstation Vita the game will be available from October 16th. The price on all platforms is $9.99/800 Microsoft Points.
Microsoft’s community manager Larry Hyb (aka Major Nelson) has posted a schedule showing what to expect on Xbox Live this and next week. One listing that may be of interest to Sonic fans is the addition of Sonic Adventure 2 Avatar items coming to the Xbox Live Marketplace on June 5th. At the moment there are no details on what the Avatar items are, so we’ll have to wait to see if a Shadow costume will be added to the creepy Sonic costumes available on Xbox Live.
With this, last month’s leaked list of upcoming XBLA games and E3 being next week it looks like SEGA could very well be announcing a re-release of the Dreamcast game very soon. Other SEGA-related things on the schedule are more SEGA Vintage Collections of Golden Axe and Streets of Rage releasing tomorrow for 800 MS points each and Virtua Figher 5: Final Showdown releasing next week on June 6th for 1200 MS points along with Avatar items of the same game.
[Via Major Nelson]
In addition to getting a re-release on Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network and PC, the Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio is getting a new portable version for the Playstation Vita. Like all the other new versions it’ll have a higher resolution than the Dreamcast version and it’ll be in widescreen.
The PS Vita will get one exclusive feature, and that is the ability to spray graffiti using the touch controls. The game will be playable at E3.
A list with games that are coming to Xbox Live Arcade popped up on the popular gaming forum NeoGAF yesterday. While it contains games that were already announced such as Battleblock Theater and Sonic 4 Episode II, a bunch of unannounced games are included as well. Among these is Sonic Adventure 2, a game either fondly or not so fondly remembered by Sonic fans. This was posted by a forum member with only 8 posts with no information on where it came from though. Besides that, it also includes cancelled games like Bonk: Brink of Extinction and Saints Row Moneyshot, so there’s barely any credibility to this.
Or at least there wasn’t until Harmonix (the developer behind the Rock Band franchise) revealed Rock Band Blitz later on the same day, a game included on the very same list. Meaning there’s actually a possibility that the it is real and that Sonic Adventure 2 may be coming to XBLA, or was at least once in development. Other unannounced SEGA titles that may be coming to Xbox Live are more Vintage Collections with Golden Axe and Streets of Rage. The full list can be found after the jump.
Turns out the new Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 trailer (more on that later) may not be the most important Sega-related reveal today. A teaser trailer for the re-release of Jet Set Radio, a favorite of all Dreamcast fans, has just been released on Youtube. While there’s no release date announced, we do know that it will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and Sony Entertainment Network.
It seems like fans don’t need to worry much about Sega having lost the licensing to the music like with the digital release of Crazy Taxi, considering Funky Radio can be heard in the video above. Now let’s just hope it gets a better treatment than the other Dreamcast ports released so far as well.
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