El científico profesor Gerald acaba de construir una colonia espacial denominada ARK. Uno de sus experimentos a bordo de la estación consiste en descubrir el secreto de la inmortalidad creando una forma de vida en un proyecto denominado Shadow.
A diferencia de otros productos, este título puede intercambiar datos con el Sonic de GameBoy Advance. Para ello cuentas con un Chao, una forma de vida artificial que se puede criar y traspasar entre los dos juegos. Estos Chao cambian de aspecto y de personalidad según como sean criados.
Sonic returns with a new adventure whose main story has been divided into two parts: Hero and Dark. The GameCube version has been enhanced since its debut on Dreamcast; there are eight different game modes, including improved multiplayer modes, and more characters to choose from--including Amy, Metal Sonic and Chaos Zero. Also, the Chao aspect of the game has had a huge face lift and now includes Chao Karate and link up option with Sonic Advance on the GBA (requires link cable).
Sega's mascot made his 3-D debut on the Dreamcast, but with the demise of that system the zippy blue hedgehog is popping up everywhere--including the GameCube. Unfortunately his first next-gen appearance, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, is marred by the same 3-D camera problems that plagued the Dreamcast version of the game, and the multiplayer "Battle" component isn't all it's cracked up to be.
From the off, players have the option of choosing the Hero (Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles) or Dark (Dr Robotnik, Shadow, Rouge) quests, which are completely different. Sonic and his dark counterpart, Shadow, traverse levels at warp speed colleting coins and power-ups while fighting enemies in what must be considered the game's most exhilarating moments. Unfortunately, the other characters are nowhere near as fun to play. Robotnik and Tails fight through levels that require little more than constant button-mashing to shoot an endless procession of enemies and Knuckles and Rouge participate in seemingly endless levels that require looking for a variety of objects.
Graphically the game is a bit of a letdown considering the processing muscle of GameCube. Models are fairly simplistic, and level textures are sometimes bland. Game Boy Advance owners can use a link cable to download Chaos from the game to train on the go, but the rewards for doing so are minor considering the time investment involved. The one thing this game has over its Dreamcast predecessor is the multi-player modes, which are fun but offer none of the depth or replayability of standalone multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. Melee. Still, they're a nice addition that rounds out a flawed single-player component, especially the racing games. Sonic addicts who missed this the first time around on the Dreamcast will definitely want to check this game out, but the finicky camera, tedious non-Sonic/Shadow levels in single-player, and surprisingly shallow multiplayer components (especially the Chao games) turn what could have been a great game into merely a good one. --T Byrl Baker