The sequel to the popular-but-awkward Sonic Adventure is considered by many fans to be one of the franchise's high points, if not the best in the franchise. Its port to GameCube, SA2: Battle was many young gamers' introduction to Sonic. All of this marks SA2 as one of nostalgia's best friends, because it's actually not very good.
These days a counter-reaction has built that instead says the game is a load of crap, but having LPed Sonic 06 first, I would argue that's not true either. Most things aren't one extreme over the other.
Sonic Adventure 2 saw several leaps forward for the hedgehog: a more focused and mature narrative, actual motion capture for cutscenes, a playable Eggman in a mainline game, Sonic's own evil-ish doppelganger in Shadow the Hedgehog, wrong-headed sex appeal with Rouge the Bat, and a brand deal with the now-defunct Soap shoes. However it still controls awkwardly, it's still voiced silly, the motion capture makes it even goofier, and it continues Sonic Adventure's penchant for making you play other characters, but goes the extra mile to make the speedy characters the grand minority in played stages compared to the far-less enjoyable other characters.
Knuckles' and Rouge's stages, though they would have been fun to control in a different stage type, are obnoxious treasure hunting stages in way-too-large levels with the radar needlessly constricted to one object at a time. Tails and Eggman, somewhat inexplicably, take on E102 Gamma's play style from the first Adventure to generally frustrating effect. Sonic and Shadow manage to carry on the tradition of fun, speedy gameplay, but they have far fewer stages than the others, and even they drag by the halfway point. All of this makes sense when you learn that originally Sonic, Knuckles and Eggman were going to be the only playable characters.
SA2 is its own kind of awkward mess. Potential highs turn to lows, and whatever speed you gain turns into a slog. Ultimately you're left with a thoroughly middling game that just has great word-of-mouth. Guess it's a Sonic game.
This is a straightforward, casual playthrough of SA2 streamed on YouTube and supported by my Patreon patrons. Returning from my previous livestreamed Sonic LPs are my co-commentators Mugiwara Yoshi and Jiggly Jacob, who have their own respective histories with the game. And yes, I was one of the kids who became huge Sonic fans because of this game. We all have our pasts.
I would argue Shadow was cool, damnit. For only this one game, though.