Welcome to Rewind, a series of articles where we talk about our favorite games from the past. Today I’m talking about a game that had a huge impact on my childhood. That game of course is Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the port of Sonic Adventure 2 for the GameCube.
I was the younger child in my household so growing up the only video games I really played belonged to my brother. That all changed when we made a big move from the city to the suburbs. We ended up under budget so my parents gave my brother and I some money to spend on whatever we wanted as a way of making the move easier. I remember going to the toy store at the mall and looking at the video games. I had enough money to get a GameCube and one game, so I knew I had to pick something good. I remember seeing Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Mario Sunshine. I remember not knowing what game to pick but then looking over and seeing Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and right away I knew I wanted the game. I still don’t know why I was so drawn to this game, I had only played some Sonic before, and I didn’t even play the other Adventure title. I may still get confused on why I got the game but I don’t regret it at all.
This game ended being the perfect choice because it had two story modes. It had Hero and Dark mode, which made it perfect for me and my brother to play it together. He picked Hero mode which let him play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. I picked Dark mode which gave me Shadow, Dr. Eggman, and Rogue. Me and my brother would switch off every couple levels. Even though it was my game I let my brother go first since he was playing Hero mode. I still remember the opening cut scene to this day. Sonic being on a plane as making quips about it. Watching him jump out of it as the first level starts. I can still sing all the words to “Escape From They City”. The first level of that game is something I’ll never forget and even though I only got to watch it be played the first time I saw it, it’s something that I’ll never forget.
The story of this game is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget. The story involves secret bases in pyramids, having to chase down the president, Eggman making an announcement to the world as he shoots a death beam into the moon, and that’s only some of it. The story of this game is all over the place but it serves it’s purpose and has fun with it. I still remember the amount of cut scenes me and my brother learned word for word. I still know all the dialogue from Sonic and Shadow meeting each other on the island. So much of this game is ingrained in my mind because of the impact it had on me and my brothers relationship.
I made sure to replay this game before writing this but sadly I didn’t get to play much multiplayer. A big part of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle for me, was the multiplayer. Growing up my brother and I spent so much time in 2 player battle. The three battle modes are Action Race Battle, Treasure Hunt Race, and Shooting Battle. Action Race is what it sounds like, you pick a character and race another player through a shortened version of the Sonic/Shadow levels in the game. You can slow down your opponent by collecting rings and using a special move. Me and my brother always went Sonic vs. Shadow, so Sonic using Sonic Wind to stop me when I’m ahead is something that will never leave my mind. The Treasure Hunt you pick a character and hunt for treasure, just like the Knuckles/Rogue levels. Again you can slow the other person down by collecting rings. Shooting battle is what it sounds like, you get a mech and shoot down your opponent. Me and my brother spent a lot of time in this mode cause it was the closest thing we had to a fighting game for a while. I still remember those moments when I thought I was dead only to get a special move and save myself. The levels are also prettied varied, each mode has at least 10 levels to pick from and they all stand on their own. One other multiplayer mode in this game is a kart racer. Yes you heard that right, a kart racer. After you play a certain level in the story mode you unlock kart racer mode. It plays like a simple kart racer, each character controls differently and I would be lying if I said I didn’t sink a lot of hours into this as a child. Playing it now it’s still a lot of fun. Sure it doesn’t control as tight as I would want it to, and it fells floaty, but it’s still a lot of fun at the end of the day.
I wound be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Chao Garden. Quite possibly the most talked about and played mode when it comes to Sonic Adventure 2. In this mode you raise Chaos, these little blue creatures that work as a virtual pet system. They have stats you can raise, and you can also change their physical appearance by giving them animals. Growing up my parents weren’t the biggest fan of pets, so raising a Chao was the next best thing for me and my brother. I remember how much time we would spend in the garden. You start off with two Chaos so we each got to raise one. Next thing you know it becomes a pseudo competition, as we both try to raise the greatest Chao. Little did we know the game had a way to test that. On top of this intricate stat system, they also had Chao Karate and Chao Race. Chao Race is about testing different stats. There are races that prioritize speed, some that prioritize flying, and some that prioritize swimming. I remember me and my brother would try to raise the perfect Chao that could beat all of these races. The other mode was Chao Karate and it’s essentially a Chao fighting game. Again I can’t tell you how many times we would pit our Chaos against each other to see who had the better one. The amount of hours we spent in this is absurd. I remember replaying levels for specific animals and vials for stat increases. I remember when the Chao grew up and finding out about Hero and Dark Chaos. I remember crying over the thought of my Chao dying (I was like 9) and freaking out when it reincarnated. This is definitely where most of my childhood went. The Chao Garden is something I never expected to get so into, but I’m glad I did.
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle means a lot to me. This game was able to bring me and my brother together, during a time we really needed it. We were able to forget about this house we where in and just play this game. Even though our relationship had it’s fair share of problems the older we got, we still had video games to fall back on. One of those video games was Sonic Adventure 2 and I that’s part of the reason I love it. I think the last time we played this game together was close to a decade ago, if only he didn’t live so far away we could play this one more time. I am visiting him for Christmas though so who knows, maybe I’ll bring the GameCube and we can go back to being kids for a day.